V4rq3VqGGQToaiIi4GvwUKYNxeRnaIaWJMNJJQ_zNew.jpeg

Dining Pick | Cantine

1100 South Lamar Blvd, | Suite 2115

rfoT9tvO2m37LCEk39Iuc1EqvzMrN0CUnwrNuwxToww.jpeg
Gpnu2JfQIu8uZW_qTouy636hVLE6avETj__-ghawMEI.jpeg

Italian food fans, this is your year. In 2015, Austin will welcome at least a half-dozen new Italian restaurants. One to put on your radar is Cantine. Owned by restaurant veterans Lisa and Emmett Fox (Asti, Fino), this is their most ambitious project yet. Carving out a high-profile corner of the new Lamar Union complex, their Michael Hsu-designed eatery is both chic and rustic. Scorched pine paneling — recycled from the 2011 Bastrop fires — lines one wall, while sleek subway tiles line another. Exposed concrete floors flow into muted carpeting. Glossy white lacquered tabletops share the room with polished wooden counters.

Before your meal, do like the Italians do and enjoy a pre-dinner aperitivo at the lovely marble bar. There’s an impressive selection of imported liquors and Cantine’s skilled bar staff know what to do with them. When you’re ready to eat, take your pick of tables: low-tops, high-tops, patio seats, a 16-stool community table, or a dazzling corner booth, perfect for people watching.

Cantine combines the greatest hits from the Fox’s other restaurants with new twists on Italian and Mediterranean classics. For starters, try the stuffed mushrooms, oozing with cheese, sprinkled with crunchy garlic breadcrumbs and drizzled with truffle oil. Make sure to share one of Cantine’s tasty Neapolitan-style pizzas, or revisit old favorites from the recently shuttered Fino, such as fried goat cheese topped with red onion jam or anchovy-stuffed fried olives.

Cantine’s rotisserie turns out some terrific dishes. The harissa-spiced chicken is a whole or half bird bursting with flavor beneath decadently crispy skin. Typically served with roasted potatoes, our server happily accommodated our request for sautéed spinach. There’s also succulent porchetta: pork loin and belly rolled in herbs and spices, and slow-roasted until it develops its trademark crackly skin. Cantine serves it sliced with creamy white beans or on ciabatta as a sandwich.

For seafood lovers, branzino is traditionally roasted and presented whole, accompanied by couscous, roasted eggplant, yogurt and chermoula herb sauce. There’s a top-of-the-line pasta machine and everything’s homemade, including a toothsome whole wheat rigatoni tossed with rustic lamb ragu and topped with creamy ricotta and a bright mint gremolata. Less successful was the overcooked and lackluster bucatini amatriciana. Don’t overlook the creative side dishes, like a medley of colorful roasted baby carrots, perfumed with harissa and orange, atop a pool of rich lebne yogurt.

Save room for dessert. Owner Lisa Fox is a talented pastry chef who entices diners with sweets like classic tiramisu and assortments of exotic homemade cookies. As with all the Fox restaurants, the wine list is wonderfully varied and full of mostly Old World treasures. We enjoyed a crisp Venetian Prosecco, a refreshing Languedoc rosé, an intriguing Abruzzo white blend, and an austere pinot nero from Alto Adige.

Having too many new Italian restaurants in Austin is a good problem to have, yet sorting through the options can be a deliciously daunting task. Just be sure that Cantine makes the cut.

CREDITS

Photography by Jody Horton

RELATED ARTICLES

  • 0f8dfbf1-b6d6-4c56-b842-05d45acda39c.gif
  • image1.JPG
  • Elite 25_300x250.gif
  • unnamed-37.jpg
  • Copenhagen_Feb2015.jpg

SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY

eNewsletter

currentIssue.png
June_Cover-108x108.jpeg
  • 1cb151d1-621d-47f9-941e-7259eea04612.gif
  • Subscribe.jpg
TRIBEZA BLOGS
Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 2.07.04 PM.png

As the warm weather begins to set in and patio parties hit our calendars, we can’t help but embrace that summertime has returned to Austin. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be celebrating the return of the season with decadent ice cream, healthy smoothies and icy cocktails from your favorite local spots.

For those days when it’s too hot to venture out, we went to Austin’s sweet treat professionals and compiled the ultimate collection of DIY recipes to make from your home. Click through the galleries below to learn how to make everything icy and sweet, from poptails for date night to ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party.

more
unnamed.jpg

The spring edition of the Renegade Craft Fair returns for its seventh year in Austin May 14-15 at Fair Market. With over 125 makers on the roster, the scene is sure to be bustling with local artisans and DIYers slinging their unique, one-of-a-kind wares. In addition to great shopping, the RCF offers activities, special showcases and plenty of food and drink options for visitors. This year, celebrate your hard work shopping with a snack from Burro Cheese Kitchen and Lucky Lab Coffee Co. before commemorating the afternoon with some snapshots from Magnolia Photo Booth Co. But before...

more
TRIBEZA04.jpg

Inspired by the beautiful outdoor living spaces featured in our May feature The Space Between, we went window shopping and found some great outdoor furniture and accessories to liven up your outdoor patio, porch and pool. Flip through the galleries below to see how you can add a pop of color and style to your outdoor hideaway.

more
6cac5c5a8c8ab233e90140848463bee7-d1026fbadb4e268d7fc0f385121f57a3.jpg

JUDE GALLIGAN

Hundreds of people are moving to Austin each day, and downtown is one of the major hubs of growth for the city. Local real estate expert Jude Galligan discusses smart urban growth and what to expect this year as the skyline continues to evolve.

Your blog keeps Austin updated on the latest news in downtown. What is the most exciting development happening right now?

From my point of view, the most exciting development is the Waller Creek District Master Plan. Decades in the making, this transformative project came to life after designers competed for the contract. It is finally coming to downtown, bringing an imaginative chain of parks,...

more
IMG_4713.jpg

As you flip through the pages of our February Love Issue, one thing you’ll notice is the beautiful blooms that pop up throughout the magazine. We got some major googly eyes for the bouquets featured in our "Real Weddings" features, and earmarked the TRIBEZA Wedding Guide for even more Pinterest-worthy petals.

Instead of letting all that inspiration go to waste, we tried our hand at flower arranging to see what we could create. Since we consider ourselves floral design novices, we asked a few top designers...

more