A Very Fertile Market

Growth in the Austin restaurant market is one sign of a fertile climate, and so is the baby boom in the local food community. In February, chef Larry Perdido (Brio Vista) and his wife Annabelle welcomed daughter Camaron to their family and now they hope to have Saba Blue Water Cafe open in the Warehouse District before her first birthday. Chef couple Dan (Shoreline Grill) and Tina Haverty (Culinary Toddler) proudly introduced son Jean to diners at the Austin Children's Museum benefit preview party organized by Mom a few weeks back. Restaurateurs Bick and Erica Brown (Zoot, Hyde Park Bar & Grill, Dolce Vita) opened Manga in June, and young Miles Brown delayed his own debut until late July while they launched the Asian diner. A baby potato atop the Hyde Park fork commemorates his arrival. Meanwhile, Peter and Cara O'Brien celebrated the first anniversary of their restaurant Si Bon with the birth of son Hayes. Since the O'Briens will be awake anyway, they're keeping Si Bon open seven nights a week now, with Hayes learning front of the house procedures between naps. And here on the Chronicle food staff, regular contributor Rebecca Chastenet de Géry and husband Cedric are now the proud new parents of their second daughter, Gabrielle. Congratulations to all!

Who is Josephine?

After Lilly & Company closed last spring, the owners of Jeffrey's (1204 West Lynn, 477-5584) were finally able to add the one component that their successful business had lacked: a private dining space. The charming cottage at West Lynn and Waterston has been given a fresh paint job and was recently christened Jeffrey's Josephine House in honor of their Clarksville landlord Josephine Viscardi. Chef David Garrido plans to launch the new dining venue with an Italian Wine Dinner on Wednesday, October 21. Then, on Tuesday, October 27, Garrido will serve a menu pairing the wines of Austin's Fall Creek Vineyards with cheeses from the Mozzarella Company of Dallas to celebrate the culinary contributions of Mozzarella Company owner Paula Lambert and Fall Creek owner/Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival founder Susan Auler. Reservations are necessary for both events.


The annual Mediterranean Festival will take place this weekend, October 10 & 11, 6-10pm, at St. Elias Church (408 E. 11th, 476-2314)...

A 40% rent increase was a major factor in the closing of the Roppollo's Pizza outlet at 8105 Mesa last weekend. Owner Mark Roppollo is still going strong downtown at his 316 E. Sixth Street location, however...

A recent midday visit to Brio Vista (9400 Arboretum Blvd., 342-2642), reveals that new GM/executive chef Stewart Scruggs has just created his first brunch menu there. We can recommend the crab cakes. We're told Scruggs is currently reworking both the lunch and dinner menus one item at a time. His Brio team includes former Zoot sous chef Michael Hall and pastry chef Mark Paul...

If you haven't yet been to the Treehouse Italian Grill (2201 College Ave., 443-4200), stop in soon to check out the new murals being painted there by artist Michael Peschka and, as long as you're in, enjoy an order of mussels marinara on one of the most beautiful tree-shaded patios in the city...

During October, participating members of the Texas Restaurant Association will donate 40¢ from every dessert they sell to the Make-a-Wish-Foundation of Central & South Texas. Just by purchasing desserts, restaurant patrons can help grant the fondest wishes of children who are suffering from life-threatening diseases -- so have another piece of pie! For information about participating restaurants, call 800/880-9474.

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