Austin’s latest downtown hotel, Fairmont Austin, is finally opening today, Monday, March 5, right in the center of the city’s major neighborhoods on 101 Red River (downtown, Red River, Rainey Street, and the East Side). In tow are five restaurants and bars: food court Revue, grill house Garrison, lobby bar Fulton, coffee shop Good Things, and cocktail bar Rules & Reg.
Culinary influences aren’t restricted to specific regionals or techniques throughout the entire hotel. There are touches of Vietnamese in Fulton’s bar snacks to Korean and Colombian in Garrison’s beef shank (banchan and arepas) to French pastries at Good Things.
Overlooking the entire hotel is David Garcelon as the executive director of food and beverage. Rounding out the team are executive chef Andre Natera, executive sous chef Atticus Garant, who is known for all-things cured. Then there’s Garrison’s chef de cuisine Jason Purcell, who was the executive chef of Farmshop in Santa Monica, as well as the sommelier at Cru in Austin.
Eater photographer Courtney Pierce took a tour of the sprawling hotel, from the restaurants to the pool deck. Here’s what to expect, from how to navigate the various eateries, where to find fancier-than-usual bar snacks, to what’s really inside that box at Garrison.
The centerpiece of the lobby is the giant oak tree, decorated with blue and green lights. The menu focuses on higher-end bar snacks, like banh mi-inspired chicken liver tartines, salmon rillettes topped with roe, and cookies with milk and Kahlua. It also features cheese from Austin’s Antonelli’s Cheese and charcuterie from the in-house program.
For drinks, there are classic ones like Aviation, Vespers, and Vieux Carres. Then there are out-of-the-box ones with curious ingredients like the tiki-ish Pancho and Lefty with rums and banana coconut cream and the Southern Eyes mixed with a roasted butternut squash-infused whiskey.
Hours: noon to 1 a.m. daily
The hotel’s food court focuses on six different menus. First, there’s the Italian section, dishing out handmade pasta and pizzas. Then there’s the pan-Asian corner with dishes spanning Thai, Malaysia, Korean, Japanese, and more. The center bar is where the raw bar lives, focusing on oysters and seafood towers. Elsewhere, there is a pastry corner, plus cured meats and usual grill fares like steaks and burgers.
The vibe of the hall is reminiscent of Las Vegas: The front-facing wall will include a live-stream feed projection of East Sixth Street. The overhead lighting for the food court will mimic the outdoors, from sunshine to passing clouds, similar to Hogwarts Castle’s Great Hall in Harry Potter.
While there are dedicated areas with open kitchens and themed decor for most menus (Italian, Asian, raw bar, pastries), diners can sit anywhere and order off any menu, making it easy for group meals. Guests partaking in Revue’s menu can also sit on the porch at Garrison (see #3 below).
Hours: Breakfast - 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. weekdays, 6:30 to 10 a.m. weekends; Lunch: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily; Dinner: 5 to 11 p.m. daily; Bar: 11 a.m. to midnight daily; Brunch: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends.
Behind Revue is Garrison, Fairmont’s grill house, found behind an actual facade of a house, complete with a porch. The clouds and sun from next-door Revue will pass over the Garrison, and there will be people projected within the windows above. While, yes, there is a front door, the actual entrance of this restaurant is found to the left of the building.
Garrison’s menu focuses on grilling and smoking techniques, using post oak from Bastrop. Of course, meats are on the menu, from dry-aged steaks, giant beef shanks, and grilled fish.
The menu seems the most playful at this restaurant, with inventive dishes like kale paneer, the soon-to-be-popular tater tots topped with gruyere cheese foam and shaved truffles, and barbecue cauliflower that tastes meaty. With Garrison, Natera wants to “treat vegetables like meat.” Scope out the full menu below.
There are nods to exploration for the guests, like the hand-drawn dessert menu hidden within an origami-folded paper. Guests are encouraged to open up the unmarked box centerpieces in the middle of the table, which contains inspirational items from the chefs, hidden treats, and a notebook so guests can leave notes and comments.
Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. daily
4. Good Things
The lobby coffee shop is all about quick service. There’s coffee, lattes, matcha, and tea. Unique to the shop is the young green coconut latte, made with matcha and coconut. Food-wise, there are breakfast items (oatmeal, tacos, sandwiches), and panini. The shop also contains the hotel’s gift shop. In the near future, it’ll offer customizable foam prints on lattes.
Good Things [Fairmont]
Hours: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
5. Rules & Regs
Up on the 7th floor of the Fairmont is the pool-adjacent bar Rules & Regs, with great 360-degree views of Austin.
The bar focuses on casual dishes and drinks. The food menu takes on an al fresco-inspired bent, with dishes like poke, fries, rice paper rolls, tacos, hot dogs, and simple watermelons. For sweets, there are ice cream sandwiches from Lick Honest Ice Cream and paletas from Cold Ones Pops.
There is a patio, with an outdoor section dedicated to a cigar shop. Near the pool, there is an auxiliary Rules & Reg bar as well. The pool, however, is only open to guests and to those who purchase cabana packages.
Rules & Regs [Official]
Hours: Food: noon to 11 p.m. daily; Drinks: noon to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday; noon to 2 a.m. Friday through Sunday
Fairmont Garrison's menu by Nadia Chaudhury on Scribd