Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Austin >
Dec 1, 2007 10:21 AM

Downtown? Anything worth it?

The man and I are thinking of breaking out of the 'burbs and venturing DT. I'm going to go out on a limb and wear make-up AND heels! Crazy. (though with jeans, of course)

Anything with pretty good food come to mind?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My g/f and I had a wonderful meal at Cafe Josie last time we went. She had a tenderloin, cooked perfectly, and I had a nice sea bass.

    1. Downtown? Just how classy do you want to get. Will Packwood's Cibo ( he was a Food and Wine top 10 chef a few years ago), Traviatia, a small trattoria with good moderately priced food but delicious nonetheless, The Driscoll Hotel Grill, top notch, Trio in the Four Seasons, Aquarelle, top notch, slightly west of DT, Vespaio, on S. Congress, Lamberts for meat, III Forks for steak,etc. Not to mention Starlite, a top 10 from Dale Rice, and Cafe Josie, not my favorite, but has a good rep.

      1 Reply
      1. re: singlemalt

        For perspective, a number of these places have been discussed, with comments that they have gone downhill since hitting their respective peaks of deliciousness (and gaining a reputation) or sometimes that they never reached an expected peak.

        Cafe Josie:
        Driskill Grill:
        III Forks:

        Of course, nothing's perfect, so you kind of have to pick your poison. Finding and reading the opinions of other 'hounds whose tastes are similar to yours is often the best guide. Local and national writers who make lists are likewise useful only when your tastes match theirs. Luckily the area near downtown has been well covered in response to lots of questions for people who come in for business trips, so there are many viewpoints to choose from.

      2. Jezebel on Congress near 9th should really not be missed.

        Aquarelle and the Driskill are either overrated or inconsistent, or both. I haven't been to Cibo yet.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ridgeback

          I take exception to Aquaurelle. We have been there quite a few times over the years and they have not disappointed yet.It is one of the few restuarants in A. that I feel like everything is done very professionally, if not somewhat "old world" whatever that means. Driskill? maybe. I've been there only twice, the second time for a holiday dinner, forgot whether Christmas or T-givin, and was disappointed at the quality of the food. It was fixed price. I have not been to Jezebel but am anxious to try it.

          1. re: ridgeback

            Wow, never heard of Jezebel. Gotta try that one this week. Thanks ridgeback.

            1. re: Chicago Wine Geek

              I had some serious service issues at Jezebel a while back. The food was quite good but the service was so bad that I came very close to actually clearing my own table and taking the dishes back to the open kitchen myself!

              I was also warned when making the reservation that "we're a European style restaurant and therefore you will need to ask for the check when you're finished. We won't just bring it to you." Unfortunately I had to go up to the host stand and ask as our server never returned after we declined dessert.

              1. re: austxguy

                I'm sure it wasn't pleasant but your story made me laugh.