Help please!! Need suggestions for Wife's B-day
OK....My wife's B-day is Saturday and I want to take her to a very nive restaurant downtown and then end up at a hotel in the area so we do not have to drive. She likes Italian, steaks, Mexican, and seafood, but out of those, great seafood would win. (She is from Rhode Island and is convinced there is no good seafood here!)
Also, if you know of any hotels in the area, that would be helpful. Thanks in advance!
I'm going to have to go with Eddie V's for dinner. I've had bad meals at Trulucks and M&S.
If you can afford it, the Driskall's old tower rooms are VERY romantic and I can't speak more highly of our experience. In our room, the bathroom was all glassed in with a very large spa tub. We drew a bubble bath (the things my hubby endures for me...) and had a bottle of champagne and talked and soaked the night away. A very, VERY good memory. At while you're at it IF you can afford it, you don't have to even leave the hotel for one of the finest meals in Austin at the Driskall Grill. The multi-course tasting menu is always the best.
Not sure if I'd call Truluck's the east coast seafood thing, but more just like a typical semi-upscale Dean Martin-esque martini/steak/seafood joint. At least that's the vibe I get.
But anyways, while I didn't jump for joy on my visit to Trulucks, I am pretty certain that if you stick to simply prepared seafood, you will have a highly enjoyable meal. Get lobster, crab, or any fresh fish and have it simply prepared. Don't go for the stuff on the menu that has all kinds of funky sauces and other accessories. It's sub-par quality, at supra-par prices. But it's def'y a decent environment for your occasion, and a short cab-ride or nice walk away from many hotels.
Here's a couple of suggestions:
I don't know what kind of cash you are willing to lay out, but the Stephen F. Austin hotel at Congress & 7th may be a good choice for you. It's a nice place, and cheaper than the Driskill. Additionally, there are several restaurants within walking distance. I'm not crazy about the restaurant at the hotel (the Roaring Fork), but the bar upstairs is very cool, and would be a great place to hang out for an after dinner drink, espcially if it is a nice evening as you can sit outside and look down over Congress.
I agree Eddie V's is a good choice, and is only about a 4 block walk. Another seafood restaurant in the area is McCormick & Schmidt, which is only a couple of bocks south on Congress. Yeah - I know, this is a chain, but the food's pretty good, and would serve well as a special occasion place. I had a bad experience at the Truluck's in the Arboretum recently, but others seem to like the downtown one. Of the three, I would go with EV.
A personal favorite for me is Starlite, also within easy walking distance from the SFA at 4th & Colorado. It's not a seafood restaurant, but I think it's one of the better restaurants downtown. http://www.starliteaustin.net/
Here's another option. Stay at the San Jose hotel on Congress and go to Vespaio. I've not stayed at San Jose (I have been there, though). It's a different, kind of Austinish-funky place. Vespaio is a great Italian place just a couple of blocks south. Word of warning, however, they don't take reservations and the wait can be pretty long as it is very popular.
Hope you have a great time.
See http://www.eddiev.com/. Eddie V's is very good. I've only been for appetizers lately. I've had the crab cakes, lobster and shrimp bisque and broiled oysters. They were all very fresh and delicious. Notable - the crab cakes are mostly CRAB - who knew? Really tasty place and fantastic atmosphere!!!