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gift certificate for a foodie-but-usually-broke friend! Where to send him with $100?

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Hi guys,

So our really good friend is moving to Austin in January, and we want to get him a gift certificate to a really really awesome place. He is a true chowhound, LOVES food, will eat/try anything and is all about finding the out of the way tiny local eateries. He is a musician and travels EVERYWHERE, but due to profession usually totally broke, which means he's all about dives and the amazing hole in the wall kinda places. And there's nothing wrong with that, those are some of our favorite spots too. BUT. We'd like to get him a really nice dinner out. Somewhere that has amazing food but maybe he wouldn't go to on his own due to budget.

So, geography is not a constraint, cuisine is wide open too. Basically, where can he get the most amazing meal for around $100/person? We're thinking some sort of tasting menu/multi course kinda deal.... something fancy, but most importantly REALLY REALLY good.

Thanks in advance!!

PS: we are not from Austin and have never been, unfortunately, so totally clueless as to the dining scene other than the fact that Austin seems like a pretty hip fun little town.

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  1. way too many choices. do you have a type of food or atmosphere? On the sushi side i would recommend Uchi[ http://www.uchiaustin.com/ ] or Tomodachi [http://local.yahoo.com/info-33890809-...]. Uchi is young, hip and hopping, Tomo is slow, quiet neighborhood. For great all around meals the two hottest restaurants [and both have national acclaim] are Olivia [http://olivia-austin.com/] and Perlas [http://www.perlasaustin.com/]. At any of those $100 with alcohol will fit the bill and he will have a great meal.

    Mike

    1. I like Mike's choices, but would also throw Wink ( http://www.winkrestaurant.com/ ), another restaurant with national acclaim, into the mix. Daily menus, ingredients from local and artisan purveyors, and a wine list that is both fabulous and reasonable.

      1. All good suggestions listed here so far. I've had great experiences at Max's Wine Dive. They have a lot of small plate choices, so for $100 he could try a lot of different things and have a few glasses of wine (they have $6 offerings during HH).

        1. I'll throw in Parkside (http://www.parkside-austin.com/) since no one else has yet. You can do a lot of damage with that much p/p, and I've not had a bad meal there yet.

          1. i know you said "most amazing meal for around $100/person" so i am assuming you would like a place where he can dine alone and feel comfortable.

            a lot of restaurants have tasting and/or prix fixe menus, but my single diner self has learned that a lot of places require 2 or more at a table for them.