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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Austin
Food
Feel
Price
9.1
9.0
$60
Modern
Casual restaurant

Hours
Tue–Thu 5:00pm–9:30pm
Fri–Sat 5:00pm–10:00pm
Sun 11:00am–3:00pm

Features Date-friendly, good wines
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Accepted

Website

Hyde Park
306 E. 53rd St.
Austin, TX
(512) 459-1010
Foreign & Domestic
A laidback but thrilling meal in a beacon of bewinged bacon

Foreign & Domestic angles itself as a temple to the current culinary modes, which idolize the marriage between farm and laboratory; between pig and foam. Its blue cinderblock front boasts an enormous porker whose wings suggest the animal’s higher purpose (on the plate). The inside is equally folksy-lofty, with pine benches and tables festooned tastefully with throw pillows and votives—the effect is romantic, yet disarming. A stainless steel counter rimming the open grill makes a lively brunch counter (although brunch here is better thought of as lunch, with few options for the ovovore). The teeny wine list is an impressive workhorse, offering small-production, traditionally made wines that complement the food.

An ever-changing menu of nouvelle rustique dishes (think pig’s ear with venison heart tartare and white chocolate) is playful, but avoids the garish sexing-up of buzzword ingredients rampant elsewhere. Balance has improved considerably recently. We’ve enjoyed smoked fish with a thread of tartness from pickled onions and apple jelly; crispy beef tongue and earthy-sweet carrot rémoulade, with coconut-infused vinegar caramel (which sounds more complex than it tastes); and now-iconic pillowy parmesan gougères. Desserts are a fun mix of the familiar (butterscotch sauce) and surprising (pomegranate ice cream). This is—more and more—a generous and enjoyable meal for the price.

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