Murals of festive party scenes fill the walls inside Rocco’s Grill, an Italian restaurant that serves pizza, pasta, and hand-cut steaks. Awarded the title of Best Steak in Austin by CitySearch in 2010, Rocco’s offers several grilled specialties, most notably the Pepper Steak Marsala, a black-pepper-crusted tenderloin drizzled in a creamy, mushroom-Marsala reduction. Other options include the grilled tilapia and the New Zealand lamb—a personal favorite of the owner. All items on the menu are listed with a recommended wine and silly hat pairing. Diners can enjoy their meals inside a colorful dining room or on a veranda, which offers beautiful views overlooking the Yaupon Golf Course.
The traditional Italian pasta, steaks, and seafood on Ciola’s menu are crafted from family recipes passed down for more than 50 years. While sipping tomato-basil and minestrone zuppas ($3/cup, $5/bowl) and crunching a romaine-founded, red-wine-vinaigrette-drenched insalata di casa ($3/side, $6/entree), the tongue tap dances on a crispy stage. Since Italian eating would not be possible without nutritional noodles, Ciola’s submits various pastas for consumption. Slurp truffle-creamed ravioli al tartufo ($18) or shrimp linguine puttanesca ($16). Steaks and chops ($24–$28), pesce ($18–$22), and plenty of pollo e vitello ($15–$19) promise satisfaction to as many pabulum preferences as there are pizza-shaped constellations in the night sky.
Using made-from-scratch, hand-tossed dough, whole-milk mozzarella cheese, and homemade sauces, Mangieri’s Pizza Café builds each pizza with only the highest quality ingredients. Cooks add new flavors to the café’s specialty pies through fresh vegetables, gourmet cheeses, and and meats. Consider the Capriccio, a pie topped with Italian sausage and cherry tomatoes, along with fresh arugula, mozzarella, and sautéed onions. Along with the eatery’s signature pizzas, the chefs at Mangieri’s also create piping hot subs and sandwiches, as well as whole-wheat or gluten-free spaghetti.
Locally and family owned, Non La serves traditional Vietnamese cuisine along with a variety of Asian soups, appetizers, sushi, and entrees. Although similar to both Chinese and Thai cuisine, Vietnamese cuisine is cooked using very little fat, making it a healthy yet delicious option for fans of health and deliciousness. Non La's menu features a variety of authentic selections, including traditional Vietnamese egg rolls (two for $3), fried shrimp rolls (four for $7), and lemongrass stir fry, which is served with either chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp and with onions, chili peppers, and lemongrass ($8–$10). Pair a caterpillar or rainbow roll ($9 each) with a pot of fresh health-giving Tam Chau Oolong tea ($7/pot) for a formidable combo of foreign fare. Other favorites include sesame chicken ($9), beef and broccoli ($9), and a number of vegetarian options such as tofu pad thai ($9).
Through its sophisticated, jet-setting menu, ate.cafe aims to capture the feel of intimate old-world eateries complete with dapper gentlemen tossing bocce balls of gruyere and children sparring with baguettes. Let your chariot-racing taste buds out of the lunch gates in pursuit of the AAA Sandwich with guacamole, cucumber, tomato, and balsamic vinaigrette ($6.50), or a chopped salad with salami, provolone, chickpeas and cherry tomatoes ($7.75). The café's Southern European flare becomes more pronounced during dinner, when tapas such as shrimp in garlic sauce (gambas al ajillo) ($12) and bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with parmigiano reggiano ($7) appear on plates after patrons say their names three times. A small selection of desserts such as pecan tart, fruit crisp, and Italian chocolate-almond torte ($7 each, $9 with ice cream) satisfy forsaken corners of the palate.
Buster's BBQ offers meaty morsels in flavorful smoke, cooking meats to tender perfection in owner Tim Cook's pecan-fired smoke pit. The dinner and lunch menu boasts a slew of carnivore-pleasing chow, including sliced or block-chopped beef brisket, garlic-stuffed pork shoulder, or skinless turkey smoked in mayonnaise and cracked black pepper (each $6.65 per half pound). Meats can arrive delectably displayed atop a sandwich ($5.99), as a platter with savory sides ($8.99+), or dressed up in fashionably fringed leather jackets.