Tasty new eats in the central city for hungry ACL fans
Reviewed by Virginia B. Wood, Fri., Oct. 12, 2012
Cherry Street1612 Lavaca; 284-9954
Mon.-Thu., 11am-10pm; Fri., 11am-12mid; Sat., 5pm-12mid; Sun., 5-10pm
This cozy and comfortable restaurant is a couple of blocks south of the UT campus, in a space formerly occupied by the Hog Island Deli, whose owners recently struck a deal for restaurateur Rob Pate and chef Jason Dodge of Peche to take over operation of the restaurant. Cherry Street is Pate and Dodge's casual Italian restaurant and bar concept. As you would expect from the owners of a very popular Warehouse District watering hole, the new spot offers a full bar with an enticing list of Italian-inspired custom cocktails designed to complement the food.
The small food menu is made up of appetizers, salads, soups, pizzas, hot sandwiches, pastas, and desserts, augmented with daily blackboard specials. Pizzas here are personal-sized: six small slices of pie baked in a Naples-style domed pizza oven. Though we enjoyed the thin, chewy crust on our pizza with artichokes, mushrooms, olives, spinach, and fresh mozzarella ($11), it wasn't much food for that much money, and the house Margherita Pizza ($9) pretty much fell flat with no visible fresh basil and a few sad cherry tomato halves. As far as we know, Cherry Street is the first place in Austin to offer the Campania-style panuozzi, hot sandwiches made on long loaves of pizza dough flat bread. We're eager to go back for a panuozzi made with prosciutto, arugula, and brie ($8) and a panini with roasted meatballs and mozzarella ($10).