The Austin Chronicle

Texas Strong Relief, St. Patrick's Day, Persian New Year, Intero's New Pizza, and the Hospitality Howdy-Do of Marriott International

By Wayne Alan Brenner, March 10, 2021, 12:01pm, On the Range

Austin and the rest of the state continue to recover, as best we can, from that devastating snowpocalypse freeze (we’ve got some solid coverage of what’s up with area farmers’ markets right here), and the local hospitality industry professionals who aren’t gormless fools have pretty much told Guv Abbott where he can stick his no-mask executive order.


While all that business and its consequences unfold, we’ve also got St. Patrick’s Day approaching faster than a shillelagh swung by Finn MacCool, and so here’s a few drinking and nomming recommendations for you.

And, let’s see, what else, what else …

Texas Strong Relief is an outdoor concert and benefit for the Texas Farmer Winter Relief Fund – boasting headliners Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis, Jackie Venson, Sir Woman, Ray Prim, and Rochelle and the Sidewinders – and it’s happening at Dreamland, the new outdoor entertainment, recreation, and arts venue at 2770 W Hwy 290 in Dripping Springs. That’s on Sat., March 13, and listen: 100% of the profits from ticket sales and donations will go to that relief fund. Because these guys, as we said about Aviary & Sour Duck, aren’t just fucking around.

Chef Amir Hajimaleki and his brother Ali are celebrating the Persian New Year – it’s called Nowruz, to be precise – with pop-ups of their highly anticipated (2022) Roya restaurant, hosting two dinners at the Shoal Creek location of District Kitchen + Cocktails on March 22-23. (The five-course dinner includes traditional Persian dishes in a modern format: Royal Egg with Beluga Caviar, Ash Reshteh made with braised lamb, caramelized onions, and kashk; and pastry chef Dennis Van will serve a cardamom and nāranj panna cotta with pomegranate liquid gel and pistachios. Tickets are $90-160, available right here.) Oh, and the bros’ Shortie’s joint now has Nowruz-themed pizza specials every weekend throughout March.

Speaking of pizza, Intero, that most elegant of Italian places on East Cesar Chavez, has transformed itself into Pizza A Parte, a casual neighborhood pizzeria open every Wednesday for pizza night. We’re talking, like, arrabiata with house mozzarella and garden oregano; caramelized cauliflower with cacio e pepe and garlic oil; and butternut squash with taleggio, shallot caramel, and grated prosciutto. We already know the wonders that chef Ian Thurwachter can do with the fancier classics of his chosen area of cuisine, we can barely wait to try these savory pies …

Speaking of savory pies, you know that Ice Pick’s Pies is cooking up a tasty plethora of Irish vittles for St. Patrick’s Day, right? And that there’s – *checks watch* – still time to place an order for delivery? You’re welcome.

That Austin Marriott is finally open Downtown – pardon us while we pour out a side of salsa in memory of the beloved Las Manitas – and the brobdingnagian hotel complex has four separate food-and-beverage components among its 31 stories and 613 regular guest rooms and 25 VIP suites and 60,000 square feet of meeting space. Corinne is the big one, featuring one of the largest outdoor patios on West Cesar Chavez, serving regional classics and American comfort food; Loaf + Vine is a modern urban grocer with all the coffees and grab-n-go noms you’d imagine; The Lobbyist is a posh two-story cocktail bar with floor-to-ceiling outside windows; and Zanzibar is a rooftop terrace and pool with modern tiki cocktails and more among its tropical finery, and it’s got its own street-level elevator for entry. Well. Time marches on, after all, and what comes with it is sometimes called "progress." Tell you what: So much of it certainly is luxurious. How did Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid put it back in the Seventies? “Money, money, money,” is that it? Sing along with me now, people

Oh, and keep your most stylish masks on and, you know, watch out for those ’ronas!

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