Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Austin Restaurant Week: Green Pastures

Last night, I finally got out to try a new restaurant during Austin Restaurant Week. I went to Green Pastures, which I live really close to, but had never visited.

The property is gorgeous, with a huge lawn and lots of oak trees. Peacocks, including a few starkly white albinos roam freely on the lawn.

Mama and baby peacock

The large house itself is beautiful. I love old houses, and this one has a lot of charm. After arriving, the man and I were led to our table, through the large space where Sunday brunch is set up, to a sunroom overlooking the oaks.

The walk up to the entrance

The menu had a meat, seafood and vegetarian option for the appetizers and entrees. That's thoughtful, and much appreciated. And at $25, the meal was a good value.

Austin Restaurant Week Menu

My appetizer was amazing. Brie: A Soup, A Sandwich, A Midnight Snack was a trio of a toasted brie sandwich with caramelized onions and balsamic reduction, a rich and super-mushroomy brie and mushroom soup, and a small waffle with brie, banana and fresh whipped cream. If they had this on the everyday menu as an entree, I would be there all the time. I loved every bite.

The sandwich was sweet and savory, crunchy and creamy. The soup was one of the best mushroom soups I've tasted, and the waffle was a nice treat. The banana and brie were really good together.

Brie appetizer: A little larger, and it would be a fantastic entree.

For an appetizer, it was a little large, and I could barely make a dent in my entree, garbanzo dumplings with exotic mushrooms. I didn't mind, though. Though a great idea, the dumplings were kind of heavy and had a little bit of a gritty texture. The mushrooms were wonderful, and the sun-dried tomatoes cut through the richness of the cream and chevre sauce wonderfully.

Dessert was bread pudding. It was delicious, but I was kidding myself if I thought I could eat it. I did manage to put away almost half of it, against my better judgment.

Overall, it was a great experience. I look forward to returning to Green Pastures (though I'll be calling to make sure the mushroom soup is on the menu - it's one of their rotating soup specials), and may try their Sunday brunch the next time I have family in town. It's close enough that we can roll each other home, if need be.

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