Monday, May 6, 2013


Austin Cake Ball has recently converted their shop at the Domain (by Macy's and Zara) into Copper, a full-service restaurant and dessert lounge, open for lunch and dinner with a great cocktail listing to boot! I was recently invited to stop by and try their new menu, so I took my North Austin friend, Epicuriosities along with me. 

I had not been in the place when it was operating as Austin Cake Ball so I am not entirely sure what the decor was like, but I loved the feel of Cooper. Even on an overcast day, the huge front windows bathed the shop in natural light, and also highlighted the impressive glass counters with loads of cake balls to choose from. White, light blue, and of course, copper give it a modern and sophisticated color scheme.
As you head towards the back of the space, there's a divider wall which was entirely done in pennies, as was the floor of the restroom and the entire back splash of the bar, giving the decor a nice sparkle when the light hit the shiny pennies.
We began our lunch with the aforementioned cocktails, Epicuriosities having the Candy Girl (cotton candy vodka and bubbly) and myself the Cosmo-naut (acai liqueur, vodka, cointreau, blood orange and cranberry juices), along with the fried goat cheese balls, which were presented beautifully with an orchid. Perfectly fried, and with a teeny bit of local honey to contrast the creamy goatiness, they were lovely, especially with the drinks. From their website: "Our kitchen combines farm-to-table produce, house-made breads and artisan meats with an emphasis on simple, clean flavors with seasonal ingredients." Always a bonus to be at a restaurant that espouses this philosophy!
When studying the menu, I wanted to be sure we didn't order both the crab cake AND pork belly sliders or the pork belly sliders and the pork belly flatbread, but I should have paid more attention to not getting so many items with white bread! {Perhaps some multigrain menu options would be warranted.} From the left, we went with the crab cake sliders, the pork belly and goat cheese flatbread at the top, and the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup. The crab cake had nice flavor, though it was on a denser bun than what I would call a brioche bun. The flatbread (okay, pizza) and a real nice pop of color from the arugula, though being a pork lover, I of course, would have loved to have had more pork belly present! The grilled cheese fingers were a fun, grown-up twist on the kid favorite, with smoked cheddar, havarti, muenster, and fontina cheeses in the sandwich, and the soup being tomato and roasted red pepper bisque.
We asked our server to pick a couple cake balls for us, and she brought us, from the left: red velvet, tiramisu, salted caramel, and German chocolate -- great choices! The German chocolate was my favorite, as it combines coconut with chocolatey goodness! They use Callebaut chocolate, a Belgian line that is a favorite among pastry chefs for good reason. Copper also offers other desserts like a heavenly sounding peanut butter pie or the hot mess brownie; with their liquor selection or even a cappuccino, it would be the perfect spot for dessert or a break from a day of shopping. And that, is what I am sure the owners of Austin Cake Ball were banking on with their transition to Copper.
There was only one person working the front of the house; Ryan said she had only been there about ten days, but she was the consummate professional -- friendly, present yet unobtrusive. Copper is open daily for lunch and dinner, with happy hour everyday from 4 - 7 pm, including all day on Sundays, all night Tuesdays and reverse happy hour on Saturdays after 9 pm. I think the hot mess brownie and a glass of port have my name on them when I return!