Austin has several restaurants with silly names, if you think about them too much like me, and Enoteca Vespaio is on that list. It makes no sense to call this place Vespaio's Wine Cellar. It's a market that serves great food so why confuse people when Mercato or Cafe or Pizzeria would better describe the space. It's a market, they serve good coffee and they offer pizza. They do serve wine but they don't keep the place at 62.5 degrees nor do we get to sample wine straight from new French oak barrels. That said let's get to the important thing, their great food and dessert.
Actually, before I get to the food let's talk about South Congress for a moment. The Grumpy Fat Man doesn't like crowds nor searching for a parking spot. It makes me grumpy so expect all my reviews of SoCo to be a bit, well, grumpy. I will admit that since they changed the parking a bit it was a little easier to find a spot. Maybe I'll mellow in old age. Let's hope so.
Enoteca Vespaio has some great food aside from all my griping. I ordered the Calzone al Forno and Steph had the Raviolini of goat cheese with truffled crema sauce. Both dishes were excellent. The calzone was made with veal sausage, gruyère cheese and a nice Béarnaise and dijon sauce. I don't see it on the menu so it may have been a special. I ate it with a Chianti that I remember liking though I didn't write down it's name. They are a wine cellar you know. Steph's Raviolini was rich and she said it was great. I'm not a goat cheese fan, that grassy taste only reminds me of boy scouts when we did survival training and ate salads of dandelion. My loss. Steph has wanted to go back and have that dish again so it really was something special. One day we'll venture down and try it again but there are several other places to try first. Like Home Slice Pizza. Can you believe we haven't had a slice of Home Slice Pizza yet? And I write reviews of restaurants. I should be ashamed.
We had the Chocolate Caramel Peanut Tart for dessert with a couple espresso. The rich chocolate, chewy caramel and crunchy peanuts all accented each other very well. And the the espresso pushed it over the edge with the addition of that strong, dark coffee to offset the sweetness.
Yes, even with all my gripes about location, name and whatnot Enoteca Vespaio is well worth the trip. You won't be disappointed.