A new restaurant focused on fine-dining vegan food is coming to Austin this year. Fabrik is opening in the Blackland neighborhood at 1701 East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Suite 102 starting on Thursday, August 3.
The vegan finer-dining restaurant will be open for tasting menu dinners only. The food, from co-owner and chef Je Wheeler will take its cues from Japanese, Italian, and Nordic cuisines. The menu will make use of locally sourced ingredients (Texas olive oils, Barton Springs Mill flours), and items from the hydroponic gardens and foraging excursions (edible flowers, herbs, etc.). And then almost everything will be house-made, such as tofu, vegan cheese, tempeh, pasta, bread, syrups, shio koji marinades, infused oils, and some kinds of vinegar.
This could be potential dishes like grilled tofu with tempura shiso, black garlic, and ginger kumquat; parsnip cappelletti with miso butter, caramelized yeast, and Sichuan spices; pickled and smoked tomatoes with cultured cashews and compressed koji melons; confit potatoes with wakame caviar and creme fraiche; and, for dessert, a sour cherry cheesecake with a tonka bean panna cotta, and coffee maple ice cream.
The restaurant aims to use up every piece of food within dishes or compost. Fabrik is the German word for “factory,” which the website explains is their way of paying “homage to the effort of ongoing refinement applied to every level of the design and production of your dining experience.”
Drinks will include vegan, biodynamic, and organic wines as well as sake and nonalcoholic options.
Wheeler and co-owner/restaurant manager Silas Wallerstein met in 2017 in Brooklyn through friends and became life partners and business partners. “While Austin has no shortage of excellent plant-based options of the more casual variety, I wanted to introduce a fine dining concept that would be exciting not just for vegans, but also those interested in more sustainable dining, or just seeking a unique upscale experience,” Wheeler explains why they wanted to open the restaurant.
Wheeler has worked as a vegan chef for 10 years. She’s originally from Boston but considered Austin her home base since her parents lived in the city for a bit in 2012. She permanently moved here in 2020. Throughout her culinary years, she staged at Michelin-starred restaurants, vegetarian spot Cookies Cream in Berlin and Nordic establishment Ark in Copenhagen and vegan restaurant Plates in London. In Austin, she worked with executive chef Mike Warnock at the Italian restaurant Juniper and worked as a private chef until opening this restaurant.
Wallerstein is a product developer, production strategist, and multimedia fabricator. He worked for toy designer Cas Holman, New York lighting design studio Allied Maker, and furniture fabrication studio Ross Alan Reclaimed Lumber
Fabrik is found in the same building as the Mexican torta restaurant La Plancha. In Austin, there’s vegan finer-dining truck Bistro Vonish.
When it opens on August 3rd, the restaurant will operate with limited service. Full service will be available starting on Thursday, August 10. Its full hours will be from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. There will be two tasting seatings per evening, a six-course and then a nine-course one. The space will be intimate with just 16 seats each.
Update, July 25, 10:39 a.m.: This article, which was originally published on July 13, has been updated with Fabrik’s opening date and additional details.