Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Austin >
Nov 9, 2011 08:07 AM

Birthday dinner....nicer restaurant?

I'm an out of towner coming to Austin for the weekend and want to take my boyfriend out to (a nicer) dinner tomorrow for his birthday. I've read up on a number of different restaurants, but am still on the fence about where to go. I've read some good reviews for Parkside and some good/not so good reviews about Wink. Based on my research those are my top 2 that I've found....which is better for a celebratory dinner?

Any other recommendations are more than welcome!

Parkside Austin
301 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

Wink Restaurant
1014 N Lamar Blvd Ste E, Austin, TX 78703

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'd go with Parkside myself. If you don't know the area, location could also be a deciding factor. Parkside is on E 6th street, aka the largest bar strip in town. If you want to check out a bar afterwards, go to a movie at the Alamo Ritz, or people watch, Parkside is the place to go. However, parking can be an issue (though you should be okay on a Thursday night before about 7-8) and you take that into consideration. The food at Parkside is amazing and I really like the place.
    Wink is tucked away in a small stripmallish location close to the downtown Whole Foods. It is probably easier to get in and out of but its more of a place you will drive to and not poke around the nearby places afterwards. Wink has a solid menu, but its not one of the trending places in town nowadays though good when its on.

    1. Just went to Parkside and had an excellent meal. However, it's a bit on the loud side (concrete floors). We had no problem parking - right across the street.

      1. I have been to both recently and can recommend them both strongly. Parkside is a little louder, Wink the tables are a little more cramped. You won't go wrong food wise with either. BTW there is valet parking at Parkside for like $8 or a few blocks away for $5 if you are worried about parking. Another thought could be Congress which may be the best meal in Austin right now.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mkfoodie

          I've found Congress to be consistently good, currently my favorite high end restaurant in town.
          i've had ups and downs at wink and parkside.
          also you can't go wrong with uchi.
          the carrilon has been very good as well.
          Green pastures is a beautiful setting and I've had excellent meals but the food seems to be a bit inconsistent as well.

          1. re: chrisdds98

            The one time I went to Congress, it was really good but didn't blow my socks off. was just not quite there. Good, really good but not great.

            1. re: amysuehere

              I'd vote for Parkside, my favorite.
              But if you really want fancy, Congress does it up. Much fancier than Parkside
              And Uchi and Uchiko would have to be considered, check the menus

              Uchi Restaurant
              801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

              4200 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78756

        2. Someone should mention Paggi House, which is still a very good restaurant, and a little bit separated from the downtown frenzy. It's getting a little chilly to hang out on the deck, but the menu is nicely thought out, and you would not be disappointed, IMO.

          Paggi House
          200 Lee Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78704