Executive chef Ryan Shields brings ambitious, thoughtfully modernized Spanish classics to trending Austin’s Airport Boulevard with Bullfight, the latest project from innovator Shawn Cirkiel—the restaurateur behind parkside, the backspace, and olive & june. Bullfight is a neighborhood restaurant inspired by Spain, the perfect mélange of great food, fresh design, and inviting vibe.
The vision for Bullfight came from Cirkiel’s love affair with Spain, which was sparked when he landed his first job out of culinary school at La Marquesa, at the time the only five-star Spanish restaurant in the country. Learning about the food and culture of Spain became a lifelong passion. Four years prior to opening Bullfight, Cirkiel visited Spain on numerous occasions, exploring the cuisine in different regions, visiting farmers’ markets, jamón and sausage houses, cheesemakers, and vineyards, taking in the artisan craftsmanship and savoring the idiosyncratic ingredients.
The resulting menu is rife with attention-getting food: from cured meats such as jamón Ibérico and cheeses manchego and mahón; to tasty Spanish snacks served in paper cones. Paella, croquettes, bocadillos and other classics share the menu with northern and southern regional seafood, beef and lamb dishes, not to mention a variety of vegetables and beans offerings.
That colorful mix of regional tastes and flavors extends to the extensive drink menu as well, which features classic and modern Spanish cocktails, as well as an all-Spanish wine list curated by advanced sommelier Paul Ozbirn, that impresses, showcasing the depth of Spanish vintages.
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