Eat, Drink, Watch Movies is back in a big way with a great cause; plus, there are a lot of restaurants in this city!
New restaurants are popping up all over town, and the diversity of our international choices increases right along with them. It's great to have a Greek restaurant Downtown again, since the Athenian Grill (705 Colorado, 482-8988) took over the old Jean-Luc's Bistro space. ... When Doña Emilia's moved to their tonier Downtown digs, the Caribbean Restaurant (1411 E. Seventh, 322-9977) set up shop in their old location, selling Venezuelan food, and the buzz from our readers is very good. ... You would think we had long since achieved critical mass where sushi restaurants are concerned, especially Downtown, but apparently you'd be wrong. An outfit from Houston is opening Maiko Japanese (311 W. Sixth) in the old Sardine Rouge/DemiEpicurious building sometime soon, and when Oishi Sushi closed, it was quickly replaced by Golden Harbour (6718 Middle Fiskville Rd., 302-9800). ... Friends joined me for a pleasant and affordable meal from the buffet at the new Indian Palace (3616 Far West #113, 241-1732); we will definitely go back. ... No sooner had I fallen in love with one new Italian restaurant (TinTinNio; see "Restaurant Roulette," p.56, for a shortened version of last week's issue), than I discovered there's yet another new one farther north. After great success with his Bellissimo in the Fairfax, Va./D.C. area, restaurateur Giovanni Cocciante has opened Andiamo (2521 Rutland, 719-3377, www.andiamoristorante.com) to North Austin. ... Owners of the Texican Cafe (see review, p.54) have opened a new location about as far from their original as it's possible to get and still be in the Austin area. Check out the Texican Cafe North (11066 Pecan Park, 506-9900) the next time you're hungry for good far West Texas Tex-Mex in Lakeline Plaza. ... And the quick/casual revolution has taken over here in the central city not far from the Chronicle offices. Just behind us, in Hancock Center, there's the new Tin Star (1000 E. 41st, 377-4888) with a spicy array of tacos, burgers, salads, and sides, plus an award-winning fresh roasted salsa. ... We've also tried the new Rotisserie Grill (3520 N. Lamar, 371-3988) and have been comforted by the simple, straightforward food. Both the rotisserie chicken and beef are really good, the Tuscan beef salad is a winner, the prices are affordable, and they'll deliver to-go food out to your car if you call ahead.
The farmers and vendors of the Westlake Farmers Market take up residence in their new Sunset Valley home this weekend. The wildly successful market long ago outgrew the Westbank Drive location and is now at home in the spacious parking lot at the Toney Burger Center (3200 Jones Rd., 280-1976) on 290 West between Brodie Lane and Westgate. The larger area means expanded booth space for existing vendors as well as room for new ones, a planned demonstration garden, and unlimited parking. Market manager Pamela Boyar has plenty of festivities planned for October to christen the new space, and we'll keep you posted about those. The market is open from 9:30am to 1pm this Saturday, Sept. 18.
Eat, Drink, Watch Movies ... and Make a Difference: The culinary event of the year takes place this Sunday. Experience a delicious six-course French banquet, shop for signed cookbooks, souvenir aprons, and other treasures, and then enjoy an alfresco screening of the beautiful costume foodie epic Vatel on the grounds of the historic Barr Mansion (10463 Sprinkle). The proceeds benefit ailing Austin chef Roger Mollett. It's $50 for dinner, auction, and the movie, and $10 for the movie alone. Beer, sodas, and water will be for sale during the show. Make reservations at www.drafthouse.com, click on Rolling Roadshow, then on the Vatel fundraiser link. Festivities begin at 6pm Sunday evening, Sept. 19.