A new restaurant focusing on gluten-free Mexican food is opening in Austin this fall. Nomade Cocina y Raw Bar will open in the Bouldin Creek neighborhood at 1506 South First Street starting on Sunday, October 22.
Nomade will focus specifically on Yucatán cuisines with influences from Lebanese, pan-African, and Portuguese cuisines because of the histories of the Mexican state. This means an entirely gluten-free menu with raw offerings and wood-fired dishes. Expect items like camarones asados (grilled shrimp), kibis (ground meat fritters), sikil pak (a pumpkin seed salsa), coconut flatbreads, mogo mogo (a plantain mash), a take on the tikin xic (which is Mayan for “dried fish;” Nomade’s will be made with mahi mahi), and others. Seafood will be sourced from the Gulf of Mexico.
Behind Nomade are the co-partners of Austin Japanese restaurant Lucky Robot: chef Jay Huang and Adam Weisberg. Huang was into the idea of opening a restaurant based in Yucatán cuisine because the Mexican region “always provided me with an escape,” he tells Eater. “Yucatán food is so different from interior Mexican and I loved visiting the markets and tasting the different spices, fruits, and vegetables they use.”
The cocktail list, developed by beverage director Drew Dyar, uses lots of agave spirits with tropical ingredients and flavors. There’s the Smoke Show with mezcal, xtabentun (an anise liqueur from the Yucatán), a Mexican sunflower oregeat, and lime juice; the Tepache Junglebird with a pineapple sotol, Campari, tepache, and lime; and the Oaxaca Old Fashioned with a bourbon-aged tequila, an anejo mezcal, both mole and angostura bitters, and a maguey syrup. The restaurant will also serve mezcal and tequila flights.
Huang and Weisburg teamed up with Mexico-based hotel hospitality group Namron Hospitality Group, which consulted on the restaurant. The duo tagged the company because Weisberg’s friend, James Chippendale, opened Tulum hotel Nest, which became part of Namron’s portfolio; Weisberg also has stayed at the group’s hotels often.
The physical space includes plenty of dining areas both inside and out. There’s the alfresco cantina area, lots of garden details, a raw bar facing the open kitchen, a lounge, and a casita. The restaurant was designed by Austin-based studio Eden.
Nomade’s hours will be from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and then from 4:30 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Reservations are available for booking starting on Wednesday, October 11.