Trace

This hyperstylized, locally focused dining room has finally hit its stride. We started with a small plate of sea bass crudo, the heat of green habanero making the accompanying grapefruit even sweeter. Blue crab hush puppies, though a bit dense, contained generous lumps of crab. Tasty, tiny merguez sausages, paired with pickled romano beans, had a touch of heat; their flavor nicely balanced creamy corn ravioli with whole petite morels (we want to ask staff forager Valerie Broussard just where she finds such treasures). Dirty rice–stuffed quail, a hint over-seasoned, was satisfying, but we went batty over the tiny Staub casserole of wax beans and black-eyed peas topped with chunks of pork belly and soaking up a vinegary pork fat dressing. (8/12)

City: Austin

Cuisine:

Drinks: Bar

Price: $$$-$$$$

Rating:

Address: W Hotel, 200 Lavaca, Austin, TX, 78701

Hours: Breakfast Mon–Fri 6:30–11. Lunch Mon–Fri 11:30–2:30. Dinner Mon–Thur 5:30–10, Fri & Sat 5:30–11. Bru

Phone: 512-542-3600

Website: www.traceaustin.com/

Last updated: August 14, 2012