Austin’s reputation as a sizzling restaurant city might have been largely driven by the national press, but most of its growth has been driven by local hospitality groups like McGuire Moorman and New Waterloo. That may soon change as one of the giants of the Midwestern dining scene makes its Capital City debut.
According to a permit filing with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises is opening a location of its red-hot Chicago restaurant Aba at 1011 S. Congress Ave. in building two of the Music Lane development. The Mediterranean concept, first introduced in June 2018, is the work of chef CJ Jacobson — a Top Chef alum who also helms Chicago’s acclaimed Ema.
A rep for Lettuce Entertain You declined to give further details about the concept, including an estimated opening date. The Chicago menu includes several takes on hummus and other spreads and a sharp focus on proteins, ranging from raw hamachi to “humble cuts” of chicken, lamb, and pork belly to seafood like grilled Spanish octopus.