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Save Room for Dessert at 68 Degrees

09.14.2016 by: Leah McGarry
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Yet another Italian restaurant has joined the Austin scene - 68 Degrees, located right on Lake Austin Blvd. near Deep Eddy Pool. While some might think this is a trend that has passed its prime, I welcome the chance to eat fresh, comforting Italian food, and 68 Degrees offers just that.

You may not necessarily crave a heavy Italian dish while temperatures are still in the 90s, but 68 Degrees quite literally makes you forgot the hot temps. You don't have to weigh yourself down with rich traditional dishes; the menu features many lighter items with what seemed like both a seasonal and regional approach. We started our meal with a Sangiovese and Peroni off the extensive wine and beer list while we took in the colorful and bright interior of the restaurant. They also have a great, shaded wrap-around patio alongside the restaurant. 

Choose your beverage and admire the colorful decor inside 68 Degrees

For starters, we selected a seasonal spin on the bruschetta, made with mascarpone and figs. While I have to admit that I prefer a more traditional style, I appreciated the unique approach and generous portion.

Bruschetta topped with mascarpone and figs

One of the items in which 68 Degrees specializes is the Ravioli of the Night, made fresh in house. (Side note: many of the pastas can be made gluten-free by request.) I'm a sucker for stuffed pasta, so I basically had my heart set on the ravioli before I even heard the night's special. Just my luck, it was a simple dish made with parmesan, ricotta, mascarpone and arugula, topped with a parmesan cream sauce and fresh cherry tomatoes. The dish managed to be both decadent and light at the same time, and I was quite pleased with the portion size. (I hate when restaurants bring out 3 ravioli.)

Ravioli of the night smothered in parmesan cream sauce and fresh cherry tomatoes

While there were several other unique choices on the main menu, we couldn't resist the special for the evening - fettucine topped with brisket that had been braised for 8 hours, along with carrots, onion, kale and tomato. With the owners' roots in Santa Fe, it's no surprise they've once again taken on this regional interpretation of an Italian dish. We found the special to be hearty, memorable, and again, did not leave us feeling heavy or uncomfortable like Italian dishes can do.

We love when restaurants incorporate brisket into dishes like this fettucine special

Lucky for us, we left room for dessert. I don't often say this, but this particular dessert was the highlight of the meal for me. We selected the flourless hazelnut torte topped with Amy's vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce and proceeded to scoop up every bit of it. At $8.50 it was a bit steep for dessert, but no regrets here. It was one of the most delicious desserts I've had in a while, and I could eat it again as I type this!

Do not miss the Flourless Hazelnut Torte!

With 68 Degrees located in the heart of central Austin, there is simply no excuse not to give it a try. No matter the season, 68 Degrees will feel just right.

{Official website: 68 Degrees}

TAGS : Clarksville/North Lamar , 68 Degrees