Dai Due is a farm-to-table restaurant in Austin, Texas. If you want to experience local Texas ingredients, especially meat, this place is a must-visit!
One was an experience we had anticipated for months. The other was a random choice that unexpectedly sweetened the night.
This night was about a musical. You know, THE musical. Three years ago, Alexander Hamilton became the most understood, hip, and known historical figure in U.S. history. And finally, the wildly successful musical Hamilton came to Austin.
So, walking into Dai Due before the musical, we were already buzzing with excitement. It had been a few years since I first dined here. The restaurant is very conveniently located four minutes away from Bass Concert Hall, giving us plenty of time to enjoy dinner and make our way to the venue.
Dai Due Takes Local Dining to Another Level
As I’ve taken on my local monthly challenge and talked to others about eating local, I’ve noticed that farm-to-table is a familiar concept and many do the best they can. Restaurants and locals incorporate locally sourced ingredients into their menus and meals, but creativity, cost, and convenience hinder consistency. Dai Due leads the charge with their mission to source all their ingredients, including beverages, from Texas, most coming from the Austin area.
Dai Due presents it clearly: “By using ingredients that are present in our region, we are able to serve foods that are fresher, buy food that is produced in a fair and equitable way, represent local culinary traditions, and support farmers and ranchers who are striving to improve the quality of our food.”
It’s as simple as that. We in Texas are lucky to have abundant options of meat from ranches, seafood from the Gulf of Mexico, and a variety of vegetables year-round. Dai Due uses those resources thoughtfully and also takes care to preserve ingredients for when they’re not in season. By fermenting, freezing, drying, and pickling, these ingredients can enhance future meals.
Owner and Chef Jesse Griffiths has led by example and followed this focus since 2009. His supper clubs and farmers market booth flourished into a brick-and-mortar butcher shop and restaurant in 2014. The accolades of “best restaurant” from various national magazines will spark your curiosity and dining at Dai Due will bring you back again. Don’t miss your shot!
Dinner at Dai Due
The menu is meat forward with a couple of vegetarian dishes and sides. We started with the chicken liver mousse and venison parisa (similar to a tartare), and I would absolutely order those again. The flavors in each dish went perfectly together, and we definitely negotiated who was finishing each dish.
Chicken Liver Mousse with Rhubarb Jam, Parsley, and Grilled Buttermilk Bread
Venison Parisa with Stryk Cheddar Cheese, Jalapenos, Onion, Lime with Butter Crackers
For our main course, we decided it was an opportunity to try the wagyu ribeye and were curious about the soft shell crab. Dai Due is known for some Mediterranean flair and this shone through in the soft shell crab. Both were excellent dishes, though the appetizers were easily the winners.
Fried Soft Shell Crab with Veracruz Sauce, Gulf Coast White Rice and Sautéed Calabaza Squash
16oz Wagyu Ribeye, Aged 43 Days
We walked out of the restaurant pretty giddy about the dinner we enjoyed. With multiple meat-centric dishes, it was easy to fill up before the sweet course. Next time, I think I would love to share multiple starters and one entrée and save room for dessert! The cold meat board would be another great option for a starter.
Don’t Forget the Dai Due Burger
Available on all their menus is their burger, which I came back to enjoy for lunch. If it’s available at any time of day, you better believe it’s a big, tasty attraction. This is the dry-aged wagyu double cheeseburger with Stryk cheese, special sauce, dill pickles, and green onions.
It’s juicy and flavorful, and I love the hints of mustard and plentiful pickle slices. The burger also comes with crispy fried potatoes and beet ketchup. The dish will set you back $20 but you know it’s worth the investment.
Details for Your Visit
From the ingredients in their dishes to the beer and wine list, Dai Due is a farm-to-table restaurant that’s worth your visit. They fulfill the courageous challenge of producing excellent cuisine with the bounty of Texas. They have a big focus on meat, so if you are vegetarian or vegan, this might not be your place.
- Ambiance: Comfortable, intimate, dark
- Attire: Casual
- Noise Level: Average
- Reservation: Recommended, walk-ins ok
- Groups: Yes, they could put a few tables together, but make a reservation
- Outdoor Seating: Yes, they have a patio
- Plates: Three-course per person is nice
- Parking: Few spots in front, parking lot in the back
2406 Manor Road, Austin 78722
Breakfast and Lunch: Tuesday – Friday 11 am – 3 pm; Saturday & Sunday 10 am – 3pm
Dinner: Tuesday – Sunday 5 pm – 10 pm
Happy Hour: Tuesday – Thursday 5 pm – 6:30 pm
Butcher Shop: Tuesday through Sunday 11 am – 10 pm
If you’ve dined at Dai Due, what dishes do you recommend?
P.S. Want to read more about restaurants? See my restaurant posts here.