new Italian in old Mars
I moved to Austin a year ago from NYC and have been lurking on this board. Thanks for all the great info -- you all have been helpful more than you can know.
Just an FYI -- an Italian restaurant called Sangra is now open in the old Mars space at 17th and San Antonio. Anyone know anything about it?
Sagra review - Went last night. The calamari was excellent - crisp and tender. Lots of tentacles (which I like). Skip the sauces and just add lemon and salt. The beet salad was a B to B+. The pizza was horribly dissapointing. The sauce tasted like it was not for the pizza but a cooked-down onion, garlic pasta sauce base. Not fresh tasting, but long simmered tasting. Too acidic and too roasted in flavor. It completely overpowered the topping that were supposed to be on there (what truffle oil). It made me wonder if they ran out of their pizza sauce and used whatever else they could find (pasta sauce). Might try again just out of curriosity. Would be interested to here other expriences with the pizza.
Oh, and by the way, our server very professional. Noticably excellent. I usually don't write on service (it' about the food...), but again, noticably better than most.
We went last night and it was a mix of a great date place, family dining, and a bar to enjoy a good glass of wine after work (I used to do that when it was Mars so maybe I'm biased). We went early (about 6) and chose to sit outside. We were the first, and when we left, only three other tables had been seated near us (with more inside,and a couple of couples in the bar).
I had a three-lettuce salad (made with greens from Boggy Creek) that was fantastic and generous fresh steamed mussels in white wine (red was an option). My dining partner had the caesar salad (the anchovies appeared as little roses) and a pasta dish with italian sausage that wasn't too soggy in sauce. We both liked the sausage - it leaned less toward spicy than complex in flavor.
We adored our waiter - he made up for the slight goof-ups that still seem to be working their way out. The dessert we ordered was not available (we were comped a ricotta stuffed poached pear in tea reduction that my dining companion adored, and the flavors were good, but too sweet for me - and I hate pooled sauces), the cappucchino machine wasn't running so we got french press (which was fine and was a nicer way to end the meal), and the bread was cold - which on a cool night was a big oversight IMHO. However, we were greeted and visited by the owner, and are looking forward to trying the pizza next time.
Total bill for two (less tip) for a bottle of wine, two salads, an appetizer-as-entree and pasta entree, two coffees and a comped dessert - $72. We tend to go middle-of-the-menu when first trying out places, so our future ventures will probably be half that.
I'm glad to see a trend toward casual Italian cafe's and wine bars opening in the area - we've been having fun trying them out.
No, I tried to go tonight, but it was closed. The menu appears to be a mix of pizza, sandwiches, and moderately priced ($8-11) pasta dishes, along with a smattering of more expensive items such as osso buco, a bisteca dish, a fish dish, etc.
Too bad they were closed. That's not a good sign. There was no mention of the hours of operation. The interior looked nice and inviting - tablecloths and candles, etc.