May 10, 2023 - Food and Drink

New wine bar opens on South First in Austin

Photo: Courtesy of Brian Cole Photography

Underdog, a Korean-influenced wine bar, restaurant and retail space, opens today on South First.

The big picture: Momofuku alum Richard Hargreave and marketing and events professional Claudia Lee operate the new shop at 1600 South First St., and we took an early look inside the space Tuesday.

  • Step inside the retail section of the shop for bottled wines, caviar and a selection of curated products every day from 11am-7pm.
  • Or grab wine and a bite in the tasting room Sunday through Thursday from 4-11pm and Friday and Saturday from 4pm-midnight.
  • Plus, a wine program will showcase bottles from up-and-coming producers.

What they're saying: “By focusing on winemakers who are often overlooked and underestimated, we hope guests will discover some of the best bottles from growing brands that are sure to become household names in years to come,” Hargreave said.

What to order: The menu, which will rotate every few months, is full of shareable items ranging from $8-$65, while glasses of wine are $12-$19 and bottles of wine are $45-$1,500.

Underdog's housemade bread and butter and east coast oysters served with sausages and kimchi vinaigrette. Photo: Nicole Cobler/Axios
  • We started with the fluffy housemade bread and butter. Plus, half a dozen East Coast oysters, which come with sausages and a tangy kimchi vinaigrette to drizzle over the top.
  • Plus, the grilled cauliflower was delicious — blackened and topped with nuts and pumpkin seeds.
  • The Korean fried chicken stole the show. Fried just right and served with milk bread, pickled daikon radish and pickles.
  • The dessert menu included a miso blondie and a hotteok — a Korean sweet pancake — made with pecans and local honey.

Details: Lee incorporated her Korean heritage into both the menu and decor.

  • The menu from chef de cuisine David Whalen, who previously worked in Michelin-starred kitchens in San Francisco and Chicago, and consultant Morgan McGlone also features handmade noodles, smoked eel terrine and a crispy potato and leek pancake with caviar.
Additional menu items from Underdog. Photo: Courtesy of Brian Cole Photography

Of note: Special events will be hosted in the tasting area, while there's a private dining room for a large party.

Between the lines: Underdog is the newest addition to a stretch of South First Street once home to an hierberia, a pet shop and a 24-hour Mexican bakery.

  • The road has since transformed into a bustling corridor of luxury condominiums, office space, shopping and food.

If you go: Drop-ins are welcome and reservations are available on Resy.

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