Thursday, April 30, 2009

Austyn’s: A Multicultural Dining Experience

BY Layla Lamchahab

In the heart of historic downtown Ironton, Austyn’s Restaurant & Lounge combines Asian, Italian and New American flavors to create a multicultural dining experience.

Chef Matthew Hall combines a variety of upscale flavors like Parmesan-crusted Mahi-mahi with a creamy, white wine garlic sauce and bourbon beef tenderloins. Surf and turf, sandwiches, pasta, salads, and pizza are all included on the eclectic menu. For lunch, you can feast on Beer Battered Tilapia or Pizza Bianca, which combines creamy Alfredo sauce topped with red peppers, mushrooms, mozzarella and prosciutto.

While the menu may be attractive, the location is also a point of interest. Located in Ironton’s old train depot, passing trains are still visible through the windows. Austyn’s is in one of the oldest and most historic buildings in town. The extensive renovation took some time but ultimately transformed the interior without taking away the nostalgic feel of an old depot.

You kind of feel like you’ve stepped through the past when you walk in,” manager Cynthia Jacobson says.

A year and a half ago, owner Phi Chen moved Austyn’s from Marietta to the Ironton location. The new restaurant includes a banquet room that accommodates up to 120 guests and two private dining rooms.

Whether you need a table for two or 20, the dining experience can be tailored to your needs.

One of the misconceptions is that [our customers] have to order exclusively from our menu, but we can prepare according to their request for banquet parties,” Jacobson says.

Most of the restaurants regulars are local business owners and town leaders, she says.

That doesn’t mean only the suit and tie crowd are welcome.

You will be greeted with smiling faces,” Jacobson says. “You can be as formal or as relaxed as you desire.”

Austyn’s menu includes an updated children’s menu with a new cheeseburger plate. Live entertainment will start performing soon as well. Reservations are recommended, especially for special holidays.

Like the atmosphere, the dress code is flexible, so you’ll get anything but a stuffy vibe from the staff. And the sweetest thing‑ besides dessert? The prices! Lunch starts at $5.95 and the most expensive dish is $23 - a reasonable price for a classy meal.

Despite appearing rather fancy, the atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable.

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