Tree House Italian Grill
2201 College Ave., 512/443-4200
Hours: Lunch: Mon.-Fri., 11am-2pm; Dinner: Sun.-Thu., 5-9:30pm; Fri.-Sat., 5-10:30pm
offers a reasonably priced Italian menu and a large wine list. Marvel at the massive live oak on the patio as you sample seafood brochette, crab cannelloni, or veal marsala.
It may be described as Chicago-style Italian, but this popular spot offers some sophisticated fare as well. One special, the clams with sweet vermouth and roasted peppers over pappardelle pasta, had our critic swooning.
1321 S. Congress, 512/916-1315
Customers have come away raving about the delicious house-cured meats, the imported cheeses, and the marvelous pastries: handmade artisanal food at its finest.
1610 S. Congress, 512/441-7672
The comfy bar, great service, and dazzling display of antipasti near the front door lure us in, and the pasta and heirloom tomatoes do the rest. And if gluten-free pasta is what you're after, you'll find plenty of it here.
1610 S. Congress, 512/441-6100