For the past five years, I’ve been working with folks headquartered in Austin, TX. As with all relationships, we’ve had our ups and downs, but this relationship has been mostly composed of “ups” on my end. I really enjoy the team I met with in Texas this week, and not solely because they gave up an evening of personal time and took me to a fantastic sushi restaurant for dinner! 🙂
Following our dinner, we spent approximately 9 hours holed up in a conference room working together: exchanging information, setting strategy, and simply chatting.
But, at dinner…we talked about Austin, cooking, family, pets, and this blog. After explaining my indecisive nature, I surrendered my evening’s meal over to my hosts for the evening (after they’d been appropriately educated as to my “no-gos”).
So, where did said team invite me to join them for dinner? Only to the (second) best sushi joint in Austin. Second, only because the owners of “the best” sushi spot opened a second location – which is where we dined. We met at Uchiko – a well-renowned sushi restaurant.
We started off with the Innocenti Malbec 2011 La Consulta Mendoza. My companions didn’t know this, but I do love a good Malbec. I noticed that this particular wine left a heavy sugar residue in my glass. I can dig that! It means it’s “thick” (to quote a friend and coworker of mine). I had never thought to use that word to describe my “go-to” label, but hindsight being 20/20, my friend Cody was right. As with Layer Cake, Innocenti had a rich, spicy, and elegant flavor that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Then, we ordered the grilled edamame and roasted golden beets. And, Jordan, who was one of the de-facto hosts of the evening, suggested that we order some crispy brussel sprouts with lemon and chili. Oh. Dear. Lord. They. Were. DELICIOUS!! I’m pretty sure I ate most of the contents of this particular bowl!
We followed the most amazing Brussel Sprouts evah! with the hama chili, which was delightful! Not nearly as spicy as I had anticipated, but it had a nice flavor balance with the tuna, pepper and orange.
I’m not sure that I’m going to accurately capture everything else that followed. It seemed that beautifully plated dishes were being delivered at breakneck speed that night! However, I can assure you that everything we tried that evening was 1) enjoyed by all, and 2) devoured such that the bussers (who were “Johnny on the spot” quick) took only clean plates away. Folks, the food was THAT good. And, the service was top-notch.
Following the delights I have already mentioned, we had the avocado and nasu.
Next up: the hot rock. (such a simple, yet fun experience)
Then, we finished the evening with an incredibly unique and delicious dessert. Our table describes the fried milk as a new take on deconstructed s’mores, of sorts. Imagine frozen milk – deep-fried, and served with chocolate, sugar, and cream. It may not look like much, but believe me…it was a perfect finish to this fabulous dining experience.
I’m grateful to have had time to spend just enjoying some “downtime” with my business associates. Not to mention…being taken to a premier sushi restaurant in one of the coolest cities in America…I’m a lucky gal! Believe me, we spent enough time the following day really digging into the work! (for which, I’m also grateful)
P.S. Next time I’m in Austin (which shall be in March), what places are on the not-to-miss list? Please leave a comment.