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Best restaurant for special BD dinner

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Will be in Austin in a couple of weeks to celebrate a friend's BD. This is a special one, so money is not a factor. We used to live in New Orleans and enjoyed dressing up and having a great meal. Anything like that in Austin?

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  1. I would consider Hudson's on the Bend. It is a lovely restaurant with excellent food and service, plus a nice ambiance and some unusual (game) dishes. I have always been a fan of Aquarelle for nice occasions, but hesitate to recommend it because it's been some time since I've been there. Perhaps someone else that has been there more recently can comment.

    1. If you feel like being a fancy person for a night, I would suggest Jeffrey's, Paggi House, Trio at the Four Seasons, or the Driskill Grill. All are high-end places with excellent service and great wine lists.
      If you feel like Mexican, consider Fonda San Miguel. If you feel like Japanese, consider getting a reservation at Uchi.

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      Uchi Restaurant
      801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

      Fonda San Miguel Restaurant
      2330 W North Loop Blvd, Austin, TX 78756

      Paggi House
      200 Lee Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78704

      Four Seasons
      98 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701

      1. Depends upon what you want and how much you value atmosphere, an eclectic wine list, panache, etc.

        Here are some suggestions, all very much dependent upon your tastes and personal style:

        Uchiko: Uchi's little brother in name only. Great food, stellar wine list. And they take reservations! Expensive, but worth every penny. Great vibe, somehow manages to be both casual and elegant at the same time.

        Congress: Even more expensive than Uchiko. Very pretty dining room, and a truly outstanding wine list. By Austin standard, great service, table settings and flatware are wonderful. The food ranges from good to excellent, but does tend toward the sweet side.

        Wink: Still very very good. Much less expensive than Uchiko or Congress and smaller and more intimate than either one. Excellent food, truly superb desserts. Wine list is good but not memorable.

        Olivia: Very nice setting, good vibe. Very good to excellent wine list, priced quite fairly with some hidden gems. Food can be outstanding, but also much more variable than the other three. Moderately expensive.

        I've not eaten at Jeffrey's, Paggi House or the Driskill, but I have eaten at Trio and have been sorely disappointed each time. You pays your money and you take your chances.

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        Uchi Restaurant
        801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

        Paggi House
        200 Lee Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78704

        Uchiko
        4200 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78756

        1 Reply
        1. re: Andrew Zachary

          I am loving Andrew's list, and his descriptions are spot-on, in my experience. I also agree with him that your tastes and personal style are an important part of the equation. Uchiko is my favorite restaurant in town, but I also tend to favor Asian flavors and prefer the more relaxed atmosphere. I have another food-loving friend who enjoys a more classic experience, and my guess is that she would choose Congress over Uchiko.

          I have eaten at all three of the other spots Andrew mentioned, as well, although it's been a while since I dined at Jeffrey's, so I probably shouldn't comment on them. Paggi has a lovely atmosphere, but for reasons I can't quite explain, it doesn't quite move me as much as the four described by Andrew. The Driskill has never done me wrong in the probably 6-7 times I've dined there, and it brings that more old-school elegance to the equation. However, a couple of people I know have had bad food experiences there, so I'm not really sure what to make of that.

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          Uchiko
          4200 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78756