Meet the women of the 2SD in Austin, Texas. This month: Rochelle Rae, founder and owner of Rae Cosmetics.
February 14 is fast approaching here in the 2SD (and everywhere), and happy hearts are setting their sights on the perfect way to spend the evening. Reservations around town are filling up fast, but never fear: Valentine's Day in Austin's 2nd Street District offers a plethora of ways to treat your honey right. Ready to spoil the object of your affection? Read on for menu specials and gift ideas galore.
Taste the Romance: Valentine's Day Restaurant Recommendations
Sink your teeth into some New American cuisine at The Bonneville, which offers a sumptuous 4-course prix fixe menu ($65 per person) on the 14th, including smoked mushroom tian, ricotta agnolotti pasta with mini chicken meatballs, warm lobster nicoise, tiramisu and more. Dinner comes with a complimentary Persephone Punch, and you can add wine pairings for $30.
Can't decide between surf and turf? Have both in style at III Forks, offering a three-course prix fixe menu ($160 per couple) from February 10 through 14. It includes dinner for two featuring filet mignon and coldwater lobster tails served with whipped potatoes, off-the-cob cream corn, vine ripened tomatoes and spring onions, and chocolate lovers' dessert. Additional wine pairings and champagne are on offer to make the evening pop.
Lovers of the grape, rejoice: CRU Food & Wine Bar on 2nd Street is serving up a perfect 4-courses Valentine's meal with your choice of filet of sole with crawfish nantua, roasted mushrooms and jumbo asparagus; beef tenderloin with pommes puree, haricot verts and green peppercorn sauce; or lamb loin with provencal vegetables, roasted baby yukon gold potatoes and sauce choron. The $55 prix fixe menu runs alongside an exhaustive list of wines from all over the world; instead of committing to just one, try one of CRU's famed wine flights to find your favorite vintage.
In the mood for some laid-back elegance? Bring your valentine to La Condesa for a romantic menu of specials featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients from Texas providers. Its exclusive seasonal menu can be enjoyed a la carte or as a shared plate experience to elevate your dinner favorites to the next level. Then, finish the night strong at La Condesa's adjacent bar, known for its specialty cocktails like the Alma Blanca or a classic pisco sour.
If simplicity is key and all you want is a touch of old world romance and some finger-licking good Neapolitan pizza, look no further than Numero 28. Treat your favorite person to a delicious southern Italian experience: indulge in fresh pastas, oven-fired pizzas, small plates and Italian wines served in a warm and intimate atmosphere.
Super Sweet Gifts Galore
There's no shortage of great gifts to shower upon your beloved. From artisanal soaps and spa products to unique jewelry and dapper menswear, you're sure to find something to surprise your valentine and/or #treatoself with this year. Take a gander at what's for sale in the 2SD this February:
Feather your nest with gorgeous, organic goods from Hacienda...
Keep your gent outfitted to the hilt with threads from League of Rebels...
Melt the stress away with apothecary products from Luxe Apothetique...
Set the mood for love with luxury goodies from Mercury Design Studio...
Inhale deeply and enjoy ultimate indulgence from milk + honey...
Knock 'em dead with retro-chic looks from Modcloth...
Get the "person who has everything" something cool from PRIZE...
Add a touch of color with local fave Rae Cosmetics...
Bejewel them (or yourself!) with baubles from Sikara & Co...
When it comes to wellness and worknig out, the arrival of the new year offers a perfect starting point from which we can step up our game, renewing our resolutions and taking time to sweat each day. For Austinites, opportunities abound to try out new fitness routines, incorporate healthy foods into their day-to-day routines, and get those heart rates up while keeping stress at bay. Thanks to the concentration of wellness-oriented businesses downtown, it's easier than ever to keep your fitness resolutions in the 2nd Street District. Read on to learn about the flavors, fitness brands and fashion retailers just waiting to make your 2017 as healthy as can be.
Gear Up at Saint Bernard
Whether you're in need of a fresh pair of yoga pants, the perfect running shoes, new water bottle or high-performance pullover to keep you warm in the winter on the hike and bike trail, Saint Bernard's got you covered. The national sports outfitter has been curating and selling the best sporting goods and gear since 1978, and its Austin outpost keeps downtown denizens all geared up for whatever adventures they choose to take on.
Shake It Off at Ballet Austin
Ballet Austin isn't just the home of graceful pro ballerinas; it's also a hub for community fitness classes, instructing Austinites on the basics and finer points of everything from yoga and Pilates to hip hop and, yes, ballet. Its Butler Center for Dance and Fitness hosts more than 80 classes a week, including a hotter-than-hot Videodance series with offerings like the Beyonce Get Me Bodied workshop, running Feb 9-23. If you're feeling the need to shimmy, shake or pirouet your way to peak fitness this year, this is your spot.
Break a Sweat at RIDE
Ready to push yourself to the limit and do some serious cardio? RIDE Indoor Cycling is ready to put you to the test in its studio at Lavaca and Cesar Chavez. Buy a series of classes or just sign up for a trial class and shoe rental to get a taste of the action. Daytime parking can be validated in the AMLI Downtown and City Hall garages (the latter being best for early-morning riders).
Cool Down at Daily Juice
Once you've worked up a sweat and need some refreshment, pop into Daily Juice for a juice, smoothie, salad or acai bowl. This Austin original has been keeping customers nourished and energized since 2003, and its location near AMLI Downtown is perfect for rejuvenating yourself after a lake or city run, a dance class or an invigorating indoor cycling session. Or, if it's just a healthier breakfast or lunch alternative you're after, look no further than this favorite local spot where "fresh" is always the word of the day.
Want more inspiration for things to do, see, taste and try in the heart of downtown Austin? Keep an eye on the 2nd Street District's happenings by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. See you around the neighborhood!
'Tis the season to bundle up, go off in search of the perfect gifts for the ones we love, and enjoy the delights of December. In the 2nd Street District, that means special events galore, where locals and visitors alike stroll along our sidewalks, supporting downtown businesses while indulging in holiday treats and entertainment under the twinkling lights.
So far this month, we've hosted a handful of glee-filled gatherings, from the 2nd Street Social Sip & Stroll to our first-ever Santa Lounge. Take a gander at the fun we've been having in the heart of Austin this holiday season--if you breathe deeply enough, you just might catch a whiff of hot chocolate.
For the inaugural Santa Lounge, held at 3TEN Austin City Limits Live, a host of local businesses got in on the action: Cafe Ruckus provided piping hot cocoa while Bribery Bakery kept things sweet with free treats; Rae Cosmetics prepped everyone (the big guy included!) for their Santa photos taken by Zappy Springs; Toy Joy kept things hopping with an awesome kids zone; and since it's not a celebration without classic holiday cartoons, Violet Crown Austin knew just what to bring to the screen.
For the 2nd Street Social Sip & Stroll, holiday shoppers enjoyed cocktails at local retailers like Flor, Saint Bernard, Sikara & Co., and Teddies for Bettys, taking in the sights of the student-decorated shop windows along the way. Window competition judges included KEYE's Taylor Ellison, Mix 94.7's Brad Booker, and Austin Way's Kathy Blackwell; this year's winner was Colleen McCool, who gussied up the League of Rebels Menswear window with a festive, dapper theme. And the newest visual addition to the 2SD landscape, sure to pop up soon in plenty of Instagrams (and rightly so), is the custom "Love Will Win" mural installed by beloved local street artist Mike Johnston and unveiled to an approving Sip & Stroll crowd.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become household terms over the years, but no retail holiday says "Austin" quite like Small Business Saturday. Dreamed up by American Express and gaining traction in recent years as more holiday shoppers support local businesses while crossing off items on their gift lists, the event falls on November 26 this year. Luckily for Austinites, the 2ND Street District is a one-stop destination for all things festive and fun, and this Small Business Saturday, deals and discounts abound.
Steals and deals
Not only are you supporting small businesses by spending your Saturday in the 2ND Street District -- you can also take advantage of all sorts of sales. Here's the scoop:
- $15 and $25 sale racks, in-store raffles, and complimentary sips and bites at Luxe Apothetique
- 20% off all lipsticks, liners and glosses at Rae Cosmetics
- $1, $2 and $3 off select olive oils and balsamic vinegars at Con' Olio
- 25% off flooring at FLOR Austin
- 15% off food at Cru Wine Bar
- Buy one, get one 50% off all regularly priced Sikara brand merchandise bought with your AmEx at Sikara & Co.
- Double Diamond Dollars on jewelry for loyalty customers at Eliza Page
See you soon
It's the most wonderful time of the year, and the shops and eateries of 2ND Street District are ready to celebrate with you. Come on down and stock up on gifts for everyone on your list, plus a little something for yourself. Stay tuned for more holiday happenings in the heart of downtown Austin as the district hums with year-end activity.
With HACIENDA's recent expansion into all things bedding, we thought it was only appropriate to ask shop owner, Jessica Beattie to give us her tips on how to make your bed look as stylish as the magazines.
1. Start with a simple fitted sheet- we're currently coveting our newest LinenMe sheets that are made in an incredible linen fabric available in a teal blue, raspberry and sunflower gold.
2. Lay your flat sheet pattern down (if there is a pattern). Then tuck in all sides.
3. Place your comforter over the flat sheet and fold both the flat sheet and comforter 1/3 of the way down the bed. Tuck your comforter in on all sides for a more polished look. We recommend a goose down comforter covered in our MixMax Barcelona jersey duvet.
4. After you've folded the comforter, place your largest pillows against your headboard. Traditionally this is your king size pillows.
5. Next, place either queen size or medium size pillows in front and center.
6. My favorite part, place a variety of decorative pillows in different sizes and textures in front of the medium pillows. I recommend our Aviva Stanof pillows with hand-painted silks, hand-stitched beads and dip dyed furs - each pillow is a work of art!
7. For more texture, I typically add a throw blanket at the foot of the bed. The versatility of the Hacienda Collection Turkish towels are perfect fit for the foot of the bed because they can be both decorative and functional.
HACIENDA Austin showcases locally sourced and globally inspired custom furnishings and curated gifts for the modern ranch lifestyle. Motivated by travels that took her from the Outback to the Arctic, owner, Jessica Beattie, has a keen eye for scouting well-designed objects that celebrate local artisans. In addition to a curated assortment of luxury brand goods including R&Y Augousti exotic leathers and fine European bed linens, discover our private label, HACIENDA Collection, ranging from Turkish towels to glassware to body care. Shop HACIENDA at our downtown Austin location, 204 Colorado St. Austin, TX 78701 or shop online at haciendacollection.com. For more information follow along on Instagram and Facebook.
**Guest Post by Lauren Whitehouse, ModCloth Fashion Publicist
ModCloth has set up shop in 2ND Street District! Now through Memorial Day, the online purveyor of unique indie and vintage-inspired styles and home goods is hosting a pop-up shop at 249 W. 2nd Street.
What can you find at ModCloth’s 2ND Street District shop?
- A curated collection of ModCloth styles, including dresses, separates, shoes, graphic tees, accessories, and unique home decor
- Exclusive swimwear available in a full range of sizes (up to 4X)
- One-of-a-kind vintage chosen especially for Austin (cowboy boots!)
- Offerings from 8 local Austin artists
- Graphic t-shirts, including a custom ModCloth x Austin tank, only available in-store
- Free personalized appointments with on-site ModStylists™ for expert fit and styling guidance (book an appointment)
- Free ModCloth Austin tote bag with any purchase
Everything we do at ModCloth is inspired and influenced by our vibrant online community, so we are relishing the opportunity to meet our fans ‘IRL’. Stop by the shop to snap a selfie and tag #ModClothIRL for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate. We can’t wait to meet you!
Need a break from all of the festivities? Here's our guide on the best places to refuel, relax and refresh in the 2ND Street District.
Get a haircut, straight razor hot towel shave and a relaxing executive hand detail, all without leaving your oversized, comfortable barber chair at Finley's Barber Shop. Ladies, freshen up at local Austin favorite Rae Cosmetics. Best known for their heat and perspiration-resistant cosmetics that help improve your skins natural, healthy appearance, you'll at least look like you got a full night's rest!
That's not all...View the full list of boutiques, restaurants and entertainment here. Cheers!
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Whether you are crafting your very own wish list, dropping some hints to your significant other or shopping for friends, family and loved ones, the 2nd Street District has you covered. Here’s what’s on our gift guide this year.
1. Prize: We’re swooning over the Fornasetti Baccio lidded candle keepsake ($175) crafted of natural vegetable wax and poured into a glazed ceramic vessel featuring the lithographic image of house muse Lina Cavalieri’s nose and mouth. Master perfumer Olivier Polge crafted the invitingly warm Otto signature scent of the candle. Or, try their Montale Paris eau de parfum spray ($170) with scent notes of vetiver from Haiti, Moroccan cedarwood, patchouli, grapefruit, elemi, and black pepper from Madagascar.
2. HACIENDA: Right in time for Valentine’s Day, Hacienda has launched the new, in-house fragrance, Texas Rose. This is a custom scent developed by HACIENDA using all organic ingredients sourced in Austin. They are launching this product with their essential tin (good for lips, skin and perfume), a sugar lip scrub, and a bar soap – all in time for Valentine’s Day. Coming soon: enjoy this scent and other ones from their collection in a shea butter body cream and sugar body scrub. Honoring the new fragrance and the romantic holiday, enjoy complimentary Bellinis at the shop over Valentine’s Day weekend.
3. SIKARA & CO.: Give the gift of jewelry with the small Criss Cross Heart Wire pendant ($90) from Sikara & Co. Modern and futuristic in design, this pendant was inspired by a trip to Cairo. It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Don’t miss entering their blog contest – each individual who submits an entry receives a gift card and the winner – a piece of jewelry!
4. Jo’s Coffee: Jo’s Coffee will be offering their Monday night special on 2/14. Enjoy 2-4-1 burgers – perfect for a date or hanging with a friend! It’s truly the best-kept burger secret in Austin and the perfect casual spot for a Valentine’s Day celebration.
5. lll Forks: Enjoy the special Sweetheart Menu at lll Forks from February 6th-February 14th. This couple’s menu ($170) includes your choice of salad or lobster bisque to begin, two 6 oz. filets mignon accompanied with two 6 oz. cold water lobster tails for your entrée served with whipped potatoes, off-the-cob cream corn and vine ripened tomatoes and spring onions. For dessert, enjoy a Chocolate Lovers’ treat.
6. Austin Rocks: If you are looking for something special for someone special, Austin Rocks has a variety of gift ideas at a convenient array of prices. From books, pillows, picture frames, coffee cups and more – there’s a little love for everyone at this 2nd Street District gem.
7. Rae Cosmetics: Pucker up! Look and feel extra beautiful this Valentine’s Day with 50% off their Valentine’s Day collection with the purchase of any full price lip color.
8. Milk + Honey: This luxe Austin spa favorite has the perfect Valentine’s Day packages and gift ideas. Give the gift of a hydrating pedicure, facial, couple’s massage – or even a gift card. The options are truly endless when it comes to Milk + Honey and pampering!
9. Teddies for Bettys: Make your Valentine’s Day extra special with new pieces from Teddies for Bettys. This year, we’re shopping gorgeous lace pieces by Envol from Simone Perele Official and new pieces from Marie Joe in Valentine Red.
10. Toy Joy: We truly can’t get enough of Toy Joy! A few things on our gift guide this year for Valentine’s Day: a Giant Heart by I Heart Gus ($99.95), Cockatiel and Parrot masks by Dillon Inc. ($29.95), a Giant Rilakkuma Plush ($199.95), Pixel Heart glasses by Elope ($8.95), Valentine’s Plush items by GUND ($16.95-$21.95), mini red piano by Schylling ($84.95), Animail Heart by Marky Sparky Toys ($11.95), and much more. Be sure to stop by Toy Joy to see the full lineup of Valentine’s Day gifts!
What are you doing New Year's Eve? Prep and prepare for festivities right here in the 2nd Street District.
Stock up on your favorite sparkly baubles at Eliza Page. From rings, to gemstones and more, it's the perfect way to add a bit of glamour to your New Year's Eve night.
Get beautiful at Milk+Honey. Schedule a last minute facial to get your skin really glowing for evening festivities. Or, you can always pop-in for a blowout! Book your appointment by calling them at 512-236-1115.
Celebrate New Year's Eve this year at Cru. Make your reservation today to enjoy their spectacular New Year's Eve celebrations with your favorite wine in an intimate space. Make your reservation by calling 512-472-9463.
Turn New Year's Eve into a special date night or time together with friends at The Bonneville. With delicious New American fare- it will be a memorable evening you won't forget. For the holiday, they are offering a delectable four-course prix fixe menu at $75.00 a person - including a champagne toast! Wine pairings are available for an additional $35. Entree options include Quail a la Mattone, Crab Stuffed Filet of Beef, and more. Make your reservation by calling 512-428-4643 or visiting their website.
Shop for some dazzling new earrings to complement your dress at Hemline. From cocktail dresses to the perfect accessories, style is guaranteed at this chic Austin boutique.
Nothing says date night quite like Violet Crown. Plan a low-key New Year's Eve and enjoy a movie and delicious bites and cocktails at this 2nd Street District gem.
For the ultimate beauty statement, take advantage of cosmetics and gift ideas at Rae Cosmetics. Enjoy 10% off gift sets and 20% off makeup applications the through January 2nd - $60 for a full makeup application and $35 for just eyes. Both include false lashes! Call Rae today and plan your special day: 512-320-8732.
Not sure what to wear this New Year's Eve? Stop by Francesca's and plan your entire outfit! From shoes, to dresses, to handbags and accessories - you can pull together a New Year's Eve look in a cinch.
Stil searching for a few last minute gifts? This season, we've pulled a variety of items at some of our favorite boutiques and stores. We've rounded up some of our top picks at under $100. Find the perfect present for a co-worker, client, family member, loved one or friend. From embroidered cocktail napkins to jewelry - there's something for everyone in the 2ND Street District. Happy shopping!
For most of us, summer means traveling, tan lines, and playing in the sun. For restaurants, however, this season is a time to change the menu and try new dishes. In the 2ND Street District, where we are all about community and giving back, the chefs at our restaurants endorse farm to table techniques while still keeping things interesting with local produce.
What is farm to table? It’s what happens when a restaurant takes what is given to them by local farmers instead of from across the country or the globe. This not only supports local, but also spurs creativity among chefs. While our 2ND Street chefs agree that farm to table cannot be carried out 100%, when local produce is in season, the dishes are even more delicious. We asked some of the chefs and restaurant owners from the 2ND Street District how they work with farm to table, what original creations they’ve come up with, and what inspires them.
Numero 28 - Owner Bernardo Nolfo
On Farm to Table Techniques
"All of our pasta is made from scratch, in house every morning."
On Farm to Table Most Original Creations
Caponata con crostini is a Sicilian dish made with eggplants olives, celery, capers, onions & tomato topped with tomato sauce.
Bresaola Della Valtellina is a beef that looks like prosciutto and is featured in Prosciutto e Mozzarella (on the lunch menu) with Parma prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil, arugula, and chipotle aioli.
"We are also the biggest draft wine provider in town. Our concept is 'a fresh glass all the time.' Bottled wine has sulfites to preserve it, which can give you a headache. It isn't stored at the best or consistent temperatures, which can ruin it. We are temperature conscious. With the draft wine, it comes in a keg at the right temperature, and then it goes straight to the cooler on draft."
"My main inspiration is the passionate I have for food and wine. I think eating and drinking well and healthy is basic for a great living on these years."
III Forks - Manager Crimson Scorsonelli & Chef Adrian Corkill
On Farm to Table Techniques
All beef is from Nebraska. We use prime beef, top 2% in the world.
On Farm to Table Most Original Creations
We try to pair dishes with the right wine or liquor, and we’ll go off the menu for that. We like to take four course meals and pair each course with a suitable wine or cocktail. We’ll make a four-course tequila dinner without making a single margarita. It forces us to get creative.
New appetizer: Wagyu marrow bones, served with beef cheek marmalade and fruit mustarda and sea salt.
Paired with a red wine, Orin Swift Machete, California 2013. Red blend of Petite Sirah and Syrah and Grenache. The wine has aromatics of ripe blackberries, mulled raspberries, acacia flowers, toasty oak, and herbal notes. The mid palate is exposed to an unadulterated array of crushed berries, dark chocolate, black fruits, & a tinge of creamy espresso.
Original creation: Chicken-fried lobster tail battered & deep fried with sundried tomato butter on the bottom and asparagus spears.
Paired with: 2014 Vouvray is a Chenin blanc From France, this wine is slightly dry, while holding purity and intensity. It is very floral with a crisp acidity.
Experimentation and creating within our own menu. Adrian will try anything. He’ll prompt me to try new things like chicken-fried bacon and modify it with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.
Stay tuned for more from your favorite 2SD restaurants!