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A Pleasant Repast at Pitchfork Pretty

08.10.2017 by: Tom Harris
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Pitchfork Pretty is, according to the declaration on its menu, "straight up Hill Country cuisine." While there's nothing wrong with American comfort food, respectfully consider that declaration selling Max Snyder's dynamic kitchen a little short.

Pitchfork Pretty's interior is at once clean and welcoming, bright and cozy

Aguachile hails from Mexico. Miso is a Japanese culinary staple. And spaetzle is a traditionally Germanic noodle. One can find all of this and more on Pitchfork Pretty's thoughtful menu. Rather than sourcing their inspiration directly from the Hill Country, this kitchen exhibits a sort of ingredient-agnostic approach. Their larder is bound by quality, not by tradition. And, during a recent dinner there, that larder was employed to winning effect.

The Buckwheat Corn Bread with Honey-Miso Butter. Yes, those flowers are real and they are delicious.

At any rate, the most immediately obvious Hill Country touch isn't found on the menu but rather in the space itself, with its exposed-beam ceiling and broad farm table community seating arrangement.

Pitchfork Pretty's airy, lantern-lit interior

Spaetzle, Broccolini, Hen-of-the-Woods, Apple, Mustard Seed, Marjoram

Dishes are coursed out with a keen eye, and it quickly became apparent as our dishes came out that while Pitchfork Pretty is adept at the sort of stick-to-your-ribs fare our region is known for (their hearty Spaetzle or Buckwheat Corn Bread, for example), they can do delicate dishes just as well.

Aguachile with Snapper, Watermelon, Aloe, and Basil

For example, their Aguachile was wisp-light, fresh, summery and quenching, with an occasional basil sweetness popping up to bind the whole plate together.

Beer-Pickled Cucumbers, BBQ'd Mushrooms, and Green Chili Oil

Their Beer-Pickled Cucumbers with BBQ'd Mushrooms was more substantial, but still played with a muted palette that allowed the cucumber to shine. This dish, by the way, was something else. I'd call it "odd" if that word didn't have such a negative connotation, but the combination of warm, woodsy grilled mushrooms with sweet fresh and pungent pickled cucumbers was a new and welcome experience.

Pitchfork Pretty's exterior has a leafy, string-lit outdoor sitting area

Among all the items we tried during our visit, the missteps were few, minor, and clearly attributable to a new kitchen finding its rhythm. Once they find their sea legs, Pitchfork Pretty will be one of the better forward-thinking restaurants in East Austin, and at one of the better price points, too.

 

{Pitchfork Pretty Official Site}

TAGS : East Austin , Pitchfork Pretty