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Dallas Morning News
Fearless Critic restaurant review
Upmarket restaurant

Wed–Sat 10:00am–10:00pm
Sun 10:00am–3:00pm

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


Lake Travis Area
900 RR 620 South
Austin, TX
(512) 263-8728
Artisan Bistro
Austin’s best French chef in the place you’d least expect...a Lakeway wine bar

This former Vino 100 space tries for elegance with black linens and modern lighting, and the effect, combined with the homely, generic name, might lead you to believe this is just another suburban strip-mall snorefest. But Artisan is perhaps Texas’s best-kept secret, concealing a chef whose impressive resumé includes a Parisian Michelin-starred restaurant and his own Norman culinary school. True to form, he’s the only chef in the kitchen, even during rushes. Whether ideal, flaky croissant; flawlessly poached egg; crackling, velvet-centered baguette; or expertly seared lamb chop, Cesidio D’Andrea’s responsible for it. While we normally review the restaurant, not the chef, this is the rare American instance in which the chef and the restaurant’s success are utterly indivisible.

If the atmosphere doesn’t transport you to a French idyll, beef bourguignon will, with its earthy stew, lilting wine notes, and tender meat. French onion soup is, as they say, “correct;” cassoulet toulousain is pure comforting pleasure, with crisp-skinned duck and juicy loose-packed sausage; rich foie gras torchons, balanced with perhaps roasted peaches or pears, are about half the price of those at flashier restaurants.

The bottle-bedecked wall is pocked needlessly with California oak bombs; look for the few well-priced Loire Valley or Côte du Rhônes among them, and you might be convinced the window overlooks the Seine, not a Lakeway parking lot.

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