Earlier this week, the team behind one of the best restaurants in the city, Emmer & Rye, announced the December opening of their latest spot. But it turns out, downtown restaurant Hestia isn’t the only new concept to come from the increasingly prolific executive chef Kevin Fink and partner-chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph.
Their first bar concept, Kalimotxo, opens adjacent to Hestia next week, more than 10 days before the live-fire restaurant starts offering an interactive experience between chefs and diners.
And it’s going to be completely different than anything they’ve offered before. Kalimotxo is a Basque-style tapas bar featuring a menu of snacks, small shared plates and cocktails. Perhaps most notably, you’ll be able to take sips of wine from unusually shaped porron pitchers — which get poured straight into your mouth from the air.
Heading up the bar program is bar manager Brett Esler, formerly a longtime bartender at East Austin haunt Whisler’s, and general manager Alicia Schmidt. She is in charge of the wine program at Fink’s other concepts, too.
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He and Bristol-Joseph decided to open the pintxos bar because of co-partner Rand Egbert, who lived in Spain for a time and fell in love with the cuisine and culture. (Pintxos, by the way, are the Basque Country’s version of tapas. There are subtle differences between those types of bites and pinchos.)
"Basque pintxos bars are a true celebration of wine, food, and people, and I am excited to share it with Austin," Egbert said in a news release.
When the vibrant Kalimotxo opens on Nov. 26 next week, food will come in the form of, among other offerings, Jamon Iberico, assorted seafood conservas and Basque burnt cheesecake.
The name of Kalimotxo is a nod to a popular Spanish drink made of equal parts red wine and Coke. In Spain, it might be even more beloved than sangria.
Hestia opens on Dec. 7. Both concepts are located in the Third + Shoal building at 607 W. Third St., Suite 105. Kalimotxo will be open 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, 12 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday and 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday.