Disclaimer: Meal was provided.
Man, I totally thought we were over the whole Italian invasion in Austin. I mean, I’m not complaining. I sure do love pasta with my whole heart, and I will fight anyone who says they don’t agree with that. But, it can sometimes be challenging to not get fatigued with all the great Italian eateries we have in town. I go to both Olive & June and L’Oca d’Oro pretty regularly, so a new pasta place has to be pretty special to sway me from those places. Nevertheless, when a pretty new face strolls into town, color me intrigued, which is how I ended up at a media prix-fixe dinner at the brand new La Volpe last month.
A pretty face La Volpe certainly is. Nestled next to Cedar Door, which the owners also run, La Volpe (literally “fox” in Italian) is pretty gorgeous. A brass fox head adorns the brick wall, greeting you inside. There, you’ll find swashes of blues and jewel tones and more sleek interiors. There’s apparently a lush courtyard out back with olive trees, but we were sat very close to the door, so I didn’t really make it past the beautiful bar.
We were treated to a set prix-fixe menu, but there were a TON of dishes I wanted to try off the dinner menu. Ever since the boyfriend and I went to Italy last summer, I’ve truly loved ordering a pasta course before chowing down on some meat, and sometimes in Texas people think you’re truly insane for doing so. Fair enough, the portions here are certainly a wee bit different.
For my first course, I chose a frisee salad with egg yolk, proscuitto, melon, Sardinian cheesse, and a lemon vinaigrette that was light with a great balance of salty and tangy. My dining companion chose fried calamari, which had a great flavor and texture, but the breading slid off a few too many times for our liking. So close!
As for the mains, we both wanted pasta! No brainer there. He went for the salt-grilled shrimp over linquini with charred tomato, meyer lemon, caper berry, and hollandaise. He was worried it might come out too heavy with the sauce, but it was just right. He’s not huge on capers or caper berries, so he picked those out (and I heartily ate them).
I’m a HUGE mushroom fan, so I forsook the enticing rack of lamb for a mushroom pappardelle, which came topped with micro greens and marscarpone. I wanted to lick my plate. The mushrooms and pasta were both the perfect textures, and the greens added a nice touch.
For dessert we split the sweet tea-ramisu (get it?!), which was basically a cross between a Southern sweet tea and the classic Italian dessert. It came topped with spiced peaches, white chocolate (including the cutest little fox head), and tea spices. It was divine! Seriously, I can’t recommend it enough.
We had a really great meal—our server was maaaaaaaybe a touch overzealous but he made up for it with some good wine recommendations and heavy pours. Also, if you like Aperol spritzes, theirs comes with rosemary to give it a little bit of pizzazz.
So, next time you’re downtown and in the mood for some fresh pasta, and are maybe feeling a wee bit foxy, pop into La Volpe.