|Photo by Rebecca Fondren|
Per the press release, the restaurant is “a space for Qui to have limitless creativity and drawing inspiration from worldwide travels.” The menu features seasonal plates like salmon butter (think salmon poached in aromatic oil until it’s the texture of butter), served with caviar; rabbit served 7 ways (French, Thai and Vietnamese preparations); and Côte du Bœuf for 2 or 3, “a 2-3 pound Texas Wagyu Ribeye served with fermented garlic paste available nightly in limited quantities.” For dessert, bite into a cheddar cheese ice cream sandwich (crispy waffles, honey and Cabot cheddar) as well as more sweet creations.
When we talked to Qui in March, he told us about the menu,
“I’m not limiting my seasonality to how local the product is. That philosophy spans across not just food but wines and spirits. And with cocktails we’re not just focusing on the seasonality of the ingredients or the mixer but more like when the spirits are allocated. Like there’s a gin season, different rums, different bourbons, that kind of stuff… The order is quality of ingredient, locality, seasonality and then down the line.”The building houses a 50-seat main dining room and a 10-seat tasting room. The Japanese graffiti artist who painted the East Side King trailers also painted the walls of qui, though in much more neutral shades to “enhance the abundance of light let in by the sliding glass wall panels and skylights, maintaining an airy and welcoming environment.” Per the press release:
“The interior contains a series of progressively warmer and more intimate spaces that unfold as one’s experience becomes more defined by the cuisine – from courtyard to bar, dining room to tasting room, and ultimately, an open full-view kitchen, where guests are invited to engage with the chefs.”Qui’s team also includes general manager and beverage director June Rodil; chef Tim Dornon; and bar manager Michael Simon, among many others.
Beyond the excitement of the menu and qui's first fine-dining restaurant, it's also a notable moment for East Austin: this is the first destination dining restaurant east of I-35.
Only one question: IS IT JUNE 20 YET???