Things used to slow down in the summers around Austin, but that's just not the case anymore. Chefs/restaurateurs Sam Dickey and Will Packwood announced last week they've abandoned the idea of opening Osteria Amerigo in the upcoming Rosedale Village development at Burnet Road and West 49th, and will instead focus their attention on expanding their hot SoCo seafood restaurant, 7 (1716 S. Congress, 383-8877). 7 opened for lunch on Monday, June 14, and the partners will soon take possession of the salon space next door when Hairy Situations moves up the block into the building vacated by Terra Toys. The expansion will allow them to create a full bar and double the dining room seating areas. "Osteria is still on the drawing board," reports Dickey. "We've just got to get some other things squared away first, and then we'll start looking for another location"... Drove through my old neighborhood last weekend and was amazed at the development along South First in the time since I moved away. There's a new little bright-green drive-through salad shop at the corner of South First and Oltorf called Baby Greens (462-1697), with a very inviting and affordable menu. Also, an intriguing new burger joint called Cole's Ice House (1807 S. First, 804-0178) where the burgers and bar food are hot and all the beer is on ice. They've got a wonderful tree-shaded deck for relaxing and listening to acoustic music on the weekends, and there are two regulation horseshoe pits in the back yard in case you hanker to test your skill... The news in the east central 'hood is that El Chile Cafe y Cantina (1809 Manor Rd., 457-9900) has closed for lunch and is now open for dinner six nights a week, as well as for Sunday brunch from 11am-4pm. Check out the new brunch menu at www.elchilecafe.com. "Our lunches were up and down, and our parking is limited on weekdays, so we decided to go with our strengths," explained owner Carlos Rivero when I ran into him having breakfast last Saturday morning at Hoover's... Former Austin chefs Andy and Kristie Sasser made a whirlwind trip through Texas last week, visiting friends and family in Houston and Austin. The Sassers are still living in Columbia, Miss., and they're expecting a daughter, Audrey, in August.
Sunday, June 20, from 11am-2pm: Treat Dad to the special Father's Day brunch at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum (1800 N. Congress, 936-8746) this Sunday. There's an all-you-can-eat buffet for $17.50 per person and the opportunity to check out fascinating new summer exhibits before or after you dine.
Wednesday, June 23, from 6:30-9:30pm: The Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Foundation (327-7555) invites you to the Cowboys and Gauchos wine-tasting at the Four Seasons Hotel (98 San Jacinto, 478-4500), featuring some of the best wines from Texas and Argentina, plus an appearance by celebrated vintner Paul Hobbs. Delicious appetizers from Amuse Bouche Catering, Cafe Caprice, Cafe Josie, Chez Zee, the Four Seasons, Monica's 701, Ranch 616, 7, VIVO, Zin Bistro, and Tuscany Vineyard & Market. $50 per person; reservations suggested.
Wednesday, June 23, from 11am-2pm: the Downtown Farmers' Market expands its operation to Wednesdays for a limited summer run, with fresh produce and prepared foods from area growers and vendors in Republic Square Park, Fourth and Guadalupe.
Wednesday, June 23, at 7pm: BookPeople hosts Houston Press restaurant reviewer Robb Walsh for a signing of his new work, The Tex-Mex Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos (Broadway Books, $17.95).
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