Downtown Austin just after rush hour is the last place I want to be, I told myself as the honking cars and beating sun made beads of sweat roll along my forehead.
I was losing faith in what was promised to be “an intimate romantic evening” with the passing of every doorman along Sixth Street calling out dollar shots—but, as I stepped through the door at The Refinery into a minimalist room of white brick, copper accents, marble top bar and lush green hanging plants, I suddenly felt a world away from downtown Austin’s hustle and bustle. My shoulders relaxed further as I was handed a copper mug filled with a refreshing Moscow Mule-like drink and told to make myself comfortable. A singer in a white flowing dress accompanied by a cellist filled the room with soothing music. “OK,” I thought, “this is exactly where I want to be on a Wednesday night.”
For three evenings this summer, the coworking and events space at 6th and Brazos is converting itself into an intimate dining experience for The Copper Table dinner series. Each dinner shows off the talents of local chefs and artists while benefiting local charities. The idea is to bring chefs, musicians, makers, visionaries and foodies together for an evening of live music, drinks, food and conversation.
The first dinner on June 20 featured drinks from Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Chefs Eric Silverstein, Edgar Rico and Ryan Rosen from The Peached Tortilla created the four-course menu. Courses included Mapo Pork Bolognese with Chinese mustard greens, Shishito Kasha Quail and so much more. (Smoked Tofu, Forbidden Rice, Pickled Shemeji—I could go on…)
My favorite course, as always, was dessert – a Yuzu Curd with shortbread crumble and black sesame meringue. Singer and songwriter Naala provided live music. The event benefited Urban Roots, a youth development organization that uses food and farming to transform the lives of young people and inspire, engage and nourish the community.
Buy your tickets now for the next Copper Table on July 20 featuring Chef Drew Curren from Italic. Dinner number three on August 11 will feature Chef Fiore Tedesco of L’Oca d’Oro.
Cover photo courtesy The Refinery