Last fall, the Italian concept from restaurant veterans Jeff Courington & Kelly Bell (Vino Vino) opened quietly on E. 2nd Street. Al Fico generated little fanfare, but this sweet new spot is one of my favorite new haunts. My two visits haven't been without minor issues, but the hits have been real hits and the service and simplicity of the experience (no parking hassles, crushing crowds, long waits, or deafening dining areas) will keep me coming back.
Al Fico's menu changes seasonally, so you can't always count on the same dishes being there every time. Gladly, however, this beautiful bruschetta ($9) was on the menu on both my visits (two months apart). Smokey, earthy mushrooms pair perfectly with a luscious runny egg and a bit of speck. This dish was wonderfully composed and so comforting; I hope it's still gracing the menu next time I go.
1700 E. 2nd Street
Austin, TX 78702