In 1912, George Kamburis set sail from Patmos, Greece. Once in America, he made his way to Montgomery, Alabama, and began peddling ice cream from a cart. He eventually saved enough money to buy a fruit stand and then a café—the Coffee Pot. Sadly, that eatery burned down, but with the help of his brother, George soon opened a new restaurant, the Normandy Café. Today, George’s grandchildren have recreated his vision, this time giving the restaurant a contemporary name and contemporary cuisine: Satellite Bistro & Bar.
Although the bistro’s menu pays homage to the Kamburis family's Greek roots with Mediterranean dishes such as steak gyros and flaming saganaki cheese, its chefs draw inspiration from around the globe. Entrees of oven-roasted chicken, seared diver scallops, and bone-in french-cut pork chops are glazed in sauces ranging from an orchid beurre blanc to a cognac cream sauce. Latin influences show in fish tacos and enchiladas, and Asian traditions yield thai stir-fry and jumbo shrimp paired with mango and wontons. During weekend brunches, innovative creations such as ice-cream-battered french toast and panko-breaded salmon croquettes grace the table.
These modernized dishes are surrounded by equally modern decor dreamt up by Michael Hsu. Photomurals featuring an astronaut and a cityscape surround diners who perch on azure seats amid cherry-red countertops and stone pillars. On summery days, guests lounge on stuffed couches on the patio and pretend the sun is more than just a giant light bulb screwed into the sky. When the weekend comes round, musicians tickle the ivories on a baby grand in the lounge, evoking Ray Charles and Harry Connick Jr. As they listen, audiences sip wines from California and Argentina or martinis and specialty cocktails.
Chef John Haug knows that Louisiana culture is more defined by its food than by all of the region's jazz, Mardi Gras beads, and Huey Long bumper stickers combined. He showcases the tasty fruits of Cajun living at Cypress Grill, spotlighting the classic New Orleans dishes such as étouffée and jambalaya that help the restaurant consistently place as one of Austin’s top 35 restaurants in the Austin Chronicle's readers' poll. On Thursdays, live Cajun or jazz swing music enlivens the funky neighborhood joint, which is more than likely already filled with the aromas of the fresh Gulf seafood that populates plates of barbecued shrimp and crispy oysters. Chef John also brings his down-home touch to weekend breakfasts, which combine Creole influences with locally-sourced organic eggs plucked from pasture-raised chickens. The restaurant also celebrates seasonality; during the spring, cooks haul in 300 pounds of fresh crawfish for the restaurant’s weekly boil.
Under the direction of Chef Morris Buck, diners are treated to culinary delights every night such as crispy Statler chicken, served with green chili mashed potatoes, or pan roasted duck with a blueberry demi-glaze. Servers then transport this hearty, seasonal cuisine across hardwood floors, stepping to the swinging notes of live jazz bands.
Though sunset is the perfect time to drink in the patio’s glorious views with a glass of wine in hand, the staff doesn’t neglect its earlier visitors. Brunch serves up both sweets such as maple-drizzled, toasted challah and savories such as Texas skillets with potatoes o'brien, sausages, biscuits, gravy and eggs.
Broiled or fried. Those are your only options at Pacific Star Restaurant & Oyster Bar. But people who make all their life decisions by flipping a coin don't seem to mind—and neither do the other customers. This includes Rob Balon, a food critic for Fox 7, who said, "Pacific Star is the kind of restaurant where you can get your favorite seafood with a little kick."
He's referring to appetizers, such as shrimp-and-oyster cocktail and fried crab fingers, and entrees, which are divided into fried and broiled categories. On the fried side, there are jumbo shrimp, catfish, and gulf oysters, and the broiler churns out stuffed flounder and jumbo crawfish tails. Plus, the menu even showcases a handful of Cajun favorites such as crawfish étouffée and crawfish pirogue.