Dinner at Henri’s Cheese and Wine

As a devoted disciple to all things cheese and wine, I have been a ready-made fan of Henri’s Cheese & Wine since it opened, and now with a newly added dinner menu, there is even more to love about the South Lamar eatery. Henri’s Cheese and Wine has always offered an expanded lunch menu, but until recently, it shifted to a cheese, charcuterie, and wine spot come nightfall. However, a few months ago, Henri’s began test driving the idea of adding dinner by offering a series of regular nighttime specials, including its ever-popular burger and spaghetti and meatball nights. Now with Chef Keegan Archer at the helm, Henri’s new dinner menu features a diverse range of rustic yet modern small plates created using seasonal, local ingredients.


White Bean Dip & Seasonal Vegetables

White Bean Dip & Seasonal Vegetables

On this visit, we started with a white bean and crudité plate, which was more delicious than any such vegetable/dip dish should be thanks to an unexpected smoky flavor on the vegetables. Up next was a beautifully roasted quail dish served on top of a farro salad. The tender, juicy quail was delicious on its own but even more so when combined with the seasonal salad of fresh figs, thinly sliced cucumber, fresh herbs and goat cheese crumbles.


Roasted Quail and Farro Salad

Roasted Quail and Farro Salad

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FREE CHEESE WEEK: Antonelli’s Cheese Shop Turns 4

As if we needed one more reason to adore Antonelli’s, the cheese shop is spreading the love with FREE CHEESE all week long, beginning Monday, February 10 through Friday, February 14. Every February, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop celebrates their anniversary by saying thank you to the businesses and customers that support them by serving free cheese plates at various locations around Austin.

Now in their fourth year, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop not only stocks their shelves with some of the best cheese in Austin, but their cheesemongers work hand in hand with many of Austin’s best restaurants to supply them with . . . → Read More: FREE CHEESE WEEK: Antonelli’s Cheese Shop Turns 4

Antonelli’s Cheese 101 Class

As luck would have it, I happened to check my email as Antonelli’s Cheese Shop sent out their weekly newsletter complete with a newly announced cheese class schedule. I jumped at the chance to sign up for their ever-popular Cheese 101 class, which tend to sell out as quickly as they are released. The class, led by owner John Antonelli and shop cheesemonger Kara, was an exceptional experience I recommend to novices and connoisseurs alike.

Antonelli's Cheese Board

Antonelli’s Cheese Board

While the class might have sold itself as intro, there was nothing basic about the generously portioned selection of cheeses we sampled throughout the evening. Composed of seven different cheese and various accompaniments, the board was both aesthetically and gustatorily pleasing. The different varieties represented each classic style from a wide range of regions, textures, and tastes. (Notes on each can be found after the jump.)

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Happenings: Antonelli’s FREE CHEESE WEEK 2013

To celebrate another year of gloriously cheesy success,Antonelli’s Cheese Shop is sharing the love by offering free cheese plates at some of the shop’s local wholesale partners every night this week. Antonelli’s will say thanks to their loyal customers by supplying a semi-limited number of free cheese plates around town beginning at 5pm from now until Friday. Additionally, purchase a menu item from one of the listed restaurants and bring your recipe to the shop for 5% off purchases. Better yet, make three purchases from any of Antonelli’s wholesale partners this week for a 15% discount through Feb. 17. . . . → Read More: Happenings: Antonelli’s FREE CHEESE WEEK 2013

Henri’s Cheese and Wine

I recently ventured to Henri’s Cheese and Wine for a little Italian Wine education. Surprisingly, it was my first official visit to the South Lamar shop, but it certainly won’t be the last. Henri’s Cheese and Wine is South Austin’s newest eatery and specialty grocery featuring both lunch and dinner alongside a large selection of retail cheese, wine, and more. Daily dining selections include gourmet sandwiches, small plates, and salads. Gourmet lunch spot by day and wine and beer lounge by night, needless to say, Henri’s is a very welcome addition to the neighborhood.


Henri's Cheese and Wine

To be fair, any place specializing in cheese and wine is primed to be an instant classic in my book, but there is much to love about the neighborhood spot. On this particular evening, I joined a few fellow wine lovers for a tasting event with Italian wine expert Pier Mana.

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National Grill Cheese Day + 24 Diner

24 Diner Grilled Cheese

Happy National Grilled Cheese Day! Truly, what’s not to love about melted gooey cheese sandwiched between buttery bread? While this childhood classic dish has inspired hundreds of variations over the years, a grilled cheese in its simplest form is rarely hard to beat. However, 24 Diner’s standout version proves sometimes reinventing the wheel is the best course of action after all. Continue reading National Grill Cheese Day + 24 Diner

Easy Tiger Bake Shop + Beer Garden

Nestled in a previously overlooked enclave just west of I-35 on 6th Street, the new Easy Tiger is arguably the most exciting addition to downtown in quite some time. Part bake shop and part beer garden, Easy Tiger is the ambitious new project from the 24 Diner team. As a bake shop and café, Easy Tiger features artisan breads baked fresh daily, house cured meats, and menu items such as sandwiches and cheese plates. To quench Austin’s thirst for a beer garden, Easy Tiger serves over 30 local and boutique beers alongside a full bar and limited wine selection.

Located in a formerly overlooked stretch of downtown, Easy Tiger’s large space underwent quite a transition prior to opening.  It is easy to underestimate the new spot stepping off the street into the upstairs bake and coffee shop. However, take a walk downstairs to discover a beer lover’s paradise. Offset to the right is a long, dark bar showcasing a laundry list of beer options overlooking the busy kitchen. Step around the dividing wall to find a large open room with ample first come, first serve seating. The exposed brick walls, thick wooden tables, and well conceived masculine touches leave little reminder of previous tenants. The inside area is a perfect spot to unwind with friends, but the spectacular outside area is an oasis in the heart of downtown. Easy Tiger capitalizes on the natural beauty of Waller Creek with an outdoor space filled with long tables, a ping pong table, and a large outside bar. Despite plenty of picnic tables, finding a seat on a pretty day is virtually impossible after five, and for good reason; Easy Tiger’s outdoor beer garden is a virtual oasis in the heart of dirty sixth.

It is impossible not to become hooked on Easy Tiger after one initial visit. Friendly service matches the relaxed communal vibe. There are more than enough interesting beer options to appease any preference, including a few sour beer options to win over non beer drinkers. The food menu contains a simple variety of beer friendly choices, all well-priced and under $10. The housemade sausages are filled with flavor and delicious alone or paired with accompaniments like mustard, sauerkraut, and fresh breads. Soft chewy pretzels perfect for dipping in Easy Tiger’s beer cheese, which has a bold pimento cheese-like flavor. Along with the beer cheese, there are several other options for cheese lovers, including an Antonelli’s plate. Easy Tiger’s selection of boutique and local beers means a large variety of interesting finds and new types to sample. However, a small forewarning:  be prepared to pay premium prices for these premium brews. Think more along the lines of $8 pints instead of $2 PBR’s and Coors Lights. Go the budget friendly route and stop in for a quick beer, pretzel, and amazing ambiance or throw caution to the wind and stay all night; either way Easy Tiger is worth the trip.

As stated best in the new spot’s motto, Easy Tiger is the ideal place to slow down and stay awhile. And, since it is open daily from 7am – 2am, there is plenty of time to do just that.


Easy Tiger Beer Garden

Easy Tiger Bake Shop and Beer Garden. 709 East 6th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. 512.614.4972. Website & Facebook

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Antonelli’s Cheese Shop + FREE CHEESE

On February 11, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop is celebrating TWO YEARS of success in Austin by sharing the love via FREE CHEESE PLATES around town. Starting Monday, February 6, visit one of the restaurants listed below and enjoy a custom Antonelli’s Cheese Plate on the house (while supplies last). Additionally, purchase a cheese plate from any restaurant which serves the shop’s cheese, save receipt, and qualify for a 5% discount (or up to 15% w/three receipts) February 11-18. As always, you can take advantage of Wine Wednesday deals at Star Bar, Dive Bar, and Gibson where each bottle of wine . . . → Read More: Antonelli’s Cheese Shop + FREE CHEESE