Emmer & Rye is a restaurant designed around the farmer’s haul. With a focus on seasonally inspired and local cuisine, we change the menu daily. Paying homage to our name, we mill heritage grains for pastas, breads, and desserts. When it comes to meat, we source whole animals.
With a goal to maximize local ingredients, we have an in-house fermentation program. This allows us to capture flavors at their peak and preserve them for the off season. When you visit the restaurant, check out our larder to see vinegars, pickles, and brines bubbling away.
There are two ways to dine with us. One is off the menu which offers small plates, pastas, larger entrees and desserts. As you dine, about 10 or so dishes will circulate the room on carts. These nightly specials will be described tableside and range in price from $4-$12.
This style of service allows us to support our community of producers, farmers, and ranchers. With a menu that changes daily we have more flexibility to highlight what the farmers are excited about. Let’s say the chive blossoms are at their best, well we can put them on the menu tonight. Say a fisherman caught something special, you can have it for dinner. This style of service is not meant to be rushed, it will take approximately an hour to see all courses. Small plates circulating the dining room means the kitchen gets to play with food and you get to play right along with us.
Emmer wheat was one of the first domesticated crops. The once popular grain has fallen out of contemporary favor. The flour has an earthy, slightly spicy flavor with a rougher texture and an aroma of mushrooms. Our love affair with emmer quickly spread to exploring other varieties of grain. We tried them in pastas and breads, changing ratios and diving into the nuances of these forgotten flavors. As we dove further into these relic grains, we knew we wanted to share them with others. We chose “Emmer” as a tribute to those sometimes overlooked ingredients that will speckle our menu here in Austin.
The chef had an opportunity to spend some time in a kitchen in Copenhagen. Demark has strongly influenced his view on food. It represented the celebration of produce at its peak, the reflection of vibrancy through a dish, and the utilization of acid and bitter just as much as sweet and salty. When you think of Scandinavia, you often think of the iconic rye bread, so “Rye” joined emmer.