Supper Friends at the Swoop House

Supper Friends at the Swoop House

My favorite new restaurant isn’t really a restaurant. At least not every day. On most days, The Swoop House is a bustling catering office. On other days, an event space hosting private functions. But on some days in between, it becomes a supper club, rivaling any full-time restaurant in town.

Several times a month, the Swoop House is transformed from a work-a-day business into a culinary salon. Your hosts are the delightful Stephen and Lauren Shallcross, owners of 2dine4 Fine Catering located on premise. On rare nights when their catering company and event spaces aren’t booked, the Shallcrosses open their doors to the public and host intimate dinner parties. Everyone is welcome at their “Supper Friends” soirees, but guests must join an email list to receive invitations, which usually give just a few days notice. The BYOB multi-course dinners cost $40 to $65 and guests scramble to RSVP before each sells out.

Housed in a 1930s bungalow lovingly renovated and relocated from Hyde Park to East Austin, the Swoop House oozes cozy charm and character. A crimson chandelier dangles from a rustic wood ceiling. An antique bar adjoins modern appliances. Mismatched chairs line starched white tablecloths. Candles flicker on tabletops as an eclectic mix of music sets the tone. The scene feels special but not pretentious.

Evenings typically begin with cocktail hour, where guests mingle at the bar, sipping on Stephen’s handcrafted cocktails while Lauren passes hors d’oeuvres. Attendance varies from a dozen to 40 diners, all as diverse as the setting. When it’s time for dinner, handwritten place cards direct each to their seat at large tables in one of three rooms. The crowd is an eclectic one, and by night’s end, most are fast friends, connected by their common love of community and food.

Executive Chef Chris Chism and the 2dine4 catering team prepare meals that are as artful as they are delicious. Food favors Chism’s impressive Southwestern training — he’s cooked with super chefs Stephen Pyles and David Garrido — but can also feature culinary themes like Asian, Cajun or Southern comfort food. On some nights, notable “guest” chefs are invited to man the stove. But whoever’s cooking, it’s always delicious.

The Shallcrosses have created something magical. Supper Friends at the Swoop House has all the elements of a great dinner party: stylish ambiance, tasty cocktails, spectacular food and sparkling conversation. It’s such a special experience, I wish it took place nightly. But then again, part of what makes it special is the anticipation of the next unexpected invitation, undiscovered meal and introduction of a new friend.

3012 Gonzales St.
(512) 467 6600


Supper Friends