West

This fine-dining hive nestled on the Pedernales is even better than its buzz. Chef Taylor Hall’s dedication to seasonal and local fare, plus the on-site apiary and new covered patio, make this an unforgettable dinner. Try the honeycomb-infused Texas bourbon craft cocktail and the buttermilk biscuits with honey butter.

23526 Hwy. 71 W.
Spicewood
512/436-8918
www.apisrestaurant.com

For most restaurants, all-you-can-eat is a concept meant to pack in the masses. For Cafe Josie chef Todd Havers, it’s an antidote to upscale dining that still leaves you hungry after a hefty bill. “The experience,” the name for the recently launched unlimited prix fixe, is proof that this Clarksville fixture can still teach this town some new tricks.

John Anderson

Dining at Clark’s Oyster Bar is like being transported into a nautical J. Crew ad. The interior’s impeccable, the waitstaff and clientele are polished, and every dish is photo shoot-ready. Run by the same group behind Perla’s and Jeffrey’s, every detail behind Clark’s is deliberate and adds to the whole dining experience – though its lauded raw bar menu and seafood specialties like Clark’s cioppino could stand on their own.

1200 W. Sixth
512/297-2525
www.clarksoysterbar.com

Seems like no matter how many “hidden gem” lists Fabi + Rosi makes, there’s still never a long waitlist to deter us from dining at this European restaurant housed in a charming Craftsman bungalow. No complaints here – the schnitzel is worth the wait if you haven’t already tried it, as is the simple but wholly satisfying Ich Liebe Tiere dish of locally sourced vegetables.

Photo by John Anderson

Photo by John Anderson

Jeffrey’s is elegant; the kind of place where you can order foie gras and caviar, where the cocktail onions are house-made and the wine list runs to 40-plus pages. The kind of place where you get proposed to, where you celebrate decade birthdays and college graduations. If you’re a deep-pocketed romantic, you already have their number.

1204 W. Lynn
512/477-5584
www.jeffreysofaustin.com

Besides the relatively affordable cost of living, there’s another reason to move out to Cedar Park. Jenna’s namesake chef Jenna Choe can make something as workaday as crab rangoon into a tour de force, and her fresh takes on Korean classics like bibimbap give suburbanites something to throw back in the faces of their snobby urban neighbors.

John Anderson

John Anderson

Owners David and Jessenia Bober took a risk when they left New York to open a restaurant on a winding Hill Country road, but the cuisine – saké-cured gravlax, lamb and pork pappardelle, steak frites – couldn’t be more assured. With one of the most cozy dining rooms in the area, it is the definition of destination dining.

16920 RR 12
Wimberley
512/847-5700
www.jobellcafe.com

This new favorite from District Kitchen + Cocktails chef/partner Amir Hajimaleki’s adventurous cuisine blends global influences like German (veal schnitzel), Caribbean (jerk pork tenderloin), and Irish (shepherd’s pie) foods without ever feeling disjointed. We love that he’s bringing the gospel of good food to the outskirts of Austin.

8300 FM 620 N.
737/222-5779
www.oasthouseaustin.com

John Anderson

Austin’s no longer lacking Italian options, but before last year’s flood of tagliatelle, Olive & June built a rep as a reliably great place to enjoy classics like cacio e pepe as well as creative interpretations like saffron-ricotta ravioli. There’s just enough upscale decor to make a plate of spaghetti feel elegant, with a wine cellar to match.

3411 Glenview
512/467-9898
www.oliveandjune-austin.com

You can bet that any restaurant with bacon marmalade pizza, soft pillowy crusts on Neapolitan-style pies, and a penchant for pastrami will have a dedicated following willing to make the Dripping Springs drive. Add in giant chocolate chip cookies and draft beer, and it’s practically a religion.

166 Hargraves, Bldg. H
512/394-7041
www.pieous.com

photo by John Anderson

With simple fare like deviled eggs and fried pickles, Proof & Cooper doesn’t seem like it belongs on any “best of” lists. But those deviled eggs pop with smoked paprika, and the fried pickles are made from in-house bread-and-butters. Heck, even the ranch dressing is a work of art. There’s no pretention here, just perfectly crafted comfort food and cocktails.

18800 Hamilton Pool Rd.
Dripping Springs
512/264-1014
www.proofandcooper.com

A lot of new Italian restaurants have opened in the last year or so, but few can actually transport you to Italy. Housed in the luxurious Hotel Granduca, Visconti is a mini-vacation with the type of attentive service that is rare in America. Executive chef Tom Parlo’s cuisine completes the illusion with thoughtful Northern Italian specialties.

320 Capital of TX Hwy. S., Bldg. B
512/306-6400
www.granducaaustin.com

Still going strong after 15 years, wink has seen more than its fair share of lit candles. That’s because the Old West Austin staple has always known how to make their customers feel special. With timeless cuisine, an irreproachable front-of-house, and a savvy wine list, wink is always a celebration.

1014 N. Lamar
512/482-8868
www.winkrestaurant.com

In 2013, after a couple of years of health problems, owner Ronald Cheng had an opportunity to reopen in the building where Chinatown started in 1983. He kept some of the former menu items, added some delicious new ones, and gave the whole place a new look – simultaneously reinvigorating his brand and cementing his Austin culinary legacy. Austin is full of restaurateurs. Cheng is a giant. Inducted in 2016.

2712 Bee Caves Rd.
512/328-6588
www.austinchinatown.com

Photo by John Anderson

This European gastronomic exploration exudes taste inside and out. The love story that started it all continues through the care and craftsmanship incorporated into everything from the homemade bread to the house-cured Metzger board. Perhaps the very best part, however, is that the price point of this luxe-sounding menu makes it accessible to most. Inducted in 2018.

Jeffrey’s is a rare classic establishment where heart-stopping prices actually equate to fine dining. The centerpiece of the menu revolves around perfectly seasoned and seared steaks, but even those who aren’t carnivores can make a meal of the sides and salads that are just as legendary as the delectable meat. Inducted in 2018.

1204 W. Lynn
512/477-5584
www.jeffreysofaustin.com

Photo by John Anderson

John Anderson

In an Austin that often mistakes fine surfaces for fine dining, chefs Stewart Scruggs and Mark Paul’s strip mall eatery is the real deal. Maybe there’s no miles of carrara marble and the fixtures may not require weekly wipe downs with Brasso, but wink has it where it counts – beautiful food made with the best ingredients, immaculate service, and a wine program that’s worth raising a glass to. Inducted in 2017.

1014 N. Lamar
512/482-8868
www.winkrestaurant.com

 
South Lamar and Barton Springs
2016 Intro

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