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East Austin Italian Pop-Up Le Cowboy Is Closing In February

The future of chef Grae Nonas’s pasta-filled project is up in the air

Pasta e fagioli from Le Cowboy
Pasta e fagioli from Le Cowboy
Le Cowboy/Facebook
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

East Austin Italian restaurant Le Cowboy, from celebrated chef Grae Nonas, is closing within a month. Its last day at 2113 Manor Road near Cherrywood will be on Friday, February 19 for dine-in patio service, with takeout only available on Mondays.

Le Cowboy is known for handmade pastas like strozzapreti all’amatriciana and ricotta tortelli, as well as a hefty chicken parmesan special and appetizers like olives and fresh-baked bread with cultured butter. Nonas, who is from New England, wrote in an Instagram post that the pop-up “is, in all senses, me. An outsider trying to find himself in cowboy country.”

Le Cowboy was always intended to be a temporary restaurant, operating out of the former Elaine’s Pork & Pie space that previously held a temporary deli iteration of farmers market regular Mum Foods. The building is part of the forthcoming Mexican seafood restaurant Este, from Suerte’s Sam Hellman-Maas and Fermín Núñez, which will open in late 2021. Fellow temporary resident, vegetable-focused truck Rogue Radish from founding Pitchfork Pretty chef Max Snyder, will also be moving along soon, although there is no timeline for that yet.

Le Cowboy opened in August as a takeout-only restaurant, but expanded with patio dining starting in October, leaving Mondays open for to-go orders. Nonas told Eater that his small team did not want to compromise on quality and was therefore unable to support to-go food as well as patio dining at the same time.

As far as what’s next for Nonas, he says that is “still very much up in the air.” He had previously told Eater that “the idea is to spend our residency here creating something that can scale into something larger, and more permanent down the line.”

Before opening Le Cowboy, Nonas was the founding executive chef of South Austin hotel restaurant Carpenters Hall. It opened in November 2018, and he left in 2020. He was also one of the co-founding executive chefs of Southern restaurant Olamaie, and was named to Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs list in 2015.

Le Cowboy

2113 Manor Road, Austin, Texas 78722 Visit Website