Small joint, local products, seasonal food?
I'm a regular Austin visitor from California, and I'm searching for something that reminds me a bit of home. I'm a HUGE fan of Austin food, but I haven't yet found a place like this:
Upscale but unpretentious, locally grown/produced ingredients, a creative seasonal menu, solid wine list or homemade cocktails. Great seafood's a plus. Truth be told, I may be fishing for a bit of a California style that isn't popular here in Austin...but just curious to hear any ideas. Price isn't too important - it's for a great occasion!
I think Wink, Zoot (both owned by the same team of people), and probably Starlite fit your description. Another restaurant that sources local, is relaxed, but is new and the execution on the food is solid but more mixed than universally great is Primizie.
Vespaio, which is Italian, has their own garden, a nice wine list, but not sure you are looking for a partiuclar cuisine.
I agree with the Eastside Cafe rec. You might also check out the Dai Due Supper Club.
"Our 4-10 course dinners are prepared with only locally produced, seasonal ingredients, grown with sustainable agricultural methods which are purchased from Farmers’ Markets or directly from local farms. A complimentary aperitif, locally made, of course, is offered before a seated dinner with old and new friends."
"Live music is included, and guests are encouraged to bring their own wine or other drinks. Coffee, filtered water and herbal tea are also included. Cost varies from $45, plus tax. Please see our Calendar for upcoming Supper Clubs."
Being a Round Rocker for a long time, we have several non-chain restaurants. Gino's for Italian. Very good red sauce. My family's favorite pizza. Casual. Main Street Grill, RR's first fine dining. Great service and food. Try their pork dishes. Louisiana Longhorn, fresh seafood and authentic Cajun dishes and homemade desserts. Mom's Cafe, great comfort food. Check hours before going. 620 Cafe, great for breakfast. Umpteen Family owned Mexican restaurants. RR is worth the drive north.