Are you fuel?

Fresh new healthy eating restaurant ready to satisfy River Oaks

Fresh new healthy eating restaurant ready to satisfy River Oaks

Satisfy Tablescape dishes
Satisfy will feature a selection of light, healthy dishes. Courtesy of Clark Cooper Concepts
Satisfy Sam Walter
Chef Sam Walter. Courtesy of Clark Cooper Concepts
Satisfy avocado mousse
Chocolate agave avocado mousse. Courtesy of Clark Cooper Concepts
Satisfy Tablescape dishes
Satisfy Sam Walter
Satisfy avocado mousse

Clark Cooper Concepts is bringing an all-day cafe to River Oaks. The local restaurant group behind establishments such as Brasserie 19 and The Dunlavy will open a new concept called Satisfy in the first quarter of 2020, the company announced.

Located in the former Rossini Caffè Italiano space on the first floor of San Felipe Place (2229 San Felipe St.), Satisfy will pack a lot of features into a tidy, 1,500-square-foot cafe.

The restaurant’s menu will feature a selection of healthy eating options at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with juices and grab-and-go items. Similar to restaurants like Flower Child and Vibrant, Satisfy’s dishes will not use refined sugars or flours, artificial preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, or GMOs. While the dishes will be vegetable-forward (and many will be gluten-free), Cooper says they’ll still be flavorful and made with precise techniques.

“We have this running joke about what Satisfy is,” co-owner Grant Cooper said at a press event to introduce the concept. “Essentially, it’s ‘nourishing to fuel.’ We’re always talking about ‘are you fuel’ instead of ‘are you full.’ That’s the mojo, the DNA behind Satisfy.”

Those principles are illustrated in dishes such as beet-cured salmon on gluten-free bread, avocado toast on keto-friendly egg bread, and a jackfruit “pulled pork” sandwich on gluten-free Texas toast. For dessert, consider chocolate-agave-avocado mousse with dairy-free coconut milk whipped cream.

To bring Satisfy to life, Cooper and business partner Charles Clark hired executive chef Sam Walter. He brings experience from a number of high-profile Austin restaurants, including working as the opening sous chef at Otoko and as chef de cuisine at both Uchiko and Lenoir.

“We really vibed on what we like to eat and the way we feel like Houston could eat a little better without losing quality or flavor,” Walter said. Asked about the concept, he replied that Satisfy’s healthy dishes are “the way I want to eat.”

Of course, the restaurant group that hung 40 chandeliers from the ceiling of The Dunlavy will bring a little style to Satisfy’s design. The logo uses a '70s-inspired font (and will play music from the '60s and '70s); Cooper says pink will be one of the restaurant’s “identifying colors.”

As with its siblings, wine will play a prominent role in the beverage offerings. Cooper noted it can be healthy when consumed in moderation.

Thankfully, Satisfy won’t be all gluten-free masa gnocchi and turmeric bone broth — although both will be on the menu. Walter mentioned that he’s working on a burger, but even it will have a “healthy twist."

Next year will be a busy time for the company. It will close Ibiza on February 15. Satisfy should open shortly thereafter. In the summer, The Dunlavy will stop operating as an event space by adding dinner service. Cooper suggested back in June that more restaurants might be on the way, but what they are and where they'll be located remain a mystery for now.