Aug 9, 2023 - Food and Drink

Desert Island Dish with Eric and Sophie Nathal

Photo illustration of Eric and Sophie Nathal inside a bottle on a beach.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photos: Courtesy of Fareground

You're headed to a desert island and can take only one Austin dish with you — what will it be?

We posed this challenge to married couple Eric and Sophie Nathal, who serve up hearty, French-inflected fare at Austin Rotisserie at Fareground downtown.

  • For the record, we love their whole bird, served with potatoes cooked in chicken drippings, and sides of roti and verde sauce — all for $22.
  • Other menu standouts include the lovely carrot soup, heightened with ginger ($6), and the poulet roti baguette sandwich, with shredded chicken, arugula, goat cheese and a vinaigrette ($12).

The backstory: Eric is from Mexico, Sophie from France. They met in 2016 in Miami, where he was working as a corporate executive and she as a stylist. In short order they married and headed to Austin.

  • The restaurant pays homage to Sophie's French roots by serving the foods she was missing from home.

You each get only one dish on your desert island, what's it going to be?

Sophie: "I would get the breakfast tacos at Taco Joint. I like the potato, egg, cheese and avocado. The fresh-made flour tortillas are really good, and the salsas are great."

Eric: "I'd take the steak tartare, topped with quail egg yolk (served with pommes frites), from Justine's, or the octopus a la plancha (served with smoked pancetta braised beans, Mediterranean rucola and olives) from Red Ash."

That's technically two dishes, but OK. You can bring a dessert, too.

Eric: "I'm not much of a sweets person, so I'll let Sophie answer that."

Sophie: "I would do the mini donuts with Nutella from Little Lucy's on Rainey Street."

What about to drink?

Sophie: "A glass of the frosé from Hotel San José."

Eric: "We're on an island, so I'd want a Pacifico beer."

If you go: Austin Rotisserie is open 11am-9pm at Fareground, 111 Congress Ave.

What's next: In addition to the Fareground location, starting in August, Austin Rotisserie will be operating a food truck at The Far Out in South Austin.


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