First Look: Mattie's
Austin landmark Green Pastures returns to former elegance
By Thea Newell,
3:15PM, Wed. Mar. 22, 2017
Austin’s iconic Green Pastures reopened its doors on March 1st as Mattie’s, a renovated take on the old restaurant that strives to stay true to Green Pastures’ values of Southern hospitality and mindfully sourced ingredients.
The team behind the new restaurant includes the La Corsha Hospitality Group (Second Bar + Kitchen, Boiler Nine Bar + Grill), Austin developer Greg Porter, Clayton + Little Architects, and interior designer Joel Mozersky, whose signature mix of historical styles and luxe finishes give new life to the original interior. The team also plans to open a 99-room boutique hotel on the property, slated for 2018, with all renovations and plans approved by the Historic Landmark Commission.
Honoring the traditions set in place by the historic Bouldin Creek home and restaurant seems to hold top priority for Porter and Jeff Trigger of La Corsha, beginning with the name, which pays homage to one of the original owners, Martha “Mattie” Miner Faulk. The 13-month renovation also took place with the goal being to “restore the property to its original elegance,” harkening back to 1893, when the space originally opened to events and entertaining, and to 1946, when Martha Faulk’s daughter opened the restaurant that became famous for its Sunday brunches and milk punch.
The original milk punch recipe is still being featured alongside thoughtfully sourced rustic American fare, served up by chef Joshua Thomas and his team. Thomas, formerly of NYC’s Le Bernardin and Devi, both Michelin-starred restaurants, also owned and operated the now-defunct Chaat Shop food truck after returning to Austin. Alongside sourcing specialist Valerie Broussard, Thomas has created a menu that highlights the same local, fresh American cuisine that characterized Green Pastures’ menu, but that nevertheless remains sensitive to Austin’s changing culinary atmosphere.
Appetizers range from pimento cheese with ciabatta and cornichons to buttermilk biscuits with guava butter to a spicy gumbo z’herbes. Entrees include classic options such as a bone-in pork chop with avocado chimichurri and grilled okra or Dewberry Hills fried chicken with pomme purée and chipotle-yogurt dressing. Thomas also shows his finesse with Indian cuisine through a basmati rice bowl with a coconut curry and roasted vegetables.
Aside from that milk punch, the bar will also serve a large selection of wines overseen by Paula Rester. The cocktail program pays homage to the South with a peach mint julep, a Bourbon tea, and a riff on the Sazerac. Both menus are in charming embossed books, emphasizing the attention to detail in the relaunch.
The space includes one main dining area and four private event spaces, including a new outdoor pavilion with a view of the live oaks that shade the property and the same peacocks that wandered around the Green Pastures yard. A playlist of Forties-Sixties tunes will round out an experience that will transport diners back to mid-1900s Texas, where rustic, farm-fresh fare and true Texas hospitality characterized service at the Faulks' converted home.
Mattie’s is currently open for dinner Tuesday-Saturday, and will return to its signature brunch services on weekends later in the spring.