Dining Beyond the Chains

Good food moves to the 'burbs

The Hollow

708 S. Austin Ave., Georgetown, 512/868-3300
Lunch: Tue.-Sat., 11am-2pm; Sun., 10am-2pm; dinner: Tue.-Thu., 5-9:30pm; Fri.-Sat., 5-10:30pm
www.facebook.com/thehollowtx

This incongruous little spot plants the flag for modern Franco-American cuisine in the heart of an old-fashioned Texas town square. Just a little over a year old, the Hollow pairs white tablecloth dining with a cheeky insouciance that manifests itself in menu descriptors like "floofy pancakes" ($10), "John Cou­gar Mellenpork" ($26), and dishes containing "pickled things" and "love and roquettes." They can get away with the cutesy ethos because chef Jacob Hilbert is nailing it on the execution. On a recent brunch visit, we were very impressed by the cured gravlax with crab cake ($14), the seared scallops atop decadent, creamy polenta ($16), and the mussels and cream "liaisoned" with eggs and fresh herbs ($13). The service was polite, professional, and nonintrusive, and the space married elegance with small-town shabby chic – no small aesthetic feat. This little upstart brasserie is definitely worth the 30-minute drive north.

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