Contigo owners Andrew Wiseheart and Ben Edgerton surprised some when they served a light, refreshing vegetarian dish at Austin Food & Wine Festival's Taste of Texas event. Their puffed rice chip topped with fresh shaved fennel, pine nuts, and a complex, Thai-inspired vinaigrette of coconut water, ginger, fish sauce, kaffir lime juice and mint played against the normal expectations for a restaurant known for their skill with items like beef tongue.
It tasted great, and was a taste of the future. Their new restaurant will be vegetable-forward (not vegetarian, though) and serve as the culinary opposite of their East Ausitn restaurant. After teasing food festival attendees with vegetarian dishes and hints abut their new restaurant, the owners revealed at Austin Food & Wine Festival that their new restaurant will be called Gardner. It was a great venue to make the long-awaited reveal, and it marked the festival as a great marketing avenue for restaurateurs.
Gardner will be located ay 1914 E. 6th St. Edgerton says they hope to open this year.
The two owners worked the fire pit demo area at Saturday's festival, serving roasted potatoes and broccoli and an exceptional butternut squash topped with a smoked shitake with a little bit of beef fat. Old habits die hard.