A few weekends ago, former ADA Jared Mogil and I were in Austin, Texas for a wedding. As our Saturday evening did not have any wedding festivities, we decided to head out to Rainey Street to explore the city. What is really neat about this area of town is that all of the bars and restaurants are built in former houses. Most of the bars have fantastic outdoor spaces, and there you can find a fantastic restaurant: Emmer & Rye.
What makes Emmer & Rye so unique is that nearly every ingredient is sourced from within 100 miles of the restaurant, everything they can make in house they do. Their cocktail list is creative, and they have a plethora of natural and organic wines. The menu focuses on small plates, but several times during your dinner service a cart comes around with dim sum-like offerings. Our first selections from the cart were oysters and tartar.
For our first course, we had the red snapper (that’s what is nestled below the cucumbers) and the King Trumpet Mushrooms. Although the snapper was very delicious, I think the mushrooms might have been my favorite dish of the evening. They were robust with a miso flavor that added a great tangy umami flavor to the dish.
Eaten before it could be photographed, we also had their homemade bread and butter from the dim sum cart. The service the entire meal was impeccable, we received detailed descriptions of the food and its origins along with insightful recommendations. For our next course, we had the ravioli stuffed with ricotta, potato, turnip and topped lamb’s quarter. This dish was rich and flavorful. On the right is the pork loin, which was also delicious.
For dessert, we went with the chocolate mousse. But this wasn’t just a normal chocolate mousse…the first layer was popped sorghum. Like corn, this grain can be popped to create an edible topping. There was also a layer of egg white ice cream and mole. This made for a fascinating mixture of sweet and savory for dessert.
As the menu at Emmer & Rye is always changing, I would highly recommend making a reservation here if you are in Austin. Both their menu and philosophy are ambitious and make for a delicious meal.