Chronicle critic Melanie Haupt reviewed The Brewer’s Table this week, and was mostly impressed with the food, though it seemed like she still left with a bad taste in her mouth. To her, the restaurant is emblematic of Austin’s current status with sustainable and ingredient-focused food in a beautiful setting while amidst “a complicated miasma of gentrification and history,” because the Govalle had been, until recently, a low-income area and her dinner for four cost $300.
During brunch, Haupt’s Sunday morning entrees were standouts: “tiny but satisfying” fried shrimp tacos and banana pancakes that were “a one-way ticket to nirvana.”
When returning for dinner, Haupt had to stop herself from overindulging in the breads courtesy of head baker Sandeep Gyawali ( who also runs sourdough subscription service Miche Bread). It was a good thing she saved room:
I had one of the most exquisite dinners I’ve had in recent memory. My friend and I opted for the Gulf shareable feast, which featured a generous fillet of rich, pan-seared grouper and equally generous portions of grilled shishito peppers, a turnip and greens salad, and a summer watermelon dish that somehow turned cubes of unremarkable watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew into juicy, candylike jewels.
Haupt called the pork ribs and rabbit carnitas “fine,” and while she enjoyed the desserts of the miniature ice cream cones and sweet corn custard, she noted the latter “could have used a bit of editing.”
Haupt’s final meal at Brewer’s took place during lunch, which was slightly disappointing. Of the pastrami board, she particularly didn’t enjoy the beet pastrami, which she compared to “salted beet leather.” She also noted that while sitting outdoors, she got a bit of “eau de sewage,” referring to However, she still found the two previous meals “memorably excellent.”
However, Austin Monthly critic Jolène M. Bouchon said she was “sold” on the narrative and presentation of the Brewer’s Table. In addition to being “utterly charmed” by the setting, she appreciated the restaurant’s connection between food and beverage.
Bouchon referred to the menu as “gastropub in spirit — simple dishes that take an elevated approach to seasonal ingredients.” She praised the “rich and light” venison tartare, the smoked swordfish dip, crudité plate with pickled vegetables, and the rustic hearth bread.
The ice cream cone was a favorite for Bouchon:
The diminutive ice cream cone is three bites of heaven. Toasted barley ice cream drizzled with a sprightly flavored hops honey and sprinkled with hops salt sits atop a perfectly textured beer-grain waffle cone, stoppered by a glob of salty-sweet yeast caramel in the very tip. I’m a sucker for textural and flavor contrast, and this hits all the right notes.
Again, not everything hit for Bouchon. She found the blue crab parfait lost flavor from cold temperatures, and the smoked rabbit carnitas were “too salty.” However, her overall impression was “entirely favorable.”
ON THE BLOGS: So Much Life blog said Guild’s brunch offers “bang for your buck” — she particularly liked the French toast made with brûléed brioche, coffee creme, and bacon jam. Discovering Austin called Grizzelda’s a fun restaurant, and loved the fish tacos.