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.
Serving chef-prepared cuisine inspired by the La Condesa neighborhood in Mexico City, La Condesa offers upscale street food and tweaked home-style dishes in an energetic, airy atmosphere designed by acclaimed architect Michael Hsu. The menu contains street favorites like tacos and elotes, whole corn cobs served on a stick with cotija cheese and chili powder, as well as composed dishes like a Sunday Chicken with potato gratin and a butternut squash-stuffed chile relleno. La Condesa focuses on using local ingredients whenever possible for the best flavor. At the bar, award-winning cocktails are mixed, and a selection of over 80 tequilas is available.
Take an exquisite lake view, add in a spacious deck, a glass of carrot juice and a double latte, and what do you have? This king of all coffeehouses, where coffee drinks and desserts can be had in one building and, across the deck in the juice bar, a yogurt smoothie or fresh vegetable juice. Caffeine addicts and natural food buffs can mingle and soak up the view, while music lovers can enjoy the live music Wednesdays through Sundays. This coffee room attracts a varied crowd, from early morning exercise nuts to late-night conversationalists. Others simply kick back, relax, and smell the coffee.
Whip In has Indian-infused breakfast items available until 2 p.m., perfect for late risers. Naan (Indian flatbread), scrambled eggs, cheese and your choice of chutney (a spiced, Indian condiment) makes up the breakfast naan (cilantro chutney is rather appetizing). As if that wasn't enough, they also have an impressive beer selection on tap, a vegan/vegetarian grocery aisle, a wine and beer area, and a tobacconist with Indian candles & incense.
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.
With chef Benjamin Nathan at the helm, the Belmont seeks to transport you back in time to the Las Vegas and Palm Springs of the 1960's. Looking around, you might expect to see the Rat Pack as you sense the nostalgia of the elegant leather and soft lighting while being entertained with music of the era. The menu offers a wide range of American culinary options including cedar planked salmon and grilled asparagus as well as shrimp and grits. For the lighter appetite, try one of their unique salads like the arugula, pear and goat cheese salad or iceberg wedge salad. All in all, this place has achieved what it set out to become, an upscale classic American restaurant and bar.
Maiko, a part sushi/part martini restaurant helps break the stereotype of the rigid Japanese sushi chef. The lounge and bar at Maiko serves fusion cocktails like the Sake and Wasabi Martinis and the menu is no less. Prepared by chef Fumi, it's an amalgamation of eastern precision for the western palette. The decor at Maiko reflects this cross cultural harmony equally well; also the occasional DJ spinning grooves, something you won't find at a sushi bar talks of it. Perfect for an evening for two or for an after office drink with your pals.
At Gloria's Latin Cuisine, delicious Latin-American cuisine is served in a warm, cozy and comfortable atmosphere. Here you get to taste a little of everything from tamales, plantains, papas to fajitas, enchiladas and more, everything is served with salsa and warm black bean dip, which is heavenly. The menu is dominated by Latin-American specials with few Mexican dishes. They are also known to serve some of the best margaritas in town and they also house a full bar. Their waiters and staff are really friendly, warm and welcoming, known to make you feel as ease as soon as you enter. On Saturday nights, the place turns into a dancing hub as they push aside the tables to make room for you to welcome you weekends.
Downtown Austin is home to Chef Andrew Curren's Italic known for its superior quality of Italian offerings perfectly paired with Italian wines. The menu features an eclectic selection of cured meats, Italian cheeses, olives and home-made focaccia. Guests can choose from an array of rustic wood-fired pizzas and farm-to-table selection of pastas made from the freshest seasonal ingredients. To top it all, pamper your sweet-tooth with gelatos and other Italian sweet confections crafted by Chef Mary Catherine Curren.
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.
How often do you see a business establishment having a split identity? Halcyon does just that. During the day, it has a relaxed atmosphere and serves coffee. But by night, it transforms itself into a classy lounge, offering delicious food and drinks. This place may portray some sort of identity crisis but that shouldn't stop you from paying a visit. They're famous for their s'mores--you can actually roast your own marshmallows at your table!