Wine-focused restaurant Birdie's opens in East Austin
The husband-and-wife team of Arjav Ezekiel and Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel, who moved to Austin after restaurant careers in New York City, opened their wine bar-restaurant Birdie’s at 2944 E. 12th St. last week.
The couple had initially planned to open a fine dining restaurant, but after falling in love with Austin’s more casual restaurant culture, decided to open a relaxed restaurant that presents more like a pumped-up wine bar.
“We wanted to open a place where we could drop in twice a week, a place where line cooks could go to, a place front-of-house people could go to, the kind of place a neighborhood could fall in love with,” Malechek-Ezekiel told the American-Statesman in the spring.
Malechek-Ezekiel is the executive chef at Birdie’s, preparing seasonal dishes inspired by France and Italy, with Ezekiel commandeering the front of house and curating a bottle-heavy list of largely natural labels that are meant to pair with Birdie’s food and the climate of Central Texas. The list, presented with approachable and helpful one-word descriptions, features more than five dozen bottles from the Old and New Worlds.
The opening menu from Malechek-Ezekiel, whose resume includes time as sous chef at the Grammercy Tavern in New York City as well as at United at the Whitney, where she met Ezekiel, includes fried squash blossoms with anchovies and mozzarella; beef tartare with shiitake and pecans; and Gulf pink shrimp in tomato-saffron broth.
Birdie’s is open 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. The small restaurant does not take reservations. Go to birdiesaustin.com for info.