As bittersweet as it was to permanently shut our doors at the original South Lamar location last month, April has been an opportunity for new beginnings. Our new shop in Lamar Union is such a unique location for South Austin, with its mixed-use space anchored by our city’s most beloved movie theater, the Alamo Drafthouse. We have loved getting to know our neighbors, who are all newcomers to the block (after all, it’s still under construction). It’s been like starting at a new school – we’re all learning together, making mistakes, friends, and memories that will stay with us and become as cherished as the ones we already hold dear to our hearts.
Get to know a few of our great neighbors, and come see us all soon!
Slinging coffee in its original West Lynn location since 2006, the family tree that has sprouted from Caffe Medici in the past 10 years is a testament to its quality, both in its product and service.
“We have had the privilege to walk alongside some of the greatest coffee people in Austin,” Caffe Medici owner Michael Vaclav said. “Many of our baristas have gone on to do some amazing things in coffee and elsewhere.”
Michael and his wife, Alison, opened the original location with the goal of helping elevate their customers’ day in any way they can. They have since opened shop in three more locations, with another one coming at 8th and Congress next month. While each shop is dedicated to great coffee and quality service, Michael said each has a unique personality to fit its clientele.
“West Lynn is the quintessential neighborhood coffee shop,” Michael said. “Campus has a little more of an industrial feel. Professors and students fill the space with ideas and lots of chatter.”
As for its Lamar Union location, open since June 2015, Caffe Medici worked with architecture firm RUNA to make the space fit right in with its South Austin neighborhood.
“[We] were inspired by the bungalow houses in the neighborhood and took elements to create an inviting and comfortable space for people to gather,” Michael said.
Even in a city overrun with chic brunch spots claiming devotion to the farm-to-plate model, VOX Table is by no means redundant. One taste of their olive oil pancakes topped with a sweet fig and walnut butter, and you know you’ll be back.
Open for the past year, VOX Table is owned by Vincent Manguino and Brent Oxley, with Executive Chef Joe Anguiano running the kitchen. Out of that kitchen comes chef-crafted, thoughtfully prepared dishes influenced by American, French and Spanish cuisines.
Although the brunch is a must, VOX Table is no one-trick pony. Its happy hour, overseen by award-winning beverage director JR Mocanu, features specials on classic cocktails as well as draft beers and fortified wines. On Mondays, you can enjoy ½ off all wine by the bottle or by the glass.
The dinner menu is also a collection of artwork in cuisine form, with fan favorites like the smoked Hamachi pipettes with tomato raisins, pickled cucumber, Thai chili and coconut soy vinaigrette.
VOX Table is the first venture of this particular team, and they look forward to debuting another concept to the public in the near future. For now, they’re enjoying their home in Lamar Union.
“We love being down the street from Lick. South Lamar has such a vibrant and lively scene. It’s great having terrific company to enjoy it with.”
Although Italian restaurant Cantine has been open less than one year, owners Emmett and Lisa Fox are veterans of the Austin restaurant scene. The husband-and-wife team first made their mark with ASTI Trattoria in Hyde Park in 2000 and, in 2005, opened FINO Restaurant Patio & Bar. Since closing FINO last year and opening Cantine in May, the couple are fully focused on their two Italian projects.
“Cantine is a mix of ASTI and FINO,” Lisa said. “While we call it an Italian café – with fresh pasta and delicious pizza – it also offers dishes from the surrounding Mediterranean.”
Mixed in with traditional Italian dishes like spaghetti neopolitano and bucatini, you’ll find influences from Italy’s neighbors on Cantine’s menu, like its muhumara with za’atar pita bread starter or its paella offering on Tuesdays. To wash it all down, Cantine also offers classic Italian cocktails, draft beers and an extensive European wine list. Guests can come in and get a show at the chef’s table in front of the open kitchen, enjoy the weather outside on the patio, or have a more intimate evening in the dining room.
“Cantine is a very open and comfortable space,” Lisa said. “It’s very simple in design, with a focus on organic materials – like pine-paneled walls from our friend’s property in Bastrop.”
Much like how the Italian restaurant’s menu nods to its Mediterranean neighbors, Cantine welcomed Lick with open arms – and pizzas. Our pizza and ice cream party was one of our first memories made in our new home.