NIB: Barley Swine

We recently took a weekend to explore south Austin and we had such a fabulous dinner that I couldn't help post it. Barley Swine is a small restaurant south of the river, it sits about 50 (my wife counted) and has been quite a hotspot over the past few years. The chef/owner started out with Odd Duck trailer and ultimately opened brick and mortar restaurants, first Barley Swine and later Odd Duck. It seems when Odd Duck opened Barley Swine converted to a nightly prix fixe menu. They offer a wine/beer pairing to accompany each course (which I highly recommend). Above is a picture of the amuse bouche of a sea urchin lettuce wrap with fried buckwheat groats. It was a lovely blend of textures (crunchy and creamy) it was paired with a sparkling wine which offset the richness of the uni.

Our favorite (and first) dish of the evening was this red snapper with strawberry ponzu with toasted quinoa. The pickled abalone mushroom with trout roe and green gaspacho was delicious, the fried kale gives a crunchy texture and the creme fraiche offset the sourness of the pickle of the mushrooms, the fresh mint made for a light and bright flavor. Next was the house made mozzarella with charred onion broth (a take of french onion soup).

Thirteen course is hard to keep in your head so I apologize for not remember all the details. We continued the meal with a smoked ham over mini biscuits over a orange marmalade. The colorful upper right photo is a "duck jerky" with pickled radish salad, we were asked to mix it all up and eat it together. Next was a cold peanut sauce pasta with cucumber and mustard greens. Finally a palate cleanser to get us to the middle of our meal, was a beet salad served with a beet and orange granita and creme fraiche.

We start the second half with a soft boiled tea egg with fried sweet potato. The egg was a beautiful creamy egg (I would guess 139F sous vide). The beautiful green is a sauteed swish chard over a very tender lamb loin. We get some of the surf from a halibut cheek with morel mushrooms and a foam (which I cannot remember what it was composed of).

Finishing things off: Rabbit terrine with fried chives. We head into the dessert with Chamomile panna cotta with pistachio crumble and fennel. Second dessert is a chocolate ice cream with foie gras french toast (it was more complex than I can recall, but my memory is failing me) and a finishing touch (I forgot what they called it) of a fruit jelly with a coconut cookie.


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