The view from its windows framed by the pecan grove at the Carpenter Hotel, this cozy space is a perfect lunch or dinner spot, serving up an all-day menu of Austin and Central Texas comfort dishes in bright, cheerful surroundings. With the new offerings, spicy flavors are the name of the game. We started with a plate of smoky, roasted Gulf oysters on the half shell, adorned with spicy butter, charred lemon, and a dab of schmalz (yep, chicken fat—you know you love it). We took our server’s advice on another appetizer, the crispy-crunchy Gunpowder Pork Rinds, dusted with a savory spice mix and served alongside a creamy herb dip. For mains, we doubled down on poultry and ordered a comforting bowl of tender chicken bathed in a schmalz vinaigrette as well as white shoyu (soy sauce) and fermented chile. We also loved the hearty rigatoni in creamy vodka sauce topped with crunchy chile bread crumbs.
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Eclectic Texas-y dishes in the Carpenter Hotel.