The team from Barley Swine have set an opening date for their eagerly-anticipated new location in north Austin. Monday, January 18 will mark the first day of service for Barley Swine at 6555 Burnet Road.
Led by executive chef and owner, Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine’s new location aims to be bigger and better than the original South Lamar home. After five years on South Lamar, the move to Burnet allows Barley Swine to evolve in many ways.
“While we’re moving and expanding, we see this version of Barley Swine as a completely new restaurant. It takes pieces of each iteration of Barley Swine over the years, but is different in so many ways that it should be considered a new experience to everyone,” Gilmore said.
In a nod to the early days of Barley Swine, the menu will feature a la carte shared plate offerings, as well as a tasting menu, throughout the entire
dining room. The restaurant will continue its commitment to sourcing from local Texas farmers and ranchers, but the larger space will allow for an increase in purchasing. Gilmore is particularly excited about being able to serve more seafood from the Texas coast than ever before. The initial menu will feature such seafood dishes as Blackened Octopus, Crab Tamale and Gulf Red Snapper Poached in Koji Butter. Other opening menu items include Shiitake Pasta, Bacon Custard, Pig Skin Noodles with shrimp dumplings and a Parsley Croissant with bone marrow.
“I see Barley Swine as a representation of a place and time,” said Gilmore. “We try to showcase ingredients that are available right here in Texas and to stay true to the seasons. This, along with the creativity of our staff, helps capture a unique dining experience with every visit.”
The pastry program, led by executive pastry chef Susana Querejazu, also incorporates these ingredients to create refined yet inventive desserts that play on sweet and savory, such as a Peanut Monte Blanc, Apple Cider Vinegar Pie and a Sunchoke Custard with meyer lemon and sunflower seeds.
One major change is that the restaurant grows from 36 seats on South Lamar to 65 seats inside the new Levy Architects designed space, including banquettes upholstered by Mr. and Mrs. Sew It All. Additionally, the front patio seats 20 and the Chef’s Garden Table, set to open on the back patio in the spring, will seat large parties of 10-12.
Reclaimed materials, such as Austin common brick and oak from the early 1900s, make up much of the interior. Table and bar tops are constructed from Texas pecan, with the majority of the woodwork done by Cerberus Fabrication & Design. Chairs and bar stools are handcrafted by local furniture designer, Brian Chilton.
The space will center around an open kitchen, visible from any seat inside the restaurant. Maintaining the intimate counter experience between the chef and guests from the original space on South Lamar, the new Barley Swine will include an eight-seat counter overlooking a custom wood grill made by Texas Oven Co., who also crafted the wood-burning oven at Barley Swine’s sister restaurant, Odd Duck.
“At a good dinner party, everyone hangs out in the kitchen where all the action is,” said Gilmore. “We see Barley Swine the same way, with the energy from the kitchen feeding into the entire dining room. We’ve built Barley Swine as our home and are eager to welcome guests, something that I hope shows in our level of hospitality.”
Another new element is the addition of a full bar and craft cocktail program, helmed by bar manager Robert Stevens, previously of the famed Blackberry Farms just outside Knoxville, TN. The cocktails will be seasonally focused and, like the food, inspired by what’s available from the local farms. Like the kitchen pantry, the bar will be making as much as possible in house, from shrubs and vinegars to grenadines, tonics and sodas.
A number of ingredients for the bar and food menus will come straight from the on-site gardens – a large garden on the back patio and planter boxes on the front patio – maintained by Urban Patchwork. Barley Swine has also installed a rainwater collection system, which gathers water and feeds it directly into all gardens.
“We’re very excited to move into north Austin and hope our longtime regulars will come make the journey with us; and we’re also excited to meet new diners who never made the trek south,” Gilmore said. “Barley Swine was always built to evolve and this is a part of that progression.”
Bryce Gilmore Photo by Nick Simonite
Barley Swine North Austin
6555 Burnet Road