Pepita11829.jpg

Karen's Pick | Vinaigrette

Talk about perfect timing. Just as spring arrives and thoughts turn to al fresco dining and summertime fare, Vinaigrette opens. This new salad-centric restaurant features one of the prettiest patios in town and serves refreshing food that won’t weigh you down.

Located off South Congress, Vinaigrette occupies the former Tree House Italian Grill, unrecognizable now after a dramatic remodel. Clean lines and neutral colors are accented with unexpected pops of color, like flowers in a field. Vaulted ceilings and panoramic windows flood the dining room with cheerful natural light and a view of the lovely patio.

Thankfully, the patio’s majestic live oak remains, its massive canopy providing welcoming shade. Gone are the hard ground surfaces, replaced by soft crushed gravel and natural wood, with tables nestled among lush grasses and planter boxes overflowing with fresh herbs. A wicker swing hangs whimsically in the corner and hay bales provide overflow seating. And if you’ve got a dog, bring it.

But all this gorgeous scenery is wasted unless the food is good. And it is. Vinaigrette, with outposts in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, is famous for its entrée salads and rightly so. Fresh, creative, bold and delicious, they’ll win over even the most ardent salad foe. With almost two dozen options, each bursts with a riot of flavors and textures.

I devoured the Salacho, a tasty spin on taco salad, loaded with crunchy romaine, red cabbage, scallions, red onion, and fresh corn, then scattered with ripe tomato, ground meat, cheese and cumin honey-lime vinaigrette. A squeeze of fresh lime elevated its flavors. My companion happily polished off his French Frisée, a mound of fresh, tender frisée topped with a perfectly poached egg, smoky bacon lardons and warm shallot vinaigrette. Other entrée salad options include the popular All Kale Caesar studded with chopped Marcona almonds and the Arugula Duck tossed with duck confit, goat cheese and roasted pears. Proteins like poultry, meat, seafood and tofu can be added to any salad.

If salad’s not your thing, there are also appetizers, soups, and sandwiches. But salads are the star, and portioned large enough for a meal. There’s also an extensive beverage menu of inventive fresh fruit and veggie concoctions and garden-inspired cocktails. While intriguing, we preferred our glasses of Italian pinot blanc and French white Burgundy.

Unquestionably, Vinaigrette is still a new restaurant. There were minor hiccups in service and food, but the vibe is friendly and the ambiance divine. The owner, Erin Wade, is committed to quality and plans to eventually supply most of Vinaigrette’s produce from her nearby Bastrop farm, which will make this delightful new restaurant even more appealing. As my companion said as we finished our meal, “Let’s come back here again soon.”

CREDITS

Photograph by Hayden Spears

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