Rated as one of the top restaurants in Texas, Uchi is a very romantic restaurant with dimly lit lanterns. If you want some privacy, then the sushi bar is for you. For an appetizer, try the Yokai Berry, Sakana Carpaccio and Machi Cure. Make sure you leave some room for desserts, the creme caramel, gelato and panna cotta are delectable. As for the selection of sakes, it is wise to come in for the daily Sake Social to sample small bites and sakes that pair perfectly.
With its menu of Italian bistro cuisine and charming interior, Enoteca Vespaio offers a less expensive but still fresh and high-quality alternative to Vespaio, its sister restaurant next door. Enoteca boasts offerings like the mozzarella panino stuffed with housemade mozzarella cheese and roasted tomatoes, flat-crust pizzas, and rich pastas. Fresh ingredients are in abundance. The dessert case at the entrance offers a glimpse at their tarts, cookies and cannoli. Sunday brunch offers a selection of egg dishes and sweet breakfasts like pancakes and freshly made bread. The interior is small but welcoming, and the outdoor patio at Enoteca Vespaio allows diners to gaze at passers-by strolling down South Congress.
This dynamic fine dining establishment is a favorite among Austin denizens. With cool tones and Japanese rice paper displayed in the windows, Wink is known for their fresh seafood and innovative dishes. Truly a farm to table restaurant, Wink strives to source local ingredients from local purveyors and even has its seafood selections flown in daily from both coasts. Along with a seasonal menu, the wine list features a rotating selection of 70 vintage labels and varieties.
Justine's Brasserie serves up some of the best food in Austin. Specializing the French cuisine, Justine's is located in a very stylish small house in East Austin. No reservations are accepted, so be prepared to wait for a table at this popular spot. When you get a seat, make sure to start your meal with the escargot, one of the most popular dishes here.
Step inside this hacienda-style restaurant and find yourself whisked south of the border by the Mexican interior, where fine food is served in a charming colonial atmosphere. Chef Roberto Sabatinez has added his own creative dishes to the menu of old favorites, including a wonderfully imaginative chile relleno that employs an ancho chile rather than the usual poblano. Traditional dishes are well prepared and the desserts go beyond the flan usually offered at many Mexican restaurants. Brunch is not to be missed; especially for those who love the Mexican custom of making the late morning meal a long, leisurely affair.
Set in an attractive stone building, Clay Pit serves mostly North Indian food. The chef Maqbool Ahmed is the real McCoy, having served a stint at the Oberoi Hotel in New Delhi, and has brought his panache for the tandoor to Austin. A must eat at this restaurant is the tandoori platter bedecked with chicken, lamb, broccoli, tomatoes and even zucchini. As always, Indian restaurants are a haven for vegetarians and this is no exception, serving dahl, paneer and a lot of veggie curries.
Perry's Steakhouse and Grille takes steakhouse to a whole new level. Perry's is a fine dining experience in downtown Austin that will serve up a memorable night starting with it's pristine interior. With its white-linen drapes, rustic browns and modern decor, it sets a perfect backdrop for the night's festivities. The steaks are Perry's specialties and are grilled to perfection. Service is quick and prompt, and the servers provide diners with useful suggestions with their pick of delightful cocktails such as raspberry crusta and Mexican Martini.
With 106 locations, Ruth's Chris Steak House is known across the United States for their USDA Prime-graded beef. The filets, T-bones, rib-eyes and porterhouses keep people coming back. The fish preparations are forced to play second fiddle but take a leap of faith and try the ahi-tuna stack, if nothing else. Even vegetarians have the grilled portobello mushrooms to look forward to. Add to this the bread pudding with whiskey sauce (Ruth's original recipe) or any other from the assortment of cheesecakes and ice cream freezes. The only words left for the diners are 'put a fork in me, I'm done!'
The legacy of the "Father of Texas", Stephen Fuller Austin, lives on at this terrace bar on the second floor of the Intercontinental Stephen F Austin Hotel. Come and enjoy the view from the balcony while sipping on any of the drinks from the bar's wine or martini menu. Call or see the website for more information.
Elegantly appointed with intricate ceilings and plush furnishings, The Driskill Grill is indeed one of those places to dine for special occasions. This elite steakhouse serves sublime steaks and seafood that are indeed feast to the eyes and palate. The candle-lit ambiance ensures, that a romantic dinner is also a fabulous option. Reservations are highly recommended.
If you love Italian cuisine, La Traviata gives you another reason to smile. Headed by Chef Marion Gilchrist, the restaurant is known for not only authentic Italian cuisine but a menu that is prepared from local and fresh ingredients. From fresh salads to pasta, the delicacies are made in fresh vegetables and meats from chicken, duck, veal, and seafood to name a few. Delectable desserts like Tiramisu and a wide assortment of wine are perfect to pair with your Italian fare. The casual yet Italian ambiance of wooden and rustic decor, embellished with striking candelabras is ideal for a romantic dinner or a relaxed group outing.
Whether it's for an evening of drinks or a satisfying meal, Trace is a sophisticated eatery that is worth returning to time and again. Located at the W Hotel in downtown Austin, this restaurant is a great place to dine even if you're not staying at the W hotel. Trace's chefs provide guests with masterful cuisine concoctions that are sure to leave you wanting more. What's surprising is that all foods are seasonal and organic fare that originated from the farms around Austin. But these well-trained chefs aren't constricted by the lack of food options, instead, their creativity shines through.