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Suggestions for latest, fun, sophisticated restaurants to entertain friend and his business partner next week?

chispa_c Feb 26, 2011 07:52 AM

A college friend and his business partner will be in town next week and they want to go to dinner. I'll admit that I don't really keep up with all the latest cool places around town, but I know there are quite a few.

A friend suggested Uchiko and Backspace, right off the bat. Those both sound great.

Can you give me any other suggestions? They are staying downtown so something central or not too far south would be great.

Looking for great food/drinks (wine/beer/liquor) and that cool as sh*t Austin atmosphere everyone wants when they come to town.

Thank you!

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Uchiko
4200 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78756

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  1. girloftheworld RE: chispa_c Feb 26, 2011 08:09 AM

    It may be too far north but Zeds is realllllly cool it is newish and beautiful they have live music and it sits on three acrers you think you are going into a strip mall but it really fools you because once you are insde you feel like you are at resort the food is really good too kind of funky american like what you see Carla cook on Top Chef

    1 Reply
    1. re: girloftheworld
      chispa_c RE: girloftheworld Feb 26, 2011 01:29 PM

      I've never heard of it! I'll look it up. Thank you!

    2. a
      AustinR RE: chispa_c Feb 26, 2011 03:02 PM

      I'd second either Uchi or Uchiko, your friends will probably be surprised at the quality of the fish given Austin's landlocked location. I haven't tried, or even heard of, Backspace.

      Downtown's got several great places that combine a fun scene with good food. Two current hotspots are Second Bar & Kitchen (in the Austonian) and Peche (on 4th between Lavaca & Colorado). Both these places have great cocktail programs.

      I'd also recommend sending them to some of the food trailers covered extensively in the other boards.

      I'm partisan about this next recommendation, but if they're looking for a casual, and very Austin, lunchspot you can't beat TacoDeli off of Barton Skyway.

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      Uchi Restaurant
      801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

      Peche
      208 W 4th Street, Austin, TX 07739

      Uchiko
      4200 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78756

      1 Reply
      1. re: AustinR
        dinaofdoom RE: AustinR Feb 26, 2011 04:42 PM

        backspace is the brand new pizza place from the parkside people.

      2. h
        hungryinaustin RE: chispa_c Feb 26, 2011 05:07 PM

        Staying downtown, I would hit up La Condesa (superb Mexican food with a heavy chic factor), Parkside ( yuppie food heaven with a great raw bar in the heart of the madness of 6th street, and a fantastic balcony upstairs overlooking the action) or Lambert's (trendoid sexy BBQ with an attitude). I disagree with the Zed recomm. I ate there last week and won't be back, while the space is quite gorgeous, if a little labored, and the juxtaposition between the hideously generic strip mall environs and the supercool Michael Hsu interior is pretty cool, everything I ate was either bad or boring or both - whitebread American comfort food blandly executed with neither skill nor soul. I can think of at least 50 Austin restaurants where you can get a better mac 'n cheese. Outside downtown, Uchi and Uchiko are both excellent and Foreign & Domestic, while suffering from a very abbreviated wine list, serves to my mind the boldest, gutsiest and most interesting food in town right now, and the space is as cool as sh*t, to borrow a phrase. The new(ish) gastropubs, Barley Swine and Haddington's are also worth checking out - the former more than the latter, and while the food can be excellent, the ambience WOW factor is not as strong as the other places mentioned above. If you want to go for cocktails first, I would hit up Peche, East Side Showroom,or Fino, though the cocktails at Parkside and La Condesa are as good as it gets too.

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        Uchi Restaurant
        801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

        La Condesa
        400-A W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701

        Peche
        208 W 4th Street, Austin, TX 07739

        Barley Swine
        2024 S. Lamar, Austin, TX

        Uchiko
        4200 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78756

        Foreign & Domestic
        306 E 53rd St, Austin, TX 78751

        4 Replies
        1. re: hungryinaustin
          chispa_c RE: hungryinaustin Feb 27, 2011 01:32 PM

          Dang, I scored with your response! I totally appreciate your honesty and opinion.

          1. re: hungryinaustin
            c
            cpencis RE: hungryinaustin Feb 27, 2011 02:45 PM

            I adore the 3 block walk west from Foreign & Domestic west to The Tigress. A tiny bar with a definite style, serving drinks from a set menu with a little adlib on the side, the drinks are very very good... but note - your milage may vary in this place, depending on your tastes.

            -----
            Foreign & Domestic
            306 E 53rd St, Austin, TX 78751

            1. re: cpencis
              chispa_c RE: cpencis Feb 27, 2011 03:48 PM

              I've been to Tigress before and it was a great place.

              1. re: cpencis
                h
                heyzeus212 RE: cpencis Mar 2, 2011 02:09 PM

                I'll second (or third) this notion. F+D is a fun and inventive; the Tigress is tiny and cozy and fantastically friendly, with seriously fine hand-made vintage cocktails for $7.

            2. s
              storefronteats RE: chispa_c Feb 26, 2011 05:25 PM

              Walk to Lambert's from their hotel. I ate there last night and find the food to be consistently top notch. Service is good and it's got an Austin-y vibe. There's often live music upstairs, too, if you want to have a drink up there before or after dinner.

              1. f
                foodiegal71 RE: chispa_c Feb 26, 2011 05:40 PM

                If you want to stay downtown, either Second Bar & Kitchen or Congress (both of the new David Bull restaurants in the Austintonian on Congress and 2nd) are getting rave reviews. I've eaten at Second and it's truly amazing. It's more on the order of small plates for sharing, so if you're wanting the full meal, perhaps Congress is a better choice.

                If you want you want to venture outside of downtown, Uchiko is the best restaurant in Austin IMHO :)

                -----
                Uchiko
                4200 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78756

                3 Replies
                1. re: foodiegal71
                  chispa_c RE: foodiegal71 Feb 27, 2011 04:12 PM

                  I was really debating between Uchiko, Second and Congress. I chose Uchiko because I love Uchi and it's more convenient to home for a Monday night.

                  David Bull's restaurants are next in line.

                  Thanks so much for all the great recommendations.

                  -----
                  Uchi Restaurant
                  801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

                  Uchiko
                  4200 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78756

                  1. re: chispa_c
                    chispa_c RE: chispa_c Mar 2, 2011 12:13 PM

                    We blew it out at Uchiko on Monday. That was a great meal that I won't forget.

                    We tried:
                    maguro sashimi w/goat cheese
                    hama chili
                    ninjin bacon (pork belly toward the end of the night so it wouldn't blow out our palates - as recommended by our waiter)
                    kumoto oysters
                    buri
                    james mcmillan diver scallops
                    truffled congee (fan freakin tastic)
                    wagyu prime rib

                    too many glasses of duckhorn

                    a glass each of some cold, filtered sake they don't normally sell by the glass. i swear it tasted like pear (excellent)

                    and a dessert with sorbet, pecan soil, chocolate paper, etc.

                    A great night, great atmoshere, a very attentive and fun waiter

                    -----
                    Uchiko
                    4200 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78756

                    1. re: chispa_c
                      dinaofdoom RE: chispa_c Mar 2, 2011 07:44 PM

                      as counter-intuitive as a raw fish and cheese dish may sound, i do love that combination.
                      there is something that just works.

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