Now Open: Chavez Opens in the RadissonBy Megan Giller
February 4, 2014
In November, Austinites breathed sighs of relief and excitement when chef Shawn Cirkiel announced that he would be taking over the TGI Friday’s space in the downtown Radisson. He's also spearheading the hotel’s room service, catering, and events. Yesterday, Chavez officially opened its doors to much buzz. Here’s what you need to know about the new Southwestern restaurant.
The Food: Though Cirkiel says the locale isn’t a hotel restaurant, just a restaurant that happens to be in a hotel, Chavez serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The theme is definitely Southwestern, with dishes like chicken-fried steak with farm eggs for breakfast, and a chicken tinga torta with fries and escabeche for lunch. Like Cirkiel’s restaurant Parkside, Chavez boasts a raw bar with oysters and interesting ceviches (like a vegan variety with chayote, cauliflower and beets). We can’t get over the amazing deconstructed salmon Veracruz on the lunch and dinner menu (pictured above). The brilliant orange tomato-and-cinnamon sauce complements the traditional veracruzana sauce with tomatoes, onions, peppers, capers and olives, and the salmon is seared to crispy perfection.
The Decor: The team worked with FODA Studio and Michael Hsu to create an open, modern space that’s still intimate. Think floor-to-ceiling windows and mixed-genre materials like wood, steel, tile and glass. Go during daytime hours to experience the gorgeous views and plenty of natural light.
The Crowd: The upscale atmosphere and downtown location is drawing the most fashionable eaters in Austin. The hotel above it means that you’ll also see businesspeople as well as tourists. Since it’s Austin, that means everything from suits to Bermuda shorts.
The Cost: Mains run around $20 to $40 for dinner, but then you have to try the appetizers, sides and dessert as well. That kicks the price up to around $60. Breakfast and lunch are a little bit cheaper (around $12 to $20).