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Aug 7, 2009 05:19 PM

The most romantic restaurant in Austin?

My wedding anniversary is coming up soon; and I’m looking for the most romantic restaurant in Austin. Any ideas?

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  1. My vote is for Carmello's Italian Restaurant. It is east of Congress but west of 35. I can't remember if its on 4th or 5th. White table cloths, cozy seating. I take my wife there on most of our anniversaries. Just love the food and the atmosphere.

    1. I don't post very often, but I read the board alot, and at the risk of inciting more Lyle Lovett quotes, I have to disagree with tuckspop. I'm assuming you meant the most romantic restaurant in Austin with edible food - and I'm afraid I find the food at Carmelo's to be abysmal. My vote would go to Eastside Cafe, or maybe to Vespaio.

      8 Replies
      1. re: reinadetostones

        Not sure what your idea of romantic is but I'll take a crack at it.

        Go to Asadero Nuevo Leon on Montopolis for a smoked chicken pak[lots of grilled chicken,fried onions,beans,tortillas and red and green salsa]. Walk next door to the quick mart and buy a six pack of beer. Hike a few blocks north to the Colorado River,find a big flat rock with a nice scenic view.

        Chowhound style romantic pic-nic ensues hopefully followed by some skinny dipping in the river.I like to take a boombox and play some Gram Parsons tapes to complete the tableau.

        Maybe some Marta's Flan[highly portable and delicious]for dessert?

        1. re: reinadetostones

          The owner of Carmelo's teaches "how to cook" at some Austin High School. I have "never, never had bad food there. Don't know how you can say that. The crowd that always gathers there tells me that you reinadetostones are wrong. And there is no more romantic setting than Carmelo's. I really find some of the posting on the Austin Chow site amusing. If it's not the "in" place to be seen, then the restaurant just gets shot down. I find most of the "in" places to be "not so good".
          I never see Carmelo's mentioned but the second I mention it, it gets dogged. I think that is just deplorable. Many, many Austinites love the place. So Helind, just because someone downed a place, don't necesarily believe it. Just go by and look in. I think that you will be impressed. I can assure you the food is good.

          1. re: tuckspop

            This is reinadetostones, mistakenly posting under my housemates account. Just want to mention that if the crowds of Austinites are flocking to Carmelo's, I am happy not to follow the crowd. To each his own, and I find the food (and the ridiculous lesson in carbonara I have seen the guy give on TV) to be deplorable.

            1. re: tuckspop

              I agree completely on the strange fascination with the current "in" place to be seen, rather than the quality of the food. I have seen recommendations on here that get rave reviews but when I go and order the recommended entree it very seldom lives up to the hype. Case in point: I went to Jorge's based on a Chowhound recommendation and ordered the flat enchiladas, expecting (hoping for) something similar to what I grew up with in west texas and new mexico. What I got was almost pure grease and almost inedible. (However, I also had the grilled taco and it was very good). If you are looking for the latest "in" restaurant, then this is the place. However, if you are looking for good food, take the recommendations on this board with a grain of salt.

              1. re: danny_w

                Danny, my sincere apologies for your dissapointment in Jorge's. They've never been greasy for me and I'm sad they were for you. I feel your pain, as my boss in El Paso always insisted on Little Diner for lunch and it was always swimming in grease - hated them with a passion. I usually get the two rolled enchilda plate with one green one red. I truly am sorry you had such a bad meal there.

                1. re: amysuehere

                  Well I definitely will be giving them another try, since I did like the taco that I had and want to go back for a full plate of them. However, I don't think I will be trying the flat enchiladas again anytime soon. I am so sorry, I didn't mean any personal attacks, and should have thought more before posting what I did. I know that a board like this is made up of real people, but it is easy to forget that sometimes (as I quite obviously did). Again my apologies to you; I know you were only trying to help.

                  1. re: danny_w

                    No worries.

                    Maybe we'll meet and anguish over not having a King's X/Lucy's or La Posada here...

                    Let me know if you ever try the sal picon at Lamberts and if it's everything I can only wish it is.

            2. re: reinadetostones

              I don't think the food at Carmelo's is awful, but I don't think the experience is worth the money you'll be paying. In fact, the take-away vision that I had the last time I ate there (for my anniversary) was that it was a pretty stuffy atmosphere and wasn't much fun. I wanted quiet, but eating there was just, well, boring.

              I really love the suggestion of East Side Cafe (perfect! a quiet and interesting place with excellent food), and I would agree with you on Vespaio, but I've been there for my anniversary many times and have been disappointed by the noise level. The food at Vespaio is inspiring and wonderful and the decor is hip, but it's too trendy for an anniversary. My two cents.

            3. Helind, after reading your posts and trying to get a feel for what might be an ultimately romantic place for you, I'm thinking that service and food in an unpretentious, yummy and not uber-expensive restaurant might be your goal. So, although I have never been, I think you should check into Siena (anyone? anyone?) and although it is very steakhouse-y, and with cocktails and sides can add up, I had a pretty great experience at Eddie V's - if you can let them know that you want a cushy booth, they really take care of pacing and making you feel relaxed and unrushed and pampered.

              1. The circular booths at Trio (Four Season's restaurant) are lovely and the food is top-notch. Be sure to mention your anniversary when you call to make sure you get a primo-table.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Carter B.

                  I vote for Trio also; food is excellent, service is fantastic, and they'll do something special for your anniversary if you discuss in advance. The patio is best.

                  Was just there for their "fixe prix" and it was lovely. One note of caution; for the first time ever the noise level inside the restaurant was unacceptable; the patio was wonderful. The waiter blamed the noise on the Happy Hour crowds they're attracting these days.

                2. My vote might go to Cafe Josie. Following reinadetostones' advice per your particulars, this place strikes me as a good fit. Not to suggest that the other restaurants mentioned aren't, just to add to the choices.

                  The environment is both cozy and airy, capable of being what one wants it to be. There are candles, a relatively quiet average volume, nice artwork, professional service, and pleasing, unpretentious food. I've never felt rushed while there (not quite true of Eddie V's), and the space almost makes me forget I'm in a relatively bustling city.