Tucked away on Hearn Street just off of Lake Austin Boulevard, this European bistro seems to be a neighborhood secret. However, its classically european menu, chic yet casual decor, and reasonable prices, it is a wonder how its kept such a low profile all these years.
Justin, a friend and I had dinner at this little European bistro off Lake Austin Boulevard last week. The cuisine is “classic European” with a “young and modern twist”. The menu includes risotto, bratwurst, schnitzel, spatzle, duck confit, and a delicious apple strudel and simple and timeless lemon tart.
Justin tried the Steak + Frites while I chose the Rainbow Trout. We started out with baby arugula salads that come with shaved Parmesan and tomatoes that are slow roasted overnight. A tomato fan, I thought the tomatoes were delicious and a welcome touch to what could be seen as a simple salad. Our friend tried the pork belly salad which was also a welcome change to a popular classic salad. This is the magic of Fabi + Rosi, as it seeks to create simple (though intricate) dishes from local and sustainable all-natural and organic ingredients. Most of the meat comes from Bastrop, the eggs from all-grain fed chickens the restaurant raises, and the vegetables and herbs come from a garden planted behind the restaurant.
The trout was okay. As is customary with the cuisine, the dish was too rich in butter. The trout was accompanied with sautéed spinach and a potato nest (shoestring potatoes). Justin found nothing special in the steak and said the fries took a while to “grow on him”. While they’re made with truffle oil they needed more salt to break through the richness. His meal came with a stuffed tomato that I quite enjoyed, since Justin is not as big a fan as I am. Another thing that seemed to be lacking was the service, as we waited quite a long time (almost 30 minutes) for our server.
The décor is playful and whimsical, almost as though inspired by Alice and Wonderland. Splashes of white make a visual impact among all the black drapery and wallpaper, providing an intimate setting. I loved the use of wood and chrome, providing a very rustic and industrial setting that is German and very sexy.
I know I’ll be back at Fabi + Rosi. It’s Austin meets Europe. I regret not trying the chocolate mousse, as it looked delicious when it passed by our table.
As someone who has a birthday coming up and is looking for places to have a small dinner party, this restaurant has definitely made the cut.