Ever since I arrived in Austin, the restaurant Eberly and its Cedar Tavern Bar built in 1866 which was shipped to Austin from NYC in pieces, has been the topic of conversation. I couldn’t wait to venture over for a dinner and I didn’t even know why. For my first impression, I felt LA meets NYC. The almost imperative valet service transported me to flashy LA, and the incredible design and detail took me back to New York. The energy is alive here in all kinds of phases. First of all that open, brass kitchen heats up excitement creating an extra lively scene as guests have to walk through here to get from the main dining room to the bathrooms and Cedar Bar Tavern located on the opposite side of the restaurant. We sat in a third room parallel to the kitchen so you can watch the food come out and surrounded by glass windows so you can also see the Cedar Tavern and the outdoor patio. It’s full of lights from a World War II battle ship, books, and historical trinkets. The best part is the square table that fits a group of 10 perfectly so you can actually talk to everyone and steal mac ‘n cheese from the lad sitting across from you.
The menu here isn’t pretentious or too Southern comfort – they do have healthy options and greens to choose from which I sometimes find difficult at some of the other restaurants here if they are very Southern, BBQ, or Tex-Mex focused. That being said, you must try the Crab & Cornbread appetizer- ha! The lump crabmeat hovers over the cake like cornbread with caramelized onions that add sweetness. To be honest, this could be on the dessert menu, and I love it.
The Brussels & Cauliflower remind me a lot of my favorite sprouts from Saxon & Parole on Bowery. It’s the maple balsamic vinegar and smoked chilies that give it that smokey and roasted flavor. By all means get this for yourself. The shells & cheese are made with orecchiette, taleggio, white cheddar, parmigiano, and gruyere. It’s a great size- especially for only $9. However, it’s going to be hard for me to find better mac ‘n cheese than Perla’s Lobster Cheese & Shells. I’m down with their tuna as it comes with a unique pairing- kale, red quinoa, benne seeds, almonds, pomegranate, butternut squash hummus, and coconut balsamic dressing. If you are not a coconut fan, do not order this as it’s not subtle. That squash hummus needs to be added to the appetizer menu though. For real! Steak and frites- chek!
Lastly, apparently there are six pastry chefs on hand. They clearly take their bread and sweet program service very seriously. It’s noticed in that “Natalie’s Basque Cake.” Almond pastry, vanilla bean cream, quince, and honeycomb. It melts in your mouth and somehow even tastes like pie.
Eberly is one of the scene-iest restaurants I’ve seen in Austin that also draws a late night crowd to their bar.