The Austin Chronicle

Five More Options For Valentine’s Dining

By Wayne Alan Brenner, February 10, 2021, 9:00am, On the Range

This is it, though: The final installment in our trilogy of blogposts shouting out the culinary goodness available for Valentine’s Weekend in this still reasonably weird and pandemic-bothered town of ours.


Of course, you can always check the regular Food Listings we keep updated like whoa – or that weekly Food News Buffet of ours – but this five-spot might just rescue your hungry heart from the ol’ tyranny of choice.

1) AUSTIN EASTCIDERS How about a whole picnic set-up to supercharge your Valentine's weekend interlude, you romantic, outdoorsy heartthrob? The folks at the Eastciders restaurant on Barton Springs have got it ready for you, featuring herb-encrusted cider-brined chicken, a pint of pickled potato salad, crispy cabbage salad (so fresh with, mmmmm, that Golden Apple Ponzu dressing), and a Whoopie cake (with its moist double chocolate, condensed milk, crushed toffee, and whipped brown sugar). Oh, and? Because this is from those gurus of apple-based adult beverages? A six-pack of cider of your choice – and you can mix-n-match flavors, even. (We'd jump on that newly released Blackberry expression of theirs, tell you what.) And all of this will be packed in a souvenir Austin Eastciders tote bag for you to grab and go. Reckon this sweet deal's romantic to the core, alright. $50. 1530 Barton Springs Rd., 512/893-7000.

2) BIG COOKIE SIXER Those catering wizards at Austin's Vanilla Orchid and the Chicken Salad Shoppe are reprising their famous Sixer for this day of sweets and lovers: A six-pack of their half-pound stuffed cookies, all adorned with Valentine's finery in a fancy LED-lighted box. Better order before they run out, hey? $47.50. 7433 Burnet Rd., 512/790-7790.

3) SUMMER HOUSE ON MUSIC LANE Here's the first annual Saint Valentine's Day Prix Fixe menu from this recently debuted culinary powerhouse just south of the river. For the first course, choose between beef tartare toast and hamachi ceviche; the main course offers lamb sugo or oak-grilled swordfish, followed by white chocolate budino to share. Note: The regular a la carte menu will also be available, and there's indoor and outdoor-seating-with heaters. $58. Feb. 12-14. 1101 Music Ln., 512/442-1000.

4) VIXEN’S WEDDING Is this elegant restaurant in the ARRIVE Austin hotel serving up a real Valentine's feast this weekend? Oh, c'mon – as romantic as the place is every day, how could they not? Lovers, you'll be glad to know there's a special prix-fixe menu featuring seafood staples from India’s western coastal region – oysters, caviar, and blue crab – along with seasonal vegetables, traditional garlic naan, and a wintery-spiced twist on bread pudding. And let us just whisper this in your ear: Lamb shank with tamarind molasses. Uh huh, that's right. $69. Feb. 12-14. 1813 E. Sixth, 737/242-7555.

5) SALA & BETTY It's Sala & Betty's sixth anniversary, yes, but what chef Teresa Wilson is serving up will help you celebrate with your Valentine: A multicourse meal that involves "several different cuisines to honor the many cultures that make us who we are." Choose among such delights as grilled oysters with bacon, goat cheese tourtes, Louisiana crab cakes, shrimp bisque, pomegranate-roasted pork chops, salmon with Brussels sprouts and chorizo, raspberry cheesecake, banana pudding, red velvet cupcakes, and more. $50-55. Order now for pickup on Feb. 14. 5201 Airport, 512/645-0214.

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