stumbling upon this place was a random happy accident, but i’m glad we landed here. austin’s east side is on my list of places to venture into more because there are so many undiscovered neighborhood gems. bridget dunlap, aka the mastermind behind the wildly popular rainey street staples such as lustre pearl and clive bar, is also the brains behind mettle, bringing chef andrew francisco from olivia on board.
just one of many businesses finding their home in a gigantic warehouse, the restaurant is essentially split down the middle in terms of decor. the bar side is far more industrial while the other half has more of a lounge appeal. the space as a whole seems to be lacking in cohesiveness in my opinion, but where they lose me in decor, they win my heart with their music (think sam cooke radio) and their service – frank our waiter, made me feel like we were old friends. all that said, mettle is still in its infancy, having only been open for about 3 months, and they’ve definitely got some good things going for them.
for starters, their herbs 75 cocktail was fantastic. it’s a slight twist on the classic that starts with an herb infused gin that’s not too overbearing, with just the right hints of rosemary and bay leaf. coupled with grapefruit and cava, this drink goes down easy without being too sweet, and each sip is a delight.
we kicked off the meal with the escargot. seeing as though this was both mama and i’s first escargot experience, and really the only knowledge we had going in was what julia roberts taught us in pretty woman, we were thrilled when these little guys arrived ready to devour in a chipotle-kaffir lime butter. no tongs required.
we sampled a variety of things from there, starting with the walnut caesar salad, and moving to the fish & chips. both were topped with crispy fried parsley which i’ll be trying at home very soon because i couldn’t get enough of it. we finished off the meal with a creme de violette ice cream topped with english toffee, it was a nice palate cleansing finish to a very tasty meal. honestly it’s a bit more than i would pay for lunch, but i’ll be back to try their dinner menu, and more importantly a few more of those signature cocktails.
it’s cold here! our weekend plans involve a fireplace, a hot toddy or two, putting up christmas, and lots of projects in the workshop. hope everyone is feeling festive because i’ve got some swell gift guides coming next week. happy friday!