Fabi and Rosi
Anyone heard of this place? It's in the old Zoot location and according to their website they are a "European Kitchen". The food looks pretty classic and the price points pretty reasonable. I might check it out this week and report back.
Since there is no "bio" information on the website, I called to get some background on the chefs. The young lady who answered the phone told me these guy are from Europe, Murber from Germany and Walter from France. She did not know anything about formal training or any other training other than the fact that they got there training in Europe. When asked where they had worked previously she said that she did not see the relevance of that question since this restaurant was a totally different concept from their previious experience. Makes me wonder since most chefs like to have their bios publised as a form of advertisement and endorsement. I will probably try the place anyway. Could be the surprise of the year.
Their menu sounds good. How nice that they have the vegetarian shepherd's pie. I look forward to trying this place out.
We went last night. It seemed nice enough, but I'm not sure it will become a dining destination for us. The service was very friendly and sweet to our daughters, but the food itself took an awfully long time to come out. Once it did, we were happy, but not wowed.
They brought out bread with a garlic aioli that was really tart and tasty and I wouldn't mind having that recipe. The amuse - which only came to the grownups and not to the kids - was a salmon mousse that was nice. The cherry tomato that came with it impressed me more though, since it was obviously grown with love and not a mass-market bland orb. My husband and daughters said the escargot were very nice (I don't partake after too many bad experiences - I _always_ seem to find the bad snail). The charcuterie plate was similarly nice, the standout being the chicken liver pate, which I had to pry my daughter away from.
The kids split the shrimp scampi linguini and weren't really impressed. They liked the shrimp, but something about the sauce turned them off. I had the schnitzel and spatzel, and I enjoyed the precursor to chicken fried steak. My husband's leg of lamb was cooked rare to his request and was nice.
The drink situation is a little weird. No diet soda. No in-house brewed iced tea, only Sweet Leaf in a bottle. They're definitely geared towards beer and wine drinkers. But the water (which they leave a jug of on the table) had no ice in it and the beer wasn't exactly frosty, and after a while we were all feeling a little sticky on the converted porch. I could have used one of Austin's famously over-iced iced teas.
Anyway, it's probably worth a try. It wasn't terrible. It was actually pretty good. But it wasn't excellent, and it was quirky enough to make it (at least for our family) a no-go. Maybe you'll feel different.
re: Carter B.
The service itself was very attentive, perhaps more so because we were the only table with kids and they were flirting with them ;). There was either a waitress or a hostess checking on us every five minutes. So yes, maybe jittery, but that was on the safe side. But the kitchen seemed backed up - we were there for two hours and had only an appetizer and main course. No wine, no dessert, no after dinner coffee. So perhaps that's where the majority of the jitters were, in the back.
We made it here last night and came away quite pleased. It wasn't perfect but overall a very satisfactory meal.
Three entrees were tried which somehow ended up being all "heavy" meats. The leg of lamb (is it ever called lamb leg?) was probably the best of the lot. It was not all at lamby and for the most parts wasn't too fatty with a nice rich flavor. It came a two small bundles of thin aspargus and bacon and something else. The steak and frites were also tasty. The frites were darn near perfect in crispiness and seasoning and highly recommended. I only had a small bite of steak which was cooked to the medium that was ordered and looked decent. The pork schnitzel with spatzle was also good. The spatzle had mushrooms and tasted more like a risotto to me and my small bite of the schnitzel said it was pretty crispy without being overdone. For starters, we shared the grilled veggie/goat cheese terrine which seemed heavy on the goat cheese. For dessert, we split the lemon tart (lemony enough but the crust was awfully tough) and fresh grilled peaches with black pepper ice cream--quite lovely.
All in all a meal that totally exceeded our expectations. Service was friendly but not overbearing, one of the owners is the hostess and keeps a diligent eye on the dining room. Hard to compare this place to something in Austin, but if the menu seems to be a better executed Oliva's. Maybe Fabi and Rossi is like a less focused, less cluttered Chez Nous.
My husband and I went to check out Fabi and Rosi last night. We didn't have reservations (not used to making them in Austin) and the place was full by 7, so we ate in the little waiting room with a couch and a few chairs instead of the main dining area. The ambiance is modern and cozy and we received excellent service. Because we had a small table, we ordered appetizers to share as opposed to entrees. However, we will definitely be back to enjoy some of the fabulous entree offerings.
I started with the soup of the day, a chilled cucumber-dill soup with a yogurt base. It was delicious and unexpectedly hearty because the chef left the texture of the cucumber in it instead of straining it. My husband started with the wild arugula salad, pretty standard salad but I have to say that wild arugula was the best I've ever tasted. Right off the bat, we appreciated the chef's use of fresh high-quality ingredients.
Next, we ordered the mussels in a white wine broth. The broth was simple and showcased the delicious fresh mussels perfectly. We wanted to order the terrine too but were already pretty full and I was dying for a cheese plate, so that's what we had next. Simple and well thought out, it consisted of three cheeses: a hard cheese, blue cheese, and soft goat cheese with herbs. To complement the cheese were walnuts and a peach chutney that was to die for. Everything paired so well with everything else and I really appreciated the simplicity of it.
Lastly, I have to rave about the wine list. Wines are well chosen and - gasp - moderately priced. Excellent bottles available at a european restaurant in the $20-30 ball park? Believe it.
When the check arrived, were both floored to see that we had such good food, a bottle of bordeaux, and two glasses of bubbly for $86.
In summary, Fabi and Rosi offers straightforward, delicious dishes using excellent ingredients at a very good price point. We'll be back and we hope you go too - be sure to call for reservations!
We decided to try this lovely little gem because my friend Silas just started working here as chef alongside of Wolfgang. I was delighted with the experience.
First, the decor is a pleasing blend of 1920's sophistication, Victorian charm, and modern sleekness, featuring a black-and-ivory color scheme with mirrors, touches of sage green, and transparent glass accents. There are a few nooks for smaller groups, some of which can be closed off with curtains for privacy. Fun jazz/R&B playing in the background at just the right volume. Tiny succulents on each table are planted in pewter votive cups.
We made reservations for Saturday night and were seated promptly at 6:15. By 7 it was full, so I would definitely call ahead.
Our server was attentive and friendly, and he knew his menu items well. We had a jug of very cold water at our table so refills were handy. Before our appetizers, the waiter brought an amuse bouche of carrot-ginger mousse, which was "meh" for me but "yum" for my husband. I'm just not that into mousse which isn't chocolate, I guess.
My husband had the shrimp bisque and the escargot for appetizers, and the duck confit entree; I had the spinach salad with pork belly and blue cheese, followed by the steak and pommes frites, with a glass of French pinot noir.
The bisque was very flavorful with a lovely texture and scent. The escargot were great, according to my husband. My salad offered the classic flavors-- baby spinach, cider vinaigrette, walnuts *and* pecans, a hearty, tangy, creamy blue, fresh sliced pears with a smooth buttery texture, and the crispy-chewy pork belly (which had an unusual but fitting added flavor of cinnamon.) I would have liked more spinach and blue but that may just be me.
The duck is presented on a bed of crisp-tender green beans with Italian herbs and lightly roasted, halved grape tomatoes. It was tender, juicy, not greasy and overall, very nice. My steak was cooked to order and perfectly done. The cognac-green peppercorn sauce perfectly accented the mild, meaty taste of the tenderloin. The frites were just right-- crispy, with just enough salt and a lovely mealy taste inside. And the roasted tomato with garlic was a nice touch. I enjoyed my glass of wine as well. The wine list is small, but well-chosen and moderately priced.
Our meal ended up being $75 which isn't bad considering I felt pampered the whole way through *and* my tenderloin was big enough that I brought half of it and the frites home for another meal.
This is a great date night, rehearsal dinner, birthday dinner, etc. I can't wait to come back!