Hotel Granduca Austin Appoints Executive Chef and Rolls Out New Food & Beverage Program

Hotel Granduca Austin, the Tuscan-inspired boutique hotel and member of The Leading Hotels of the World, recently announced the launch of its new food & beverage program, helmed by newly appointed Executive Chef Will Packwood. The hotel opened in the Westlake area of Austin, TX, in November 2015.

Chef Will Packwood

Chef Will Packwood (Photography courtesy of Ashley Huff)

Named Food + Wine’s Best New Chef in 2001, and having been recognized in publications, including Bon Appetit, Delta Sky Magazine, Texas Monthly, and more, Packwood boasts more than three decades experience. In his role at Hotel Granduca Austin he will oversee Visconti Ristorante & Bar, the hotel’s 70-seat restaurant, as well as all banquet food production. Most recently, Packwood, a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, worked as private chef and consultant at La Tavola in Austin, where he designed and taught recreational and professional cooking classes, created and personalized menus for clients, and provided operational and creative consulting to various operating restaurants. Prior to that, he worked as a culinary, baking and wine instructor at the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Austin.

Hotel Granduca (Photography courtesy of Michelle Gardella)

Hotel Granduca (Photography courtesy of Michelle Gardella)

“At Hotel Granduca and Visconti Ristorante & Bar, we are always searching for individuals who exhibit outstanding leadership qualities, as we are committed to providing an extraordinary guest experience,” said Larry Bundy, general manager of the hotel. “Mr. Packwood is a great asset to the hotel and Visconti Bar & Ristorante and we are thrilled to have him,” he continued.

Soon after appointing Executive Chef Packwood, Hotel Granduca Austin rolled out new food and beverage programming for the restaurant, bar, and in-room dining designed by Packwood himself.

“As a chef of Italian cuisine, I believe you have to fully understand the culture, appreciate the ingredients, combinations, even the people behind that culture,” says Packwood. “My goal in developing this new food and beverage program is to showcase my experiences, as well as Italy’s passion for food and dining.”

Serving  breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily and brunch on Sundays, Visconti Ristorante & Bar’s new menus emphasize traditional Italian cuisine with an innovative twist:

  • Breakfast: Breakfast showcases Italian-inspired dishes such as Eggs Bruschetta, featuring grilled focaccia topped with scrambled eggs, roasted tomatoes, and prosciutto; Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes topped with macerated raspberries and creme fraiche; and Il Benedetto, a dish made of poached eggs, asparagus, Italian ham, and hollandaise, all atop a delicious crostini. The breakfast menu will also include the classics – steak and eggs, pancakes, Belgian-style waffles, as well as juices, smoothies, and pastries.

  • Lunch: This newly revamped menu showcases craveable and quick lunch fare, including pizzas, like theNapoli,a pizza made with tomato, mozzarella, Gaeta olives, capers, anchovies, and oregano;a Baby Spinach-Grilled Tenderloin salad; and entrees, including Grilled Beef and Pork Spiedini, sandwiches, pastas, and more.

  • Dinner: Visconti’s new dinner menu features three sections: Starters, Pastas & Risottos, and Entrees. Starters include Tuna Crudo with roasted red pepper, capers, salsa verde, garlic emulsion and mint and a Carpaccio paired with pickled fresno and artichokes, arugula, tonnato, and black pepper oil. Saffron-Ricotta Gnocchi with a Ragu alla Bolognese and Parmigiano Reggiano, and Roasted Corn-Zucchini Risotto topped with toasted cornbread crumbs, stracchino, and basil,can be found on the Pastas & Risottos menu. Entrees showcase dishes from light to hearty, including Branzinowith broccoli rabe, roasted potatoes and tomato, and preserved lemon relish, and a Trio of Grilled Pork featuring pork tenderloin, belly, luganega, sweet corn polenta figs, arugula, and herb oil.

In addition to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Executive Chef Packwood and Hotel Granduca created new bar, dessert, and in-room dining menus.For more information, call (512) 306-6400 or visit granducaaustin.com.

Hotel Granduca Austin Rolls Out Pool Package and Frozen Cocktails

Photography courtesy of Laura Carroll.

Hotel Granduca Austin, Austin’s Tuscan-inspired 194-room property situated atop a hillside oasis, recently launched a summer pool package, Fiesta In Piscina, and a rotating frozen vodka program.

Valid for travel between May 26 and September 4, rates for Festa In Piscina start at $269 per night and are offered Thursday – Sunday nights and include a $25 food and beverage credit per night towards the pool bar. The offer is based upon availability and certain restrictions apply. Book here.

In addition to a poolside selection of cocktails, wine and domestic and imported beer, Hotel Granduca will serve Frozen Vodka-ritas, with flavors including lemon, strawberry, mango, pineapple, rotating every weekend. The poolside menu also includes appetizers of fresh fruit, hummus, salads and sandwiches.

Hotel Granduca Austin is the newest member of the Houston­ based hospitality group, Granduca Hotels by Giorgio Borlenghi. A joint venture between The Interfin Companies, LP and Riverside Resources of Austin, the luxurious 9-story hotel sits atop a breathtaking hill on S. Capital of Texas Hwy near Bee Cave Rd. in Westlake, just a short drive from downtown. The Tuscan-inspired boutique hotel features 194 rooms and suites and 6,650 square feet of meetings and events space. Additionally, Hotel Granduca Austin offers a variety of amenities including original artwork curated from Europe, a billiard room, fitness center, pool, sauna, massage rooms and chauffeur service. The hotel is a member of the prestigious organization, The Leading Hotels of the World, and is the only hotel in Austin with this distinction.

For more information, call (512) 306-6400 or visit granducaaustin.com. Follow Hotel Granduca Austin on Instagram at @hotelgranducaaustin and like the Facebook page.

Hotel Granduca Austin Winter Offerings Listing

Hotel Granduca Austin’s winter offerings, including a Prosecco Brunch, a revamped dinner menu, Daily Pizza & Peroni Happy Hour, The Sweet Life Package, Celebration Package and more.

Hotel Granduca Austin

320 S. Capital of Texas Hwy

Austin, TX 78746

(512) 306-6400

www.granducaaustin.com

Visconti Ristorante & Bar Hours:

Breakfast

Monday – Friday: 6:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Saturday – Sunday: 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Lunch

Monday – Saturday: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Dinner

Tuesday – Saturday: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Brunch

Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bar Hours:

Monday – Thursday: Noon to midnight

Friday: 2 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Saturday: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sunday Prosecco Brunch

Every Sunday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Visconti Ristorante will be offering brunch. Guests can enjoy a complimentary glass of Prosecco along with a buffet style selection of assorted salads, cured meats, gourmet cheeses and breads, house-made desserts, fresh juice bar, along with eggs any style and Chef Mario Alcocer’s menu of creative brunch favorites, including entrees like pan roasted local red fish, rosemary honey roasted NY strip loin and more. A kids’ buffet is also available, filled with kids’ staple favorites. Complimentary valet parking available. For menu and photos, click HERE.

Visconti Ristorante New Menu Offerings

Visconti Ristorante recently revamped the dinner menu to include new dishes like hearts of endive, pan-seared dayboat scallops, porcini risotto, sweet potato gnocchi, braised lamb rigatoni, lemon crusted salmon, veal milanese and more. Guests can also enjoy new dessert offerings including chocolate and cranberry torte, lemon panna cotta and cheesecake semifreddo with coconut crumble. For menu and photos, click HERE.

Daily Pizza & Peroni Happy Hour

Daily, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Now available seven days a week from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Visconti Bar is offering a happy hour featuring signature pizzas and Peronis, Available at the bar or on the patio, all pizzas are $9, Peronis are $4 each and house white and red wines and Prosecco are $6 per glass. For photos, click HERE.

Aperitivo Happy Hour

Every Thursday, 4-7 p.m.

Guests can experience Italian style happy hour every Thursday at Visconti Ristorante & Bar with live music, signature cocktails, wine and beer paired with complimentary small bites. The rotating menu features Italian inspired hors d’oeuvres including truffle fries, wild mushroom crostini, crispy frito misto, rigatoni and more.

The Sweet Life Package

Valid for book and travel from now until February 20, 2017

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a weekend getaway in the Westlake Hills of Austin. Valid for travel between now and February 20, 2017, save 50 percent off the best available rate, with rates starting at $249. Offer includes chef’s choice house-made sweet amenity upon arrival and VIP turndown service with nightly chocolates. To book this offer, click HERE.

*Offer based upon availability, certain restrictions may apply

Celebration Staycation Package

Valid for book and travel between now and March 8, 2017

From Valentine’s Day to birthdays and anniversaries, celebrate in style at Hotel Granduca Austin. Valid for book and travel from now until March 8, 2017, save 33 percent off the best available rate, with rates starting at $249. Offer includes a $50 Visa gift card presented during registration, chilled Prosecco and seasonal fruit delivered to your room or Suite upon arrival, and early check-in and late check-out at no charge with VIP turndown service. To book this offer, click HERE.

*Offer based upon availability, certain restrictions may apply.

Winter Break Rate

Valid for travel between now and March 8, 2017

This winter, relax and enjoy the beautiful, rolling hills of Westlake at Hotel Granduca Austin. Valid for travel from now until March 8, 2017, save 35 percent off normal rates, with rates starting at $239. Offer includes $50 food and beverage credit per night towards breakfast in Visconti Ristorante. To book this offer, click HERE. ​

*Offer based upon availability, certain restrictions may apply. F&B credit must be used during period of reservation.

Winter Savings Rate

Valid for travel between now and March 8, 2017

Enjoy promotional pricing on a Deluxe King package with the Winter Savings Rate. Valid for travel from now until March 8, 2017, save up to 40 percent off the best available rate, with rates starting at $199. To book this offer, click HERE. ​

*Offer based upon availability, certain restrictions may apply.

Hotel Granduca Austin Adds to Food and Beverage Team

Joseph Pena Named Manager of Visconti Ristorante & Bar at Hotel Granduca Austin

Joseph Pena

Joseph Pena

Hotel Granduca Austin, one of our favorite luxury lodging establishments, is pleased to announce the newest addition to the hotel team, Joseph Pena, as manager of Visconti Ristorante & Bar. The Tuscan-inspired boutique hotel opened last fall in the Westlake area of Austin.

“Hotel Granduca Austin is dedicated to providing an elevated guest dining experience,” says Joseph Violi, General Manager of Hotel Granduca Austin. “Joseph’s expertise in fine dining and restaurant operations, as well as his experience in hospitality both here and abroad, make him an invaluable asset to our team, and we are thrilled to welcome him on board.”

Pena joins Hotel Granduca Austin as manager of Visconti Ristorante & Bar, where he will oversee all aspects of restaurant operations, from food service to special dining events. Educated in Paris at Ferrandi, The French School of Culinary Arts and a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, Pena brings a diverse background in food and beverage. Prior to joining the Hotel Granduca team, Pena was the director of wine and service and maitre d’ at The Driskill Grill at The Driskill Hotel in Austin, TX. He has also worked at The Pierre Hotel in New York City, Michelin-starred L20 in Chicago and The Halekulani Hotel at Waikiki in Honolulu, HI.

Romantic Dining for 2 at Visconti Ristorante, Hotel Granduca

Hotel Granduca Visconti Ristorante

Hotel Granduca Visconti Ristorante

Hotel Granduca’s Visconti Ristorante features a prix fixe Valentine’s Day tasting menu available on both February 13 and 14. Regular dinner menu offered as well.

Price: $85 per person, curated wine pairing for an additional $45.

A romantic Tuscan inspired evening at Hotel Granduca also features live music and specialty passion cocktails:

French Kiss, Bombay Sapphire Gin, St. Germain, lemon juice, strawberry syrup, Prosecco, garnished with strawberry and gold flake

Broken Heart, A Chocolate Cherry Martini, Cinco Vodka, Luxardo Cherry Liquor, Godiva Chocolate Liquor, cream, garnished with vanilla bean Foam, chocolate shavings and maraschino cherry

To Reserve: Reservations can be made by calling in (512.306.6500), or email visconti@granducaaustin.com or go to: Visconti Ristorante website

Address: 320 S. Capital of Texas Hwy, Bldg. B, Austin, TX 78746

Visconti Valentines Menu

Hotel Granduca Austin Makes Grand Debut

194-room boutique luxury hotel now open to the public

Book now at granducaaustin.com

Italian sophistication meets modern luxury with the debut of Hotel Granduca Austin, the Tuscan-inspired boutique hotel now open to the public. Sittingatop a hillside oasis with sweeping views of the city, the second property in Giorgio Borlenghi’s Granduca Hotels family builds on the Houston location’s reputation for excellence as a prestigious member of The Leading Hotels of the World organization. It is the only hotel in Austin with this distinction. Reservations are available for booking at granducaaustin.com.

 “We’ve been eagerly awaiting this day and are thrilled to open our doors for the first time at Hotel Granduca Austin,” said Giorgio Borlenghi, President of The Interfin Companies, LP. “We’re confident that our guests will fall in love with the stunning location and extraordinary service that make the hotel the perfect location for personal retreats, special events, and business meetings alike.”

Elevated on 38 acres of lush greenery, the 190,000-square ft. retreat offers impeccable service, world-class dining, and luxurious amenities. The 194 artfully designed rooms have eight unique layouts ranging from 480-square ft. deluxe guestrooms to spacious havens up to 1,350 square ft. Each space evokes a warm and inviting ambience reminiscent of a private Tuscan villa and is enhanced by standout touches, including full-size baths and walk-in showers, kitchens, and expansive closets, perfect for extended stays.

Hotel Granduca Austin introduces Visconti Ristorante & Bar, a celebration of authentic northern Italian cuisine helmed by James Beard award-winning Chef Tom Parlo. Blending local, seasonal ingredients with Italian staples, the menu offers a progressive take on traditional flavors. Signature dishes include the crisp Cotoletta alla Milanese veal chop and artichokes; the Stracotto, savory Chianti braised pork cheeks; and Orata alla Griglia, grilled fish wrapped in escarole with olio verde and sorrento lemon.

In addition to breakfast, lunch, and dinner service, an afternoon tea with Italian flair is served daily, and guests can enjoy a brunch on Sundays featuring an impressive spread of antipasto, seafood, and traditional brunch dishes. Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 4 – 7 p.m., the restaurant comes to life for the Aperitivo Happy Hour featuring carefully crafted cocktails and a fine selection of domestic and imported beer and wine, paired with a rotating menu of complimentary, mouthwatering hors d’oeuvres.

Rooted in authenticity, Hotel Granduca Austin honors the Borlenghi family’s Italian heritage and history with traditional décor and 1,700 pieces of European artwork featured throughout the hotel, all handpicked by the family. Guests are transported to old-world Italy upon viewing grandiose 16th century monastery doors located in Visconti Ristorante’s private dining area. Charming rustic motifs by esteemed painter Matt Coulson accent the property facades, courtyard and interior common areas.

Along with standout dining and intriguing design, guests can indulge in a variety of other amenities including a billiard room, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a relaxing sauna and massage rooms, and a pool surrounded by private cabanas and a spectacular view. Additionally, the hotel offers a range of dedicated services such as a concierge available 24 hours a day and chauffeured transportation, including luxury service to The University of Texas at Austin home football games.

 A dream destination for weddings, special events, and business gatherings, the hotel boasts 6,650 square ft. of dedicated meetings and events space consisting of six conference rooms and a stunning ballroom accommodating seating for up to 230 guests.

Hotel Granduca Austin is located at 320 S. Capital of Texas Hwy, Bldg. B, Austin, TX 78746. For reservations and more information, call 512-306-6500, or visit granducaaustin.com.

Hotel Granduca Austin Expands Culinary Team

Andrew Lewis Named Executive Pastry Chef of Visconti Ristorante & Bar at Hotel Granduca Austin

Hotel Granduca Austin adds Chef Andrew Lewis to its talented culinary team as Executive Pastry Chef. Under the direction of acclaimed Executive Chef Tom Parlo, Lewis will be responsible for overseeing all elements of the creative conception and development of confections at the property’s signature northern Italian restaurant, Visconti Ristorante & Bar.

“Chef Andrew has built a reputation for creating artful and delicious treats, and continues to raise the bar with the new desserts he has envisioned for Visconti Ristorante & Bar,” said Joseph Violi, General Manager of Hotel Granduca. “He is an excellent addition to our standout culinary team, and we’re excited to welcome guests to experience the restaurant later this fall.”

Born and raised in Texas, Lewis was inspired by his father’s love for cooking and discovered his passion for chocolate and sweets at an early age. Over the years, Lewis developed his culinary expertise in a hands-on environment in the kitchen, baking and honing his craft at several renowned eateries such as Bolla in the Stoneleigh Hotel and Stephan Pyles’ namesake restaurant in Dallas.

Most recently, Lewis served as Executive Pastry Chef of the Austin-based Japanese restaurant Uchiko.There, he oversaw the pastry program for all five Uchi concepts and played a key role in the company’s rapid expansion.

In his current position at Visconti Ristorante & Bar, Lewis continues to pursue groundbreaking desserts, aiming to showcase familiar flavors in original forms and combinations.  Visconti and Hotel Granduca are slated to open in the Westlake area of Austin in November 2015.

For reservations and more information on Visconti Ristorante & Bar and Hotel Granduca Austin, call 512-306-6500, or visit granducaaustin.com.

Hotel Granduca Austin Announces Reservation Activation

Hotel Granduca Austin announced on September 30 that it is now accepting room reservations for stays beginning November 2 through its newly launched website, GranducaAustin.com.

View of porte cochere

View of porte cochere

Granduca Austin is a 9-story luxury boutique hotel located in the scenic rolling hills of West Austin, a short ride from downtown. The hotel features 194 rooms, 6 meeting rooms, a 3,506 square ft ballroom, lush gardens, heated pool and spa with adjacent fitness facilities and courtyard. Granduca Austin pairs Italian elegance and style with the breathtaking views of Central Texas to create an intimate hillside oasis, reminiscent of a private Tuscan villa. Offering world-class dining, Granduca Austin’s Visconti Ristorante & Bar highlights authentic Northern Italian cuisine alongside the finest locally sourced ingredients.

View of square courtyard at the heart of the hotel

View of square courtyard at the heart of the hotel

Hotel Granduca Austin highlights include:

  • Visconti Ristorante & Bar, offering Northern Italian fine dining – serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner

  • Beautiful private courtyard

  • 365-day heated saltwater pool and spa

  • Stunning Italianate ballroom with hand-painted ceilings, Italian chandeliers, and French doors that open to the courtyard

  • Adjacent to the Wild Basin Nature Preserve

View of Sala Ducale

View of Sala Ducale

Hotel Granduca Austin amenities include:

  • Multilingual staff

  • Twice-daily housekeeping

  • Valet Parking

  • Luxury transportation to University of Texas football games

  • Chauffeured transportation available upon request

  • Complimentary wireless Internet access throughout the hotel

  • State-of-the-art fitness center; personal trainer available

  • Complimentary local and 800 calls

  • Event and meeting rooms

  • In-room dining available 24 hours

  • Daily laundry and dry-cleaning services

  • Complimentary shoeshine service

  • Billiard Room

  • Granduca Retail Boutique

  • Pets welcome

 

Reservations and event inquiries can be made by calling (844) 306-6400 or visiting the reservations tab on the Hotel Granduca website http://granducaaustin.com.

Hotel Granduca Austin Adds to Culinary Team

Will Foden Named Chef de Cuisine of Visconti Ristorante at the Hotel Granduca Austin

 

Hotel Granduca Austin continues to build a consummate culinary team with the hire of skilled Chef de Cuisine Will Foden. Foden will be working under the hotel’s renowned executive chef, Tom Parlo. The hotel will open in the Westlake area of Austin mid-October.

Under Chef Parlo’s direction, Chef Foden will be in charge of Hotel Granduca Austin’s signature northern Italian restaurant, Visconti Ristorante & Bar.

“Hotel Granduca Austin is committed to providing an extraordinary and creative dining experience,” said Joseph Violi, general manager of the hotel. “We are thrilled that Will is joining us in this venture; he will be an asset to the hotel and Visconti Ristorante & Bar.”

Foden joins Hotel Granduca Austin with extensive culinary expertise. Most recently Foden, a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park in New York, worked as executive chef at Garbo’s in Austin where he designed and executed the Garbo’s menu.  Prior to that, Foden worked on the East Coast and served as executive chef at 83 ½ Restaurant in New York, BiNA Osteria & Alimentari, and Restaurant Dante in Boston. During his tenure at Restaurant Dante, it was named “Best Italian Restaurant in Boston” by Boston Magazine. In 2009, Foden was nominated by Starchefs.com for the Rising Star Chefs of Boston. Foden has spent time in Cortona, Italy, at the Michelin-starred, Relais & Châteaux Restaurant and Winery, Il Falconiere, where he immersed himself in regional Tuscan cuisine.

 ABOUT GRANDUCA AUSTIN

Granduca Austin is the newest member of Granduca Hotels, a Houston-based hospitality group. A joint venture between The Interfin Companies, LP and Riverside Resources of Austin, the luxurious 9-story hotel will sit atop a breathtaking hill on Bee Cave Road and Loop 360 in Westlake, just a short ride from downtown. Granduca Austin broke ground in April 2014 and will open October 2015.