Photograph by Curious Notions
The year might have just started but there’s already been several new restaurant openings in Austin – some impressive, and some not. I am traveling quite a bit this year (Orlando, Iceland, Puerto Vallarta, Chicago, Horseshoe Bay, and New Mexico so far) so I have to strategically pick and choose which restaurants I want to visit when I am in town. To be honest, Il Brutto would have been one of those that I would have skipped but I’m glad I did go try out it.
SEE ALSO: My Favorite Restaurants In Austin
While I am a sucker for pretty presentations (it’s all about the ‘gram, duh), too many restaurants aren’t focused on how the dish actually tastes. Not only were the dishes at Il Brutto beautifully presented, they were just so good. So good that I’d come back for a meal without my camera and eat hot food like a normal person. Even the Aperol spritz (that I normally would not drink and ordered just for the ‘gram) was mixed perfectly.
What to order: Anchovy pizza, kanpachi crudo, and red snapper.
PROSCUITTO DE PARMA
I typically don’t love crudo, more of a ceviche type of gal, but the kanpachi mango crudo was not only beautiful but delicious that we scrapped it clean. The slight sweetness of the mango paired with the fresh hamachi was just perfect.
Chef Erind Halilaj worked in Milan so the pizzas at Il Brutto are Milan-style. I do like anchovies so I was excited to see the anchovy pizza on the menu. Loved the chewy texture of the pizza with the San Marzano sauce, and the salty bites of anchovy and capers were delicious.
The red snapper was also cooked perfectly and contrast of the salty taggiasche olives was paired perfectly.
I’m always excited to see squid ink pasta on the menu because it photographs well. While the squid ink pasta wasn’t terrible, everything else we ordered was just far superior. Next time I’m getting the cacio e pepe and/or the lasagna alla bolognese.
The dessert was also a nice surprise because I really wanted to order the tiramisu but our lovely waiter recommended the ricotta because it photographs well. I wasn’t too excited for a ricotta dessert with sour pickled strawberries but this was actually really good.
1601 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78702