Downtown Eats

VOX Table.

Being in the culinary industry, you seek for great food and restaurants.  Whether it be a fine dinning institution or a hole in a wall — maybe even a chain, it doesn’t matter .. We seek for great food.

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After hearing many people talk about VOX Table and hearing many different statements, my brother in law and I decided that it would be a great place to go have a nice Sunday Night Dinner.  VOX is located in a quaint place in Downtown Austin and it is next to the Alamo Draft House (so you know… more drinks after dinner… or before.. who cares (; it’s going to be great!).  But also a quick background… VOX Table is a restaurant that is made of small plates, kind of like a tapas style restaurant.

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So upon entering the restaurant, I was unsure if the entrance was the entrance until I opened the door.. I know, silly me.  But upon entering, it seemed like it was going to be a dim-lit restaurant, something that would seem more intimate.  Upon walking to our table, the dining room was much different.  It was open and very lit!  There was many abstract lighting bars that were set around the ceiling.  It was very neat.  Windows around the walls were large and open, giving the dining room much natural lighting and the feeling of being very spacious. They also used tabletop candles and wicks to help set the ambiance (since daylight was slowly diminishing).  The details that I really enjoyed was how they matched their tabletops and their walls.  They had what looked like marble tabletops and their walls had gray accents that mimicked the tables.  I found that to be a very interesting touch.  By reading this, you may think that it is tacky, but then it was done very well.

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Moving forward, they had a nice bar set up and a nice open kitchen as well.  We started out with some drinks.  My brother in law had a tasting of a couple of their whiskey selections and I had a nice cocktail.  The menu that was given to us was recently printed.  I went ahead and asked our waiter if they change the menu a lot and he had let us know that it is not crazy frequent but then they do get a few dishes that change every now and then.  I find that to be very awesome and fun because it allows for people who come back to the restaurant to try something new, if they would like.

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To start out with our meal, we started with a tray of raw oysters.  I love me a good, fresh, raw oyster.  It came with a selection of a mignonette, cocktail sauce, and fresh horseradish (I LOVE FRESH HORSERADISH. If you have never tried it, you need to. It is a life-changer.).  They were a pretty decent size and they still had their juices.  They didn’t smell fishy or smell old.  The oysters were seven dollars for 3.  I found that to be a decent price being that we are in Austin and we do not live near a gulf or the ocean for so super fresh seafood. (:

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Next up with the Hamachi Pipettes. (:  This reminded me of Iron Chef, Masaharu Morimoto.  The reason I say this is because he was very well known for having many of his dishes at his restaurants contain pipettes.  To be honest, the hamachi pipette was described to have thai chili.  For anyone that knows chili peppers, you would believe that you should get a kick with that.  This pipette was done well, but there was not a kick, but overall the flavors were done well. I don’t think it was AMAZING… but it was okay.  The fish felt… I guess, mediocre.  The reason I say this is because I wanted to have the fish be the star, but the curry sauce definitely overpowered the appetizer. 

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While we were enjoying the hamachi, our charcuterie platter came out.  We ordered the faux foie (chicken liver pate), creamy brie, and pork rillette.  The platter was presented on a very beautiful wooden platter.  It was also paired with their house-made potato and rosemary bread and candied walnuts and figs.  The bread is very well made — the flavors are very mild and did not alter the flavors of the other products that accompanied it on the platter.  The first item on the board that i attacked first was the faux foie.  I love me a good chicken liver pate.  The chicken liver pate on it’s own was great.  The flavors were abundant and full and very robust.  The pate was accompanied with a honey bourbon jelly.  The honey bourbon did not enhance the flavor of the pate.  In fact, it made the pate taste bitter and gave it a very disgusting taste (and i only used a little of it).  When I tasted the jelly on it’s own, you could taste the flavors very well and it was nice and sweet and tasted great on it’s own.  So my suggestion, if you try it, is that you should ask for the jelly either on it’s own or opt to not have it accompany the pate at all.  The pork rillette was not anything to awe over.  To be honest, it was kind of bland.  There was not much added excitement with it being on the platter.  I wonder if I should have asked for a different type of cheese since I was so disappointed with it.  But when I paired it with the brie cheese, there was definitely a huge flavor difference.  Overall the charcuterie platter was a nice combination. Every component was $6 each.. so you get to pick and choose to your liking. (:

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The items that came out next was probably my favorite of the  night.  It was the cheek and tongue stuffed yorkshire puddings! Oh, it was so good… Most people are scared to tried parts of the animal that isn’t eaten on a regular basis.  Well, let me tell you… The tongue and cheek was cooked so well it melted in your mouth.  It was paired with a delicious horseradish aioli and a red wine jus.  I was very surprised that the horseradish didn’t over power the dish whatsoever.  The buns were nice and soft and had just enough crunch from the crispy leeks.  This dish was definitely worth every bit of the hype that was given.

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We also paired our dinner with some pork cracklings and braised akaushi oxtail.  Just… YES.  Okay .. so fried pork skin… you can’t go wrong with that.. that is just very self explanatory. (: So we can definitely forward ourselves to the oxtail.  So I love braised… anything really. Haha. I was expecting a lot from this oxtail in the sense that it was highly recommended.  But then, the flavors were JUST okay.  It wasn’t exciting as it sounds from the description.  They also had gnocchi in the dish.  Usually gnocchi is very nice and light and soft… but I felt that these were bland and a little tough.  It is as though it was JUST overworked a tad and that definitely made a huge difference.  The sauce could have had a tad more salt and been reduced a little more so that it could build the flavor up a bit.  Overall, the dish was okay… Nothing to fond over or anything but it was decent. 

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Our experience was fun.  Many of their plates are small and you are able to share them as well.  They change their menu every so often and they have a good selection for anyone who is interested in trying them out or go on a date (i would suggest like date two or three for this place).  I wouldn’t say that I won’t come back, but I would definitely say that people should try it once.  Maybe not in abundance as I did, but a couple of plates would be very satisfying.  Their dessert menu had the typical chocolate, caramel, berries, and ice cream.  they are all done in very interesting takes.  When I was there, none of them had really stood out to me other than the corn and caramel dessert. 

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I plan that the next time I do go here, I would definitely try to get one of their desserts.  (:

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