Il Brutto

Austin, Texas

A neighborhood Italian spot, Il Brutto serves up authentic cuisine in a moody space with a darker color palette made lively by high ceilings and ample windows. The space includes a bar, lounge, private dining room, an open kitchen with a Neapolitan wood-burning brick oven, and a dough room where cooks on view prepare pasta by hand.

Earthy interiors meant to age with time rely on handmade and forged-by-fire materials to create a well-textured space. Concrete tabletops with raw aggregate edges are treated in a custom leather-like stain referencing legendary Texas cowboys and Italy’s lesser-known Spaghetti Western subculture. Triple-dipped tile by Era Ceramics covers overhead shelving at the kitchen pass.

Waxed canvas banquettes and hand-woven rattan chairs coordinate with a vintage hand-printed wallpaper from 1970s Italy. New lighting interspersed with vintage Italian lighting accentuates vintage Italian sketches alongside art by San Antonio’s Peter Glassford. Outside, a heroic live oak with surrounding seating welcomes local passersby.