Located at the ground floor of the brand new IBC Bank Tower on 5th and Nueces in downtown Austin, progressive southern restaurant, Fixe has become one of the most astonishing restaurants in downtown Austin with in the last year. James Robert (Executive Chef/Co-Owner) and Keith House (Director of Operations/Co-Owner) present a “southern house” concept with service that’s based on the notion of southern hospitality and a menu that pays homage to Chef Robert’s Louisiana roots which reflect a reimagined take on his family’s recipes.
Designed by local architectural firm Nelson Partners, the warm and spirited space feels like an upscale southern home that’s been re-imagined as a restaurant mixing new and old vintage pieces of art mixed in a classy, yet casual dining atmosphere. The bar features end grain mesquite and a Chef’s “pass table” that extends the reach of the open kitchen, providing a unique chef’s table-esque experience in the dining room with a lighter, more whimsical touch.
Other elements include a welcome bar out front that provides access to craft cocktails before arriving at the restaurant’s proper bar, tying into the a southern hospitality concept that essentially greets guests with a “welcome drink” as they enter. The center of the restaurant features a “porch” that boasts the charm of an old southern estate. Guests may also dine outside on the terrace located on 5th street, or in one of three private dining spaces.
Southern dining is like a family affair, as family and friends gather around the table for a Sunday supper to feast on recipes that have been a part of the family for many generations. Chef James presents a mix of modern and traditional dishes that boast an atmosphere of sharing, with his spin on new and classic recipes. The seasonal menu “celebrates the soul of the south” that changes based on the season and what’s locally available. With six dedicated sections, the menu offers “snacks,” “chilled” and “small plates” which are perfect for sharing. The menu also includes an entire section devoted to grits, perhaps the most classic of all southern dishes.
We started with Fixe’s famous house made biscuits with preserves and n’duja. This is perhaps one of the most memorable order of biscuits we’ve ever enjoyed as they were prepared with a butter, fluffy finish that left us salivating for another orde. Next we enjoyed The Herbivore Grits with garlicky kale, farm egg, romesco and salsa verde. The Deviled Eggs ($6) are also top contenders for best in the town, as they’re garnished with a glistening trout roe. The Southern Fish Fry featuring fried catfish filets crusted in Anson Mills Antebellum cornmeal, hand-cut Kennebec fries, and Fixe’s signature tartar sauce. Next, Veal Brisket with confit sweet potato, espelette marshmallow, pecan and foie gras was smokey and outstanding. Finally we finished with an order of Fried Chicken ($19) with sweet, crisp, honey glazed skin. While It wasn’t my favorite dish, it was definitely worth trying considering it’s probably one of the most southern dishes you can ask for.
We only had room for one dessert item, so I ordered the oddest item on the menu – The Red Beans and Rice ($8). It featured a unique buttery fritter with a side of house made cream. Don’t let the title of this dish throw you off! The sweet and savory goodness of this dish will most likely prevent you from sharing with your date, causing you to possibly lick the plate, both of which are probably not very polite in the deep south.