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East Austin's Birdie's makes it on New York Times restaurant list

(Birdie's/Instagram)

From new in town to making it onto the New York Times' restaurant list, East Austin restaurant Birdie's is what restaurant food critics are "most excited about right now."


The unranked list, compiled by the Times' food section, showcases 50 top restaurants that are exciting editors, food critics and reporters across the nation. Birdie's, 2944 E. 12th St., was the only Austin restaurant to make the inaugural list this year.

The restaurant and wine bar opened its doors in East Austin this past summer, offering simple American food with French and Italian influences—beef tartare, Spanish mackerel, Cavatelli, to name a few items—from chef Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel and beverage expert Arjav Ezekiel. The two owners are Texas natives from Houston who moved to Austin a couple of years ago after living in New York City.

The order-at-the-counter establishment opened at a former taqueria that has a spacious back patio perfect for this time of year. You're likely to be on a waitlist if you visit since it does not book reservations—even more so after making the NYT list.

"The reality is that relaxing on Birdie's back patio with the chef Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel's bright, graceful food — golden-crusted panisse, steak tartare folded with shiitakes and pecans, roasted local eggplant and peppers with stewed field peas — is to be on the leading edge of what makes eating great in this booming town," New York Times food writer Brett Anderson said.

Texas came in second for the most restaurants on the list, featuring Houston's Blood Bros. BBQ, San Antonio's Fish Lonja, Dallas' Roots Southern Table and Brownsville's Sylvia's Taqueria.

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1923 Lake Austin mansion demolition request pitting preservationists and some neighbors against owner and city preservation office
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By Jonathan Lee

The Planning Commission was split Tuesday on whether to help save an eclectic lakefront estate from demolition by zoning it historic amid concerns over tax breaks and the likelihood that a previous owner participated in segregation as a business owner.

The property in question, known as the Delisle House, is located at 2002 Scenic Drive in Tarrytown. The main house, with Spanish and Modern influences, was built in 1923 by Raymond Delisle, an optician. A Gothic Revival accessory apartment was built in 1946. The current owner applied to demolish the structures in order to build a new home.'

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Freaky Floats and other Austin food & drink news
Austin Motel

What's new in Austin food & drink this week:

  • Nau's Enfield Drug closing after losing their lease. Did McGuire Moorman Lambert buy the building, with its vintage soda fountain?
  • Nixta Taqueria Chef Edgar Rico named to Time Magazine's Time 100 Next influencer list, after winning a James Beard Award earlier this year.
  • Question: From what BBQ joint did pescatarian Harry Styles order food this week?
  • Austin Motel is opening the pool and pool bar Wednesday nights in October for Freaky Floats.
  • Vincent's on the Lake closing due to "economic conditions and low water levels [at Lake Travis]."
  • Cenote has closed its Windsor Park location. The East Cesar Chavez location remains open.
  • The Steeping Room on N. Lamar has closed.
  • Local startup It's Skinnyscored new financing for its gluten-free pasta business.
  • P. Terry's opened a new location in Kyle, at 18940 IH-35.