I often find that certain restaurants are well suited to a specific type of person. Well, indecisive and adventurous types – Barley Swine is for you!
On a mission to “find the best ingredients and not mess them up!”, the talented kitchen team at Barley Swine (headed up by Bryce Gilmore) take the weird and wonderful, and make it edible. No, that’s not accurate – they don’t just make it edible, they make it delicious and beautiful and a real multisensory experience!
There’s a constantly evolving fixed chef’s menu (they don’t put prices on the menu, but it was about $80 for 12 courses when I visited) based on local, seasonal ingredients that are cooked in modern and traditional ways. Each course is tiny – just a few bites – but is guaranteed to surprise and delight in some way – not least with the artistic plate presentation.
Our taste adventure started with crab porridge, beetroot trifle and pig skin noodles (yup, I was as confused as you)…
Moving onto pig face with smoked pork custard, Gulf Snapper and Wagyu short rib as the more ‘main’ of the dishes, coming to an end with sunchoke cereal with hay-infused milk, and Mesquite churros. The bill arrived with quince jellies and Turkish delight – just in case we weren’t quite satisfied!
$80 is pretty pricey for Austin, but there’s no denying the quality of the food and the overall experience at Barley Swine. It’s necessary to book a table, and I’d suggest you request a seat up at the kitchen bar so you can see the culinary magic taking place.
2024 S Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78704