Gypsy Italian Bistro
I just got back from the new Italian restaurant on Dawson and Barton Springs. I had a ham, mozzarella and tomato panini, it was first class and reasonably priced for the quality. The tomato was sweet, fresh and tasty like it was right out of the garden. With iced tea and tip, lunch for one came to about $12. Not cheap, but not out of line, either.
The name of the place is Gypsy ( http://go2gypsy.com ). It's a Northern Italian place. The menu for dinner looks good, so that's on the to-do list for the next date night.
It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Tues-Sat. It also looks like a nice place to stop in for a relaxed coffee in the morning or a glass of wine in the evening. I urged the owner to start a Sunday brunch. He said that they were planning to do so, but he wanted to make sure the staff was comfortable with the current menu before springing a completely new one on them. Maybe these guys are on the ball and will be around for a while.
It's worth checking out. It a good addition to the neighborhood.
Went to Gypsy Thursday night. It was dreadful. Will not be back.
The bread is tasteless and too dense, like the baker didn't realize how to use a good starter. The olive oil they offered to dip it in did not improve it.
We had the calamari app, which took twenty minutes to get to our table. The waitress told us that the reason it took so long is because they were thawing it out. That's appetizing!
I had the veal saltimbocca. There was so much salt that it was almost inedible. The veal itself tasted OK. The penne and pesto that accompanied was the only part of the meal I enjoyed at all. The entree was served with a roasted roma tomato which was barely cooked and stuffed with bland store-bought bread crumbs.
My boyfriend had chilean salmon. It was cooked en papillote. The fish was OK and the artichokes were good, but the rice was barely cooked. It was very crunchy.
To make matters worse, the restroom had water everywhere on the floor and the dining room was very warm.
I had heard that the people behind it were from the culinary academy here in Austin, and I'm always looking for local Italian places, but it just completely disappointed.
My friend and I ate at Gypsy a few nights ago. The host and our waiter were quite awkward, as if they had never worked in a restaurant before and were intimidated by the patrons. We ordered bruschetta and wine for our first course, and when the bruschetta arrived the bread was so hard I couldn't even cut it with my knife, much less with my teeth. Our waiter never asked how it was and took our plates away along with the remaining untouched bruschetta. Luckily the owner was in that night and came by to check on us, and after hearing about the food he took it off the bill and gave us a new order. Unfortunately in the kitchen's haste to get it out quickly they neglected to toast the baguette.
On a positive note, the remodel on the building is beautiful and they have a pretty good winelist. What they need is some female energy - the entire staff was male that night. A cute female host would help the ambience tremendously, as would some cool "gypsy" music instead of the staid 20's era jazz.
When we left Gypsy we went over to Enoteca and had an effortlessly un-awkward and delicious meal. Gypsy has a long way to go.....