Bureau de Poste Combines French Flair and Local Fare
Steph Steele and Chef Jo Chan collaborated to open Austin's new Tiny Grocer location alongside an upscale French restaurant
In October, the culinary scene in Austin welcomed a unique and exciting addition — Bureau de Poste, a charming French bistro nestled within the new Tiny Grocer, located at 4300 Speedway, in the historic confines of the old Hyde Park post office. This gastronomic gem represents the brainchild of Steph Steele, founder of Tiny Grocer, and Jo Chan, a former Top Chef contestant and a talented chef with a culinary journey rooted in passion and personal inspiration.
We were fortunate to share a fantastic evening with this dynamic duo a few months back at a community dinner, where they told us how their unlikely partnership formed when Jo, who was ready to leave the restaurant industry, felt re-energized by Steph’s focus on using food as the entry point for community building. Now, Bureau de Poste and Tiny Grocer have joined forces to create a community space encompassing a restaurant, a gourmet grocery store, and a gathering place for the local neighborhood.
Tiny Grocer: A Culinary Treasure Trove
Tiny Grocer, the brainchild of Steph Steele, serves as the cornerstone of this culinary duo. Here, you’ll find a treasure trove of over 3,000 hand-selected products, many of which are sourced from local, up-and-coming makers. The well-curated selection includes a variety of delectable products, making it a go-to destination for food enthusiasts.
Inside Tiny Grocer, you’ll find a fresh deli case offering made-to-order sandwiches and pre-made items perfect for on-the-go enjoyment. Coffee lovers will appreciate the expanded coffee bar featuring Swedish Hill coffee and Gati gluten-free pastries. Additionally, the extensive wine selection is a delightful surprise, ensuring you find the perfect pairing for your meal. Notably, Tiny Grocer became the first retailer to offer the renowned Made In cookware line outside its official channels.
For those with a penchant for aesthetics, the store showcases freshly bloomed flower arrangements, and it caters to the needs of the entire family, including children, pets, and those looking for non-alcoholic beverage options such as vermouth and bitters. This selection is even more extensive than the original South Congress store, ensuring that everyone in the community is well-served.
Steph, recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease, is passionate that folks with dietary restrictions have plenty of options — which is while you’ll find low-sugar, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, vegan, and keto options throughout the store. She has decades of experience in the grocery industry, including working as a buyer at Whole Foods early in her career, so she has long valued the importance of healthy and local brands.
“I’m back to selecting the items — picking the products by building relationships at food shows and farmers markets,” says Steph. “Making sure that we’re serving everyone is really important to me.”
Bureau de Poste: A Neighborhood French Bistro
The heart of this culinary venture is Bureau de Poste, a neighborhood French restaurant that epitomizes the essence of a simple yet delicious menu. The setting has beautiful leather banquette seating that extends outdoors to a charming landscaped patio, perfect for al fresco dining.
The talented chef behind Bureau de Poste, Jo Chan, carries with her a wealth of culinary experiences, including working with Chef Jonathan Waxman at Barbuto in NYC. Her journey took her to Austin, where she worked at Eberly, and last year, she gained further inspiration while traveling through Europe and Montreal. These experiences would later shape the menu of Bureau de Poste, bringing a touch of Europe to the heart of Hyde Park.
The menu at Bureau de Poste showcases French classics, such as Escargot, French Onion Soup, and Beef Tartare. However, it’s Jo’s personal touch and unique dishes that set it apart from the rest. Some of the most notable include the half-roasted chicken — a mix of east and west coast inspirations, combining elements from Zuni Café and Barbuto — and the Clafoutis, a nod to Julia Child.
“Steph and I love the same kinds of products, and we love representing small makers,” says Jo. “We want to be as local as we possibly can be — but we also want to celebrate excellence — and so if that is happening a world away, you know, then we’re going to celebrate that as well.”
A Gourmet Grocery Experience and More
One unique aspect of Tiny Grocer at Hyde Park is its commitment to using the same high-quality products it sources to create dishes on the restaurant’s menu. After dining at Bureau de Poste, guests can purchase unique items used in their favorite dishes. For example, Shabazi from La Boite is an Israeli spice blend that Jo had trouble finding after leaving New York City, so Steph and Jo sourced it to be used in Bureau de Poste’s Beef Tartare and available on Tiny Grocer’s shelves for Ausitines.
Weekly Plat de Jour offerings include a tantalizing Lobster Frites and a hearty Sunday Roast. Bureau de Poste offers dinner seven days a week, with a weekend brunch. Bureau de Poste and Tiny Grocer have come together to offer the Hyde Park community a one-of-a-kind culinary experience that marries French sophistication with locally sourced ingredients. It’s a place where the love for food, community, and quality products merge seamlessly, creating a destination where neighbors can gather, dine, and shop all under one roof.
Make your reservation at bureaudeposteatx.com.