Jodi Elliott, a pastry chef, mother, and owner of Bribery, a new bakery and dessert bar, dishes about some of her favorite local restaurants.

Jodi Elliott. Photo Credit Amee Wenske

San Antonio native Jodi Elliott decided at an early age she wanted to work in pastry after baking with her grandmother. She attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York, graduated and studied under Claudia Fleming at Gramercy Tavern in New York City. Elliott went on to work at London's Savoy Hotel and several restaurants in New York City before moving to Portland, and eventually to Austin in 2009, where she opened Foreign and Domestic as pastry chef and co-owner.

The restaurant quickly became popular for its eclectic local food made with high-end technique and Elliott gained notice for her wonderful popovers and dessert menu. Her fundraiser bake sales were also a hit.

"I made things that I like to eat in the morning we started doing savory danishes like tomato and herb and biscuit sandwiches, we did slices of cake and mini pies. It changed each time and people came to sample whatever it was we were serving that day," Elliott said.

The bake sale success led to her decision to sell her ownership in Foreign and Domestic to focus on pastry full time, opening Bribery a bakery and cafe during the day that transforms into a cocktail bar with plated desserts in the evening.

Elliott shares some Austin favorites:

  • I love Second Bar + Kitchen its a really cool space and the menu is eclectic so there's something for everyone.

  • Justine's Brasserie is quintessential Austin because its in the middle of a residential street and you end up in this pretty space. I love their crème brûlée.

  • Being from San Antonio, I love Tex- Mex. Matt's El Rancho is fun and the patio is awesome; their queso is super- traditional.

  • Contigo is very cool and the setting is very Texas ranch-ey. Its great for brunch and they do a very good job with their donuts and biscuits.

  • I like Vino Vino a lot on Sunday they have paella night. I go with a group of girls for happy hours occasionally and we all order wines by the glass and cheese plates to share.

  • For breakfast and lunch, Counter Café has great blueberry pancakes and burgers and fries.

  • Phil's Ice House is awesome because the food is actually really good for a place that has a playscape that my daughter loves.

  • My favorite is Angie's on East Seventh. They make their corn tortillas by hand and they are super thick and amazing; their salsa is super spicy and also really good.

  • Lenoir and Fabi & Rosi are two places that are really nice for an evening out.

What are some of your Austin favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

Jodi Elliott. Photo courtesy of Amee Wenske.