There’s farm to table… and then there’s Eden East. A visit to acclaimed Austin chef and restaurateur Sonya Cote’s newest concept is a magical dining experience: nestled among lush fields on an urban farm, with reclaimed wood tables under dusky skies and twinkling fairy lights, diners enjoy a sumptuous meal closer to the source than they have perhaps ever been. In the dreamy twilight haze, food tastes more alive, conversation is more real and somehow more intimate, the sounds of the farm seduce, and it all just kind of goes to your head — this is dinner in paradise.
*photography by Thomas Winslow
Your earliest cooking or food memory:
Making breakfast with my grandpa on Saturday mornings – a big bowl of garden tomatoes with salt and pepper!
Where do you get culinary inspiration?
From looking at ingredients and figuring out how to put them together in cohesive ways.
What do you do?
Emphasize a more communal, local type of eating.
The one cooking tool you can’t live without:
A chef’s knife.
If you could pass on one trick or technique to a newbie cook, what would it be?
Favorite food and drink pairing:
An Old Fashioned and a crème brûlée.
The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Favorite summer cocktail:
Any summer twist on a Negroni.
Favorite quickly assembled appetizer:
Seasonal bruschetta or a local cheese plate with pickles.
What does the table look like when you host a dinner party?
I care more about the food than the table… but I always like to incorporate animal bones & lots of bottles of wine.
The meal you will never forget:
I’ll never forget a dinner I had at a place called Supper Club in Amsterdam. It was a four course meal served by drag queens, and at the end, the walls came up and the dinner became a disco dance party!
Click here for the recipes for Sonya’s Vodka Tempura Fried Okra
What makes a meal romantic?
See more of Elizabeth’s work on Making Groceries
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Such gorgeous photos — Eden looks like the perfect spot to enjoy a farm-fresh meal in a lovely setting. Elizabeth, I think you should do a farm-to-table book about Austin!
OK! Seriously, that would be a dream.
That would be awesome!! I would definitely read that! 🙂
This feature looks just heavenly! And that meal in Amsterdam sounds like a trip 🙂
This place looks absolutely amazing.
I completely agree with you Elizabeth, it is its own little paradise! I had the privilege of dining here a couple weeks ago while visiting Austin and can say we really enjoyed it. The food was fresh – we especially liked the oyster, quail leg, and crepes – and the staff so friendly. The overall ambiance made for one of my favorite dining experiences!
I can’t wait to go back now that it’s starting to feel like fall here in Austin!