Este es (almost) Aquí!
Suerte’s new restaurant brings the ocean’s bounty – starting next week
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
4:45PM, Tue. Sep. 27, 2022
The team behind Suerte, East Austin’s nationally acclaimed restaurant led by Sam Hellman-Mass and chef Fermín Núñez, has announced their latest concept.
Este – which opens on Monday, Oct. 3, at 2113 Manor Rd. – will celebrate coastal Mexican cuisine, charcoal cooking, and fresh seafood sourced from premier fishmongers.
Yes, that location used to host the beloved Eastside Cafe. Yes, we’re glad these guys are filling that absence. And they are, too:
“I feel very grateful for the opportunity to create another beloved restaurant in one of Austin’s most iconic properties,” says owner Hellman-Mass. “This project is truly a dream. The past few years have been challenging for everyone in the restaurant industry. I don’t take for granted that our team is so fortunate to do what we love and put our hearts and all of our passion into Este.”
In addition to updating and rebuilding the original 1920s structure, the team has also brought the longstanding garden back to vibrant life – highlighting local vegetables, birdhouses for the migratory purple martins, and beehives onsite so bees can pollinate the crops.
While developing the ideas behind Este, Hellman-Mass and Nuñez traveled to several cities along the coast of Mexico, including Ensenada, Valle de Guadalupe, Tijuana, Puerto Escondido, Tampico, and Merida, finding inspiration in the incredible culture, seafood, and people.
“Suerte is all about our masa and the story we tell with it,” says Núñez. “Este will focus on the canvas of heirloom corn masa and cooking seafood with a Mexican point of view. When I think of mariscos, I think of the many delicious raw dishes as well as the timeless tradition of grilling beautiful fish and shellfish on the beach over a hot charcoal fire. I’m not only looking forward to cooking this way at Este, but also having it be a place where I get to eat on my days off.”
And what will the chef – and you – be eating? Look: Oysters, ceviches, aguachiles, a seafood platter, fried fish tacos made with pressed-to-order tortillas, and charcoal-grilled shrimp and whole fish. Also: cast-iron-seared T-bone steak, seasonal vegetables, and other dishes for those hungry for something more inland. Bonus: Suerte pastry chef Derrick Flynn will be crafting desserts for both restaurants.
And – how about a drink? The beverage program is inspired by flavors and regions that complement Mexican seafood and charcoal cooking. Curated by general manager Celia Pellegrini, Este's wine list will be influenced by coastal regions throughout the world, Champagne, and other seafood-friendly wines. The bar will also feature vibrant coastal-inspired cocktails and margaritas created by Patrick Wasetis.
All of this fine culinary action will be taking place in a bright, beautifully designed space boasting 80 seats in the main dining room, eight seats at the bar, and six seats at the chef counter – plus outdoor seating on the wraparound patio.