“What the Fearless Critic books and apps have that UrbanSpoon and Yelp don’t is a complete lack of bullshit.”
“I’ve spent years driving around with Zagat...but I think I’ll replace it with this Fearless Critic guide.”
–Leslie Brenner,
Dallas Morning News
Fearless Critic restaurant review
Upmarket restaurant

Mon–Wed 11:30am–2:30pm
Mon–Wed 5:00pm–10:00pm
Thu–Fri 11:30am–2:30pm
Thu–Fri 5:00pm–11:00pm
Sat 11:00am–3:00pm
Sat 5:00pm–11:00pm
Sun 11:00am–3:00pm
Sun 5:00pm–10:00pm

Features Date-friendly, outdoor dining, Wi-Fi
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


Second Street
400 W. 2nd St.
Austin, TX
(512) 499-0300
La Condesa
Haute cuisine by way of the Distrito Federal, with vibe by way of Distrito Second Street

La Condesa is a two-story visual orgasm; the modern-high-concept genre at its best. A waterfall of white mesh greets front-door traffic; luxuriant tropical plants tower over tables of naked wood and absorb sound; lighting fixtures are chic and warm. Two upstairs bar areas, one inside and one outside (Malverde, subject to its own hours), also integrate nature and metropolis in a setting that is knock-out sexy without resorting to cheeseball overexertion.

We Mezcal fiends are thrilled to have about ten to choose from here (Del Maguey being the best). Creative cocktails and margaritas are a little on the sweet side, but employ homemade bitters, infused rock salts, and an impressive choice of tequilas.

The menu, like the Mexico City neighborhood for which the restaurant is named, is a melting pot of mestizo techniques and regional ingredients, dosed with modern food trends. The results can be brilliant, as in carnitas de panza, which pair ideally fat-balanced pork belly with smoky chile sauce and an ingenious side of roasted jicama and bacon. Silver-dollar-sized tostadas feature delightfully vinegary (if a touch too oily) octopus. Chile relleno is hearty and nutty with just a whisper of heat. Make a point of sharing unctuous, luxurious bone-marrow taquitos. Meats and fish are cooked expertly.

Brunch features some of the city’s finest pozole. Even La Condesa’s legendarily bad service can’t bring it down.

Comments (6)