Statesman critic Matthew Odam reviewed East Austin Italian restaurant Intero, and left impressed. Noting that nearly one-year-old space felt like it was part of an art studio crawl, he explained that the restaurant’s name means “whole,” so the menu may contain several dishes using different parts of the same animal or vegetable.
This was put into practice with cauliflower: its greens were used in a timballo to balance the “mound of crispy and creamy risotto;” the vegetable was grilled and “swathed in decadent beef fat hollandaise” with onion jus; and in another instance, a “standout entree” consisted of the pureed vegetable with duck breast.
Odam approved of Intero’s many homemade pastas and accompanying “hearty” sauces:
The spagehttini ($14) twirled through a mix of broccoli and nutty aged cheddar ($16); the dish spotted with baked crumbles of cheese like chefy Cheez-Its tasted like a pasta take on broccoli-cheddar soup, if that classic concoction came studded with walnuts. And the pappardelle ($18) that wove itself through thinly sliced lamb leg contrasted with bitter arugula and salty, creamy feta cheese was probably the best of all of the pasta offerings.
Odam also enjoyed the main courses, like a “crispy-skinned and meaty branzino.” He mentioned the sparse problems “all seem a product of over exuberance as opposed to any error in conception.”
Odam ended the meal with “impressive” chocolate truffles, which pushed his rating up to an 8 out of 10.
Chronicle critic Jessi Cape reviewed new South Lamar hotel restaurant Carpenters Hall this week, admitting it won her over despite her reservations. After complimenting the restaurant’s “sleek and romantic” dining room, the “stacked” kitchen roster (including chef Grae Nonas), and mentioning that the bar was three rows deep on a Friday), Cape dove into the German- and Czech-influenced cuisine.
[...] the super-fat, grilled, head-on Gulf shrimp atop toasted sourdough with a bright Meyer lemon salsa was a favorite I’d return for. The seafood fritto misto (a fine-dining fried seafood platter) was lightly battered and fried just right, served with a caper remoulade that cut the fat with, well, cream.
Cape also enjoyed the giant chicken schnitzel that “literally hung over the dinner plate” and its accompanying black garlic chimichurri.
During a brunch visit, Cape remained complimentary towards each dish, including a “juicy burger on a light-as-a-feather poppy seed bun,” a chopped salad, and in particular, hash browns served with a mixture of hot pepper jelly and béarnaise, though she did think spending $10 on a mimosa was “just absurd.”
Overall, Cape pointed out that the Carpenters Hall is not budget-friendly, but concluded it’s still “smart, beautiful, and almost annoyingly cool.”
ON THE BLOGS: So Much Life Blog stopped by Bar Peached, and called it both beautiful and delicious. ATX Eats and Treats visited Fat Dragon, and her favorite dishes were the spicy shoyu ramen and the lemongrass-tinged soup dumplings.