Austinites hankering for a meal of fresh, seasonal Gulf fish and shrimp can finally forgo that laborious trip to the Texas coast. Mongers Market + Kitchen showcases classic, simple seafood dishes, combined with a retail market highlighting freshly caught Texas Gulf shrimp and fish — all in a relaxed, warm setting reminiscent of sunbaked afternoons beachside; and now offering weekly fresh oyster specials every Wednesday beginning July 8th.
Behind the scenes at Mongers are longtime friends, Austin chef and restaurateur Chef Shane Stark and professional fisherman and Texas seafood specialist Roberto San Miguel. Thanks to the co-owners’ emphasis on seasonal Gulf seafood and meticulously crafted plates, the recently opened Mongers is already gaining loyal customers. Mongers is open for lunch and dinner service, as well as Sunday brunch, with each menu highlighting Chef Stark’s beautifully prepared dishes and rotating fresh specials. A wide variety of local craft beers, bubbliesand wines perfect for pairing with seafood dishes are available, and the brunch menu features carafes of delicious house-made Sangria and Mimosas.
Oyster lovers can fight that mid-week slump with specials every Wednesday from 2 to 6 p.m., including half-price Raw Oysters from the best mollusk spots on the East Coast and $5 select wines and bubblies by the glass.
Open for lunch and dinner, Mongers’ menu highlights an array of seafood delicacies. The Raw Bar, featuring a rotating selection of Fresh Oysters ($3 each), mouth-watering Clams ($8, half a dozen), massive Peel ’n’ Eat Shrimp ($13, half a pound) and succulent Blue Crab(market price), also includes some of Chef Stark’s most simple yet sophisticated specialties, such as the sublime Hamachi Crudo ($15) and the delicate Tuna Ceviche ($14).
Diners hungry for a more substantial meal will delight in the Starters menu at Mongers, which includes well-proportioned plates that are perfect for sharing. Highlights include the Angels on Horseback ($13), crispy oysters topped with a pork rillette, raisin rhubarb and pecan crème fraîche; the BBQ Gulf Shrimp ($14) and the PEI Mussels ($14). Mongers’ sandwiches, served with a choice of house-made potato salad, apple-jalapeño slaw, salt-and-vinegar chips or herb salad, include the Fish BLT ($13) and the craveable and delightful Crab Cake Sammy($15).
The Plates menu includes the elevated Fish + Grits ($24), the Barnegat Scallops ($25), the fresh Gulf Red Snapper ($25) and the unforgettable Fish Tacos ($14) filled with crispy red snapper, cabbage, chipotle crema, cilantro, gallo pinto and jicama salad.
Equally as beautiful as the Mongers menu and market offerings is the restaurant’s seaside décor, designed by Chef Stark’s wife, Julie Stark, who also runs the front of house. The seafaring theme extends to the walls, which are lined with whitewashed boards and a beautiful shade of turquoise-ocean blue, and an eye-catching Gulf of Mexico muraladorning an entire floor-to-ceiling space. Nautical elements are scattered perfectly throughout the restaurant, and the seashell and driftwood hanging curtains evoke a quaint beach-cottage vibe. The Mongers patio, with its several picnic-style tables topped with wide umbrellas, is equally welcoming and the ideal spot for Sunday brunch or Wednesday happy hour ‘afternoon oyster social’ for half-price oysters and a glass of bubbly.
Mongers Market + Kitchen is located at 2401 E. Cesar Chavez St. in East Austin. The Mongers kitchen specializes in classic, simple seafood dishes prepared in an approachable yet sophisticated way. The Mongers retail market highlights the best of Texas Gulf seafood. Mongers is open for lunch and dinner service Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and for Sunday brunch, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon oyster social runs from 2 to 6 p.m. The Mongers market is open for retail service Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information about Mongers Market + Kitchen, Sunday brunch and Wednesday happy hour, call (512) 215-8972, or visitwww.MongersAustin.com.
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