Sonya Cote brings her farm-to-table cooking (and her farm) to Bastrop
Moving can be a real pain, right? All the boxes, hiring movers, those damn packing peanuts. Try moving a farm.
Sonya Cote and David Barrow did just that in 2020, when they loaded up a fleet of 18-wheelers (18 of them, in fact) with nutrient-dense topsoil from their Eden East farm on Springdale Road in East Austin and hauled it to their newly acquired land off Main Street in Bastrop.
Sound crazy? Well, you can’t have a farm-to-table restaurant without a farm. The wife-and-husband team opened Store House Market & Eatery about a mile down the street in January.
The couple had been considering the town for several years, looking for cheaper land and more opportunity than Austin afforded.
“Bastrop just spoke to us because of the community that’s growing here,” Barrow said.
Rhode Island native Cote, who is executive chef-partner at Hillside Farmacy and ran Eden East restaurant at the couple’s East Austin farm, continues her farm-to-table practices with the land that produces radishes, turnips, brassicas, okra, tomatoes, eggplant and more.
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Cote gives a bounty of seasonal vegetables the barbecue treatment for a dish as redolent with smoke as a Central Texas brisket and serves it atop an equally fragrant tomato romesco sauce at the couple’s restaurant that’s housed in a structure that dates back to 1836.
Her creativity with vegetables extends to a butternut squash queso appetizer that puts any nut-based vegan quesos to shame. And you can taste summer in a sweet corn risotto dish showered in sprouts.
Cote says that she’s prepared to evolve the menu, which features rotating specials based on the farm, but I can’t imagine she’ll ever receive pushback on fried Lockhart quail knots and a hulking ribeye rounded by a mound of blue cheese grits.
Pair the latter with a perfectly executed Old Fashioned from standout barman Brian Floyd, formerly of upmarket Austin cocktail haunts Weather Up and Half Step.
Seems Cote and Barrow weren’t the only Austin talents drawn by Bastrop’s allure. I bet Floyd had an easier packing job.
If you go
Store House Market & Eatery
Address: 813 Main St. in Bastrop
Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday