Mondays are for restaurant reviews. Tracy checks out Mulberry in Austin.
360 Nueces Street
First and foremost: space is limited, so you may want to make reservations. Patio dining may be the best option for intimate conversation with a group of 4 or more. Otherwise, you may get stuck at a bar, facing a mirror. The menu does change frequently, as does the wine list. This is a great thing.
I hesitate to call Mulberry a “wine and tapas” bar because that does not give the food the credit it deserves. Portions are tapas-sized and it’s almost mandatory to share with your party so you can taste everything on the table. I highly recommend listening to the wait staff and sticking to the specials. Our waitress paired our food and wine perfectly. We started with a round of “snacks,” which included the Devils on Horseback, a lovely blend of fig, cheese, bacon, and awesome. We also had the watermelon salad with a side of bruleed goat cheese, which was heavenly and refreshing (in reverse order). They have a fabulous cheese and meat selection, so we had a plate of Prosciutto Di Parma, Delice d’Argental, Coppa, and Salami Nostrano. All were very high quality; none were disappointing. The next course was a real treat - we had the (special) ratatouille which was so good that my friend nearly licked the dish, a (special) delicious white fish with vegetables, and (menu item) Truffled Porcini & Cremini Risotto, Parmigiano. Believe it or not, we still had room for two wonderful desserts: a Mixed Berry Cobbler and the Butterscotch Brulee.
Now we’re speaking my language. I really enjoy wine, but I did not recognize several of the labels on the menu - many of them were European. Unfortunately, our first choice was out, so we went on a blind recommendation from our waitress. The Grenache she chose was so perfect that we let her guide us on our next three bottles. Yes, three. But in our defense the last was only a half bottle. Mulberry does serve by the glass, and there is an extensive list, but ordering by the bottle appeared to be more economical (and fun).
I think Mulberry was a great restaurant and cannot wait to go back. It was a perfect evening with friends on the patio and the food and wine were just spectacular. I noticed several couples stopped in for a glass of wine and a snack and left quite satisfied. If you are ravenous, be prepared to shell out quite a bit of money. There are several vegetarian dishes, but vegans may have to stick to a liquid diet!