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Nov 12, 2013 12:22 PM

Help for business dinner in Austin

Hi all -

Need to pull together a small dinner (4 or 5 people) while in Austin for work. Staying on the south side of the river across from downtown, can take a taxi if it's not too far. Trying to avoid steakhouses in case there are non-steak lovers. Cost isn't a huge deal, but prefer no prix fixe or romantic atmosphere. I had originally planned on Barley Swine, but on further thought, small plates seem a bit awkward for this particular group. Any recommendations? Thanks in advance.

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  1. Uchi, Wine Belly, Parkside, Barlata, Qui

    Barley Swine is now prix fixe - $50/head for full menu.

    1 Reply
    1. re: SlickTheCat

      Ah that knocks out Barley Swine. Sharing small plates may be too weird for this crew anyway. Parkside looks like a fit also, along with Roaring Fork mentioned below. I might go to Uchi on my own one night!

    2. Max's Wine Dive, Trio or Trace would work too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Rptrane

        Thought about Trio and Trace - too hotel-y?

      2. Roaring Fork is a place I enjoy a lot and has sort of a Texas-y menu with fish, pork and chicken along with steaks and a well known burger.

        Uchiko is excellent, a little further away from downtown than some of the other suggestions.

        Where are y'all visiting from? Part of me wants to say you need some Tex Mex! But maybe you're from Houston or something.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ashforth

          In from SF, but everyone coming is local, so I was aiming for something they wouldn't normally do out to themselves (i.e. nice but not break-the-bank, with a good atmosphere to talk business, i.e. not romantic). It's a bit of a high maintenance request for sure. Roaring Fork is one that wasn't on my radar screen before. Thanks!

        2. among the trendy places i prefer uchi or uchiko, the former closer to you than the latter up lamar. but at the risk of a hearty lambasting from my CH friends here, I often take my UTexas business VIP out of towners to Roaring Fork. The menu is nicely varied and overall they have a great grill and pump out a great steak or chilean sea bass with typically great service. It's not small plate service, for sure, and the lighting is dim and not country french marry your neighbor Lenoir either. Lamb, fish, steak, etc. We've not had a complaint over many meals. great happy hour deals too (e.g. the big ass very good burger). Edit - just saw Ashforth's comment - looks like a +2 on a couple counts.

          2 Replies
          1. re: slowcoooked

            Roaring Fork is getting some good momentum here. At first glance, it felt potentially too casual, but your review for business dinners is spot on to what I'm looking for. Thanks for the second vote!

            1. re: venkreddy

              Regarding the casual meter, RF is just as good in a suit as it is in a polo and jeans. But that's really Austin in general. I've worn many a jacket and tie to the fork and feel right at home in their dining room. The hotel too is on the swanky side so there's always a bunch of suits running around. Another poster mentioned Carillon, another good "business" call.

          2. OP here: Any thoughts on Carillon, Olive & June or Swift's Attic? Swift's Attic in particular looks like the kind of place that might not be on the radar screen of the locals I'm meeting. But it might be all small plates?

            1 Reply
            1. re: venkreddy

              Olive in June is pretty far from where you're staying.
              Swift's attic is small plates mainly
              Carillion would be a good choice. on/near the UT campus and there are lots of business meetings held there. I've enjoyed the food there.