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What I Ate: September 14, 2009 (Driskill Grill)

Posted 14 September, 2009 at 11:44pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Austin, Dining, Food, What I Ate)

Dinner: Tina and I headed over to The Driskill Grill (604 Brazos St, Austin, TX‎ - (512) 391-7162) for their Austin Restaurant Week dinner. The dinner was fantastic and at a price of $35 per person, this was a great way to get a sample of what The Driskill Grill does well. Tina and I shared a demi bottle of Vietti Cascinetta Moscato d'Asti 2008 with our meal. Amuse bouches arrived (three of them!): Seared rabbit loin with strawberry-blackberry relish, lemon-basil sorbet, and caramelized onion puff pastry.
The Driskill Grill - Amuse Bouches

Seared rabbit loin with strawberry-blackberry relish - Remarkably tender, but a little disconcertingly so. The rabbit loin almost tasted like ham in both texture and taste. I wonder if it was brined a bit too long resulting in the texture change. Still, it was very good paired with the bright flavors of the strawberry relish.
The Driskill Grill - Seared rabbit loin with strawberry-blackberry relish

Lemon-basil sorbet - we felt this was a little spicy (like ginger spicy, not chile spicy), but were unable to confirm that it contained any ginger. The lemon sorbet and the micro-basil went very well together.
The Driskill Grill - Lemon-Basil Sorbet

Caramelized onion puff pastry - The filling of the puff pastry had a nice cooked onion taste without being overly sweet (as some onions tend to become). Just the right size - any more and I think the enjoyment would pass and it would be too much onion.
The Driskill Grill - Caramelized Onion Puff Pastry

Two breads were brought to us - a sourdough and a walnut, apricot, rosemary, and olive oil loaf. They were served with a salted and herbed butter. I felt the walnut bread was rather playful (with the nuttiness, sweet fruitiness, and fine crumb texture) and appreciated the effort in producing a tasty bread that worked well with the dinner.
The Driskill Grill - Bread and Butter

Bella Verdi Green Salad herb infused brik pastry, garlic-pink peppercorn vinaigrette, strawberry, white oaks chevre, toasted pistachio A great salad with lots of well blended flavors and the chevre which binds it all together in rich creaminess. The only thing I had an issue with was the cracked pink peppercorns which I bit into periodically (felt like fine peppery grit).
The Driskill Grill - Bella Verdi Green Salad

Chilled Carrot-Ginger Soup carrots, ginger, sweet cilantro, micro salad Not sure where the micro salad was on this dish. The soup itself was not for us - it was much too gingery for Tina from the start and after half the bowl, I wasn't able to bring myself to continue to drink more due to the build up of the spice's flavor in my mouth. I felt that the sweet cilantro poured over the soup helped temper the ginger, but in the end it was not enough. A smaller portion would have worked well as an amuse or paired with a side salad as an appetizer. In this amount, it was far too much ginger.
The Driskill Grill - Chilled Carrot-Ginger Soup

Seared Gulf Snapper rapini, lentils, aged black garlic, tomato butter, santa claus melon The snapper was perfectly cooked, savory, and delicious. The crisp, salty skin was perfect when eaten with a chunk of fish. Very well done. The flavors on the plate were so well balanced that I sopped up the sauces and remaining lentils with bread.
The Driskill Grill - Seared Gulf Snapper

Herbed Crusted Lamb dauphinoise potato, ratatouille, grilled plum, bordelaise The lamb was incredibly well prepared. The crust was savory and lemony at the same time, adding a nice crunchy texture to the tender and gamy lamb. The flavors on the plate were all familiar and matched very well with each other. I've had potatoes prepared in this manner (sliced thinly, stacked, and cooked) better at Parcel 104 in Santa Clara, California (tonight's were slightly gummy and a bit moist), but overall everything worked very well together.
The Driskill Grill - Herbed Crusted Lamb


Chocolate-Raspberry Gateau dark chocolate mousse, raspberry custard, chocolate-chambord liquor glaze, raspberry sorbet Whimsical, yet elegant presentation. The chocolate mousse was wonderfully flavored, yet light enough to eat without having to exert any effort or will power.
The Driskill Grill - Chocolate-Raspberry Gateau

Apple Tart flaky puff pastry, vanilla custard, granny smith apple, house made vanilla ice cream This was the perfect apple tart. The apples were delicately flavored and matched well with the sweet (but not overly sweet) puff pastry. The best apple tart we've ever had - simply amazing. I'd go back to The Driskill Grill just for dessert and order their Apple Tart.
The Driskill Grill - Apple Tart

Except for the Carrot-Ginger Soup, I felt tonight's dinner was perfectly balanced in terms of flavor and much of it was excellently executed.

We head over to Hudson's on the Bend on Wednesday, and I can only hope that we won't get stuck at yet another small table. These last two nights have been rather difficult and constrained when it comes to photography. Tonight, there was a larger table available, but I assumed it would get occupied - by the time the meal was half over and the restaurant nearing closing time, it was clear the tables would not be used. I had also completely forgotten to ask to move (plus that would have been a hassle).

Lunch: We heated the rest of the Domino's Pizza we had and ate that for lunch.
Domino’s Pizza Leftovers

4 comments to What I Ate: September 14, 2009 (Driskill Grill)

Michael Chu, September 18th, 2009 at 11:10 pm:

  • Driskill's Chef de Cuisine, Stephen Bonin, wrote to me to let me know that the seared duck breast I had reported as an amuse was actually rabbit loin. I've fixed that error. He also let me know that they had prepared the rabbit sous vide at 130°F for 25 minutes which resulted in its tenderness but changed the texture.

    He also informed me that they've since corrected the overly gingered carrot-ginger soup. Four more days of Austin Restaurant Week, so go try out the Driskill Grill - I'm telling you, it's worth it!

What I Ate: September 22, 2009 (Aquarelle) | Orthogonal Thought, September 22nd, 2009 at 10:11 pm:

  • […] as I can remember). They weren't as flavorful as the herb crusted lamb we had last week at The Driskill Grill, but the flavor was still quite good. We did found the mint gnocchi to be a little overcooked (they […]

What I Ate: March 10, 2010 (Driskill Grill) | Orthogonal Thought, March 10th, 2010 at 11:30 pm:

  • […] Driskill Grill (604 Brazos St, Austin, TX‎ - (512) 391-7162) tonight and boy has it changed since our last visit (when they were excellent). The meal started with our waiter, Jonathan, explaining the revamp of […]

Michael Chu, March 11th, 2010 at 2:20 pm:

  • Update: Chef Stephen Bonin is no longer with The Driskill Grill and is now executive chef at Mizu in Lakeway, TX.