Dai Due sets up shop on Manor Rd., and thumbs up for A-OK Chinese
It is official: Another welcome addition is headed to Manor Road's continually expanding restaurant row. Locavore chef Jesse Griffiths and wife Tamara Mayfield are bringing the brick-and-mortar outlet of their popular Dai Due Butcher Shop and Supper Club to the building at 2406 Manor Rd. By day, the butcher shop and cafe will provide locally sourced meats, condiments, and prepared foods in addition to hot breakfast and lunch menu items like the ones fans line up for at the Downtown and Mueller farmers' markets every weekend. At night, chef de cuisine Andrew MacArthur will present a daily fixed menu based on pastured meats, freshwater fish, and Gulf seafood cooked over wood-fired grills, and enhanced by the best seasonal local produce and prepared foods Central Texas has to offer. Architect Kevin Stewart is in charge of building design. Though the lease is signed, the new business is still in the planning and permitting stages, so Griffiths hopes to have Dai Due open by early 2014. By then, that block should be home to the new Haymaker (2310 Manor Rd.) as well as Olivia O'Neal's expanded Sugar Mama's Bakeshop.
Residents of South Central Austin who've wondered "Where do I get Chinese takeout around here?" are about to get an answer. Longtime local hospitality pros chef John Bullington (Mars, Alamo Drafthouse) and manager Jerry Reid (Mezzaluna, Bitter End, Olivia, Lucy's Fried Chicken) have joined forces to create A-OK Chinese (1509 S. Lamar), a casual dine-in and takeout Chinese-American restaurant. The compact new eatery will have seating for 30-40 people, offering counter service via iPad terminals at both lunch and dinner, with a list of food-friendly beers and wines available to enjoy in-house or for takeout. Look for (512) on tap, plus lots of other local craft beer options, and affordable wines by the glass and bottle. In anticipation of a large takeout business, A-OK will actively promote a free mobile app to give customers ease and flexibility in ordering and to designate whether they prefer to pick food up in the restaurant or have it delivered to their waiting car. This project is about to begin the construction phase, but Bullington and Reid hope to be selling Chinese takeout in time for the holidays. This sounds like a winning format that could be duplicated in neighborhoods all over the Austin metro area.
Earlier this week, former Next Food Network Star contestant chef Brad Sorenson opened his first Austin restaurant, No Va Kitchen & Bar (87 Rainey), taking the name from an awkward translation of a Spanish phrase which means "doesn't go," referring to the stark contrast of the modern architecture amid Rainey's bungalows and cottages. No Va is offering reservation-only dinner service through the end of this month plus a late-night pizza and taco menu "that any barfly would stand up for."