The spring round of Austin Restaurant Week is upon us.
Starting Sunday through Wednesday and again April 1-4, you can dine at about 50 Austin-area restaurants that are serving special prix-fixe dinners for Austin Restaurant Week, which is in its fourth year.
The goal of Austin Restaurant Week is two-fold, says Adrienne Oujezdsky, director of operations. A dollar from each meal goes to Meals on Wheels and More, but it's also a nice publicity push for restaurants during what is typically a slow time of the week. "We want this to be a business-building activity for restaurants," Oujezdsky says. "They are businesses, not just restaurants." By bringing in people, maybe even first-time visitors, during the first half of the week, the hope is that it will boost overall revenues throughout the year.
In addition to Austin Restaurant Week regulars such as Bartlett's, Trace and Uchi, new restaurants including Austin Cake Ball Kitchen & Bar, Gusto Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, Trento, Sobani, Olive & June and Papi Tino's have signed up to participate.
Although some restaurants are offering lunch, brunch and dinner prix-fixe options, the majority are offering only dinner, Oujezdsky says. Each meal is one of two set costs; a two-course lunch is either $11 or $16; two-course brunch, which includes a beverage, is either $16 or $21; three-course dinner costs either $26 or $36.
The late summer/early fall installment of Austin Restaurant Week hasn't been set yet, but Oujezdsky says it will probably be in August or September. Also in the works is the first Austin Food Trailer Week, which will likely take place in late May. You can find menus from participating restaurants, as well as download the iPhone and Android apps, which allow you to check in and post photos from the restaurants, at restaurantweekaustin.com .
Contact Addie Broyles at 912-2504 or on Twitter, @broylesa.
A360blast: openings, closings and coming soon
* Open: Urban Wine + Liquor, a wine, beer and liquor store in the first floor of the Austonian that is the latest venture from Austinite Buckley Wineholt, formerly of Wines.com and Central Market Westgate. The store at 200 Congress Ave. features delivery to some condos and areas downtown and a number of locally made food products.
* Open: Cover 2, a restaurant at 13701 Research Blvd. from the owners of Cover 3. Like the restaurant on Anderson Lane, Cover 2 offers higher-quality cuisine than you'd find in most sports bars plus plenty of TVs, beers and cocktails to get you through the game. 506-9935, cover-2.com .
* Opening Sunday: Cenote, a coffee shop at 1010 E. Cesar Chavez St. from Austinites Cody Symington and Mary Jenkins. In addition to coffee-based drinks using beans from local roasters Cuvee and Third Coast, Cenote will also sell Rockstar Bagels, sandwiches, salads and other goods from local food companies. The building, which was taken over briefly during South by Southwest to become the Spotify house, was built in 1887 and, according to Cenote owners, appears on Austin's very first hand-drawn map just a few years later. Last year, they received the Heritage Society of Austin's "Merit Award for Adaptive Use." 524-1311, cenoteaustin.com .
* Open: Randalls, 5145 N. FM 629 in Steiner Ranch, is the newest Central Texas outlet of the grocery store chain. The store opened Wednesday and is the 14th store in the Austin area.
* Open: Bruegger's Bakery-Café, 3267 Bee Cave Road, a locally owned outlet of the national bakery chain known for its New York-style bagels. This is the first of several Bruegger's locations that owners Karlene and Roger Cusick, who recently moved to Austin from New York, hope to open in the area. 394-7174, brueggers.com .
* Open: Tamale House East, 1707 E. Sixth St., the newest restaurant from the family that runs several other Tamale House restaurants in the area. 495-9504. Search "Tamale House East" on Facebook.
* Open: Bar Louie, the first Austin location of the national restaurant and bar chain at 123 W. Sixth St.
* Closing April 7: Lux Bakery & Café, the bakery at 3601 West William Cannon Drive, will close next month. facebook.com/LuxBakeryCafe .