The dream team behind Juliet is just about ready to open the doors of this highly anticipated new Barton Springs Italian spot.
Owner Update, 4:48 p.m.: Executive chef Jacob Weaver (Asti Trattoria) let Eater in on a little sneak peek of the space, which is bright and stylish—a far cry from former occupant, Umami Pizzeria.
When guests enter the restaurant, they'll walk into the soaring white-walled bar area with plenty of natural light. There's also a side room with small booths and tables fit for dates and conversations, lounge that feels like someone's classy living room, Rat Pack-inspired dining room with mirrored walls, and garden room with sound-deadening ceilings overlooking Barton Springs Road, perfect for people watching. Screens dividing some of the rooms were made from rescued bank teller dividers from a Bank of America in Dallas.
The bar is certainly a focal point—all grand walnut woodwork with a sleek marble bar top. 1960’s Modernist Italian light fixtures hang overhead. Behind the bar will be the visible wine room, where bottles will be stuck into holes in the walnut walls. Wallpaper prints inspired by Pierno Fornasetti adorn the ceiling of the bathrooms as well as the hallway. Outside, the shady patio will fit 135 seats. There will be an outdoor bar with food menu, and overhead misters are in the works. Vines planted along the border will grow into a natural fence.
Weaver also revealed a few new details of the menu, which he described as a modern approach to classic Italian. There will be a unique focaccia-like pizza crust and a possible signature dish: beef carpaccio with tonnato sauce. Other items include a peach salad and salmon crudo. Bread, pasta, and dessert will all be made in-house. A quick tour of the spacious kitchen revealed a pizza oven that will use white oak wood for flavor, deli meat slicer for salumi, and pasta makers, including a rare machine used to make tubular pasta. (It’s only one of a handful that exist in Texas!) There will be two deep fryers, with the second dedicated to gluten-free items. The rest of the team on hand were chef de cuisine Brandon Fuller, most recently of Cafe Josie, and executive pastry chef Carly Rossmeissl, from Easy Tiger.
Beverage director Robert Millican let Eater in on some of what to expect in the drinks realm. In addition to an impressive wine program spanning 150-200 bottles, designed to compliment the acidity and aromas of the cuisine, he’s going to bring back wine coolers. Well, more like high quality wines combined with flavored Italian sodas, but "wine coolers" just sounds better. Also, magnums of wine and large format cocktails (e.g. pitchers) will be on the menu during weekend brunch hours, which will be launched later. Happy hour is on deck with cocktail specials and a special bar menu. The team will make its own syrups, including a roasted rose petal one.
Another pleasant surprise: Juliet plans to forgo small plates and serve regular appetizers and entrees. Its prices will lean towards being more accessible.
— Anastacia Uriegas