When chef Wolfgang Murber was 16 years old and an apprentice at Germany’s Castle Hornberg, all he said he wanted was to be left alone with his cooking, not focusing on schoolwork, books and theoretical cooking techniques.
Today, the mind behind Fabi+Rosi—an upscale-casual, European-influenced restaurant in Austin’s Tarrytown neighborhood—said he has the same passion for the craft and for good, locally sourced seasonal food.
“You have an immediate result when you do something, and I think that’s the most rewarding of all of it,” the Germany native said about cooking. “You create something with your hands, and you have it right there. I really like that.”
After meeting co-owner and Austinite Cassie Williamson in Spain, he said he traveled to Austin in 2007 and has been here ever since. He opened Fabi+Rosi, named after his nephew and niece, respectively, in 2009 in the space formerly occupied by Zoot.
Fabi+Rosi sits in a home built in 1909 along a quiet street. Murber described the decor as elegant and casual with cream-colored walls, dark brown wood tables, chandeliers of varying sizes and mismatched wall mirrors. Fabi+Rosi also has an outdoor patio, garden and even a chicken coop where five chickens and a rabbit live.
Everything on the menu is made in-house with locally sourced ingredients, including the arugula salad ($8) with overnight tomatoes and shaved parmesan; the duck breast ($24) with creamy polenta, fried Brussels sprouts and a bourbon glaze; and a twist on the traditional German schnitzel ($19) with red wattle pork, spaetzle, beet kraut and mushroom sauce.
“To do a modern-European restaurant came natural, and it was more like I didn’t want to put myself into a box of just having [traditional German dishes such as] sauerbraten and schnitzel,” Murber said.