Had a lovely dinner at APIS this Saturday and I found it to be one of the most interesting meals I've had in Austin recently.
Apis is a bit out of the way in Spicewood and is onsite with an actual working Apiary which provides honey for the restaurant and not for commercial sale.
The dining room is lovely with a semi open kitchen.
We start with a glass of Gruner Veltliner and a glass of Riesling. I love German/Austrian wines, what can I say.
valley grapefruit / green elderberry capers $3.25 each
We start with 2 oysters. These were Malpeques from New Brunswick tonight. Plenty of brine in the oysters that was offset with the slight sweetness and citrus from the grapefruit mignonette.
Ryan's brioche / dry-aged beef tartare / torn herbs / 5 | add caviar for 10
Got 2 of the egg toast. This tasted of a very nicely textured beef tartare on top of a grilled cheese except there was no cheese and the "cheese" portion was made of egg yolks. Very novel dish. I could have used a bit more salt and spice/zing in the tartare but the meat quality was very nice. Perhaps this was meant to be eaten with the caviar but I feel a dish should stand alone without expensive add ones. The seasoning level should be adjusted on the fly depending on whether the diner added caviar or not.
FOIE GRAS TORCHON
cherries / tellicherry pepper / arugula / green plum / almond
Delicious. The best preparation of Foie in pate/torchon form I have had in Austin. Great play with the Cherries and green plum. Oftentimes, restaurants make the accompaniments to Foie too saccharine but the tartness from the green plum plays very well. The Foie texture itself was impeccably smooth and incorporated the pepper inside. Wonderfully delicious dish.
fresh cheese / meyer lemon blossom / Hawaiian hearts of palm /peekytoe crab
Another very tasty dish. The fresh cheese was ricotta this evening made in to almost a panna cotta of sorts. The tomatoes were very fresh and vibrant and nicely offset with the crunch of the hearts of palm. Thought the peekytoe crab was a bit superfluous.
MILK FED VEAL
pomme fondant / sweetbread / creamed ramps / Brazilian green peppercorn / summer truffle
Delicious and wonderfully cooked. The veal was a light pink medium rare from edge to edge with a slight sear outside. The sweetbread was perfectly cooked with no mealiness or gameyness and exhibited a rich creamy sapor that was enhanced with a nice char on the exterior. The truffle was actual truffle shavings and had a nice scent which indicated that they were not from a jar. The truffle nicely accented everything without overpowering. The ramps and sauce were a nice verdant green that played well off everything.
TASTING OF BLACK HILL FARM'S YEARLING PIG*
Sea Island red peas / charred okra / pecan crust / apis honey / hot sauce
Favorite dish of the night. 4 forms of pork. Something that was likely cheek, a rillette, a square of very soft belly, a blood sausage that tasted like Cotechino or Vietnamese Cha Lua, topped with a piece of crackling. 4 time consuming and individually delicious preparations. I especially loved the belly, a cut that has almost been overdone in most restaurants but perfectly prepared here with melting away fat. Most restaurants don't cook the belly long enough but this belly was as soft as the best red cooked pork I've had in Shanghai yet held is shape and exhibited what the Chinese call "Fei er Bu Ni" or fatty without being cloying.
Peach Pit Ice Cream -9
a light ice cream in a white chocolate shell with slightly dried peach pieces and a few other elements I am forgetting now. I love that its not too sweet.
Passionfruit Vacherin - 9
Deliciously tart fruit flavors in a sorbet form but shaped in to a bar on top of some wonderfully crisp meringue.
The level of cooking displayed at APIS is on par with the very top of Austin's restaurants. Get yourself to this restaurant.