NADC Burger Goes Brick-and-Mortar, Birdie’s Reprises Bistro Remy, Luminaire Gets Spanish with Wines, the Oyster Is (Part of) épicerie’s World, 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.

NADC Burger gets a brick-and-mortar presence on the Eastside

Yes, citizen, it’s your “Food News Buffet” for the second week of December.

We already told you about pastry chef Margarita Kallas-Lee's excellent new dessert shop and commissary, Wolf and Wheat; and now her husband, Scratch Restaurants’ Phillip Frankland Lee, has taken NADC Burger, the popular cheeseburger concept he started with professional skateboarder Neen Williams, and opened it all brick-and-mortar right next door. NADC Burger (1007 E. Sixth) has 20 indoor bar seats centered around the chefs at work, so guests can watch them cook – just like the other Scratch Restaurant concepts (Sushi by Scratch; Pasta Bar) where chefs serve guests directly. And why is there such a hooray about these burgers otherwise? Listen: NADC Burger works exclusively with Iron Table Wagyu, just an hour north of Austin in Gatesville, which produces the only commercially available 100% full-blooded Wagyu in Texas. Wanna give these burgers a test drive through your alimentary canal? The new eatery’s hours are noon-midnight, Mon.-Thu. and Sun; noon-3am, Fri.-Sat. …

You may know that Birdie’s (2944 E. 12th) – opened in July 2021 by chef Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel and her husband, Arjav – was named Food & Wine’s 2023 Restaurant of the Year. You may also know that our Food editor, Melanie Haupt, was impressed by what she ate there. Now know that the popular place’s Bistro Remy concept, an ode to French favorites, will return on Dec. 12-16 and 19-23, with a prix fixe menu showcasing wintry comforts like gougères, boeuf bourguignon, duck confit, salad with Banyuls vinaigrette, and cauliflower soup with brown butter …

Luminaire, the restaurant at Hyatt Centric Austin (721 Congress), presents a wine dinner celebrating regional Spanish cuisine and bold wines, on Wed., Dec. 6, 6:30pm. The evening will include a four-course menu prepared by James Beard-nominated chef Steve McHugh and Luminaire’s executive chef Greg Driver, and will feature, with exquisite wine pairings alongside, butternut empanada, rabbit saddle roulade, eggnog flan, and more …

Opal Divine’s, once a flourishing group of family-style restaurants with the secret beverage weapon of more varieties of Scotch whisky than you’d think such a downhome place would harbor, has shuttered its final location (2200 S. I-35) after 23 years of business. We humbly doff our Stetsons to owner Michael Parker, who supercharged Austin’s tippling scene with Opal’s annual whiskey festivals, reckoning he’s the one quoting Frank Zappa on the company’s otherwise vanished website: “Goodnight, Austin, Texas, wherever you are!”

That sweet, bungalow-based bastion of French Louisiana fare, épicerie (2307 Hancock), is now hosting a raw oyster and bubbles service on Thursdays, 5-9pm. Chef de cuisine Steven Rodriguez will shuck a variety of East Coast oysters for your bivalvic indulgence, while sommelier Katie Paschall pours champagne – featuring some exquisite half bottles, including Krug, Ruinart, Les Quatre Terroirs, and others …

Red Beans and Ricely Yours, Austin: A true gift that keeps on giving, with love

Let’s see – what else, what else? Hannah Uebele tells us how Austin’s Central Machine Works brewery has partnered with the Smithsonian(!) to bring back an historical beer … on Sat.-Sun., Dec. 9-10, Top Chef alumni Amanda Rockman (New Waterloo) and Jo Chan (Bureau de Poste) present two evenings of multicourse dining to share the heritage, heart, and hope that Chanukah carries … the community-supporting 12 Days of Free Lunch continues, as does the beautiful Red Beans and Ricely Yours program … and could it be, citizen, that you wanna start off your Saturday with a brunch and cocktail crawl at Mueller … ?

WUXTRY! Wax Myrtle’s in the Thompson Hotel (506 San Jacinto) will celebrate the season with an Aprés Ski Party, Thu., Dec. 14, 5-10pm. This 80s-themed ski event features music by TJ the DJ, complimentary snacks, an ice luge, a melty raclette cheese station, and plenty of hot and boozy cocktails. The event is free and open to the public, and you’re invited to wear your “favorite neon retro ski suits,” to make this shiny shindig even more festive …

Now eat as well as you can, tip like it’s going out of style, and don’t forget to kiss your favorite prairie girl beneath the big Texas sky.

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