May 1, 2014

Restaurant with British flair opens in AustinThere are lots of Latin influences in the Austin restaurant scene, yet a new eatery has opened with a bit of British flair. Blackbird and Henry recently launched on Guadalupe Street in this Texas city. It’s run by Chef Mark Schmidt and his wife Shelly, who serves as sommelier and manager, according to CultureMap Austin.

“The opening menu is a collection of some of my favorite dishes over the years,” Schmidt told the source.

The menu consists of refined dishes with influence from Schmidt’s time in England. For example, the fish and chips, made with ocean smelt and malt vinegar aioli, is his take on the iconic meal. You can also get curried prawn kedgeree made with trout, cous cous and a cilantro quail egg. Schmidt ate at Indian restaurants long before they became popular in the states, which is why this dish represents his experiences.

For the main entrees, guests can enjoy grilled Texas flounder served with flageolet bean, escarole, ham and a coddle farm egg. There’s a dandelion salad with fingerling potatoes, endive, mustard, duck egg and French beans. The menu also gives a nod to Cafe 909, Schmidt’s previous eatery with the Chargrilled Ribeye Steak 909 buttery mash, chile poblano sofrito, pickled red onion.

There is also a raw bar with market fish ceviche, water-seared tuna, half-shell oysters, and crab and shrimp cocktail.

The name of the restaurant was inspired by actual blackbirds that were perched on ivy in the back of a pub. As for the Henry part, the name comes from Schmidt’s dog, a labradoodle.

Check out this place if you attend Austin culinary school and you want to try what’s hot on the food scene.