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Birdie's pop-up in Austin is specifically a red-sauce joint, not just any 'Italian restaurant'

Matthew Odam
Austin 360

I’ve already sung Birdie’s praises to you. Told you about chef Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel’s pasta, which is a perfect blend of bite and chew, her sauces seemingly simple but robust. When someone asks me what to order at the restaurant that opened last summer in East Austin, I always list a couple of items and “every pasta dish.”

While the restaurant is obviously deeply inspired by Italian cuisine, it couldn’t be labeled as an “Italian restaurant,” per se. That changes this week. The East 12th Street restaurant is doing its own internal pop-up called Aiello’s. No, not based on actor Danny Aiello, who played Sal in “Do the Right Thing.”

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Birdie's owners Arjav Ezekiel and Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel on Tuesday, August 31, 2021.

Here is what Malechek-Ezekiel wrote about the inspiration of the Italian-American restaurant:

"My grandfather, Phil Aiello, came to Brooklyn from Calabria when he was 12, with a quarter in his pocket. He was a diligent student, the only soldier in his Army platoon to come back alive in WW2, played baseball in college, moved to Houston, started his own successful construction company, had 5 kids and gardened as a hobby. Grandpa passed away a few years ago at 95, having lived a full and prosperous life. Birdie’s will be an Italian-American red sauce joint next week-this will be dedicated to him.”

The restaurant will serve an Italian-American menu fea fried mozzarella with marinara, Caesar all’Aiello, Nonna’s meatballs, rigatoni alla vodka, shrimp scampi, chicken Marsala, tiramisu and more. 

Matthew Odam recommends ordering "every pasta dish," such as this rigatoni amatriciana, at Birdie's.

The restaurant does not take reservations (or phone calls) and will be serving the menu during normal business hours (4:30 to 9:30 p.m.) Tuesday-Saturday.

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