In the off-with-our-heads department, when Wes Marshall
clicked off the names of the handful of upscale restaurants competing for clientele out at the Domain
, he failed to mention that the Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
outlet there is actually still under construction and not scheduled to open until later in the year. We regret the error... There's plenty of news about restaurant openings and closings around town just now. Landon Curry
's fascination with the culture and cuisine of Spain inspired his new Spanish restaurant, Segovia
(7010 Hwy. 71 W., 579-0726, www.segoviaaustin.com
), near the "Y" in Oak Hill. Segovia offers traditional tapas, roasted meats, and paella, with a full bar and live music such as a flamenco floor show on Friday and Saturday nights... Readers tipped us off that Tutto Gusto
in Steiner Ranch has been replaced by the Quinlan Park Grill
(4300 Quinlan Park Rd., 266-2221). The new spot has a more affordable Texas cafe menu and the kid-friendly playscape remains. Austin restaurateur Stan Adams
still owns the eatery, but now that the Italian menu is gone, chef Harvey Harris
is no longer involved... Look for the second outlet of the popular Hog Island Italian Deli
(1612 Lavaca, 482-9090, www.hogislanddeli.com
) several blocks down the street inside Lavaca Street Bar
(405 Lavaca). The menu includes pizzas, Philly cheesesteaks, and Italian pulled-pork sandwiches at lunch and dinner. There's also a service window convenient for late-night noshing while strolling in the Warehouse District... Tony Ingargiola
is pleased to announce the opening of Chado Tea Market
(4616 Triangle Ave. #408, 206-0524, www.chadoteamarket.com
) in the Triangle. Drop in between 10am and 7pm, Monday through Saturday, to check out the tea-stained concrete floor and stock up on your favorite teas for summer refreshment... Property surrounding the historic Paggi House
(200 Lee Barton Dr., www.paggihouse.com
) is undergoing extensive expansion and renovation. Proprietors Bob Gillett and Tori
and Tom Tinnon
expect their new fine-dining operation to debut there in late summer with chef Shane Stark
in the kitchen... Unhappy readers alerted us to the loss of two restaurants in recent weeks. Both Chantilly Bakery Cafe
in Brodie Oaks and Yen Ching Noodle House
on the Drag are closed... If you're looking for a refreshing respite from the heat this holiday weekend, drop into the bar at Jeffrey's
(1204 West Lynn, 477-5584) where we hear chef Alma Alcocer-Thomas
will be whipping up Wagyu beef hamburgers dressed with foie gras and sides of pommes frites...
The Fourth of July menu at my house will not be nearly as decadent, but it suits me just fine: homegrown organic tomatoes from Boggy Creek Farm
(3414 Lyons Rd., 926-4650); black-eyed peas from Oak Hill Farms
available at Central Market
; corn bread from my family recipe; a marvelous Tipsy Watermelon Salad from Bon Appetit, Y'all
by Virginia Willis
; and iced Peach Ginger Oolong tea from Zhi Tea
(4607 Bolm Rd., www.zhitea.com
). Check out the recipes for the peas, corn bread, and salad below.
Fourth of July Favorite Feast Recipes
Walden/Kelly Family Cornbread
2 Tbsp Crisco shortening
1½ cups yellow cornmeal
½ cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put the Crisco in a 9" cast iron skillet and put it in the oven.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Combine the eggs and buttermilk and whisk them into the dry ingredients.
Pour the hot melted shortening into the batter and quickly whisk to blend.
Pour batter into the hot skillet and place in the center of the oven. (This trick will create a crisp crust on the bottom of the cornbread.)
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and pulled away from the sides of the skillet. Serve warm. Serves 6-8.
Virginia's Black-Eyed Peas
1 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions with tops, chopped
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 lbs shelled fresh black-eyed peas
8 oz piece salt pork or pork jowl
6 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
In a heavy 4 quart saucepan, heat the oil and sauté the garlic and green onions until they are soft.
Add the peppers and sauté 1-2 minutes more.
Add peas and pork and water. Stir well and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peas are soft. Remove pork and season to taste.
Serve over sliced cornbread. Serves 6-8.
Tipsy Watermelon Salad
This marvelous grown-up salad was the absolute hit of the day at Virginia Willis' recent class at Central Market. I'm using Tito's vodka, of course.
(Reprinted by permission from Bon Appetit, Y'all: Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking by Virginia Willis, copyright 2008. Published by TenSpeed Press and available at booksellers everywhere.)
1 6 lb watermelon, halved lengthwise
1 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
½ cup Vodka
1/3 cup crème de cassis
pinch of fine sea salt
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
To prepare the watermelon, using a large ice cream scoop, remove the watermelon flesh from the rind and place balls in a large bowl. Reserve the scooped out rind of one half to use as a serving bowl.
To make the dressing, whisk the lemon juice and sugar in a bowl until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the vodka and crème de cassis. Season the mixture with a pinch of salt. Pour the mixture over the watermelon and gently stir to combine and coat the balls.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour and up to two hours.
When ready to serve, gently toss the watermelon balls once or twice to redistribute the liquid. Transfer them to the reserved scooped out watermelon "bowl." Sprinkle with chopped fresh mint and serve. Serves 6-8.