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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Upmarket restaurant

Sun–Wed 5:00pm–10:00pm
Thu–Sat 5:00pm–11:00pm

Features Date-friendly, good wines, live music, outdoor dining
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


South Congress
1321 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, TX
(512) 916-1315
Great wines and prices on an Austin-meets-Eden patio; the rest’s just red-sauce gravy

Botticelli’s little Euro bistro is almost out of place next to the very Texan Continental Club. Inside is a beautiful, warm little world of dark woods and dim lights; intimate booths are separated by lovely pressed-glass dividers. But the best part is a magical backyard “beer garden.” A rather short, underwhelming beer list casts some doubt onto the legitimacy of the name, but it really is one of the nicest places in Austin. The terrific all-Italian wine list ranges from affordable and good to transcendent and worth the splurge; cocktails are behind the curve a bit, but decent. Come for the live music, or a slightly quieter happy hour under the enormous, graceful Live Oak branches. Service is as pleasant as the surroundings.

The short menu is appealing, with a distinct Italian-American bent and acceptable execution. Pork saltimbocca has the right texture—crispy on the outside and juicy inside—and a lovely mix of flavors, save for aggressively salty fried prosciutto. There are shareable “Botticelli Breads,” which are basically fancy calzones that are a little bland and doughy. Homemade pastas are hit or miss; ravioli tend to be chewy and dense, but a butternut-sage rendition has a proper, natural sweetness. Pansotti are in an undersalted cream sauce, but tender meatballs with tagliatelle will satisfy any red-sauce seeker, especially on this patio.

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