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Idea for a Date Night in Austin: New Downtown Bar Academia has Launched a New Menu

If you're looking for date night ideas in Austin, TX, check out new bar Academia (208 W. 4th Street)!  Opened in March by former Bar Rescue co-star Russell Davis, Academia just released a new food menu last month.  Created by their new chef, Victor Sandoval (formerly of Parkside), the food menu at Academia was designed to complement their signature craft cocktails.  I had the opportunity to sample many of Academia's drinks and snacks at their new menu media preview event.  I can heartily recommend Academia as the perfect place to go before a show, after an evening out in downtown, or even an after-work happy hour (Happy Hour at Academia is every day 5-8pm, with $6 classic cocktails and $5 highballs).  See more below!

Academia's décor is designed is a figurative faculty lounge for an Ivy League university of drinking, inspired by great writers known to have a penchant for imbibing (think: Ernest Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson).  In fact, the walls at Academia are animated with quotes from many of these great writers. 

The new food items are delicious (more on that below), but I appreciate that they were created and curated to complement the unique and worldly cocktail offerings for which Academia has quickly become known. 

The Bourbon Old Fashioned and Pisco Sour are two of Academia's most popular cocktails

I loved the Pisco Sours I drank in Peru, and was pleased to find that the one at Academia was both authentic and delicious

Another rare menu item at Academia that harkened back to my travels is their Kalimotxo.  In Spain, this is simply Coca-Cola and red wine.  At Academia, it's kicked up a classy notch with Spanish red wine, Mexican Coca-Cola, and cinnamon

The most unique drink on Academia's signature cocktail menu is the Raw Dill (Linie Aquavit, Dolin Blanc Vermouth, St. Germain, dill, salmon roe, saline).  This savory cocktail is smooth, and delights the senses. 

For those that like something more traditional, Academia's Cosmo is quite a treat, made with fresh cranberry

Like the cocktail menu, Academia's new food menu items were a great balance between traditional and experimental.

Steak Tartare (44 Farms Beef, Green Goddess, cured egg yolk, pickled mustard seed, rye)

Southern Fried Chicken Wings with Crispy Collard Greens, Honey Bacon Jus, Benne Seed

Toasted Almond Tart with Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

Also delicious, but not pictured, were the Hemingway (house-churned peanut butter and smoked onion jam on brioche) and the Deviled Eggs (Texas Hill Country olive oil, smoked paprika), which were both surprising twists on the classic comfort foods. 

The vibe at Academia is great for conversation, with no loud TVs or blaring club music to drown voices.  This is where you want to go for your grown-up next date!

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