Yesterday, the ladies and I had a super fun girl’s day. First was a trip to Petticoat Fair, which ladies of Austin, if you haven’t been I highly suggest you get thee to the shop immediately. I don’t think I’ll ever buy foundation garments anywhere else after visiting this store. After hours of looking through knickers and brazziers, we had worked up quite an appetite and I suggested we visit the newly opened Haddington’s. I’m a super fan of Chef Northcutt’s Mulberry restaurant just across from Austin Music Hall. The Foieberry Burger and Bahn Mi are worth the trip and the wine list is awesome (get the Justin Cabernet Sauvignon).
Haddington’s is a British-American gastropub featuring things like Fish and Chips (or Frips as they call them); Foie Gras Sausage; Pork Chops; Whole Branzino; a Turkey Sandwich with cranberry relish and stuffing on cornbread – Thanksgiving on a sandwich; and so much more. We decided to order all four of what’s called Toast Pots. These are little pots of gooey goodness including: white bean and garlic; egg custard with truffles; rabbit rillet; and duck liver. You schmear the delicious spreads over crispy toasts and then your eyes roll back in your head. These were all amazing in their own way and at $3 a pop with unlimited toasts it was a cost-effective start to our meal. I think the egg custard combined with the duck liver was my favorite.
They were out of pork shank but decided to replace it with a pork belly option. Well, twist my arm Haddington’s. They rolled the belly with tyhme and other herbs and then served with a mirepoix sauce and roasted carrots. At $24 to serve four people, it was certainly a good deal though. For sides we had mashed swede and Gorgonzola cheese…I’m bowing down to whoever created this side. It was AWESOME. We also got crispy potatoes which are basically long, crispy potato wedges.
We are all wine drinkers so we really didn’t peruse the beer list, but the wine list was confusing and a wee off-putting. I love good wine lists. I even appreciate wine lists that challenge me, but this was sporadic, very French-heavy and waaaaay out of price range for a gastropub. Austin has a lot of great wine lists and I think Haddington’s might want to rethink their wine options for their gentle wine-drinking clientele who are eating, albeit higher-end-than-normal, pub grub. We ordered some cost effective wines including the Cartlidge & Browne and Lucas & Lewellen. Also, the cocktails looked insanely good and I might fit one in next time. There’s one with duck fat in it…wow!
The decor is pubish with a modern but comfortable vibe. It’s also pretty neat as the restaurant is maze-like and filled with room, upon room, upon room; pubish indeed. We sat in The Picture Room and it was very hard to hear our table of four, especially when they moved in a table of 12 right next to us. I liked the ambiance but even for me it was a little dark, We found ourselves huddled around candlelight snarking at the wine list and oogling at the food.
We plan to go back to Haddington’s a few more times since it was our first impression, but overall it was a great first experience. Until then, as their door says on the way out, Many Happy Returns.