(October 2013) Austin, TX —Chef Shawn Cirkiel, acclaimed restaurateur, has partnered with Forestar Group, owner of the full-service Radisson Hotel and Suites in downtown Austin, to open a new restaurant in the hotel. Scheduled to open in January 2014, the new Cirkiel restaurant will feature contemporary southwestern cuisine. Housed in the space previously occupied by a TGI Fridays, the restaurant is being completely transformed by local restaurant designer and architect Michael Hsu.
For restaurateur Shawn Cirkiel, one of the city’s most coveted chefs and the talent behind parkside, Austin’s first gastropub, it’s all about what he likes to eat. So when he created the menu for his new restaurant at the recently renovated downtown Radisson, he went back to his roots. “Growing up in Texas and driving all throughout Mexico, from Mazatlán to Monterrey, it kind of created its own culture,” said Cirkiel. “When you eat and cook and think here, it becomes Southwestern or Tejano or whatever those things mean. And for us, that’s what this is.”
The menu will be built around shareable plates and sides, from homemade tamales and folded enchiladas to grilled cowboy steak and roasted hen. Cirkiel will be sourcing meats, fish, and produce from local farms and ranches and combining them with the flavors he grew up with to create true Texas fare, from fresh fish simply finished to homemade tortillas and biscuits made to order with a little bit of bone marrow, whipped butter, and sea salt.
The restaurant will be serving breakfast (everything from classic migas and huevos rancheros to steak and eggs grilled over an oak fire), lunch (featuring five to six kinds of tortas, from hamburger to black bean and avocado), and dinner (everything from a raw bar with ceviche to fried oyster gorditos and lamb en mole) and desserts, which are made in-house by Cirkiel’s talented pastry team.
Cirkiel will also be providing food service for the hotel, including room service, banquets, and events. “We get to play with a lot of different things,” said Cirkiel.
The restaurant, which will be overlooking Lady Bird Lake, is scheduled to open in January. “For us, it is a great opportunity to create the food we like to cook and eat in a unique environment,” said Cirkiel.
The new restaurant highlights Hsu’s signature contemporary style, with clean architectural lines, oversized windows with views of Lady Bird Lake and a modern, warmly crafted design aesthetic.