Without knowing his restaurant is technically located in Austin, he named the restaurant Cedro, which means “cedar” in Italian, and decided to keep the name because of the area’s identification with Cedar Park, he said.
Cedro Ristorante Pizzeria, located next door to Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline, is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. The restaurant offers contemporary Italian cuisine as well as beers and wines, many of which are Texas-made. Cedro can seat about 30 people on its shaded outdoor patio and about 65 people indoors.
The restaurant’s culinary philosophy is to create a contemporary dining experience, Sun said, by putting a spin on traditional Italian dishes. For example, pizzas are grilled, thin and rectangular and do not include tomato sauce.
“We want to do something different,” Sun said. “Everything we want people to taste is what is on top of the crust; it’s the ingredients, not the sauce.”
Cedro strives for uniqueness in the way its pizzas are prepared and also the ingredients used for toppings, Sun said. The fig pizza, for example, has ingredients including applewood bacon, caramelized onions, figs and Gorgonzola cream. Sun said he wanted to create a different flavor of pizza, adding sweet, salty and tart tastes.
The menu is composed of a melting pot of entrees from the restaurant experiences and culinary experimentation of Sun and Cedro’s chef, Alonso Lopez, whom Sun worked with at an Italian restaurant in Boston prior to opening Cedro. All pasta and pasta sauces are made in-house.
Lopez grew up with an Italian mother and Spanish father and said some menu items are inspired by his childhood. For a recent special, Lopez and Sun created a braised lamb shank, which is slow-cooked and made with tomatoes, onions and herbs and served with creamy polenta and a red wine reduction sauce.
Lopez prides himself on his Bolognese sauce, he said, which includes five different types of meats—ground beef, veal, pork, prosciutto and pancetta. To add more flavor to the Tagliatelle Bolognese pasta dish, Lopez simmers the sauce for about four to five hours, a recipe he said he has been following for 15 years of his culinary career.
The bar offers beers from breweries such as Live Oak Brewing Co., Firemans #4 and Twisted X Brewing Co., which started in Cedar Park, Sun said. In 2015, Sun plans to continue offering wine-tasting events at the restaurant.
“We want you to come here and enjoy everything,” he said. “When someone tells you this [restaurant] is their favorite, that’s the best you can get.”