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(AUS) NYE Dinner... yes, I know

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I've dined out enough times on holidays (didn't take many) to know that it is generally a waste of time, however, we have a guest in town who we will probably want to take out.

Does anyone know any restaurants that may be a good choice? We are open to upscale to semi-casual, and looking for an early seating as we will be attending a party afterwards.

Wish me luck.

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  1. Christine, I posted a similar request a couple of days ago, but have not received any responses of value:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/354514

    Your scenario I think might be a little easier to suit than mine. I had found a list of restaurants at the Austin Chronicle website which included:
    - Asti
    - Fino
    - Fado
    - McCormick & Schmick
    - Driskill Grill
    - Restaurant Jezebel
    - Carmelo's Ristorante
    - Dona Emilia's

    I'm sure there are more. The key to enjoying NYE (when you're out on the town) is to lower your expectations to rock-bottom.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Nab

      No responses of value? Hm....I said "My sage advice for a slightly festive, slightly mellow, not necessarily delicious NYE...check the Chron - they usually have a bunch of ads the THU before NYE...pick the one that seems least offensive." You found a list of restaurants on the Chon's website. At the risk of posting another value-less response, I will advise you to avoid Carmelo's at all cost, even with rock bottom expectations of scrumptuousness, the food is just bad.

      1. re: saticoy

        Oh yes, my apologies saticoy, you did suggest The Chronicle. I had checked their website prior to Thursday, and checked it again today and it hasn't changed. Maybe the hard-copy has more to offer.

        FWIW, I don't think most of the above restaurants come well-regarded (with the exception of maybe Driskill). Of course, you can't go too wrong with oysters and other fresh seafood at M&S.

        I protested the idea of going out one last time, and my friend said she would simply take charge of the task. She ended up choosing Cru Wine Bar in the 2nd Street District. Never been there, and I don't expect much, but at least I can slurp some decent wine and enjoy my company.

        1. re: Nab

          Re: Driskill Grill--I love the place but I believe they have a very limited menu on NY Eve as they did for Christmas dinner so you may want to call to find out.

          1. re: Nab

            Nab, decent wine has gotten me through some disappointing chow without getting too grumpy - let us know how Cru is.

            BTW - Asti and Fino are both seriously lacking for what they endeavor to be....but Carmelo's has bad, bad food.

      2. Well, I guess my NYE outing was successful. It was easy & comfortable, the food wasn't horrendous, service was acceptable, and I enjoyed some nice wine. This was at Cru Wine Bar in the 2nd Street District.

        They brought out an initial course of baked garlic-lime shrimp with black-eye pea relish. Shrimp was tasty, didn't care for the relish. I had the lobster bisque for my second course, which had a very boring gray-ish look to it, and was only slightly better than it looked. I opted for the baked balsamic-soy glazed sea bass with black rice, which I figured they couldn't screw up, and they didn't. It was actually quite tasty, but nothing extraordinary. The panna cotta was weird, and my guess is they screwed it up in the kitchen and what I got was their attempt to salvage in the limited time they had. It was, again, a rather unattractive blob of gray matter that tasted like pumpkin pie filling. Very strange.

        But, all in all, I was happy because I wasn't bombarded by the crowds, I enjoyed good company and slurped some very decent wines. The dinner was only $35 so I didn't feel bad about things at all. Since I wasn't expecting much, my expectations were met, maybe even slightly surpassed. It def'y wasn't as painful as I thought it might be.