Jeff Blank and his kitchen crew like to joke that other cooks must suffer from a "fear of cooking." That's because, for the award-winning chef, cooking is a kind of alchemy?an ambitious experiment that is sometimes fated to fail. But when it works, Jeff and his Executive Chef Kelly Casey transform fresh ingredients, often plucked from local farms and ranches, into piquant dishes adorned with housemade sauces, such as tomatillo white chocolate, mango jalape?o, and bourbon vanilla praline. Behind the kitchen, a stone smokehouse infuses ostrich, rattlesnake, and venison meats with dusky notes, creating entrees that have won them recognition for the Best Wild Game Dish from readers of the Austin Chronicle.
Diners take in the gustatory array on a patio and in a garden gazebo, surrounded by vegetable plants, flowers, and trees wrapped in petite nodes of light. Even the rustic, upscale decor?characterized by soft candlelight, red tablecloths, and vibrant paintings along exposed-stone walls?has earned acclaim, finding favorable mention in the New York Times' travel guide.
Taking traditional culinary techniques and squeezing them through a filter of modern influences, Nagoya Steak and Sushi refines its menu of familiar Japanese cuisine. Manning tabletop hibachi grills, chefs entertain their hungry audiences by juggling utensils and causing the grills' surfaces to spout flames while they sear orders of chicken, steak, and lobster. Back in the kitchen, another team of chefs sets about topping crispy fillets of red snapper with lime-chili sauce and glazing tuna steaks with teriyaki-balsamic blends.
Striving to create more delicate–yet equally enticing–dishes, sushi chefs fill plates with meticulously sliced sashimi and carefully folded rolls. While the maki selection features a number of traditional sushi-house staples, it also includes the restaurant's own custom-designed creations. Featuring such premium ingredients as lobster tempura, filet mignon, and individually steamed rice grains, these signature rolls offer a fancy dining experience akin to picnicking atop a blimp.
The Emerald Restaurant's quaint cottage, just minutes from Hill Country Galleria and Lake Travis, flings open its wooden doors to welcome diners into a fairy-tale-like milieu rich with Irish china, lace tablecloths, and fine crystal. Originally built as a private residence, The Emerald Restaurant has enjoyed 30 years as a community landmark under the ownership of the Kinsella family. Just like lunch in elementary school, most meals are presented on a silver platter, showcasing European-style and modern American cuisine including steaks, lobster, fish, and duck. The intimate space sets a romantic mood that frequently attracts wedding proposals and exchanges of everlasting-platonic-friendship rings.
Aesthetician Kelly Jacquin puts her Demologica Skincare certification to use in helping clients achieve clear, smooth complexions with her array of spa treatments. She specializes in all things skin, from gentler peels that exfoliate away roughened outer layers of skin to cleansing facials and eye treatments that return delicate skin to its balanced and bright state. Kelly also helps clients keep their newly polished skin looking nice with waxing treatments, spray tans, and makeup treatments that let them show off their assets without hiring their own independent auditor.
Nobody does Southern hospitality like Texas Roadhouse. Established in 1993 as Kent Taylor’s family business, the Roadhouse quickly grew to become an international dining establishment. The secret to their success? Only using the highest quality steaks and the freshest ingredients day in and day out. Some of the most fantastical culinary creations offered at the Steakhouse include their hand-cut steaks (which are as lovingly prepared as their name implies), freshly-baked buns (that explode in a plume of delicious-smelling steam when you crack them open), and their Legendary Margarita (whose name isn’t just for show). In addition to food that’s lip-smacking good, the Texas Roadhouse also features line-dancer shows to keep you entertained while you dine, a jukebox that’s every old-timey music lover’s dream, and a set of friendly servers that genuinely care about your dining experience.
Bartlett's Restaurant in Austin, Texas offers diners an elegant, upscale dining experience serving quality menu items that are freshly made by skilled chefs. They hand cut their steaks and fish and grind their own chuck for the hamburgers. All soups, mustard and pickle relish are made from scratch, along with delicious buttermilk ciabatta. The restaurant owners are meticulous about getting every detail just right, and are well known for their exclusive wine list. In fact, they have received the Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence for two years in a row. The lunch menu offers favs like burgers and sandwiches, while the dinner menu features smoked salmon, hunter’s filet mignon, and the roasted prime rib among others. On their list of handcrafted cocktails, patrons enjoy the Bartlett pear martini and the barrel-aged Manhattan.