Andrew Wiseheart and Ben Edgerton open Gardner in East Austin
The team behind Contigo Austin introduces a second restaurant, focusing on seasonal vegetables, simply and beautifully prepared
Award-winning chef Andrew Wiseheart and Ben Edgerton, co-owners of Contigo Austin, are pleased to announce the opening of Gardner at 1914 E. 6th Street in East Austin. Named after chef Wiseheart’s father, Gardner Wiseheart, the restaurant focuses on seasonal vegetables, simply prepared and elegantly executed. The business partners drew inspiration for Gardner’s menu from culinary traditions, flavors and experiences Wiseheart gained traveling around the world, and aim to offer straightforward, thoughtful preparations of the highest quality ingredients available. Gardner is the second restaurant from Edgerton and Wiseheart, who opened Contigo in East Austin in 2011.
Gardner’s seasonal menu will offer a varied selection of dishes centered on the best produce, meat and seafood available. Edgerton says, “Typically, when designing a menu, a restaurant will begin with proteins and supplement with vegetables as necessary. We approach our menu at Gardner in the same way, but inversely. We start with responsibly sourced, seasonal vegetables and supplement with proteins and other elements as we see fit.”
Chef Wiseheart’s menu will be divided into four sections, enabling guests to build their ideal dining experience. The first section will include one- or two-bite, thoughtfully composed dishes, such as Sunchoke Custard with Seaweed and Crispy Onions and Yellow Squash with Bonito Butter and Pea Tendrils. Items from the next section will include dishes like Beets with Urfa Mayo, Pine Nuts and Mint; Okra with Fatback, Sour Cream, Almonds and Dill; and Spanish Mackerel with Fennel, Marigold and Huckleberry. The largest, entrée-portion items will include selections like Whole Roasted Parsnip with Smoked Mushrooms, Beef Fat and Capers; Root Vegetables with Fermented Mushroom Broth and Salted Purslane; and Dry Aged Beef with Zucchini and Black Garlic. The menu will also offer a selection of desserts from Executive Pastry Chef Steven Cak, which will fall into categories focusing on vegetables, fruit, chocolate and cheese. Gardner will source from several local purveyors, and change the menu often to ensure the highest quality, freshest ingredients possible.
Under the direction of Beverage Director Paul Courtright, Gardner’s bar program will center on a selection of food-friendly wines, produced by small growers who work responsibly in the vineyards. The list will tend toward low alcohol wines, with a focus on acidity and minerality, and produced with as few additives as possible. The program will also feature a small selection of farmhouse style beers from small brewers around the world, with four regularly on tap and both large- and standard-format bottles. There will also be a separate menu available in the bar area only featuring snacks such as Whipped Cod Roe with Bottarga and Toasted Ciabatta; Potato Dip with Dill, Eggplant and Red Wheat Cracker; and Crispy Onion Soubise.
Designed in collaboration with Baldridge Architects, CC Designs and Ann Lowe Design, the 72-seat restaurant is housed in a former post office. Design highlights include a neutral palette of grays, browns and slate gray tones; original brick interior and exterior walls juxtaposed with Shou Sugi Ban wood (Japanese-style hand-torched lumber); hand-crafted wooden furniture; custom-designed service stations and light fixtures; an open-air lounge that accommodates 15 guests; adjacent bar, table and booth seating; and a private dining room seating ten guests.
Gardner is located at 1914 E. 6th Street in Austin, and is open seven days a week for dinner service, Sunday – Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. andThursday – Saturday from 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. For more information, please call 512.354.1480 or visit www.gardner-austin.com