Stay tuned!

italian kitchen austin

We’ll be revealing details about Al Fico, its new chef, its menu, and opening date shortly.

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Al Fico

1700 E 2nd St. Austin, TX 78702 (cross street: Chalmers)

Owners: Jeff Courington and Kelly Bell (founders and owners at Vino Vino)

Food: Authentic and creative Italian cuisine inspired by osteria cooking; traditional dishes and contemporary interpretations of classics; Roman-style wood-fired pizza; 100 percent Italian wine list featuring iconic estates as well as avant-garde winemakers.

Décor: Old-school Italian osteria with tiled floors, white tablecloths, and chandeliers; photographs of Italy and Italians, shot on and printed from analog film by Austin artist Nils Juul-hansen, line the walls.

The name “Al Fico” means literally “by the fig tree.” In the era after WWII, Italian cheese mongers and salumi producers would set up stand in the shade of trees along the road so that they could sell their wares to passing travelers. As Italy rebuilt and the economic outlook improved, many of them opened restaurants in the shadow of those same trees. The name of Jeff Courington and Kelly Bell’s Al Fico is inspired by that tradition and their love of all things Italian.


Build-out update

italian restaurant austin

al fico austin italian restaurant


Build-out update: plumbing done, electric in the works

beautiful sky texas

The Al Fico build-out is nearing completion.

Plumbing has been completed and electric is going in this week.

Once all the wiring is done, the builders can begin to add the finishing touches.

We’re still looking at a late summer 2013 launch.

Stay tuned! And thanks for your support.

italian restaurant east austin


March 2013 construction update

fico march

fico march 1


We have our building permit! June 2013 projected opening

al fico blueprint

We are thrilled to share the news that Al Fico has FINALLY obtained its building permit from the City of Austin. Demolition and construction has officially begun!

al fico building

The building at the corner of East 2nd and Chalmers was originally built as a chapel and later became a soup kitchen after World War II.

Until recently, it’s been an office complex.

al fico table

We’ll be documenting our build-out here on the Al Fico blog as we transform this historic Austin building into the authentic Italian trattoria of our dreams!

We hope to be open by June 2013…

Stay tuned…


Should Lambrusco become the official wine of Texas?

Currently by the glass at Vino Vino

ca montanari lambrusco modena

We’ve been digging the Ca’ Montanari Lambrusco di Modena “Opera 2″ so much that we’ve been thinking it should be made the official wine of Texas.

It’s so fresh, bright, and refreshing, a perfect food wine with very low alcohol, high acidity, and that classic gentle Lambrusco fizziness that makes everything go down better.

Great wine…


Grissini, the original breadsticks (are Italian, of course!)

Few people know that breadsticks — commonly served today in restaurants across the world — originated in Turin (Piedmont), Italy in the seventeenth century.

In Italian, they are called grissini: the term grissino (singular) probably comes from ghr’ssa, a Piedmontese dialectal term meaning grill. Linguists believe that the breadsticks were so named because they resembled the bars of a grill.

In Italy, they are almost always presented on the table of restaurants when guests sit down.

Sometimes they are also served wrapped in prosciutto as an appetizer.

Even in Italy’s finest restaurants, they are almost always present.

The breadstick, just another one of Italy’s great gifts to the world!


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