Opening today: Smashburger, the first Austin location of the Colorado-based fast-casual burger chain at 9900 S. Interstate 35, in the Southpark Meadows development. The company has plans to add two additional restaurants in the area. 368-3225, smashburger.com
Open: Soto, a "contemporary Japanese restaurant" and sushi bar at 11066 Pecan Park Blvd. in Cedar Park. Chef Andy Chen is at the helm in the kitchen. 257-0788, sotoaustin.com
Open: El Ceviche Grill, a restaurant at 115 San Jacinto Blvd. serving a variety of ceviches, raw oysters and Mexican favorites including homemade mole, fish tacos and enchiladas. 494-5649, elcevichegrill.com
Reopen: Cartwright’s Smokehouse, a barbecue restaurant at 1375 U.S. 71 West near Bastrop from longtime restaurateur Steve Cartwright. 241-9694, cartwrightssmokehouse.com
Chef changes: Jacob Weaver, formerly of Haddington’s and Mulberry, has taken the chef position at Asti Trattoria, and Peter Maffei was recently promoted to executive chef at Finn & Porter in the Hilton Austin.
Closed and coming soon: Haddingtons, the gastropub at 601 W. Sixth St. has closed. The ELM restaurant group, which owns Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden and 24 Diner, announced that the space will become the home of Arro, a French restaurant that they had been planning to open on Burnet Road this year. Arro, with chef Andrew Curren at the helm, will open in late spring or early summer. twitter.com/ArroATX
UPCOMING FOOD & WINE EVENTS
Farmhouse Delivery is hosting a Fais Do-Do gumbo cook-off from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Rain Lily Farm, 914 Shady Lane. Live music from the Gulf Coast Playboys. Tickets ($15, including samples of the gumbo) are available at farmhousedelivery.com/order.html. A portion of the proceeds will go to Urban Roots.
The next six weeks are jam-packed with food events, so start making your schedule now. Foodways Texas Symposium ($280 for non-members, foodwaystexas.com) takes place April 4-6, the same weekend as the Texas Veg Fest (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Fiesta Gardens, $5 suggested donation at the door, texasvegfest.com) and the newly announced Children’s Picnic and Good Food Fair, a free event from 1 to 5 p.m. at the French Legation, 802 San Marcos St., on April 7 from Edible Austin, SANDE Youth Project and Children’s Environmental Health Institute.
The Children’s Picnic is a Let’s Move event that will feature farmers market vendors, workshops, games, gardening and cooking demonstrations and live music, and for more details, you can go to edibleaustin.com/picnic.
Tickets are now on sale for the East Austin Urban Farm Tour (1 to 4 p.m. April 14, $45 benefiting Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, eastaustinurbanfarmtour2013.eventbrite.com) and Farm to Plate (6:30 to 9:30 p.m. May 9, $125 benefiting the Sustainable Food Center, sustainablefoodcenter.org). Each of the four farms on the East Austin Urban Farm Tour will have about half a dozen restaurants, brewers and local food companies sampling food and drink, and of the 25 local chefs participating in Farm to Plate, the featured chefs are Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due, Sonya Cote of Hillside Farmacy and The Homegrown Revival and Andrew Wiseheart of Contigo.
The Austin Food & Wine Alliance’sLive Fire at the Salt Lick Pavilion on April 25 will kick off the Austin Food & Wine Festival at Auditorium Shores and Republic Square Park.