I went to Parkside to take advantage of Austin Restaurant Week’s special menus and pricing. I had been hearing rave reviews about this gem buried deep in “dirty 6th” and I have to say, I was not disappointed.
As our hostess led us up the stairs to the rooftop patio, I felt like we had been immediately transported to someone’s chic, uptown townhouse in NYC (although we were only 40 ft above the notorious strip of rowdy bars swarming with college students and tourists). The weather was perfect for an outdoor dining experience, and the intimate setting was cozy and comfortable.
We all decided to go with the pre-fixed menu offered in their promotion of Restaurant Week. In this deal, you can decide between three different appetizers, entrees, and desserts. I chose the grilled eggplant salad to start, the rigatoni with rock shrimp as my main course, and finished it all off with the decadent spiced doughnuts and white chocolate lime ice cream. We also ordered a platter of oysters to share, since they are half-off on Wednesdays. Well, let’s be honest- when have I ever turned down oysters, deal or no deal?
The oyster platter consisted of three different types of oysters from Virginia, Rhode Island, and Canada. My favorite were the Rhode Islands, they had the perfect salty to creamy ratio and once you top them with a fresh squeeze of lemon… wow.
Grilled eggplant salad with smoked cheese, mint, fresno chili, and white wine.
House-made mezzi rigatoni, rock shrimp, uni, basil, and breadcrumbs. Mouth-watering to say the least.
Dessert was unforgettable as well. We all ordered different desserts- the spiced doughnuts that I mentioned earlier, the “smores”, and goat cheese mousse. They were all so unique and light, I honestly didn’t even feel guilty eating any of them. I think that Parkside really takes dessert to a new creative level. Although our appetizers and entrees were delicious and each definitely had a individual touch to each dish, the desserts were really just pieces of artwork. Who would have thought that basil ice cream would pair with mousse made from goat cheese? Or that toasted meringue and chocolate custard could re-create the childhood classic we know as smores? Overall, the last course definitely made a lasting impression and we left Parkside feeling not just perfectly content but a bit spoiled….
Spiced doughnuts with poached pineapple, rum caramel, coconut cream cheese, pistachio shortbread, and white chocolate lime ice cream.
“Smores” with dark chocolate custard, toasted meringue, caramel, and honey cinnamon ice cream.
Frozen goat cheese mousse, strawberry, kalamansi curd, and basil ice cream.