In considering where to celebrate a birthday, I found out about APT 115’s chef’s tasting menu. They started offering the option this year and it’s a great addition to Austin’s food scene. Keep reading to see what we ate and drank!
East Austin Wine Bar and Restaurant
In East Austin, a restaurant and wine bar under a shiny, modern apartment building is asking you to come over. It’s designed to feel like an apartment with furnishings and decor pieced together from scouring vintage shops. Their walls and shelves are filled with enviable decor such as vintage illustrated diagrams of starfish and the homey furniture features different sets of chairs at each table.
And that tall bookshelf of wine? Well, that is definitely enviable. Their wine list includes over 400 labels from every wine-producing continent. With the expansive inventory and depth of knowledge, APT 115 is a great place to do some wine exploration.
APT 115 opened as a wine bar in 2018 and this year, expanded to offering more in the food area than cheese and charcuterie boards. It’s a small restaurant, with room for 30 inside, which I think could be an issue if they didn’t have reservations. The vibe, the drinks, and the food make you want to linger.
I hadn’t visited APT 115 before this dinner, my loss as I found out, but I’m excited to share more about my chef’s tasting experience.
Wine-Paired Chef’s Tasting Dinner
Something different. That’s the best part of having a new chef’s tasting option. If you’re looking for a chef’s tasting that is fresh and expertly paired with wine, you’ll want to make a reservation at APT 115.
Chef Charles Zhou has a resume that will pique your interest but when you’re sitting in the restaurant, the first most impressive thing will be how he prepares a multi-course dinner in the tiny corner of counter space!
As I was revisiting this menu, I had a hard time deciding which dish was my favorite. The tastes weren’t unexpected or surprising, like ones that make you stop and decipher, but each dish was satisfying – delightful in the presentation and cohesive in the flavors.
The menu changes seasonally and even daily, so see this recap as an example of the creative dishes that you may enjoy when you dine.
Summer Vegetables – This included dehydrated carrots and a favorite – deviled egg-stuffed shishito pepper
Trout Roe with watermelon
King Salmon Crudo with tomato, lemon drop aji
Stonecrab with zucchini – Meaty and delicious! We weren’t a fan of the accompanying roe-filled fried squash blossom, but that typically is an acquired taste.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Lettuce Wrap
Truffle Custard with parmesan
Pork Belly Stew with cornbread and honey butter – decadent and great combo of flavors
A pop of palate cleanser
Peach with almond and peach leaf – the most surprising dish and a solid dessert
Sweet Potato Cereal with toasted milk – a playful dessert
The final sweet bite involved this key, but I’ll let you experience this treat yourself.
I am no wine expert, but I do know that wine pairings complement and enhance dishes. With its roots as a wine bar, APT 115 is where you can expect excellent wines and perfect pairings. The pairing component was flawless and here are the wines we enjoyed:
Domaine Charles Gonnet
2020, Chignin, Savoie AOP, France
Hermann J. Wiemer, Cuvee Brut
2016, Seneca Lake, Finger Lakes, New York
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
Railsback Freres, Les Rascasses
2021, California, Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara County
Mourvedre, Carignan and Cinsault
2019, Srem, Vojvodina, Serbia
Quentin Harel, Les Grandes Terres
2020, Beaujolais-Villages AOP, France
2021, Moscato d’Asti DOCG, Monferrato, Piemonte
Chef’s Tasting Cost
The chef’s tasting costs $105 per person, $155 with wine pairings, and $205 with bespoke wine pairings. You can also order a la carte ($6-31 per dish), from snacks like jamon and chili pecans to some of the composed dishes on the chef’s tasting menu.
They typically have 10 selections of wine available by the glass daily and any bottle under $100 can be opened for a glass.
Details for Your Visit
Here’s a quick list of what you need to know.
- Cuisine: Fusion
- Ambiance: Intimate, relaxed
- Attire: Casual
- Noise Level: Quiet/average
- Pricing: $$
- Reservation: Available
- Groups: Yes, up to 8 people
- Outdoor Seating: Yes, patio in front
- Parking: Small complimentary parking garage, street parking
2025 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702
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