Dining with ATX Cocina
We visited ATX Cocina (110 San Antonio Street Austin, TX) on an early Sunday evening and sat in their cozy bar area. My husband and I absolutely adore sitting next to one another while we dine versus the typical stiff arm's length across from one another. Since, we dined early bird style (or parents that have found free childcare style) we were able to take advantage of happy hour deals in addition to the full restaurant menu. My husband started with a funky mexcal cocktail called, Pequeno Lorenzo. Since I am pretty basic when it comes to drinks, I ordered the house margarita ('margarita de la casa') which was, to my delight, made skinny style.
Our server impressively was well versed in all menu items and able to provide in depth descriptions of each. Since we were without child for the evening, we took our time slowly eating our way through ATX Cocina's offerings. The restaurant, however, is large and airy with a beautiful patio. Children were dining inside and outside the restaurant, so while we were enjoying date night whimsy, ATX Cocina could easily be a family outing.
As I took my walkabout through the restaurant, I noticed whole red snappers and oysters laying on ice near the kitchen. The oysters that evening, were not featured on the menu, but our server noted these babies are brined in Mezcal and could be purchased for $3 each. The flavor was unique, but pleasantly balanced and the oysters were notably fresh.
We then decided to sample a few of ATX Cocina's happy hour comidas. The Papusas de Frijol are made with house ground blue masa and stuffed with cheese (think Mexican version of mozzarella stick) and the Tamal was filled with melt in your mouth pork and topped with house made pickled onions and salsas. The portions were generous and the flavors are unforgettable.
Our last dish of the evening was the featured pescado 'dos' of the evening. A whole grilled branzino with filets that are removed, grilled, topped with house made verde and rojo sauces. The rest of the fish is flash fried and perfectly crispy. The plate included fresh blue masa tortillas and a vinaigrette slaw. We found the flavors and textures wonderfully complimentary to one another and the dish itself was a playful way to dine.
Although, date nights with my hubby are always special, our evening with ATX Cocina felt extra romantic. We drank, dined, and laughed all while cozied up to one another!