Ladino in the know
The Pearl continues to grow, celebrating what seems like a new, highly anticipated restaurant opening every week. First, Potluck Hospitality brought us the delightful Carriqui, and now an Austin group is bringing Ladino, set to open on Monday, September 19.
Touted as a Mediterranean grill house celebrating Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisine, Ladino is the brainchild of Austin's Emmer & Rye Hospitality Group. Led by executive chef Berty Richter, the restaurant will pay homage to Richter’s roots with a menu centered around the charcoal grill.
Located in the Pearl at 200 E. Grayson St., #100, the name Ladino was chosen to showcase and share not only Richter's childhood cuisine, but also the influences of the surrounding cultures and cuisines on his style of cooking and eating, sharing food, and the excitement of a bountiful and colorful table of delicious food.
“I grew up in Israel mainly with my mom’s side of the family that came from Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria. We spoke Ladino, a dialect of Spanish mixed with French, Italian, Greek and Turkish,” said Chef Berty Richter. “Large family gatherings and endless feasts were part of our daily lives and I’ve always dreamt of one day creating a concept that will pay homage to my family’s roots and culture. Naming this concept Ladino was the natural choice for me and is the realization of this dream."
Ladino’s menu features fresh made pita and other regional specialties accompanied by an abundance of dishes that are playful and bold, utilizing a wood-burning oven for the lion's share of the restaurant's offerings. Highlights will include coal charred eggplant dip, Jerusalem mix, meat dumplings in yogurt, and a modern take on Agristada, a traditional Sephardic fish in a lemony egg sauce.
While the beverage program highlights regional wines and spirits, dessert selections are inspired by the sweet and savory staples of the region with a modern touch.
The Emmer & Rye team worked with partner Rand Egbert on the restaurant's design, who sought to make the space "transportive" using "beautiful tile accents, handmade light fixtures, traditional patterns, and pops of color," according to a release.
“Sephardic Jews have origins all over the Mediterranean with deep roots in North Africa, so much of the interior is influenced by Morocco and the Moorish culture of Spain during the time the Ladino language first came to be," Egbert adds in the release.
Ladino will mark the seventh concept from Austin-based Emmer & Rye Hospitality Group, and its first in San Antonio. The restaurant will be open Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 5 pm to 10 pm; Friday and Saturday from 5:30 pm to 11 pm; and reservations are open now.