Summer Eats: Openings and Updates, Part I

Photo courtesy Umami Mia Pizzeria

Photo courtesy Umami Mia Pizzeria

Umami Mia Pizzeria, a pizza joint aimed at conquering that hard to identify 5th taste, is now open on in the former Romeo’s spot on Barton Springs Road in South Austin. Launched by a team of seasoned local restaurant vets, including Executive Chef George Thomas (Paggi House, Soleil), Umami Mia’s affordable food menu focuses on capturing ‘the beautiful taste’. The drinks menu includes pizza friendly wines, local brews, and specialty cocktails. Visit Umami Mia Pizzeria at 1500 Barton Springs, Austin, TX 78704.

Bridget Dunlap’s East Austin restaurant Mettle has opened just in time for summer. Helmed by former Olivia chef de cuisine Andrew Francisco, Mettle will serve French bistro fare with ‘an international twist’ with dishes such as salmon crudo, bone marrow, and braised pork spaghetti. In addition, Mettle will specialize in serving seasonal cocktails such as thai chili infused caiprinha and East Side Collins. Visit Mettle for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday at 507 Calles Street, Austin, TX 78702.

Take deep breaths: According to Eater Austin, Qui is set to open its main dining room on June 20th with plans to open its tasting room later this year. Qui, of course, is the highly anticipated new restaurant from Top Chef and East Side King Paul Qui. For more details, including menu secrets, check out Eater’s full post here or the official Qui website here.

Benji’s Cantina is now open for dinner 7 nights a week, with plans for lunch and brunch service in the near future. The West 6th Street restaurant specializes in serving Tex-Mex favorites such as enchiladas, tacos, and fajitas by the pound. Visit Benji’s rooftop lounge, the El Gusano Bar, for a specialty margarita or mezcal. Benji’s is located at 716 W 6th Street, Austin, TX 78701.

‘Fabric-inspired’ restaurant Searsucker by celebrity chef Brian Malarkey has softly opened* its downtown Austin doors. Originally from San Diego, the menu includes a number of new American appetizers, small plates, and entrées in addition to crafty cocktails, all served in an open, relaxed atmosphere aimed at encouraging guests to ‘come early and stay late’. Searsucker is located at 415 Colorado, Austin, TX 78701.

*6/1 ~ Update via Searsucker’s Facebook page: After a minor kitchen fire, Searsucker has temporarily closed with plans to resume regular business hours within the next week.

Drink.Well. is bringing the happy every Tuesday-Friday from 4-6pm with the addition of a few drink and food specials, including $1 off beer and bar snacks, $2 off wine and a $6 classic cocktail menu. Visit Drink. Well. (mentioned here) at 207 East 53rd Street, Austin, TX.

Contigo Austin is no longer serving Sunday supper in order to give the restaurant’s hard working staff some much-needed R&R each week. However, the South Texas ranch inspired dining destination will continue serving brunch on Sunday from 10am-2pm in addition to dinner the other 6 nights a week. Visit Contigo, mentioned here, at 2027 Anchor Lane, Austin TX 78723.

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