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Dinner for 30 out o'towners

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Planning an academic conference dinner in early '10 for thirty or so guests -- mostly out of town, some locals. Looking for moderate-to-expensive; reasonably adventurous; something that bespeaks Austin. Willing to BYOB, if necessary. Within a < 5 mile radius of campus. Suggestions?

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  1. < 5 mile radius of campus -- is quite a problem.

    The two obvious choices are:
    - The Carillon on UT campus (www.meetattexas.com/restaurants.html
    )- Mansion at Judges Hill (www.mansionatjudgeshill.com
    )I have been to both for academic conferences. The Carillon is uninspiring but convenient, Mansion is expensive is not great but beautiful.

    I would think of:
    - Asti (www.astiaustin.com) - nearby, unpretentious and very good food.
    - East Side Cafe (www.eastsidecafeaustin.com) - local, simple, and Austin.
    Both as far as I know accommodate large parties.

    2 Replies
    1. re: moosy

      Actually, five miles gives an area of about eighty square miles, and includes everything down to Ben White, past 183 on the east and north sides, and almost to Loop 360 on the west. So anything goes!!!

      1. re: moosy

        I'd like to second The East Side Cafe. They have a separate building that can accommodate 30 people. It's right next to their regular restaurant.

        Also, Thistle Cafe downtown has a separate room that will accommodate larger parties. I don't really think it's a unique representation of Austin but I thought I'd mention it since it's still a nice place to go for a meal.

      2. For a first time to Austin experience consider:
        County Line
        Fonda San MIguel
        Hula Hut on the Water
        Guero's
        Moonshine
        Lamberts

        1. For moderate to expensive and using local ingredients, how about Wink? It's a smaller place, but they might let you take over the restaurant.

          1. Good suggestions; thanks. (But happy to hear more).

            Someone at work suggested Fleming's, Jeffrey's, Eddie V's, and Truluck's. But none of these float my boat.

            1. How about Jezebel on Congress? I think its a few blocks south of the Capitol.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Homero

                I have liked Jezebel whenever I've been, but I am always struck by how expensive it is.

                What do y'all think about Lambert's (the top floor)?