Nestled in the heart of downtown Austin, the city’s latest Italian eatery has recently opened its doors with an impressive menu showcasing some true talent. La Volpe positions itself as a Southern take on Italian cuisine, offering a food-forward menu that melds traditional Italian flavors with the Southern cooking style of executive chef Will Eason to bring life to the vision of Longtime local restaurateurs Steve and Heather Potts.
The interior of La Volpe creates an upscale atmosphere with a mix of modern and contemporary design elements. Great attention to detail has been taken by Jennifer Long, who also did the interior of C’ Boys Heart & Soul nightclub in Austin. I’d have to say she went all out on this project, because the style throughout the building is top tier, including a gorgeous hand-stenciled wall and what could soon become the trendiest selfie spot in all of Austin. The color pallet throughout the venue adds to the relaxed feel, making way for a delicious experience.
During my visit, I opened the meal with the fried calamari, and I have to say Eason has brought a dish that absolutely needs to stay on the menu. With the addition of fresno pepper and fried parsley things are just fine, but Eason’s graham cracker crusting creates a mix of flavors that makes the dish pop in a creative way. I don’t generally think of graham crackers outside of a campsite, but with the calamari it helps to create a subtle, sweet undertone.
Keeping with the seafood, I moved on to be impressed by the salt grilled shrimp. The linguini is made with a thinner sauce than most, which allows for the meal to be filling without feeling heavy afterwards. I especially enjoyed the addition of the caperberries. It’s a simple dish, but it’s full of flavor, and the serving size is adequate.
To close out the evening, I enjoyed the Sweet Tea-ramisu, which complimented the entire experience. La Volpe’s take on this Italian dessert doesn’t stray too far from the roots, but between the presentation and creativity by way of pastry chef Amanda Neber this sweet tea tiramisu makes for a perfect close to any meal on the menu.
I’d be remiss to overlook the bar that La Volpe has curated. Crafty concoctions are far from new for Steve and Heather Potts and their team, having held the reins of Austin’s famous Cedar Door since 2002. La Volpe’s bar is a focal point all its own, having a mix of floor-to-ceiling shelving and lighting positioned in a way to emulate the face of a fox, playing off the restaurant’s name. They’ve stocked the bar with Italian and Texan wines, craft beers and handcrafted cocktails infused with fresh herbs and spices. I had the Blueberry Celeste, and it was one of the smoothest cocktails I’ve had all year.
Having been open for only about a month, I’d have to say that La Volpe is doing things right. From the moment you walk through the doors, it’s easy to see that this is a strong team working to create an amazing experience. If you’re in Austin and wanting a delicious dining experience or the perfect cocktail, La Volpe is the place to go.
Nick Bailey is a forward thinking journalist with a well-rounded skill set including writing, design, and photography. Nick now resides in Austin, TX after earning a degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis on journalism from Texas A&M University—Commerce.