Thai Fresh and Lenoir Return for Dine-In, Osome Fêtes Antone’s, Jeni’s Opens with Free Ice Cream, and More

All the news that's fit to get your taste buds quivering

Here’s some of what’s happening in Austin’s culinary scene, as wrangled from numerous PR releases, words on the digital street, and even the occasional (verified) IRL eavesdroppings.

Yes, it’s your Food News Buffet for the second week in December.

Welcome back, Lenoir, you've been missed (Photo by Katie Luedecke)

How about some good news? Such as, Thai Fresh has reopened their dining room for the first time since the pandemic started. Yeah, we like that. Such as, Lenoir’s remodeling has finally been completed, which means that they’re open for dinner inside with 22 seats – including a banquette that accommodates up to 12 – with 10 seats on the copper bar’s comfortable stools (first come, first served for full service there) – and they’ll be celebrating their 10th anniversary on New Year’s Eve with a 10-course meal by chef Todd Duplechan. Uh-huh, we like that, too …

And Fareground, that high-end food court Downtown, has launched weekend brunch (Sat.-Sun., 11am-5pm) featuring egg cream bao from Little Wu, a pancakes-and-breakfast-sandwich plate from Henbit, salmon tartare from Austin Rotisserie, and – yes, even more good stuff, and of course mimosas and Bloody Marys and more to wash it all down with, in their newly revamped and stylishly comfortable interior …

You already know what a great music venue Antone’s is, right? For three nights only – Dec. 13, 14, and 15 – acclaimed sushi chef John Gocong of Osome is taking over the music joint on East Fifth to offer a 17-course omakase tasting, plus sake pairings – followed by live music sets from Soul Man Sam and Suzanne Santo. Ah, you may never have to sing those “Not Enough Wasabi for My Perfect Smoked Unagi” blues again …

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, which already opened two shops in the ATX (but didn’t get to celebrate, because pandemic), is opening a third shop in the Triangle (4616 Triangle) and this time they will be throwing a sweet hullaballo – with free ice cream all night long (Thu., Dec. 16, 7-11pm) and all sorts of other goodies …

And Easy Tiger, that badass bastion of bread and brews and more, opens fully and grandly on the city’s south side (3508 S. Lamar) with the addition of that location’s indoor seating and completion of its onsite bakery

That elegant Hotel Granduca, out there where Austin gets really scenic and hilly, is presenting the latest Long Table Dinner at their Ristorante Visconti – featuring a multicourse menu of savory dishes and curated wine pairings. And – in case you’re looking for a laidback sip, shop, and stroll experience – that same day (Thu., Dec. 16) is when the Granduca reveals a Holiday Artisan Market

We’re all going a bit nuts over that Bavarian Prince Konstantin and his new bierhaus, Koko’s, lately – with good reason – but let’s not forget the longtime Germanic goodness of Scholz Garten and, a little farther afield, the excellent Krause’s Cafe out in New Braunfels (especially on Sat., Dec. 18, when the Krause’s crew will be properly celebrating National Roast Suckling Pig Day). This time of year, we’re not saying WWKE? – Where Would Krampus Eat? – but we are reminding you of options, liebschen …

Meanwhile, at Salt & Time Wine Shop (1912 E. Seventh), chef Madeline Brandstetter has created new lunch, happy hour, and dinner menus with lighter fare and fresh, seasonal bites, to pair with the shop’s extensive holdings of low intervention wine – whether enjoyed by the glass or bottle. And, um, “low intervention wine,” did they say? It means wine that’s “labor-intensive, with vineyard activities carried out by hand.” Thanks, Google!

And, if you’ve been wondering what Tacodeli’s doing right now to pozole up the temperate Texas wintertime? Glad to tell you

Oh! Don’t forget this round-up of local sweets and savories for gifting

And, finally, we’re impressed and delighted to note that Meridian Hive’s variety packs of honey-based alcohol are now packaged in recycled cardboard boxes, made of an unbleached kraft paperboard (with up to 15% recycled fiber), thus eliminating plastic carriers altogether. We already love their tasty, thirst-quenching beverages, and this makes consuming ’em even more attractive. If only these Meridianers would let themselves call the stuff mead, FFS, we’d stop rolling our eyes …

Now eat as well as you can, tip like it’s going out of style, and watch out for those mutating ’ronas.


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