Contigo | Austin
Ben Edgerton and Andrew Wiseheart grew up working on cattle ranches in Texas. They spent their 20’s traveling and working, gaining experience and honing their crafts. Wiseheart, Executive Chef, trained in Michelin-rated kitchens across the country and his cooking combines influences from both ranch upbringing and classic French technique. While Edgerton, General Manager, spent five years in New York City in advertising and marketing.
Lucky for all of us though, they returned to Texas to be near family, combine their skills and knowledge, and share what they learned while they were away.
In 2011, they opened the doors to Contigo Austin, which is modeled after Edgerton’s family ranch, Contigo Ranch, in South Texas. “The concept is pretty simple”, Edgerton & Wiseheart comment. “Since we can’t have everyone down to the ranch, we wanted to do our best to bring the ranch to them. We like to sit outside. We like to drink beer… and margaritas. We like to eat good food. We like relaxed atmospheres with friendly service and warm hospitality. So… that is what we strive to offer at Contigo Austin.”
The food at Contigo has gained notoriety for their take on thoughtful, fresh, quality, bar food. “We make things that we like to eat. We make things that go well with beer. We make bar food utilizing the freshest ingredients we can find. We have been entertaining people at Contigo Ranch for over 30 years. It is the countless hunting trips, weekend retreats, cattle roundups, barbecues, parties, horseshoe and washers tournaments, and pachangas that serve as inspiration for this restaurant. Our goal is to offer the community a place to relax, commune, and enjoy great food. We hope you will join us.”
Nestled in East Austin, the space may have a rustic feel like the ranch, but the attention to detail cannot be missed. You could say the same thing about the food. Wiseheart butchers his own pork, chicken, and rabbit, and house cures all of his meats. The presentation echoes the elegance of Edgerton’s and Wiseheart’s experiences in Napa Valley, New York City, and Europe; but the feel is comfortable like a group meal around a campfire on the ranch.
So, what to eat? Pancetta, Ox Tongue Sliders, Smoked Shiitakes, Rabbit & Dumplings, and anything off-menu that is available that day. Enjoy.