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Odam Appreciates Mongers; Critics Visit Launderette and Italic

Including reviews from Austin Monthly and Texas Monthly.

Mongers Market and Kitchen
Mongers Market and Kitchen
Mongers Market and Kitchen/Facebook
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

For Matthew Odam at The Statesman, Mongers Market and Kitchen takes up the neighborhood mantle between the city’s high- and lowbrow seafood offerings. The array of the raw bar, appetizers, and beef options were mostly balanced, with a few details out of place, like too-large crudo portions and bland apple and jalapeno coleslaw. It was with the entrees where the restaurant really shone:

The early summer dish of Gulf red snapper ($25) embodied the synergy of San Miguel and Stark at its finest. Spring peas and morels balanced vegetal lightness and loamy depth on the dish of recently arrived fish draped with a floral chervil cream.

For Austin Monthly, Jolène M. Bouchon had mixed feelings about Launderette. While there was bad service while waiting for a table and a few dishes she didn’t want to touch (burrata, octopus that "tast[ed] far more like char than it should have"), she fell in love with pastry chef Laura Sawicki’s beautiful and dreamy desserts:

She relies on unusual juxtapositions of familiar sweets with herbs, vegetables and other savory ingredients to transform ordinary sweets into something surprising and extraordinary. Take the delicate pistachio-rosewater parfait, with a silky texture that recalls panna cotta. It also includes freshly bitter grapefruit, the crisp anisey bite of shaved fennel and a kind of tahini crumble. The result is a delightful tumult of textures with a net flavor that’s just sweet enough, with no hint of granny’s floral hand soap often present in rosewater-forward confections.

Texas Monthly’s Pat Sharpe found herself frequenting Italic quite often since its opening in April. The ELM restaurant delivered from the beginning, and she even went as far as to use it to make the case of how much Austin has grown as a city dedicated to food. Her examples:

[M]y friends and I next split the beautiful coppery filet of Ora king salmon, still rosy pink in the middle, and devoured it along with its accompanying salad of fennel and grilled radicchio. Then our half chicken arrived. The opposite of boring, it had moist flesh and a just-crispy skin. Crowned with a coarse arugula pesto, it sat in juices that had pooled enticingly on the platter. Still hungry, we ordered scallops, snowy-white disks seared a deep mahogany on the outside and set atop a pungent, aromatic lemon risotto.

THE BLOGS: Foodie is the New Forty tried Chinatown's dim sum, South Austin Foodie had free pizza from Garducci's, and Mike Sutter’s all-round-taco-experience is still on.


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