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Austin Upscale

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Frank Stein Jul 10, 2004 06:15 PM

I'm searching for upscale French, Italian for a special occasion.......any idea?

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    Nacho RE: Frank Stein Jul 10, 2004 06:28 PM

    For upscale Italian, I really enjoy Carmelo's on 5th. Although I haven't been in a while (I no longer work in a position with an expense account to entertain), I always very much enjoyed their food. And for a complete evening with an Austin feel, you may consider dinner at Carmelo's and then walking next door to Esther's Follies for their always hillarious comedy shows.

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      iamtigerwoods RE: Frank Stein Jul 10, 2004 11:19 PM

      For Italian, pass on Carmelo's and try Vespaio on South Congress. Easily one of the top 5 restaurants in Austin..

      6 Replies
      1. re: iamtigerwoods
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        Greg Spence RE: iamtigerwoods Jul 12, 2004 10:50 AM

        Who you are isn't nearly as important on this board as your opinion of italian restaurants, which is absolutely correct. Compared to Vespaio, Carmelo's is overpriced, has poorly prepared food and is a waste even of expense account money.

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          Nacho RE: Greg Spence Jul 12, 2004 11:34 AM

          I concede: Vespaio does beat Carmelo's, hands down.

          And it's been at least 3 years since I've been to Carmelo's (so I guess I should limit my recommendations to places I've dined at recently). At the time, Carmelo's was good. On many occassions, we would do the Carmelo's / Esther's Follies combination, but this also probably had a lot to do with the fact that Carmelo's could handle a group of 40 or so diners in their private room.

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            rudeboy RE: Nacho Jul 12, 2004 12:22 PM

            I wonder why Carmelo's has gone so far downhill? Virtually everyone feels this way.

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              Nacho RE: rudeboy Jul 12, 2004 03:40 PM

              Good to know. I was thinking about doing another carmelo's / esther's outting soon (mainly b/c I've been missing esther's, but also to check up on carmelo's). Sounds like I'm better off skipping Carmelo's.

              1. re: Nacho
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                Frank Stein RE: Nacho Jul 12, 2004 11:57 PM

                Thanks for the tip on Carmelo's. I will try Vespaio for Italian. Further, how would you rank Bistro Jean Luc for Fren......I've read great things. Finally, is Jeffrey's worth the money, or would you do the upscale dinner somewhere else?

                Thanks.

                1. re: Frank Stein
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                  Rob Hargrove RE: Frank Stein Jul 13, 2004 02:12 PM

                  Jean Luc's is closed, sadly. It has been replaced by a Greek restaurant which has not opened yet. While we desperately need good Greek food in this town, it was sad to see Jean Luc's go.

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        Nacho RE: Frank Stein Jul 12, 2004 03:46 PM

        Since my Italian recommendation sucked, what do hounds think of Aquarelle for French? We were going to try it a few months ago, but the chef or owner was on their annual vacation and they closed down for a few weeks. Seems like this may have been last August...man, how the months fly by.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Nacho
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          Carter B. RE: Nacho Jul 14, 2004 04:46 PM

          I ate at Aquarelle about 2 years ago and did the chef's choice thing and found it pretty great but not staggeringly so. I haven't been back since then, so others probably have a stronger opinion. It may be one of the last of the really good French restaurants in town.

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            Mike M RE: Carter B. Jul 18, 2004 11:17 PM

            I also ate a Aquarelle a year or so ago. Very good, but a touch uninspired. Nothing to complain about. In fact, I hope to go next time I'm in town, but it's not mind blowingly good.

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          Annie RE: Frank Stein Jul 14, 2004 12:27 AM

          What's wrong with Sienna? My husband and I have enjoyed it a couple of times & it's definitely romantic.

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