By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Frog & The Bull celebrated its official grand opening March 6. The locally-owned eatery and bar offers the first Iberian restaurant to Northwest Austin at 4300 N. Quinlan Park Rd.
Owner David Fernandez, a Steiner Ranch father of five, is half Iberian. He also served 14 years as a U.S. Navy SEAL, both of which are the source of his inspiration for Frog & The Bull.
The “frog” portion of the name was born as a tribute to Fernandez’s fallen SEAL comrades referred to as “fellow frogmen” while the “bull” is a revered symbol in both the Texas and Iberian cultures. The two together create Frog & The Bull combining Fernandez’s passion, experiences and heritage into one.
“The Iberian Peninsula is the most culinary diversified region on the face of the planet, infused over thousands of years by the surrounding European, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern influences,” said Fernandez.
“A chef could spend their entire life trying to explore every piece of cuisine that originates from this region, lending itself to the vibrant, colorful and cultured meals, appetizers, desserts and drinks we are thrilled to be serving today,” he told guests at the pre-grand opening dinner last week.
The culinary team at Frog & the Bull is led by executive chef David Glenn who came to Frog & The Bull after several years as executive chef for The Salt Lick BBQ restaurant and catering group. Graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Austin, Glenn is dedicated to pairing craft menus and showcasing specialty flavors and dishes.
Frog & the Bull incorporates Portuguese, Spanish and Basque cuisines and menu items include Iberian meatballs, patatas bravas, garlic shrimp and Brussel’s sprouts.
The 2,700-square-foot, upscale-casual space has been a number of other restaurants over the past 15 years but that does not deter Fernandez.
“The location, despite it’s previous history, is a great location,” he said.
Frog & The Bull celebrated its official grand opening on Feb. 28 and proceeds benefited the Hill Country Special Needs Alliance and its 2020 Run the Ranch 5K fundraiser.
This is not Fernandez’s first venture as a restauranteur. He developed a Spanish and Portuguese wine and tapas bar in Hawaii before relocating to Austin in February 2019.
“We relocated to Steiner from Oahu about one year ago,” Fernandez said. “We decided to relocate since my son is a senior and my teenage daughters all have college and career ambitions on the mainland. We didn’t want to be that far apart from them.”
Fernandez and his Kristy have five children, three of whom attend Vandegrift and Canyon Ridge schools.
“We picked the Steiner area because of schools being rated so well, and the community in general,” he said. “My kids were raised half in Texas and half in Hawaii. So coming back to Texas was a natural fit.”
He also said that Austin filtered out of his research as a “high growth economy”.
Frog & The Bull is Fernandez’s way of continuing his devotion to serving his community.
“We are determined to provide people with a phenomenal experience,” he said.