Miss A Columnist

Originally from South Carolina, Leslie Silver earned her Journalism degree at Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!) and moved to the Big Apple right after school. After six years in the city she was ready for a change of lifestyle and weather and made the move to Austin. Leslie works in hospitality public relations and loves to take her experience of trying top-notch clients around the world and using those experiences to critique spas and restaurants all over central Texas.

Leslie is a Huge dog lover, outdoorswoman, avid reader and has a healthy obsession with the show Parks and Recreation. Though living in Austin for less than a year, she’s already experience quite a lot and can’t wait to learn, explore and write about everything she discovers in the next year.

Trace At The W Austin Introduces Winter Menu

Trace at the W has launched a new winter menu that is sure to warm up your appetite this season. Chef de Cuisine Ben Hightower, along wit the culinary team’s foragers, has created a few new palette-pleasing dishes including Handmade strozzapreti pasta with bacon, toasted pecans and blue cheese; sea bass crudo with seared butternut squash, white ponzu and pistachio oil; braised pork howl with vanilla parsnip puree, pickled pears and charred green onions; seared red grouper with green apple puree, brown butter cauliflower and marcona almonds; and bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with anson mills cheddar grits, apple salad and apple pork jus.

Pasta dish (Photo Credit: Leslie Silver)

Pasta dish (Photo Credit: Leslie Silver)

I was lucky enough to get the chance to try several of the new dishes and just fell in love right away with the strozzapreti pasta. The pasta is perfect for a cold winter day, and just rich enough that it’s perfect to share as a starter. I loved the taste the crunchy bacon brought to the dish, and the kale was so fresh.

Appetizer jars (Photo Credit: Leslie Silver)

Appetizer jars (Photo Credit: Leslie Silver)

The other starter we enjoyed was the jars of pimento cheese spread, house pickles, pepper jelly and black bean hummus.  While they were all extremely flavorful, I personally fell hard for the pepper jelly. It was just fantastic and I simply couldn’t get enough but knew I couldn’t over-enjoy it (and there was plenty to take home for later) as the main dish was coming out.

My meal highlight had to be the braised pork jowl.  The vanilla flavor was so unique, and of course nothing I would dream of adding to a pork, but it was absolutely perfect and so flavorful in every single bite. It is simply an amazing dish, and a must try on your next visit to Trace.

My personal favorite of the new desserts, created by Executive Pasty Chef, Janina O’Leary, is the banana pudding with dark chocolate sauce and salted peanut ice cream. It was really out of this world and such a unique spin on a traditional dessert. The pumpkin whoopee pie, served with bourbon ice cream and pumpkin meringue, was delightful too. I’m not usually the biggest pumpkin fan, but, as so often happens for me at Trace, the chefs introduce me to flavors in a new and unique light that changes my tastebuds’ ideas about all sorts of food!

Pumpkin whoopie pie (Photo Credit: Leslie Silver)

Pumpkin whoopie pie (Photo Credit: Leslie Silver)

I have to mention that a big part of what made the meal so special and unique for me was our server, Javier. Javier was so knowledgeable about the cuisine and delighted about showing off the new menu, I felt like he had been right there in the kitchen with chef. I recommend requesting a seat in his section as he really added to the overall ambiance.

WHERE:
Trace at the W Hotel
200 Lavaca Street
Austin, TX 78701
Ph. 512-542-3660

HOURS:
Dinner:
Sunday-Thursday: 5:30-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 5:30-11 p.m.

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