Il Brutto, the latest addition to Austin’s ever-growing Italian scene, opens tonight on 1601 East 6th Street. At first, the New Waterloo restaurant will only open for dinner. Eventually lunch and brunch will be added sometime next month.
Chef Erind Halilaj’s menu focuses on Italian classics, from pastas to entrees to vegetables to wood-fired pizzas. Desserts were concocted by Amanda Rockman, who is Il Brutto’s parent company’s corporate executive pastry chef, which includes her tiramisu that was way better than Bobby Flay’s.
Eater photographer Courtney Pierce got a sneak peek into the space, which is dark yet open with high ceilings and plenty of darker, muted blues, greens, and browns. In the corner of the dining room, there’s a giant cat figure (a nod to Il Brutto’s former name Gatto Nero). The open kitchen contains the Neapolitan wood-burning brick oven, plus there’s the dough room, bar and lounge, and a private dining room. The corner patio is built around a giant live oak tree.
The peg of the restaurant is American Western Spaghetti meets Italian. (The name, which means ‘the Ugly’ in Italian, refers to the Sergio Leone Western film The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.)
Il Brutto’s initial dinner-only hours are from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 5 to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Just around the corner is Il Brutto’s casual counterpart, La Matta. That shop is dedicated to Italian sandwiches, salads, and charcuterie, plus beer and wine.