Suerte Team Opens Mexican Seafood Restaurant Este in October
The eatery from Sam Hellman-Mass and Chef Fermín Núñez will celebrate the culture, seafood and people of coastal Mexico
By Avery Matschek
Photos by Dimitri Staszewski
Located at the site of the former Eastside Cafe, Este will feature freshly-sourced seafood and charcoal cooking.
“This project is truly a dream,” says Hellman-Mass. “The past few years have been challenging for everyone in the restaurant industry. I do not take for granted that our team is so fortunate to do what we love and put our hearts and all of our passion into Este.”
Suerte is a masa-focused Mexican eatery that has gained significant acclaim and popularity since its opening in 2018. As Hellman-Mass and Núñez prepared to open their newest venture, the duo traveled to cities along the coast of Mexico, including Tijuana, Puerto Escondido and Merida, among others.
The menu at Este is a seafood lover’s dream, with ceviche, oysters, fried fish tacos, a shareable seafood platter and much more. Beyond the fish, there’s a cast iron-seared T-Bone steak, seasonal vegetables and other inland dishes. Pastry Chef Derrick Flynn, another member of Team Suerte, will work alongside Núñez to create desserts for Este, as well.
“When I think of mariscos, I think of the many delicious raw dishes as well as the timeless tradition of grilling beautiful fish and shellfish on the beach over a hot charcoal fire,” says Núñez, one of FOOD & WINE’s Best New Chefs of 2021. “I am not only looking forward to cooking this way at Este, but also having that be a place where I get to eat on my days off.”
With coastal-inspired cocktails and margaritas, created by Bar Manager Patrick Wasetis, and a wine list influenced by coastal regions, curated by General Manager Celia Pellegrini, the beverage program will naturally complement the food offerings at Este.
The Este team partnered with Matt Garcia Design and Delineate Studio, who also collaborated on Suerte, to design the new space. The original East Austin building was constructed in the 1920s and was recently updated and rebuilt to house Este. The bright dining spaces are full of natural materials and artisan-made decor, as well as gorgeous, one-of-a-kind tile created in collaboration with architect Matt Garcia and José Noé Suro, of Mexico’s Cerámica Suro.
The location’s garden has been brought back to life, now growing local vegetables through rotational farming. The building also has a large wrap-around patio built by A.R. Lucas Construction.
“It is going to be a delicious place to dine and a lot of fun,” says Hellman-Mass.
Este will be open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Look for future announcements for updates on lunch service, private dining and an afternoon happy hour on their website and Instagram.