If you’ve eaten the shrimp aguachile or one of the seafood tostadas at Suerte, you know the Mexican restaurant has a way with seafood. Now, the owner and chef from the award-winning East Austin restaurant are going to dedicate an entire restaurant to Mexican seafood.
Sam Hellman-Mass has announced that he and executive chef Fermín Núñez will transform the space that was long home to Eastside Cafe into Este, a Mexican-inspired seafood restaurant centered around a charcoal grill and sourcing sustainable fish and shellfish.
Hellman-Mass, who came to the city’s attention with his work at Barley Swine and Odduck, plans to open the restaurant later this year or early next year. The restaurateur purchased the land that for decades was home to Elaine Martin’s East Austin staple last January after Martin decided to retire.
"We spent time traveling through Mexico going to Guadalajara, Ensenada and Puerto Escondido exploring coastal Mexican cooking and seafood. We're thrilled to bring what we've learned from our travels to Austin and the east side in a totally new restaurant," Hellman-Mass said.
Hellman-Mass and Núñez opened Suerte in 2018, and the restaurant earned a 9.5 rating from the Statesman and earned spots in the Top 10 in the Austin360 Dining Guide in 2018 and 2019.
"Sam has the I-want-to-feed-people gene, which is essential if you’re going to be in the business. He’s got it for real. And he’s humble. Imagine what he’s done," Martin said of Hellman-Mass last year when she announced her retirement.
Suerte in the Austin360 Dining Guide: #8, 2019 | #3, 2018
Restaurant review: New East Austin Mexican restaurant Suerte proves you don’t need luck when you’re this good
List: Where to eat the best seafood in Austin
Elaine Martin of Eastside Cafe prepares to head west
Eastside Cafe sold to owner of Suerte