District Kitchen + Cocktails

Mon: 3:30-10pm
Tue-Thu: 3:30-11pm
Fri: 11am-Midnight
Sat: 10:30am-Midnight
Sun: 10:30am-10pm


Amir Hajimaleki

Amir Hajimaleki

South Austin has always been a bit sparse when it comes to original and creative little spots. But the year-old District at Escarpment and Slaughter has helped to fill the void–in a big way!

Brothers Amir and Ali Hajimaleki are at the helm of this delightful restaurant (the outside patio is a perfect fit), and their level of passion for great food and commitment to pleasing customers is admirable. At first blush, one might characterize District as Middle Eastern. But Amir chooses to label it as New American. I have no problem with that description. Yes, there are some delicious Middle Eastern dishes (the hummus and the lamb kabobs), but there is also a wide range of other American fare. And virtually every dish is top notch.

The District places a huge emphasis on local sourcing whenever possible, and their new Fall menu has just come out (they do a revamped menu for each season). I’ve been very impressed with the Goat Cheese Fritters. When I first tried it, the dish arrived with the cheese coated in sun-dried tomatoes. I was surprised, but that lasted only a few seconds. Then the commingled flavors of the cheese and the roasted tomato sauce took over. The grilled sourdough just brought the dish over the top.

Another favorite appetizer (this one stays through each menu change) is the Moroccan Lamb Kabobs. The spice ground lamb would work for me with or without pita, as long as the spicy curry yogurt and the cucumber yogurt herb sauce is present. What a terrific flavor to this dish. And the texture befits the spicy flavor. Killer dish.

And although the dish is labeled Hot Wings on the menu, it’s really pork shanks tossed in shiner tamarind sauce. I almost invariably order an extra one of these just to have to snack on at home. The pork is sinfully tender and beautifully seasoned.

On the menu this past fall were dishes like the Ratatouille. A perfect plate for vegetarians or carnivores who love vegetables, this dish is heavy on a variety of farm-to-table veggies, and what really makes it work is the kick it gets from the mesquite-smoked cherry tomatoes. Nice mélange of flavors. Another Fall dish was the Prime Filet paired with an engaging Porcini Risotto and some truffle porcini butter. This immediately captivated me. The filet had a smokey tenderness to it, and the deft touch on the porcini risotto was spot-on. Really excellent dish. The District’s newest seasonal menu will be unveiled in a couple of weeks, look for it here.

A regular menu item that has to be tried is the Grilled Whole Bronzini. This beautiful Mediterranean fish is marinated in chimichurri sauce, smoked paprika olive oil, and a perfect amount of lemon butter. As big as the dish is, this is one worth saving up an appetite for. Do try it. As well as a tantalizing variety of flatbreads that appear on the right side of the menu.

Another popular item at District is the Sunday brunch. And then there’s always a creative new cocktail popping up. We tried the Autumn Sunrise (Tito’s vodka, rhubarb, Averna Amaro, dry curacao, red plumbs, pomegranate juice, orange bitters, jalapeno simple syrup). Suffice it to say we had more than of these surprisingly smooth cocktails.

I’m really pleased to see a restaurant of this caliber gracing the Circle C landscape. It’s long overdue.


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