I have been in Austin a LONG time and I have seen restaurants come and go.  Sometimes even the best restaurants have not been able to survive in this fickle city!  The restaurant biz is HARD.  My favorite restaurant growing up was  Café Spiazzo off of 2222 and Northland Drive.  They had the most amazing chicken in mustard cream sauce over a bed of angel hair pasta.  For dessert I loved the chocolate ganache torte and I have yet to have another torte I love as much.  They went out of business long ago, much to my chagrin.  I believe now, as Austin has become more foodie and chic, that Café Spiazzo might have thrived.  RIP. 

Since Austin has upped the bar for food culture the last 10 plus years I have amassed many favorites.  However the last 2-3 years, as restaurants have been opening at a rapid pace, I have been a tad underwhelmed.  I have plenty of top spots I will (and plan to) gladly wax poetic on however recently the new places do not stand up, in my opinion. 

However, last week I had the opportunity to try two restaurants, one newer and one that has been around a few years and I was dually impressed.

The first one was Dai Due, butcher shop and supper club turned full blown brick and mortar restaurant.  I think the restaurant has been open 3ish(?) years now and I for whatever reason had not ever been. 

I am not sure how it spent so much time under my radar but I am glad I finally went!  It’s a smallish space with a vintage/eclectic feel inside and an inviting back patio that feels like a hidden garden due to the vine filled back wall that encloses the patio.  The front of the restaurant houses the butcher shop.

We were seated in the back garden and since it is finally fall I did not wine about sitting outside.  To begin the meal we enjoyed a charcuterie plate-yum yum.  I wish I could name all the meats involved but I cannot.  I can say that they were all fresh and tasty and accented with a mustard sauce and cornichons. The husband and I shared to the rib eye and our friend had this massive hunk of meat, the beef rib on the bone.  They have only Texas wines and beers and offer a nice selection.  We enjoyed a bottle of Tempranillo Blend from Tranquilo Cellars and then a bottle of Aglianico from  Duchman Cellars.  The Aglianico was the top pick for me and my husband and our friend loved the Tempranillo.

The sides were home style cooking and absolutely delectable.  I love a good grit, ha!   We also enjoyed collard greens and mac and cheese.  Dessert was not as memorable, but that is because I was so full I took a small bite of my friend’s and I am not entirely sure what he had.

The menu changes but I don’t think you can go wrong with a meal here.  Large portions, chill atmosphere, memorable food.  I truly enjoyed this meal!  Go and see for yourself.  I am putting it on my try again list for sure.  Huge plus, they have brunch! Brunch is my favorite.  If you don’t trust my opinion of this place, check out Matthew Odam’s recent top restaurants lists…#3!

The Cold Meat Board at Dai Due

I rarely go to two nice restaurants in the same week but last week was my luck week.  After Dai Due Wednesday night I went toEberlywith some girlfriends to celebrate one of their birthdays. 

Eberly is a visually stunning restaurant.  I had been last fall for cocktails and appetizers in the bar and was super excited to have dinner in the restaurant.  They sourced materials for the décor from a range of places including an old train station.  The vibe is magical.  The service is on point.  The menu has something for everyone.   I do not love when things are on the higher end side and you get three bites and are later starving.  This was not the case at Eberly.  I shared apps with the girls and then three of the six of us couldn’t decide between a couple of entrees so we shared two and I was pleasantly full afterward, even with sharing.  Also, the cocktails are out of this world good.  I may have enjoyed too many! 

Highlights include:  The Sweet Heat and I Carried a Watermelon cocktails, the cheese and crudite, the pepper crusted filet, all the sides and the excellent service.  This is not an everyday restaurant in my opinion but I would definitely seek it out again for a date night or occasion.   I would chillax in the bar with some oysters and bubbles or a cocktail anytime.  I sincerely love when a restaurant can nail the atmosphere, energy, service and menu and Eberly did not disappoint.

The Sweet Heat at Eberly

The Atrium at Eberly is stunning! This was taken from their Cedar Tavern Bar which is a great place to stop for a cocktail and a snack!

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