|3421 W. William Cannon Dr.
Austin, TX 78745
Café Malta is a neat little Mediterranean bistro at Brodie and William Cannon. The menu changes periodically but the quality stays quite high. And given that Austin is in dire need of this type of cuisine, I’m happy to bring it to your attention.
No good Mediterranean joint would be worth its salt without something containing chickpeas: in this case a very tasty Hummus. The garlic, lemon juice, tahini and olive oil join the chickpeas in a tasty alliance. Another neat appetizer is the Pansotti. These delightful little triangles of pasta are filled with homemade goat cheese and arugula and sauteed in toasted Texas pecan butter. And I love the Gnocchi. These are handmade and tossed in brown butter with crimini mushrooms. The flavor is distinctive but the al dente texture really makes this dish. Also worth sampling is the Crostini di Hill Country. This pairs roasted brisket, blackberry barbecue sauce and melted gorgonzola cheese on a crispy baguette.
Now I want you to take a look at this salad. It’s called Lombatello. And it consists of grilled hangar steak on a bed of fresh romaine with blistered tomato and red onions along with a creamy gorgonzola sauce. Now this is a seriously good salad.
The entrees at a Mediterranean style restaurant can give the chef a lot of latitude. And they take advantage of this at Café Malta. I like the Grilled Chicken Kebab with a boatload of brightly colored vegetables over cous cous with a nice yogurt sauce. Key point. The chicken is moist: not at all dry. And then you can drift toward the pasta side for some Fettuccine and Pancetta. There is nothing more appealing than fresh pasta and tender pork belly and Café Malta nails this with a little white wine and garlic. Then you have to try the Pan Seared Bronzini which is a lovely filet of Mediterranean sea bass in a classic preserved lemon and basil butter sauce. Served over rice pilaf and a sautee of seasonal vegetables, this fish oozes flavor with each flakey bite. Finally try the Bouillabaisse au Mauroc, the proverbial Mediterranean fish stew. This mixes mussels, bronzini and roasted peppers into a lovely tomato stock with abundant Moroccan spices. Beautifully nuanced taste profile to this baby.
So welcome to your neighborhood South Austin bistro: something long needed in this neck of the woods. See you at Café Malta soon!