Gràcia Mediterranean Review

From the same owner of Austin Italian restaurant Gusto, Gràcia is a Mediterranean-inspired tapas restaurant that opened in Rosedale in late March of 2023. Located on 4800 Burnet Road, Gràcia feels like a trip to the Mediterranean seaside. As soon as you walk in, you are greeted by a white room adorned with colorful pillows, commissioned artwork, and basket-style lampshades, all bathed in natural light from large windows that create an inviting, airy atmosphere. The outdoor patio, which welcomes dogs on leashes, compliments the interior’s charm, offering a pleasant spot for open-air dining.

The Menu and Food

Under the guidance of Executive Chef Jason Tallent, formerly of Cipollina, focuses mainly on seafood but makes sure to add a creative twist to all of his dishes, while also incorporating Southern European and Middle Eastern ingredients to the dishes. 

The menu offers an extensive variety of small dishes that include options like a red gulf snapper crudo, crispy potatoes (a must try, according to the waitress), halloumi, scallops, and fried shrimp, amongst several other delicious options. Additionally, larger plates are also offered, and ideal for sharing to taste a bit of everything. The larger plates section offers something for everyone. Despite not being extensive, the options include a calamari bolognese (which is definitely on my list to try next), chicken skewers, halibut, and a NY strip steak.

We decided to start by choosing two smaller plates: the scallops and the halloumi, and it definitely did not disappoint. As for the larger plates, we shared the chicken skewer and the NY strip steak, which were also great choices.

We got the halloumi first and it was the best dish to start and get a taste of the Mediterranean cuisine. The dish included grilled broccolini, zhoug (a popular Middle Eastern condiment), honey and za’atar. The delightful combination of the halloumi with zhoug and honey created the perfect balance between the halloumi’s salty tang against the zhoug’s spice and the honey’s sweetness. This burst of Mediterranean flair and the bold, contrasting flavors were definitely what made this our favorite dish.

The scallops, tender and seared, were also a delight, especially when served warm over smooth, creamy whipped potatoes that complemented the scallops very well. The addition of truffle butter also introduced a subtle, yet delicious flavor, elevating the dish overall and complementing both the scallops and potatoes without overpowering them. We would definitely recommend this as a small plate to start.

The chicken skewer, though simple, was remarkably flavourful. Marinated in a herb-yogurt blend, the chicken was perfectly tender, and infused with a refreshing blend of herbs that elevated the dish’s overall flavor. Accompanying the skewer, the saffron rice with butternut squash added a sweet, nutty contrast and complemented the chicken very well. This is also another great shareable dish. 

The NY strip steak, seasoned with Moroccan spice, offered a bold yet flavorful taste. Alongside, the accompanying baby eggplant, green tahini, and pickled garden vegetables added an interesting kick to the dish, enhancing it with their freshness and acidity. This combination is proof of Chef Tallent’s innovative approach, blending traditional elements with creative twists.

The Drinks

Gràcia has a large variety of drinks, including aperitivo cocktails, classic cocktails, and house concoctions. They also have a carefully-curated wine list with bottles sourced from small producers from Mediterranean-adjacent countries. We tried the Mediterranean Spritz from the aperitivo section and the Penicillin from the classics. 

The Mediterranean Spritz was delicious. It wasn’t too strong and had a pleasantly sweet taste. The blend of the gin and Skinos Mastiha with lemon and sumac cordial delivered a fresh and aromatic drink, capturing the essence of the Mediterranean in a glass. Additionally, the Penicillin was also a great choice. It wasn’t too strong or too sweet, but it offered a rich blend of flavors, perfect for those who enjoy a cocktail with a slight kick.

The Overview

In essence, Gràcia is a charming Mediterranean-inspired tapas spot that brings the seaside to Austin, offering a menu that might require visitors to step beyond their usual culinary boundaries. The dishes, rich in flavor, yet light enough, present a great balance between indulgence and comfort. Their extensive drink selection goes very well with the culinary offerings, enhancing the dining experience. Gràcia is a great setting for a romantic dinner, dinner with friends, and even for a solo meal. With its delightful ambiance and innovative menu, Gràcia promises an unforgettable experience right in the heart of Rosedale.

Texas Tasty Team

The Texas Tasty Team is a dedicated group of writers and editors who love all things Texas. From food to culture, they share the best of the Lone Star State through engaging articles and captivating stories. Their mission is to inspire readers to explore and embrace the rich heritage and diverse offerings of Texas.