Pitchfork Pretty is one of Austin’s best restaurants and we tried the tasting menu when we visited.
One of the reasons why Will and I are getting married is because of a restaurant reservation I made when we first started dating.
He didn’t know the ways I loved food. I told him I wasn’t a picky eater and I didn’t help much, so our first dates (planned by him) were to nearby cafes and restaurants for Cobb salads and pizzas. Nothing bad but nothing fancy. A few months into dating, we went on a trip out of town and I was tasked with picking out the restaurants we’d visit during the trip. After the first amazing dinner, he told me I would be picking out the restaurants from now on and here we are. 😀
We’ve accepted that we’re a little bougie. Even though we cook dinner at home on weeknights, look at our bank accounts and you’ll see dining as one of our biggest expenses. We love food and we don’t mind forking over some extra dollars for an incredible, memorable meal. Pujol, for example, cost a pretty, pretty, lots of pennies. Quality also doesn’t come cheap, and we know that if a meal is cheap, someone somewhere is paying for it.
In my opinion, a dining experience is amplified when you order the tasting menu. This is where chefs love to play. They want the challenge of presenting a cohesive menu and memorable bites. They’ll pick out the dishes meant to impress. Every once in a while, it’s nice to treat ourselves to this little adventure.
It had been a long time since I visited Pitchfork Pretty. When I told the waiter I had been for breakfast, he laughed and said, “wow, it’s been a long time. We stopped doing breakfast.”
Pitchfork Pretty opened in 2017, the year I last visited. Focusing on hill country cuisine, the restaurant encourages shared plates in their upscale and thoughtful space. With so many enticing dishes, you’ll definitely want to share the plates to try more of them! The kitchen is led by Executive Chef Max Snyder, a born and raised Texan who worked his way up in kitchens in Austin, New York, and San Francisco.
The dining experience we had proved Pitchfork Pretty deserves its accolades.
The Tasting Menu
After looking through the menu, we decided to go for the tasting menu. I like that we got to try many of the dishes, and they were smaller portions than the typical dishes. Here are all the bites. (I wish I had better photos. I wasn’t expecting to blog this meal in depth but it was too impressive not to!)
Pickled Quail Egg
Pimento cheese, spicy crab crackers
East Coast Oyster, smoky mignonette
Trout roe on rye toast, onion jam and whipped
Caviar, smoked egg yolk, cultured cream, potato panisse (favorite savory dish!)
Red snapper, frozen radish, buckwheat and tangerine
Grilled beets, citrus and blue cheese
Roasted maitake, spaghetti squash, coconut
Freshly milled hominy, acorn squash, cow peas and green garlic
Poached king salmon, pecan, beet, and couscous
Granita with grapes
Chocolate and caramel pudding with goat cheese ice cream (favorite sweet dish!)
Mint Chocolate Bark
We each had a late lunch that day, so we were stuffed by the time we were on the last bites. It was all so delicious! The dishes were packed with flavors, and it was hard to pick a favorite dish. If I had to pick a favorite sweet and savory dish it would be the potato
Though the courses came out a tad fast, we enjoyed the leisurely dinner and being able to talk and reconnect with each other after a long week. The service was attentive and excellent.
Tasting menu or not, Pitchfork Pretty should be on your list of restaurants to try. Last year, they were rated in the top restaurants by the Austin American-Statesman (they took the second spot) and made Texas Monthly‘s best new restaurants list. For an upscale restaurant, their dishes are fairly affordable. I would love to come back to try their Sunday brunch and their Banchan & BBQ nights on Mondays, hopefully not years later.
If you do try or have tried Pitchfork Pretty, let me know what your favorite dishes are!
Pitchfork Pretty Details
2708 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
- Brunch: Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- Banchan & BBQ: Monday 5-10 p.m.
- Dinner: Tuesday – Thursday 5-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5-11 p.m.
- Happy Hour: Tuesday – Friday 5-6 p.m.
Parking: They have a parking lot but it was full when we arrived. We paid to park in a lot a block away.
The tasting menu is $65 per person while their dishes on the a la carte menu range from $7 to $37.
Happy hour specials include $3 off cocktails and beer, $12 off bottles of wine, and half price on snacks and appetizers.