Food Matters: Odd Duck chef set to open restaurant; last minute food gifts
Barley Swine a beer, pork love affair
Bryce Gilmore has set Dec. 29 as the day he'll open Barley Swine, the brick-and-mortar realization of the mission he started with his Odd Duck Farm to Trailer a year ago: small plates using what he harvests from local farmers and ranchers. "We have the freedom to change the menu daily if we want to," Gilmore said. "We're in the process of making pancetta right now. We're going to do a duck sausage. We'll make our own ice cream, we'll make our own pasta. Everything we can possibly do in that little kitchen, we're going to do."
He'll be joined in the 35-seat restaurant's kitchen by Sam Hellman-Mass and John West, both of whom Gilmore has worked with at other venues.
The Barley Swine space at 2024 S. Lamar Blvd. lies near the Horseshoe Lounge and used to house the Pie Slice Bakery. It will be open 5 p.m. to midnight Mondays-Saturdays, and Gilmore's already planning an $80 nine-course dinner party for New Year's Eve (917-8425 for reservations, www.barleyswine.com). The opening menu is weighted toward eclectic pork dishes, the "Swine" part - coffee-braised pork cheek and doughnuts, crispy pig tails, stuffed pig's foot - but includes ricotta dumplings, Wagyu beef, scallops and more from $5 to $18.
The "Barley" will come from eight beer taps and more in bottles, the lineup moving from local Independence Stash IPA and Real Ale Coffee Porter to Brooklyn Local 1 and 2, and yes, the malt-and-hops super-ales called barley wine, including the appropriately named Hog Heaven. He'll sell wine made from grapes, too.
Changes might be coming for the Odd Duck trailer at 1219 S. Lamar Blvd., too. Possibly shorter hours or weekends only, Gilmore said. Check www.oddduckfarmtotrailer.com for updates.
- Mike Sutter
Quick gifts for your food lovers
Looking for a last-minute gift for a co-worker or family member? Here are a few ideas:
• Many local farms, including Scott Arbor, Green Gate and Johnson's Backyard Garden, are offering gift subscriptions for their community-supported agriculture programs, which include weekly baskets of fresh produce that customers pick up at a centralized location. Farmhouse Delivery offers gift certificates for a CSA program that includes home delivery. You can sign up for all these CSAs, which run between $20 and $40 a week, on the farm or business' website.
• TV chef Lidia Bastianich has published a sweet kids' book called "Nonna Tell Me a Story" (Running Press Kids, $15.95) in which a Nonna (grandma) named Lidia tells her five grandkids about what Christmas was like in Italy when she was a girl. The book concludes with recipes that would be fun for an eager young cook to try out over holiday break.
• History buffs will enjoy David DeWitt's "The Founding Foodies" (Sourcebooks, $16.99), which explores how Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin influenced what we know now as American cuisine. For insight and recipes that go even deeper into America's culinary past, check out "The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook" (Fulcrum, $22.95) by Richard Hetzler, who is the chef at the Mitsitam Cafe in the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.
• All in One Bakeshop is selling more than a dozen candymaking kits with everything you need to make Christmas treats such as toffee or peppermint bark ($9 or four for $32).
• Central Market, Whole Foods Market and Faraday's Cooking Store offer gift certificates for their cooking classes, the schedules for which are posted online.
• Kerbey Lane Cafe sells its famous pancakes 24 hours a day, but if you don't want to leave your house to enjoy them, grab a gingerbread, pumpkin, apple or buttermilk mix ($6.79) at local grocery stores.
Every year, Texas Oncology develops a recipe to promote healthy eating during the holidays. This year, the organization has created a Gingerbread Granola that is just spicy enough to balance out the sweetness.
21/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup raw slivered almonds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 tsp. flax seeds
3/4 tsp. ground ginger powder
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 Tbsp. molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup golden raisins
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together the agave nectar, brown sugar and molasses. Pour over dry mixture and stir until incorporated thoroughly.
Evenly spread the granola mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until dry, stirring occasionally, for about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool slightly before adding apricots and raisins. Once cooled completely, store in an airtight jar or sealed bag.
- Johanna Gordy Brown
Openings, closings and coming soon
• Open: The first Austin location of the Dallas-based hot dog and frozen custard franchise Wild About Harry's. At Northcross Mall, 2525 W. Anderson Lane, Building 3, Suite 120. 452-2364, www.wildaboutharrys.com .
• Open: Congress Avenue Grocery, a shop inside La Peña art gallery at 227 Congress Ave., selling tacos from Elsi's, pastries from La Victoria, paletas, coffee and soft drinks. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.
• On the way: A new location of Logan's Roadhouse - known for steak on the table and peanut shells on the floor - in Cedar Park at 1345 Whitestone Blvd. Scheduled to open in January. www.logansroadhouse.com .
• Closed: Shuck Shuck, the casual seafood restaurant at 1808 E. Cesar Chavez St. The voice message at 472-4242 says, "We have closed at this time, but hope to reopen soon."
• Because Christmas falls on Saturday this year, the Sustainable Food Center Farmers' Market downtown will be closed this week, but market director Suzanne Santos says that many vendors who usually only sell on Saturdays will be selling fresh produce, baked goods and other food products at the Wednesday market at the Triangle, which runs from 3 to 7 p.m. The Sunset Valley and Barton Creek farmers markets will also be closed on Christmas Day, as will the Cedar Park Farms to Market, but that market, which takes place at Lakeline Mall, will host a special market from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday. All the markets resume regular hours on New Year's Day.
• In the January issue of GQ magazine, Alan Richman puts Uchiko (4200 N. Lamar Blvd., No. 140. 916-4808, www.uchikoaustin.com ) at No. 7 among the "10 Best New Restaurants in America." He praises Uchi's 6-month-old little sister - the only Texas spot on the list - by saying, "Hard to imagine fish being this refreshing. The sushi toppings were distinctive and daring." No. 1 on the list is Lincoln, the Italian bistro at Lincoln Center in New York City.
- A.B., M.S.
A few more Christmas and New Year's destinations. See more at austin360.com/forklore. Note: Some restaurants require reservations. If a particular holiday isn't noted, it doesn't necessarily mean the place is closed for that holiday. Call ahead.
The Bakehouse Restaurant (5404 Manchaca Road. 443-5167, www.austinbakehouse.com )
• Christmas Eve: Regular menu. 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• New Year's Eve: Regular menu, plus prime rib and shrimp scampi special for $17.95. 7 a.m. to midnight.
• New Year's Day: Regular menu. 7 a.m. to midnight.
Braise (2121 E. Sixth St. 478-8700, www.braiseaustin.com )
• Christmas Eve: Regular menu. Open until 9 p.m.
• New Year's Eve and Day: Regular menu or fixed-price menu for $49.95. 6 to 11 p.m.
Chon Som Asian Cuisine & Sushi Bar (2013 Wells Branch Parkway, Suite 109. 989-5559, www.chonsom.com )
• Christmas Eve: Regular menu. 5 to 9 p.m.
• Christmas Day: Regular menu. Noon to 9 p.m.
• New Year's Eve: Five-course menu. 5 to 10 p.m.
• New Year's Day: Regular menu, plus free "hangover soup." 5 to 9 p.m.
Zoot (11715 Bee Cave Road. 477-6535, www.zootrestaurant.com)
• New Year's Eve and Day: Regular menu. Open at 5:30 p.m.