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Jul 3, 2010 08:32 AM

The Apothecary, Burnet Rd., initial impression

I searched but didn't find anything about this place so I thought I would describe my initial and very brief visit to this place. This is the place right across from Simplicity Eats. It is conveniently located on N. Burnet Rd and is , imo, a real asset to the neighborhood.I am glad it is in my part of town and not in S. Austin like everything else is, or so it seems. The place has a cozy, European bistro, cafe interior with lots of dark wood, a big mirror behind the bar with the menu written on it.( They also have paper menus, as well). I expected it to smell like old leather and brandy and cigars but it didn't. Oh well, can't have everything. I had a glass of Barbera d'Asti, quite good and sat by the window and watched the rain pour down. All together quite pleasant, but don't expect that the rain will always be pouring down. The menu looked interested with interesting appetizers including cheese form Antonelli's, made on site hummus, various salads, pannini and such.

I felt that their wine by the glass list offered some good options, including my favorite prosecco and the Gruet, the champagne from New Mexico. Although I did not have the prosecco on this visit, I inquired and found that they serve the sparkling wines in champagne flutes. Now this is important to me because of all the wines available I think that the glass makes a huge difference when it comes to spakling wines. Simplicity Eats does not use flutes and that is rather distracting and ungratifying.

I believe the two places, Apothecary and Simplicity are two different places with little overlap except that they both serve wine. For my money I am going to Apothecary because of the nice atmosphere and wine selection, and yes, for the glassware.

The waiter, Enrique, was quite gracious, friendly and helpful.He graciously tolerated my ribbing him about being a communist ( in a good way) and swore he was not although I continue to have my doubts. But he was nice guy and I enjoyed his service.

That's it. I was there for one glass of wine but certainly intend to go back and could see it becoming a hangout. They have tables outside on the Burnet side and smoking cigars is DADT. We'll see.

Thanks you for your attention. J.

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  1. Thanks for the review. I visited them a little before noon about a month back. The music was at the threshold of pain and impossible to converse over, so I left. Maybe when it is cooler, sitting outside would be an option. Since I live nearby, I would like to have the option, but would prefer someplace where conversation is possible.

    4 Replies
    1. re: akachochin

      Thanks for responding to my review. I was beginning to think it was going to electronic oblivion without even being read. Loud music is one of my pet gripes also, especially when it is in a place where you would think to go to have a quiet drink and some conversation. We went to Perla's for dinner and the noise level was excruciatingly loud, as it is also at Lambert's (same owners). However, on my vist to Apothecary I don't recall anything playing. If it was it was very low. If I go back, and I would urge you to do so also, and there is loud music I am going to talk to the owner/manager and try to get the point across that they are not creating the kind of atmosphere that the locals would seem to want. Yeah, a nice place for some good wine and conversation or reading, or just letting your mind wander.

      1. re: singlemalt

        i go here about once a week (sometimes more). Judging by their busy lunches and wine fueled nights I don't think they have any atmosphere issues.

        1. re: ieathereforeiam

          Music at the threshold of pain is not good. I by atmosphere issues you mean so loud you can't have a conversation, then count me out.

          1. re: ieathereforeiam

            You did not mention when you go; lunch or dinner time. My experience suggests that lunch would be out of the question for anyone working regular hours.

            FWIW, I went back on Friday. (7/9) around 1245-1300. The music was not as loud, so I stayed and ordered a sandwich (salami,ham,cheese panino). It took right at 38 minutes to get the sandwich, delivered with the news that the kitchen was very busy. Maybe they have a catering trade, because there were 9 other people in the place. Two at the bar using notebooks and not eating, one at the bar drinking a glass of wine and not eating, and three tables of two, two of whom already had their food.

            I don't know what the problem is, but unless you are retired, on vacation, between jobs, or self-employed, you are unlikely to have the time for lunch unless you are the only person there.

            The sandwich? OK. About $1 more expensive than Mandola's with roughly the same quality. About the same price as Enoteca with considerably less quality. I did not try the wine. Perhaps that is the strong point of the place.

      2. Just a heads up that "The Lunch Deal" has a deal for the Apothecary today(7/7). $10 for $20 worth of food and drink.

        I haven't used this site before so I don't know if there are any gotchas, but looks like a good deal if you were wanting to check this place out.

        5 Replies
        1. re: ssouth

          ha, i was just about to post this.
          they have a terms and conditions, including the expiry date, at the bottom.

          1. re: dinaofdoom

            Remember to tip your server 18% gratuity on the full value of your check

            Isn't the amount of the tip still within the domain of the customer and not to be dictated by the restuant?

            1. re: singlemalt

              Well, sure, but I think it's just a reminder. If you really wanted to tip based on half the cost of the meal, you could.

              We have used Lunch Deal and they are reputable. One caveat - it usually takes a day to process your order so don't buy expecting to use it tonight.

              1. re: brentwood

                Let me clarify. Whenever I use a coupon or have a deal, I believe tipping on the full meal deal is absolutely the right thing to do. What I am referring to is the suggestion to tip 18%. Tip size is the customer option and one means the consumer has of sending an evaluation to the server. ( Now 18% added on parties of six or more may be a different thing, but remember recently a couple was taken to court because they did not want to do that. Never found out the outcome of that.)

                1. re: singlemalt

                  it's definitely a reminder to tip on the full value of your meal, before the coupon. As far as recommending 18%, I think its really the lowest amount you should tip if you didn't have problems with the service.