Vino 100 serves cheeses and imaginative pasta dishes in its cozy storefront, with live entertainment on Thursdays and Fridays. Start off a meal with a cheese plate, bedecked with one to four types of dairy ($9/one cheese, $20/four). Choose from brie, fontina, Brazos Valley–smoked gouda, and a Brazos Valley cheese of the month. Small plates such as the artichoke dip with crab and spinach ($12) or the goat cheese with raspberry-chipotle sauce ($6) whet appetites and fill bellies to half capacity. Send hunger packing with a stick and bindle by ordering a filling entree such as the truffle-oil mac 'n' cheese ($8), brimming with four italian cheeses, black-forest ham, egg noodles, and a dusting of smoked gruyere. Or try a savory shrimp-and-sausage cheesecake ($12), crowned with a crawfish rémoulade instead of traditional whipped cream and cookies. Polish off the meal with delectable dessert ($6 each), such as the s'mores panini, a combination of marshmallow fluff, graham crackers, and Nutella, encased in a ciabatta bun and grilled to gooey goodness. Stay alert by downing an affogato, a scoop of vanilla-bean ice cream topped with espresso, ensuring you never again fall asleep during an all-cymbal band recital.
Apothecary's cozy atmosphere offers a well-lit and WiFi-equipped space for studying or brainstorming Internet status updates as you sip generous vials of your prescribed morning caffeine. Apothecary offers locally brewed and homegrown coffee and espresso ($1.95–$4), as well as green, black, and herbal teas ($1.95 cup, $3.50 pot) to soothe a dry throat. For a casual lunch with friends, sample one of the hot panini sandwiches, such as the grilled chicken with havarti and basil pesto ($7.95) or the hedonistic brie, pear, and honey ($7). Keep your meal light with a savory salad ($7–$8), or explore the depths your cheese connoisseurship with an artisan cheese plate ($12.95).
Lauded as a 'Neighborhood Gem' by its diners on OpenTable, Eleven Plates' chef Dom Labeaud has elevated the trend of small plates to new heights with twists on contemporary American dishes. This inventiveness is evident in the seared diver scallops, a dish punctuated with grilled corn, spanish chorizo, corn-nut dust, and citrus aioli, which was described in Delicious Mischief as "far more creative, and…more satisfying” than typical takes on the seafare. Inside the dining room, bottles of wine stacked horizontally fill shelves on a wall that faces out toward dark, wooden tables and rich leather chairs, and patterned wallpaper lines the walls above the curving bar. Eleven Plates also serves lunch.
Today's Groupon gets you $60 worth of French cuisine for $30 at Aquarelle Restaurant Français, the elegant restaurant the Austin Chronicle calls "one of a handful of restaurants bold enough to offer rabbit, sweetbreads, and other organ meats to the sometimes squeamish Austin palate." It serves gourmet cuisine, such as black truffles and fresh duck foie gras, in a romantic turn-of-the-century home in downtown Austin.
Max's Wine Dive is renowned for its culinary-chutzpah-filled dinner menu, which turns chili dogs and burgers into gourmet flavors. Their fried chicken was deemed one of America's Best by Travel + Leisure. Try the signature Texas haute dog (a Strube Ranch Wagyu hot dog topped with your choice of beer-braised sauerkraut, Dijon mustard, pickles or chili, jalapenos, and cotija cheese, served with fried onion strings and frites; $14). Or opt for the Kobe beef burger (a Strube Ranch Wagyu Kobe beef burger with Belletoile triple-cream brie, in-house pickled jalapenos, local hothouse tomatoes, and organic Bibb lettuce, served with frites; $17), another favorite. If you're feeling ravenous, hang a fang in the all-you-can-eat fried chicken and waffles (chicken thigh, leg, and breast with jalapeno and buttermilk marinade, deep fried, served with a waffle; $19) during Sunday brunch. Woman's Day once named Max's grilled cheese (Gruyère, provolone, and roasted red pepper, served with a cup of tomato soup; $13) one of the 10 best in the nation.
Tired of simply dressing up her rooms, designer Kerry White needed a way to engage clients on a deeper sensory level. Adopting the motto of “wine, art, and song”, she opened House Wine to match her eye for interiors with the refined tastes of vintages and the lilting sound of live, local music. Sporting both an earth-toned dining area and sun-dappled outdoor lounge replete with cushy, white couches, the wine bar leaves plenty of space for guests to explore an extensive wine list, sample cheese plates, and clasp handheld bites of pineapple-cinnamon empanadillas. Bards from across Austin fill the space with tuneful sounds, and local artists bring life to walls with their paintings of abstract landscapes or other, more beautiful walls.