First Plates for Your Last Night
Five award-winning dinners
If this is your first time visiting Austin, you'll want your last night in town to be memorable. Earlier in the year, we announced our annual First Plates food awards after months of consideration. We consider these dinner spots some of the restaurants that are defining Austin dining now. It would be unneighborly of us not to share them with you.
Fixe500 W. Fifth, 512/888-9133
Chef James Robert will use a dazzling array of techniques in service of a simple chicharrón. The work pays off; Fixe's crispy beef tendon manages to be both featherweight and beefy, playful and refined. Why, it might even be a metaphor for their entire operation.
Vince Young Steakhouse301 San Jacinto, 512/457-8325
Ruth can have her Chris. Chef Phillip Brown outruns the competition with prime dry-aged steaks, pork chops, scallops, and sides that are considered dishes themselves. The contemporary dining room and sophisticated desserts may surprise you.
Thai-Kun1816 E. Sixth (at Whisler's), 512/422-5884
Thai-Kun's uncompromising cuisine should come with a warning. When they say "hot," they don't mean a de-seeded jalapeño was chopped somewhere within a three-mile vicinity of the truck. They mean that they used enough heat to get your endorphins going. Few other Austin restaurants can get you that high.
Kyoten1211 E. Sixth, 512/888-7559
Holy mackerel! It's difficult not to use a few mild expletives when describing Kyoten's battera. It's that dang good. That perfect cuts of extraordinarily fresh, ecologically responsible fish can come out of a tiny kitchen is perhaps our town's best indication that we're not quite done with food trucks.
Kin & Comfort1211 E. Sixth (at Kyoten through SXSW)
Those who think all the joy of fusion was bled out in the Nineties have never had chef Ek Timrerk and Bonnie Wright's quietly innovative cuisine. Their Southern-meets-Thai mix revels in unexpected flavors, but the "comfort" part of their name is never forgotten. The "kin" part? That's in their always-warm hospitality.
Find more First Plates winners at austinchronicle.com/food/first-plates.