Austin restaurateurs Steve and Heather Potts, the owners of Cedar Door, are bringing a Southern take on Italian to Austin at La Volpe. Located in Austin’s Central Business District, executive chef Will Eason blends traditional Italian with ultra-fresh ingredients and Southern flavors.
La Volpe offers a smart, food-forward menu melding Southern flavors with traditional Italian cuisine. The menu includes starters such as fried baby artichoke with shaved fennel and limoncello crema; an assorted cheese board with honeycomb from Kelley’s Honey Farms; and chicken liver mousse with fried house-made focaccia and pickled carrot; and entrées like white truffle lasagne with porcini mushrooms and nearly 15 sheets of thin handmade pasta; HeartBrand ribeye with Texas cabernet compound butter; and grilled Heluka pork chop with femur jus; and small plates such as charred okra with smoked tomato and mustard green purée; and seared scallop with pork caramel and goat cheese.
Pastry chef Neber is an alum of Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, cultivating her skills in kitchens all over Austin, notably at Olive & June and Foreign & Domestic. For La Volpe, she has put a Southern twist on her desserts, creating interpretations of classics, such as charred corn panna cotta with cinnamon cornbread croutons; lavender and goat cheese semifreddo atop lemon balsamic cake; and sweet tea tiramisu.
A focal point of the restaurant with its dynamic floor-to-ceiling shelving housing exotic finds and cleverly positioned lighting that emulates the face of a fox (La Volpe means “fox” in Italian)—features Italian and Texas wines, craft beers, and handcrafted cocktails infused with fresh herbs and spices. Vintage Italian ties are showcased in a custom-built frame with the Italian phrase “legare uno su,” which means “tie one on.”
The same level of attention to detail is seen throughout the space, which was designed by Jennifer Long, who also did the interiors of C’ Boys Heart & Soul nightclub in Austin and Otra Vez Cantina in Denver. A film and set designer by trade, Long’s sexy style adds a note of playfulness throughout the restaurant, which features intimate dining nooks, exposed brick and beams, a vintage teardrop chandelier from Italy, and an outdoor courtyard lush with olive trees. The vibe is smart and sophisticated yet local and welcoming.
La Volpe is located at 201 Brazos Street, Building B, in downtown Austin. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday – Thursday; and from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Happy hour is offered Tuesday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with $2 off select cocktails, beer and wine. Sunday brunch is coming soon. For more information about La Volpe, call (512) 501-6713 or go to www.lavolpeaustin.com.