Food & Wine magazine announced Sept. 15, 2023 that Birdie’s in Austin is its 2023 Restaurant of the Year.
The editors write that the restaurant is a “destination-worthy dining experience” that also “provides a sustainable, supportive workplace for its staff.”
Birdie’s is owned and run by chefs Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel and Arjav Ezekiel who “serve great food and wine while raising the bar for industry standards by giving employees paid vacation and parental leave,” says Hunter Lewis, editor-in-chief of Food & Wine, in his editor’s letter. (Food & Wine also released its 2023 Best New Chefs list, which included two Texas names: Edgar Rico of Nixta Taqueria in Austin and Emmanuel Chavez of Houston restaurant Tatemó.)
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Birdie’s opened in 2021 and calls itself “fine-casual,” offering a seasonal, simple and thoughtfully sourced menu of American food in a casual counter-service setting. It’s a small place with no reservations. With a first-come, first-served model, yes, the lines are long.
Customers can order snacks and small or large shareable plates featuring dishes like chilled watermelon soup, beef tartare with pecans, scallops with roasted eggplant, and Toulouse sausage with frites and aioli.
The restaurant also adds a 3.5% health and wellness fee to all bills in order to offer benefits to the staff.
Khushbu Shah, Food & Wine’s restaurant editor, writes: “Birdie’s is also the restaurant that the industry needs. Two years in, Arjav and Tracy have proved that their restaurant model — one that prioritizes boundaries and the wellness of both themselves and their staff — is not just a pipe dream, but fully implementable.”
Birdie’s is not a stranger to “best of” lists and was named one of Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurants of 2022, Esquire’s Best New Restaurants of 2022, and Southern Living’s Best Restaurants of the South in 2023.
Source : The Daily Newa Morning