The best way to describe my recent meal at Emmer & Rye is this: a unique dining experience with small bites and intense flavors.
Friends brought me back to Texas, but this time to Austin -- a city I hadn't had the (culinary) delight of fully exploring just yet.
Austin, I discovered, is well-known for its diverse food and drinks, featuring many restaurants that are sensitive to dietary concerns and farm-to-table-focused with seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.
A good friend and I started our night off by exploring the cocktails at Emmer & Rye. While some of the drinks on the cocktail menu remain, there are others that are special features.
For dinner, we enjoyed small plates of broccoli with sweet and sour amino glaze and benne seed; short rib carnitas with jalapeño, turnip, carrots, radish, and white sonoran roti; and sweet potato with brown butter espuma and chile.
In addition to the food that we had ordered from the menu, we chose a few items from a dim sum cart that circled around offering other eclectic bites in the same small portions.
For dessert, we enjoyed the black rice pudding with salted Koji ice cream, pecans, chocolate cookie crumbs, and citrus jam. The flavors were very sweet and intense!
So what do you need to know before dining here? Here are my top five suggestions:
1.) Make a reservation. This place is very popular and seems to stay quite busy.
2.) Specify whether you have any food sensitivities or allergies so the serving staff can best guide you. Our server even told our dim sum servers of my gluten sensitivity, and they made sure to let me know whether a dim sum dish contained any gluten.
3.) Eat slowly, savor each bite, and order more as needed. The Emmer & Rye experience is one to be enjoyed fully and intently, so less is more. Given the tapas style of the restaurant, the plates are small yet flavorful, so ordering one or two items at a time will help you gauge your appetite as you go.
4.) Save room for dessert -- the sweeter flavors are just as rich!
5.) Prepare to splurge (financially). This place isn't cheap, but it's well worth the money for the unique dining experience including exceptional customer service (our water glasses were constantly refilled!).
Dining and Emmer & Rye is an experience you won't want to miss in Austin -- ¡buen provecho!
© 2017 Melanie Glover. All rights reserved. All views are my own, and I received no compensation for expressing them.