In a pinch, taco shells can double as acceptable hermit-crab homes, change purses, and envelopes for mailing time-sensitive correspondence written in hot sauce. Airmail delicious mouth-bound ransom notes with today’s Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of contemporary Mexican fare at La Condesa.
Semifinalist for the Best New Restaurant James Beard Award, and winner of numerous Austin Chronicle readers poll awards, including top eatery, La Condesa showcases the culinary virtuosity of chef Rene Ortiz, whose resume touts some of the continent’s most renowned restaurants. Diners can savor a bouillabaisse of locally sourced ingredients from the eclectic lunch menu, which spouts a selection of tortas, tacos, and tostadas, including the atún, a collage of sashimi-grade yellowfin tuna, condiment-grade chipotle mayo, pickled cucumber, and crispy shallots ($12). The dinner menu incorporates heftier hunger-fighters such as the carne asada, an oak-grilled, red wine-buttered rib eye ($34), and the pollo dominguero ($24), a half-rotisserie chicken whose citrus-rub massage leaves it limber enough to cartwheel to the table. Pastry chef Laura Sawicki superintends each feast's sweet finish by crafting an alluring lineup of desserts, including pay del día, or seasonal fruit pies ($8), and spicy boca negra, a warm, flourless chocolate cake ignited with chilis, slathered with caramelized bananas, and flanked with brown sugar-banana ice cream ($8).
Feasters will notice the strikingly scenic atmosphere of vibrantly colorful artwork, comfy leather booths, and lustrous wood accents. In the main dining room, a bundle of cords spider out from the center of the ceiling and dangle naked light bulbs over diners' heads, giving the constant impression that everyone's just had a great idea.
400A W 2nd St.
Austin, Texas 78701