Amy's latest location and Dracula's wine list; plus, two benefits you'll benefit from by attending
The renaissance of Burnet Road continues with the opening of the colorful new Amy's Ice Creams (5624 Burnet Rd., 538-2697) location. The new spot, which will eventually include a retro burger joint called Phil's, comes complete with a festive kid-magnet playscape decorated with distinctive cow sculptures by Austin artist Cheryl Latimer. The former post office behind the new store has been remodeled to house Amy's local commissary and corporate offices... Nick Vladasel, owner of Austin's new Romanian restaurant Drakula (8120 Research Blvd., 374-9291) reports that his wine list includes a selection of Romanian wines to complement the daily $4.99 lunch specials and dinner entrées in the $11 range... Yvonne and Steve Cullen of Jersey Mike's Subs (www.jerseymikesaustin.com) have opened their second outlet in Plaza Volente at 620 and Anderson Mill Road and invite everyone to stop by for authentic Italian subs and cheesesteaks... Opal Divine's Penn Field (3601 S. Congress, 707-0237) is now serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 3pm. They suggest you try breakfast tacos with one of their signature sun-dried tomato Bloody Marys or migas quesadillas with a mimosa made with fresh-pressed orange juice. Sounds like a great way to start a weekend... And speaking of brunch, the snazzy new Enoteca Vespaio (1610 S. Congress, 441-7672) is now open for Sunday brunch from 10am to 3pm... Congratulations to Alamo Drafthouse Downtown general manager Karen Davis and her partner Jeff Banks on the birth of daughter Zoe Anna Banks (8 lbs., 4 oz., 201Ú2 inches), who made her debut on her parents' 14th anniversary. Talk about good timing!... Gina Burchenal of Gina's Kitchen (917 W. 12th, 236-0705; www.ginaskitchen.com) e-mailed to tell us about the opening of a neighboring shop owned by Carissa Hoop-Garza. Flora and Fauna (904 W. 12th) will offer gourmet gifts, flowers, Illy espresso, and light fare prepared by Gina's Kitchen... Pastry chef Katherine Clapner has left the Austin Hilton and relocated to downtown Dallas, where she will return to creating fascinating plated desserts at the soon-to-open restaurant Stephan Pyles. The eponymous new restaurant includes a demonstration/teaching kitchen where both Clapner and chef Pyles will present cooking classes. We hate to see her go, but it's a great career opportunity, and the talented Clapner assures us she will continue her participation in the Saveur Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival with Pyles' encouragement.
Big Stream o' News
Texas Wine Month kicks off this weekend with the Hill Country Fall Fest and Wine Auction at the new Horseshoe Bay Resort Marriott near Marble Falls. The two-day event offers a full schedule of food, wine, fun, and entertainment: a Friday evening grand tasting featuring signature dishes from many of the area's acclaimed chefs paired with exemplary Texas wines with entertainment from John Arthur Martinez, a putting tournament at the new golf course, a cooking class by chef Jeff Blank, a boat show, tours of area wineries in a luxurious new motor coach, and a wine dinner with auction on Saturday night. A portion of the proceeds from this event will go toward funding KLRU's production of a television series based on Wes Marshall's book The Wine Roads of Texas. For more details and to make reservations for the entire weekend, go to www.stayatmarriott.com/texaswinefestival. For tickets to individual events, call the Marble Falls Chamber of Commerce at 830/693-4449; Friday, Sept. 30-Saturday, Oct.1.
Event Menu :: Sept. 30-Oct. 6
Help the folks at Habitat for Humanity celebrate 20 years of home building at the Southern Living Gala at the Renaissance Hotel (9721 Arboretum Blvd.). The evening will include dinner, dancing, and a special dessert presentation by pastry chef Todd Champagne. He has whipped up several Southern-style layer cakes, which will all be presented on individual raised cake stands donated by volunteers. At the end of the evening, the cake stands (and any leftover cake) will be sold to guests for $20-25 to benefit the organization. For ticket information, go to www.ahfh.org or call 472-8788; 6pm, Saturday, Oct. 1.