You could understand an eleven-year-old neighborhood restaurant deciding to rest on its laurels. But since 2020, contemporary, casual Épicerie has been defying expectations as ever-enthusiastic executive chef–owner Sarah McIntosh imaginatively upgrades the menu and keeps expanding the lineup of baked goods (expect to find arguably the best croissants in the city here—crackly-flaky wonders). If you drop in for a meal, you might start with a marguerite (a novel elderflower-tinged margarita), which will put you in the right mood for McIntosh’s terrific pâté (a blend of chicken and goose livers, with plump mustard seeds on top and thick slices of toast to spread it on). A creamy smoked-snapper dip with watermelon rind pickles is also fun to share. On the other hand, you won’t want to share the silky corn gazpacho with basil oil drizzle. Then it’s on to main courses like the excellent, almost delicate chicken schnitzel (think chicken-fried steak for non-beefeaters). To accompany it, get the batter-free, made-in-house fried okra, which will completely reset your expectations for this old Texas warhorse. Should you show up in the mood for a lateish breakfast, you’ll find airy powdered sugar–dredged beignets, fried to order, and, while they last, croissants filled with just a smidge of Franklin brisket, cream cheese, and jalapeño jelly. (FYI, the restaurant takes no reservations, just walk-ins.)
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A contemporary neighborhood destination for creative fare and fantastic baked goods.