Despite being a few months old, Redfin Seafood Kitchen already has a piece of Texas history.
The restaurant features 150-year-old extinct long-leaf red pine from La Grange, Texas, that co-owners Mike McCollum and Bill Rasch and chef Mario Rodriguez cut and finished for the walls and burned for the bar top.
“There’s a lot of passion in this place, not only in the food and cooking, but in just building an atmosphere people want to come sit in and have a good time,” Rasch said. “We’ve heard all sorts of comments and most people like the story.”
McCollum and Rasch, both Steiner Ranch residents, met through their daughters’ volleyball league. McCollum had a dream of opening an oyster bar, and Rasch, who previously worked at Pappas Seafood House, wanted to open a restaurant.
“I didn’t want to just open a straight-up oyster bar in Austin,” Rasch said. “I figured people wanted more than just fried food. It’s a more health conscious community.”
It was also through girls’ volleyball they met chef Mario Rodriguez, who has 20 years of experience, including working at the W Austin Hotel.
Rodriguez, who had left the W to open his own restaurant, helped craft the menu and asked to join the team as chef. He created entrees such as the Fruitti di Mare—filet of fish, blackened scallops, grilled shrimp and sautéed mussels in a spicy tomato broth ($23).
Redfin opened May 29 in the Trails at 620. The menu also includes steaks, burgers, chicken and gluten-free options. The shellfish and raw bar offers a wide selection of oysters from the Gulf and the northeast. McCollum and Rasch said they aim to educate customers on the varieties of oysters.
Every Thursday, Rodriguez creates weekly specials, such as the Pepita Crusted Mahi-Mahi ($22) served with roasted poblano-tomatillo salsa and Mexican street corn.
“Everybody loved it and said ‘Please put it on the menu,’ so that’s what we did,” McCollum said. “We try to keep [the menu] fresh and put some new items out there.”
RedFin Seafood Kitchen offers gift cards and can host parties and events. Happy hour is Mon.-Fri. from 3-7 p.m., and brunch is Sat.-Sun. from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Weather permitting, live music is every Thursday from 6:30-9 p.m.
“Good food, good drinks, people having a good time: that’s really what it’s all about,” McCollum said.
8300 N. RR 620, Bldg. L, Ste. 800
Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.,
Fri.-Sat. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.