The Whip In. A highly eclectic establishment located on I35 just south of Riverside Drive. We shall share here musings on the food, wine and entertainment that we enjoyed on our first visit to the Whip In.
Debra: My dear friend Gavin has been trying to get me to come hear his band play for a LONG time. Getting down to South Austin on a school night just is not in the cards for me at this time, so I was lucky enough to fit this visit in at the end of my Winter Break.
My son and I arrived just before 7:00pm to catch the beginning of the Gavin Tabone Quartet’s first set. Thank goodness they are playing indoors tonight (we have had quite a string of cold weather here in Austin). Two seats were open at the wine bar – lucky me!
We will not go into an extended review of the music – but we thoroughly enjoyed the “funk” in the room. The quartet played a variety of charts from folks like the Meters, Al Green, Steely Dan, Earth Wind and Fire, Herbie Hancock and Sade. Way to go Gavin!
On to the wine.
The wine list provides lots of variety and some unique selections for those of us that are looking to try something new. All of the wines on the menu are offered by the half (3 oz) and full glass, as well as by the bottle. They also have a pretty nice selection of additional wines for purchase in the market, including LOTS of whites already chilled and ready to drink. The first wine to catch my eye was a Deforville Chardonnay from Piedmont.
I had no idea they were producing Chardonnay in this region of Italy, so I enquired, tasted, and settled on my inaugural pour of the evening. A delicious wine – buttery, smooth, crisp – and no oak. Reminded somewhat of a good suave.
Time to eat. There is no menu to hold in your hands. Everything they offer is written on huge chalk boards above the big bar. You make your selection, then wait in line at the register to place your order. The Whip In website describes there cuisine as follows:
“…stemming from the authentic gujarati cuisine from the Gandhi region of India, our Mom&Pop oriented comfort food gets stretched out of its world into the daring palates of the heart of Texas: Austin. We choose to have fresh healthy offerings from local & organic producers with our meats, vegetables and fruits, and pair the dishes with our daring draft beers as well as our fabulous wine bar selections.”
We ordered two sandwiches:
The BARTON SPRINGS ~ Smoked turkey, bacon, swiss, Austin Slow Burn habanero cranberry jam
The WOODLAND ~ house made tequila pulled pork, spicy mango chutney & feta
I knew I would delight in the mango chutney, but the lovely surprise in this sandwich was the creamy, warm feta alongside the chutney and pork. Although I was ready as always to dive into a red to accompany my pork, the wine steward suggested another Italian White – the Cantine Taburno Falanghina from Campania. A simple, refreshing drink – an admirable pairing with the Woodlands sandwich. At this point I am really excited that they offer half glasses, because now I can move on to a red. Once again the lovely young girl at the wine bar made a recommendation – this time a selection that was not listed on the current wine list.
Jules Taylor 2011 Pinot Noir from New Zealand
Beautiful ruby color, round, smooth – perhaps some cherry notes.
I am so NOT the best at describing wines, but I can usually tell when a wine is good – and this one made an impression on me. I can always tell if I like a wine – and I LOVED this one! At a little over $30 a bottle, it would be out of our regular price range, but I would definitely consider purchasing this for a special occasion.
Jules Taylor Pinot Noir – a page from the winery’s website
Tasting Notes from the vineyard – an interesting read for those of us wanting to learn more about the process of creating wine.
Marc arrived for the last song of the second set (after his opera rehearsal). While he enjoyed a couple of beers, I finished off the evening with a chocolate cupcake with hints of cardamom and an orange cream frosting. I could not resist one final taste – they had a favorite Lambrusco on the BUBBLES list, so that was a no brainer.
The Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco was first introduced to us at WINK. We’ve been fans ever since.
What a fun Thursday evening! I highly recommend a visit to the Whip In. Treat yourself to some lovely pours, good food and GREAT music! The Gavin Tabone Quartet performs on select Thursday evenings. You can check out the schedule on website – WHIP IN