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serena's date night guide to austin, texas

restaurants

Hestia
Named after the Greek goddess of the hearth, Hestia boasts a custom 20-ft hearth and a menu which highlights the role of fire in food. Epic wine list.
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Olamaie

Gorgeous upscale Southern cuisine by executive chef Michael Fojtasek named after five generations of women in his family. Triple James Beard finalist. 

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Uchi

Literally meaning "home", chef and Tokyo-trained sushi master Tyson Cole serves up delightfully-presented Japanese fusion cuisine in intimate surrounds. 

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Red Ash

One of the hottest tables in Austin as of 2022, executive chef John Carver showcases Northern and Southern Italian cuisine prepared on a customer wood-burning grill, home-made desserts, and an excellent wine list. 
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Maie Day

A playful take on the traditional steakhouse which aims to get away from the stuffy darkly-lit room, this is Olamaie's Michael Fojtasek's newest venture. 
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Truluck’s

The aforementioned traditional steakhouse! An Austin rarity in that it has a strict dress code, Truluck's is a great choice if you just want a really good Texas steak in upscale surroundings (which let's face it, sometimes that's all you need for a great night). The lobster tail is also excellent.
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Perla's 

A SoCo fixture since 2009, Perla's is a go-to for fresh seafood and oysters flown in daily from the coasts (I'll wartch you eat them!) served on one of Austin's loveliest outdoor patios shaded by mature oak trees.

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Barley Swine

A constantly changing seasonal prix fixe menu which showcases local farms and regional ingredients, this is one of the most innovative restaurants in the city.

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Lutie's 

One of the prettiest settings in Austin with hundreds of plants hanging from the ceiling, Lutie’s is the flagship restaurant at the Commodore Perry estate restaurant (also an excellent hotel if you're looking for one) which serves a fresh, local, chef-driven menu.

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Jeffrey's

Described by Bon Appetit as having a "laid-back modern country-club vibe", Jeffrey's is an unapologetically glamorous fine-dining steakhouse that serves a perfectly seared 35 day dry-aged Texas porterhouse. Let the meat commence. 

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Garrison

Tucked inside the Fairmont, Garrison features elevated dishes cooked on an open flame. Chef de cuisine Jason Purcell previously cooked at Bouchon, Aureole and Farmshop. (We're definitely getting the tater tots with black truffles and Gruyère foam.)

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Sushi | Bar

A speakeasy-style sushi bar on the very hip East Side with just ten seats, Sushi | Bar serves a 17-course o-makase dinner with playful takes on traditional nigiri. Reservations are released at noon on the first of every month.

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Otoko

Yoshi Okai heads up this initimate twelve-seat o-makase restaurant that blends tokyo-style sushi and kyoto-style kaiseki into a seasonal delight inside the hip South Congress Hotel. 

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Lenoir

Named after the Texas Hill Country grape, Lenoir is a regionally and seasonally-focused restaurant that showcases Central Texas ingredients with "spice, heat and robust flavor".

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El Naranjo

Oaxacan chef Iliana de la Vega, winner of 2022's James Beard award for Best Chef in Texas, serves traditional, elevated Mexican cuisine. The homemade tortillas are a highlight. 

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BARS

The roosevelt room

 

ah sing den

 

codependent

 

  s

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you'll find me...

sipping the perfect dirty gin martini in a dimly lit hotel bar

reading  literary fiction or cheap thrillers in a comfy chair by a window 

Cycling around Austin on my bike with a basket, or in Northern California on my road bike

Running beside bodies of water early in the morning

sailing  my little motor yacht 

DANCING to 80s tunes like everyone’s watching

singing karaoke in front of the largest audience possible

checking my horoscope but not taking it seriously at all

making things with my hands