Top Chef Winner Kristen Kish Finally Opens Her First Restaurant [Video]

After a long hiatus from the kitchen, she's back with Arlo Grey inside the Line Hotel in Austin.

When Kristen Kish won Top Chef six years ago, she was only the second woman to take home the title. And as she returned to Boston to rejoin acclaimed chef Barbara Lynch’s brigade at Stir, she seemed poised for stardom. Offers poured in for her to travel, endorse products, and Lynch promoted her to the top spot at her fine dining restaurant Menton. Within the year, in February 2014, she left her chef de cuisine spot to head out on her own. But the restaurant people were expecting from her never arrived—until now.

After taking time off to appear at events, host the Travel Channel’s 36 Hours, and publish her first cookbook, Kish has finally opened her first restaurant, Arlo Grey. Located inside the Line hotel in Austin, the restaurant will have a more casual approach than the fine dining tasting menus she served at Menton, with inspirations coming from her time cooking Italian and French fare, as well as food from her childhood, and ingredients of Texas.

The menu reflects those diversity of influences. There’s burrata served with cucumber broth, housemade agnolotti en brodo, buffalo shortrib, and a burger topped with whipped pommes aligot—a.k.a. cheesy mashed potatoes.

kristen kish burger

Burger with whipped aligot potatoes.  Photo: courtesy Sydell Group

This is the third and newest location for the Line hotel, which is also open in LA and DC. The company behind the Line, the Sydell Group, has been no stranger to opening great restaurants within its hotels. In the LA Line location, Roy Choi has set up shop with Commissary. The company also owns the Nomad, where they partner with Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park, and Freehand, which has locations in LA, New York, Chicago, and Miami. And Sydell has partnered with MGM to remake the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas into Park MGM, with Choi, Humm, and Guidara developing restaurants inside. So Kish has put herself in good company with her full-time return to the kitchen.

The restaurant will eventually serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but will start with just dinner service.

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