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Fried Calamari

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I'm fairly new to this fantastic board exchange....and trying to catch up on all that I don't know about Austin food and all that I recall fondly when someone mentions it. This may have been covered throughly, but I'm a big fan of fried calamari...still looking for the equal to Scott's in San Francisco, which is about the best I've ever had. Curious to hear from anyone who has had good experience with quality and quantity of perfectly prepared calamari....and also comments on accompanying sauces (if more than Tabasco and a squeeze of lime is offered....a hard combination to top!)

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  1. the best, imho, calarmari is prepared by chef Loiacono at Bellagio on FM2222 in the Jester Village shopping area. absolutely crisp with a very light batter and sauteed to perfection with roasted garlic.

    1 Reply
    1. re: austinfajita

      Second Bellagio in a big way! Seriously, the best calamari I've ever had. We get it to go at least every other month. HUGE portion, calamari is tender even as it cools, not greasy at all, light flavorful batter, plenty of lemons and two wonderful dipping sauces (a warm pesto and a marinara - which I ask for extra)

    2. Not your traditional calamari, but I remember Thai Village's fried calamari to be very good. It was extremely light batter, very crispy and not greasy, and they served it with a thai sweet chili sauce.

      1. Vespaio has a nice, light crispy batter.

        Quality Seafood consistently fries to the proper doneness, though their batter is more of your typical Southern style.

        Those two are my recommendations.

        1. Random interesting thought -- I was at Buca di Beppo about a year ago, and there was a table full of obnoxious people (often the case in that particular establishment) that ordered calamari as an appetizer. When it came out, one of the women (who had been going on and on about how she lovvvvvved calamari) shreiked, "EWWW! It has LEGS!" Not only did she refuse to eat it, she refused to LOOK at it (in a horribly loud, obnoxious way).

          Ahem, anyway, I haven't had great calamari in Austin, although I've tried at a number of places. I guess Vespaio Enoteca is currently at the top of my list, although I feel that their batter could have a bit more flavor.

          2 Replies
          1. re: catarata

            If your interested in something a bit different, the Clay Pit has an interesting coriander crusted calimari. Peony has an interesting calimari with lime, cilantro and jalapeno. Many of the asian restaurants do versions of salt and pepper calimari, but they usually just call it "squid."

            1. re: rudeboy

              Seconded: Clay Pit's calamari is pretty darn good.

          2. I really liked the calimari at Reale's.

            1. The squid at Le Soleil, I think it's called fried pepper squid or something, is my favorite squid dish in town. Now it's not heavily battered and obviously a completely different quisine, but I love it.
              For a more traditional battered example, the calimari at Bellagio is an excellent light batter take on the popular snack.

              1. Try the Calamari @ Cipollina at West Lynn. Small portion, but small price too. Very crispy and tasty garlicky sauce. Great with a glass of white

                1. The Salt & Pepper Squid at T&S Seafood is hard to beat.

                  1. The calimari at Quality Seafood is pretty good. Sometimes its perfect and sometimes its a little over fried, but the squid itself is always great. Worth the risk for 7 bucks. They have great popcorn shrimp and raw oysters as well.

                    1. The Best Fried Calamari is at a restaurant called It's Italian in wells branch on Bratton Ln. !!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kdidder

                        I'll second the vote for It's Italian. The marinara sauce they serve with it is very good too. We also enjoy their wood oven pizza. Give 'em a try!

                      2. Carmello's has an excellent Calamari.