The Austin Chronicle


We're Expanding

By Virginia B. Wood, November 13, 1998, Food

Beginning this week, we're expanding our cuisine coverage to include more information on beer and wines plus regular reviews of books for cooks, everything from literary food writing to culinary fiction to the hottest new cookbook titles. In addition to our regular food writers, we've recruited some new voices: Asian food aficionado Mick Vann will be contributing restaurant reviews and features while aspiring oenologist Anthony King will be helping us cover wine events and suggesting food and wine pairings. It's also rumored that former Chronicle food writer Patrick Earvolino is returning after a short stint with Cooking Light magazine in Birmingham, and we might just enlist his help from time to time, as well. Look for some interesting new developments.

Speaking of Wine Dining

Congratulations are definitely in order. We salute Leonard Joseph and Sue Carter, owners of The Cellar (3520-A & -B Bee Caves Road, 328-6464), which has just been named one of America's top wine stores by Food & Wine Magazine in its 1999 Wine Guide publication. This prestigious honor coincides with more goodnews. A November 18 licensing change will allow the Cellar to add premium spirits and cordials, ports, and sherrys to their existing stock of fine wines. The renowned casual and informative Saturday wine tastings will continue...

The next time you're on the Avenue, check out Austin's newest wine bar, The Grape Escape (314 Congress, 236-9463). This is the second venturefor Frenchman/Forth Worth entrepreneur Vonciel Baudouin, who opened his local outlet early this fall. Grape Escape offers several "flights" of four wines for tasting, a concept that is gaining popularity around town, plus lunch and dinner menus complete with wine pairing suggestions. They'll be rolling out the barrels of Beaujolais Nouveau on November 19, celebrating the fresh, fruity wine with a special selection of the owner's favorite French foods.


One of the most popular salsas at both the Texas Fiery Foods Show and the ChronicleHotSauce Contest last summer is finally on the market. Austin Slow Burn owners Jill and Kevin Lewis have just announced that their Southwest Pasta Sauce, which mingles fresh tomatoes and Italian spices with the subtly spicy flavor of red sandia chiles, is now for sale at Wheatsville, both Whole Foods locations, Central Market, both Sun Harvests, and Sambet's Cajun Store...

The young guns from Austin Java Company appear to have another hit on their hands with their newest venture, The Cue Lounge(409 Colorado, 322-0051). For those who have lived in Austin more than five minutes, the Cue may be vaguely reminiscent of the former billiard emporium Gordo's on East Sixth, where it was possible to enjoy good food between turns at the pool tables or dart boards. The Cue menu looks inviting, especially the Express Lunch offerings which include blue plate specials, salads, pastas, sandwiches, and a daily soup option at very reasonable prices...

Texas Land & Cattle Company(6007 I-35 N., 451-6555; 1101 S. MoPac, 330-0030) was the fastest growing restaurant group to be named to Inc. magazine's Top 500 list of privatelyowned national companies...

Across the country last week, members of Chefs Collaborative 2000 joined with Greenpeace in calling for detailed product labels on all genetically engineered foods. Local restaurateurs that have come out in support of this important food safety request are David Garrido of Jeffrey's and Fresh Planet, Dan Haverty of Shoreline Grill, Scott Campbell of High Life Cafe, Cameron Alexander of Mother's Cafe, Peter O'Brien of Si Bon and Patrick Dickson of Chez Zee.

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