HOME > Chowhound > Austin >

Reco for Friday night dinner for visitor to Austin

j
jrabbit2727 Apr 19, 2011 08:32 AM

Travelling to Austin for the weekend at the start of May. I have booked Uchi for Sat night (been there and liked it and want my hubby to try it) but we need a restaurant for Friday eve. We are driving from Houston so not necessarily up for a whole formal dinner - but instead some cool creative food in a funky atmosphere.

Just came back from Mexico....so we've had our fill of Mexican food for now. And while we like it....Italian is too commonplace for what we are looking for.

Initially I had booked Wink - but I think this may be more fancy than we are up for. What is Chez Zee like? Recommendations welcome!

We are staying at the W downtown. We have a car but I don't necessarily want to drive too far that eve.

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

Chez Zee
5406 Balcones Dr., Austin, TX 78731

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. amykragan RE: jrabbit2727 Apr 19, 2011 11:17 AM

    Trace in your hotel is a fancy new place. Chez Nous is good and quaint for French food.

    Depending on what time you get here to may want to try someplace with decks outdoors. Upper Decks or Draft pick are very casual places but good decks for outdoor dining.

    FORGOT to mention that's prime Prom & Graduation time (Mother's Day too?) so would be a good idea to make reservations to avoid a big wait.
    Downtown places that come to mind include: Perry's, Eddie V's, Roaring Fork (chains, but nicely run).

    -----
    Chez Nous
    510 Neches St, Austin, TX 78701

    10 Replies
    1. re: amykragan
      j
      jrabbit2727 RE: amykragan Apr 19, 2011 12:50 PM

      Thanks for this.....French with no dairy is really hard....so Chez Nous is out. And I'd rather not eat at our hotel.

      Looked the others up but they are too chainy for our tastes. We are foodies looking for some interesting dishes......just on a more casual level if that makes sense.

      Any more recos?

      -----
      Chez Nous
      510 Neches St, Austin, TX 78701

      1. re: jrabbit2727
        b
        bbq1995 RE: jrabbit2727 Apr 19, 2011 12:56 PM

        What about Parkside? Pretty good for happy hhour, and quite a few people on here dig it. It is right in the middle of sixth street, but since you are downtown, no biggie.

        Another thought would be Barley Swine or Foriegn & Domestic.

        -----
        Barley Swine
        2024 S. Lamar, Austin, TX

        1. re: jrabbit2727
          c
          Craenor RE: jrabbit2727 Apr 19, 2011 12:58 PM

          Maybe consider East Side Cafe? I've always enjoyed their food.

          http://www.eastsidecafeaustin.com/

          1. re: jrabbit2727
            dinaofdoom RE: jrabbit2727 Apr 19, 2011 01:14 PM

            no dairy? is this one of your requirements?
            i didn't see that in the post and that may change the suggestions others give you so it would be good to know.

            1. re: dinaofdoom
              j
              jrabbit2727 RE: dinaofdoom Apr 19, 2011 01:18 PM

              Yes...sorry....no dairy. Thank you for reminding me.

              So far Parkside looks promising. I'm not a huge meat eater...will sample ....but need fish/seafood and veggie options as well. My husband eats everything and because we are going to Uchi the following eve I'd like him to be able to do the meat thing if he wishes on Friday eve.

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

              1. re: jrabbit2727
                dinaofdoom RE: jrabbit2727 Apr 19, 2011 02:39 PM

                here are some ideas off the top of my head, that meet your criteria:

                haddington's is newish and has gotten some praise on the boards.
                their menu is not on their website yet, though.
                http://www.thehaddington.com/

                in addition to parkside, perla's could provide some nice al fresco dining:
                http://www.perlasaustin.com/

                east side showroom
                http://eastsideshowroom.com/

                actually, east side show room would totally fit the "cool creative food in a funky atmosphere", for sure.

                i will probably think of some more when i get home later.

                1. re: dinaofdoom
                  b
                  bbq1995 RE: dinaofdoom Apr 19, 2011 02:45 PM

                  Aw man, totally forgot about east side showroom.

                  1. re: bbq1995
                    j
                    jrabbit2727 RE: bbq1995 Apr 19, 2011 05:41 PM

                    OK - so now I'm torn. East Side Showroom or Parkside? I think Parkside has more on the menu for me to eat.....but they both look good.

                    Which would you choose and why?

                    1. re: jrabbit2727
                      h
                      heyzeus212 RE: jrabbit2727 Apr 20, 2011 07:36 AM

                      I'd choose Parkside because the food and service are better. East Side Showroom is a very unique space, great decor and environment. But it's crowded, difficult to get a table, service is slow, and food is generally overpriced and undersized. East Side has the feel of a fancy cocktail lounge that also has expensive charcuterie plates. Parkside has a full and inventive menu, is also a cool space, and the service has always been excellent in my experience.

                      1. re: heyzeus212
                        j
                        jrabbit2727 RE: heyzeus212 Apr 20, 2011 09:16 AM

                        Great info.....thanks heyzwus212. I have an 8 pm reservation at Parkside and I will report back!

        2. n
          NirvRush RE: jrabbit2727 Apr 19, 2011 09:07 PM

          Go to Odd Duck Trailer! non-fancy, BYOB, DEElicious

          -----
          Odd Duck
          1219 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

          1. o
            Optimista RE: jrabbit2727 Apr 20, 2011 11:44 PM

            Barley Swine, Foreign & Domestic, or Ranch 616!

            -----
            Ranch 616
            616 Nueces, Austin, TX 78701

            Barley Swine
            2024 S. Lamar, Austin, TX

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

            Show Hidden Posts