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One of Austin’s most beloved restaurant couples, Lisa and Emmett Fox are leading the charge in the capital’s recent Italian restaurant invasion with Cantine Italian Café & Bar. The 125-seat dining room, with a street-facing façade in the new Lamar Union complex in South Austin, is a frontrunner in the wave of Italian eateries—Italic downtown and Juliet Ristorante on Barton Springs, among others—that have turned on their burners in the past year. A healthy respect for the Boot’s rich culinary history (not to mention a new Arcobaleno pasta machine) is giving Cantine its competitive edge: Instead of reinventing the Parmesan wheel, the kitchen makes exceptional plates that give generations-old Italian classics their due respect.

 

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