Swift’s Attic

All apologies for this overdue review of Swift’s Attic, especially since I’ve certainly enjoyed every single one of visits to the eclectic restaurant since its opening in late spring of this year. A combination of a misplaced memory stick and less than lovely photos taken in a dim room left me without visuals for this post. However, I took one for the team and visited Swift’s Attic during a lunch not so long ago to snap a few shots of the restaurant’s delicious dishes. Now on with it…

As mentioned here, Swift’s Attic’s talented culinary team, coupled with a meticulous interior overhaul and its downtown location, made it one of the most anticipated launches of the year. Strolling into the swanky speakeasy space it’s easy to understand the hype surrounding the downtown hotspot. However, two questions lingered in my mind. First and foremost, would this style translate into substance? Or would it be too ‘of the moment’ for long-term success? And, secondly, would the who’s who list of culinary talents have chemistry or would there be too many cooks in the kitchen?

Thankfully, whatever doubts I had about Swift’s Attic were quickly squelched about a third of the way through my initial visit to the swanky downtown restaurant. Our meal started on a high note, thanks in no small part to a stellar cheese plate. With three generous selections hand selected by Antonelli’s, it was certainly no surprise it was an early fan favorite, but the plate’s components made it a step above the rest. Spreads such as honey, apple compote, and fig jam proved the perfect pairings for each featured cheese, and even more delicious when placed on top of warm sourdough toast points. Each plate comes with a small bowl of Swift’s Attic’s highly addictive beer nuts, which are a recommended order with or without cheese. Though the cheese plate is delicious, all other starters are overshadowed by Swift’s Attic’s blistered shishito peppers and aioli dipping sauce.

Swift’s Attic food is bold, imaginative, and at times, even a little playful in dishes such as Pop Rock covered edamame. At the same time, the kitchen shows restraint and refinement by using creativity in a thoughtful way, such as in a perfectly composed twist on the classic panzanella salad. The warm grilled cheese added a salty smokiness that contrasted nicely with the sweetness of the heirloom tomatoes and toasted crunchy croutons. Tossed with arugula and tangy pomegranate vinaigrette, it was outstanding. Equally as unforgettable was a braised pork cheek with flavor reminiscent of homey pot roast. Paired with spicy mustard and sweet fig jam, this dish has been a must order on every visit.

Despite its trendy downtown location and opening hype, the service at Swift’s Attic, led by owner and GM CK Chin, is affable and laidback, but quick and accommodating at the same time. Overall, Swift’s Attic is a breath of fresh air to Austin’s downtown dining scene, which is still in large part anchored by upscale hotel restaurants, steakhouses and fast casual lunch spots. According to our server during a visit last Friday, the fall menu is potentially landing this week, so there is no time like the present to fall in love with this new favorite!

Swift’s Attic. 315 Congress, Austin, TX 78701. 512.482.8842.

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