El Chipiron, Austin’s newest Spanish tapas and pinchos restaurant, is now open on South Lamar. Owner and chef Pablo Gomez set out to bring a truly Spanish experience from his home country to Texas.
“It’s really hard to find proper Spanish restaurants,” Gomez said, outside of the country. El Chipiron is his solution to that problem. The focus is what Gomez defines as classic Spanish food, but presented in a modern way. That means pinchos like gilda, a simple bite with an anchovy, green olive, and pepper, various tapas, and larger entrees and desserts like wine-poached pears and takes on rice pudding. Sunday brunch will include a deep-fried version of French toast and Spanish omelette. “Now we’ll see if it works or not,” he said.
Gin and tonics are the heart of the beverage menu. Gomez wanted to make sure there was something in honor of Texans. “They like citrus a lot, there’s a bunch of rosemary around, and they like smoked stuff,” he explained, so he concocted the Tejano, made with orange peels, rosemary, smoke, and Dripping Springs gin. While the lineup is small for now, he eventually wants to offer 20 to 30 different gins and tonics. He’s also looking to bring in vermouth as well.
Other cocktails include “very humble” Spanish ones, as Gomez described, like the rebujito with soda with sherry wine or the sangria-like tinto de verano with half-soda, half-red wine, and a bunch of ice. Beer will skew Spanish, too, like the Valencia Saison made with orange peels and the Er Boquerón with seawater.
Eater photographer Courtney Pierce took a tour of the bright South Lamar space. The main feature of the restaurant is the massive bar, where the pinchos will be displayed. Then, off to the side is the proper dining room, separated by ropes.
Starting tomorrow, Saturday, July 1, El Chipiron is open from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, until 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and Sunday brunch is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.