Great dinner tonight with old friends. Infrown for a conference & they recommended this little local spot. Nice waitstaff & good food. We all shared the charcouterie (jambon de serano, liver pate, & jambon terrine). I had the soup d'jour which was a cold asparagus (excellent) & one of the daily specials, the omlet with lobster, spinach, tomato, Swiss, & green onion; served with a "bernaise" sauce. Not like any bernaise I've ever had (more like a roux base), but it was still good. We split the 3 available desserts (creme brûlée, frozen chocolate mousse, and "tarte tartin"). The creme brûlée was outstanding, the mousse good, and the apples on a piece of pie crust...eh. All in all a good place. I'll go back when in town again....though I'm told Chez Nous is better...we'll see!
510 Neches St, Austin, TX 78701
Quick update on Justine's, which I haven't seen posted about recently - we went there earlier this week, had no wait for an indoor table, and were extremely pleased with our meal. I was very dubious about what we would face as we headed in, but was pleasantly surprised by both the atmosphere (not nearly as close or noisy or hipster or warm as I feared) and the food. I had the trout menieure, which was the night's special, and it was outstanding. It was served with spring vegetables and I thought there were carrots included in the mix, but they turned out to be orange beets! Yum! I even had good escargot, which I thought was impossible with my track record of always getting the bum escargot of the batch.
I wish they had more wines by the glass, but that's just a minor quibble.
Good to hear that things are holding up well there. I've never been worried about them going out of business, since they're usually almost always packed, but I've seen quite a few people ragging on them on here.
For me, the place is more about ambiance than the food. Sure, the food can be a little run of the mill, but it's still tasty, classic French cafe stuff, and everything's under 20 bucks last time I checked. I'm bewildered as to why anyone wouldn't like to eat some pretty nice duck confit and drink some wine in a cool place that spins vinyl at a price point close to Olive Garden.
I had probably the worst service experience I've EVER had at Justine's (and I eat out twice a day nearly every day), and what little food we got after two hours (which did not include our entrees) was horribly over-salted. I swore I'd never go back.
But then a friend had a friend in town and realllly wanted to take her there, and I relented. And our server was delightful and the food was wonderful.
Wildly hit or miss, in my admittedly limited experience (I did have one other positive experience before the horrid one mentioned above, so three visits total).
Justine's is one of the restaurants in town that is universally praised (AFAIK) by back of the house restaurant staff--which is partly an endorsement of their food, and partly means that the owners don't treat their staff with disrespect--I went there recently, tried the charcouterie plate & escargot--utterly sublime!