Swift’s Attic – Loft of Goodness

IMG_1861Marc has been so busy with Easter and Opera, that you could imagine my excitement when he surprised me on a Thursday to say he had Friday night off.

We really wanted to try something new.  I have been reading about the “HOT” new restaurants in Austin, and Swift’s Attic kept showing up.  After calling the establishment, it was recommended to show up early – we did, and as always, Marc’s ROCK STAR parking place was waiting for him, less than a block away.

Swift’s Attic is on Congress Avenue, situated above the Elephant Room Jazz Club.  It is not a huge place, but it gives the illusion of space with clever décor and lighting.

The menu is set up like tapas – lots of small plates to share, in various categories: appetizers, salads, fish, protein and dessert.  They recommend 3-4 selections per person at the table.  Here is how our adventure transpired:

IMG_1862For wine, we decided on a bottle of Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco.  It was a perfect companion for the variety of dishes we selected.  You really can’t go wrong with great bubbles!IMG_1863

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since we are behind on our blog entries, I will do my best to remember as many details as possible (unfortunately the menu online is not the same as the one we selected from that evening, so I have no reference there).

We started with two appetizers:

IMG_1865* Charred edamame with chili oil and poprocks. I loved the smoky, grilled flavor of the edamame with the heat of the chili oil.  The salt/poprock mixture (served in a separate dish), however, did not cling to the pods very well, so that was a little awkward.  I did have to smile when they would come by frequently to empty the bowl that filled with edamame shells.

IMG_1864* Serrano Ham “dumplings”, wrapped around some kind of cheese, and served with the thinnest slivers of heirloom tomato and a beautiful basil pesto.  I hope I got that right.  Our server insisted that we get a little bit of everything in one bite for the “full” experience of flavors.  This held true through out the evening will all of our dishes.  Definitely yummy.

Salad:  * Grilled Romaine lettuce with avocado dressing and sweet corn.

Protein:

IMG_1866* Quail with blue cheese grits, spiced nuts (almonds?) and a cherry demi-glace.  I know I am not remembering all of the details here, but I do remember Marc and I licking the plate clean on this one – delicious!

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* Antelope steak with chimichurri accompanied by pomme frites and tarragon yogurt sauce.  This was my first time with antelope.  It was a little chewy for my liking, but great flavor.  What blew my mind on this plate was the yogurt dipping sauce.  It was yellow, almost looked like a mustard, but with a surprisingly delightful, light texture and flavor.  If I could ask for ONE recipe from everything we ate that night, this would be the one I would beg for.  I am so NOT a mustard/ketchup/mayo girl, but I could get use to having this condiment on my plate.

Dessert:

IMG_1869* Chocolate empanadas with espresso gelato?  Help me out here, Marc.  I know he was underwhelmed by the chocolate aspects of this dish, but the gelato was a hit.

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* Popcorn and a Movie.  How could I resist a dessert with that name?  The first words that come to my mind are CLEVER, CRAZY, FUN!  Little pieces of housemade chocolate candybar and salted popcorn gelato served on a plate sprinkled with caramel popcorn and little dribbles of rootbeer gel (not sure of the spelling on that one).  I smiled from first to last bite!

We both agreed that there was much to admire about our meal and the restaurant.  OK, so we were the oldest couple in the place until about 10 minutes before we departed.  It looked to be a popular spot for groups of same-sex friends and young professional couples.  It is also a very short drive to East End Wines, which is open until 10:00pm Tuesdays-Saturdays.  Yes, we made a stop on our way home to pick up a few bottles of a wine we fell in love with recently that they recommended to us on a previous visit.  We should do an East End Wines entry soon J.
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The Jury is out…

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are a hit!

Muffin

At the end of my exhausting two weeks of jury duty, I got up early to bid my oldest son  (and his three friends that camped out with us the evening previous) “ciao” as they left very early Friday morning for their journey to Italy.  Thursday night I prepared them a little care package of fruit and muffins to grab on their way out the door.

Thus, I am now up with time on my hands.  This provided the perfect opportunity for me to bake another batch of pumpkin muffins to share with my fellow jurors and Judge Sulak’s staff.

I found this recipe years ago on Food.com, a site where home cooks share their favorite recipes via the internet.  These muffins are moist and flavorful.  The recipe is so easy to put together and makes 2 dozen muffins.  They are the perfect way to enjoy pumpkin outside of the traditional winter holiday season.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe

BACON- nuff said…

During my two week stint at the courthouse, I had the opportunity to visit BACON with a few of my fellow jurors.  Located on !0th and Lamar, this cute little establishment has all the makings for a unique dining experience.

We approached from the backside of the restaurant.

Bacon Ext2

The décor of the building, both inside and out is fun and inviting.

Bacon Ext3

You can get your BACON fix breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Bacon door

The menu is packed with a variety of offerings – all of which include some form of pork.

Bacon Menu

Here are the pics from our meal.

I could not resist ordering the Hush Piggies.  What a clever name!  Pulled Pork formed into a ball, breaded and fried.  Served with the hosue BBQ sauce.  The piggies on their own were a little dry, but were rescued by the tasty BBQ sauce.

Hush Piggies

The Dublin Pulled Pork Sandy – slow cooked pork marinated in Dublin Dr. Pepper served on Texas Toast with pickles and red onions (which they kindly served on the side).  Oh, I almost forgot – the sandwich also included thick slices of bacon!

Pork Sandy

The BLT – A beautiful rendition of the classic sandwich, served with housemade chips – check out that bacon!

Chips and Sandy

Bacon Plate

We also sampled one of their mini pecan pies – very little “gooey” and chock full of nuts.  I nice bit to end our carnivore adventure.

Besides food, they also sell some pretty cool “swag”.

You can see a selection of their t-shirts here (My favorite is “Keep Calm and Sizzle On”.)

BACON

I can’t wait to take my sons to this place – they will have no trouble finding something enticing off of their menu!
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