Bee Cave >Food & Dining > The Emerald Restaurant
13614 W Hwy 71, Austin, TX | Directions 7873830.308964 -97.953451
The Emerald is a hidden little restaurant here in Austin, a petite Irish cottage that serves eats from the owner's homeland on Irish china and silver platters: Irish whiskey cake, flambeed onion soup, savory roasted leg of lamb. Head here after you've abused yourself on St. Patrick's Day proper, and get some culinary TLC.
Worth Every Penny!! – My husband and I visit this spot once a year or so for special occasions. I could go on and on and on... However, I simply state that that family that runs this hidden gem serves up unforgettable food and unmatched hospitality. This is a spot to head for when you're looking for a dining experience...perfection can't be rushed. Fill the time it takes to craft your meal with great conversation and a bottle of wine.
The Best Irish Resteraunt this Side of Ireland – We have been going there since 1987. This is a family run and owned resteraunt. One of the waitress, Maggie or Melanie (sisters), will great you and the door and seat. The extensive menu has just about anything you could want to eat. We found the potato soup and irist coffee to be exceptional. All dishes are prepared as you wait. There is one drawback. As you are driving West on Hwy 71 it is very easy to miss there sign and entrance.
Delicious Lobster! – Another reason I love this city! Ok, here is this little cottage set upon a hill-it even sounds like the beginning of a good story,and when you enter you are met by these people that make you feel so genuinely at ease, that no matter how crazy your day was, it now seems so manageable. We were seated and there was just this atmosphere of relaxation-it is hard to describe. The food was very good-my husband ordered escargot for his appetizer and I the french onion soup-both very savory. The escargot are served in the shell and the onion soup was flambeed tableside. Our salads were nice and cold and the homemade dressing was so good that I brought some home with me. For my entree, I chose the Cornish game hen (an off the menu item) and seriously, it was beautifully presented and very, very good. The sauce was loaded with cherries and brandy-a good combination and one I had never tried before on poultry-it works without being too sweet. My husband ordered a filet mignon and a broiled lobster tail- very nice and cooked just as he had ordered.
Too full to enjoy dessert, we opted for a couple of irish coffees -mine was made with Baileys Irish cream and my husband went the more traditional way and had the Irish whiskey in his-we were content!
So we not only will talk about this with our friends, we will be back not only for the food, but for the whole experience-
What a Special Evening! – My husband and I had dinner at the Emerald and used our Groupon and had a marvelous experience. We were able to visit with each other in a setting that was private and eat our dinner at a pace that suited us- the staff was so attentive and frankly the chateaubriand melted in our mouths. Everything was treated very carefully and I wouldn't change one thing about our evening. The prices are not outrageous-my goodness you are eating one of the most expensive cuts of beef.. This restaurant is a very special occasiion place to go which is fine with me!!
Wonderful Evening In Every Way – We loved our dinner of chateaubriand and lobster. The ambiance is delightful and intimate-so if you are looking to be seen by others-no the Emerald is not where you belong. This is a little cottage that was built in 1927 and is perfect-beautiful tile in the bathrooms which were spotlessly clean, Irish china and a live harpist that was awesome. The service was exceptional and we felt so very pampered. Can't wait to return and try the cornish game hen-the table next to us had ordered it and it looked delicious!
Biggest regret ever. – Overrated, over-hyped, and overpriced.
I went for Valentines. They did not have enough staff. The staff that they did have acted like they had never before worked in a restaurant. The pace of the meal was EXTREMELY painfully slow. Getting staffs attention was almost impossible. The food was mediocre at the very best. That includes the quality of the Chateaubriand and the lobster tail (which was the worst lobster tail I have ever had ...it was over cooked as well).
We ended up NEVER ordering a drink because they never came back to take our order!! Instead, they did take away our drink menu in order to give it to another table whose occupants looked more important.
I have waited tables for 26 years. I would recommend Denny's over this place.
What a sham – I must agree with the previous poster. I have never ever experienced something so overrated overhyped and overpriced in my lifetime.
For those of you who rated this place highly, all I can say is that you must not eat out often at fine establishments. Either that or you're too embarrassed to admit to yourself that you paid a fortune for nothing better than an average meal you could get at places that charge $20 for a meal, not $200.
The ambience is not "charming," it is gross. How can you brag about filthy restrooms, dingy carpeting, peeling wallpaper, and tattered dirty lace curtains and tablecloths?
The service is not "homey," it is simply unprofessional and rude. My grandmother served homey meals in a charming environment. This place is just a sham. Wake up people, you've been had!
Overpriced & Overrated – This is the most overpriced and overrated place I have ever been to. Ever. Anywhere, in the USA or Ireland. I am baffled at how they can pass them selves off as "charming," when the place is just shabby and old. The restrooms are rude. And almost $200 for a meal? My chateaubriand was unrecognizable, and drowned in a gelatinous, tasteless sauce. Why did she ask me how I wanted it prepared (I said medium rare) only to bring thin strips of well done meat--I couldn't even recognize it as the right cut. The vegetables were overcooked, and the potato was undercooked. The salad was about what you get at Chili's, and the potato soup was a lifeless puree. The so-called "Irish whiskey cake" was a soggy mess. I am still wondering how the glass of Bass ale, the same stuff you get at any HEB in Texas for a few bucks, was worth over $8. Yes, the sisters who run the place and serve as wait staff are sweet an charming and pretty, but totally ineffective. The meal was not leisurely, it was painfully slow. As a person of Irish heritage, I am appalled that Austinites are being told that this is an Irish experience. This was about as Irish as Olive Garden is Italian.
Very Charming and Romantic... – My husband and I went to the Emerald with a Groupon Valentine's coupon. I've been wanting to go for years, but it has always been a tad cost prohibitive. It was absolutely worth the wait.
You might drive past the place a time or two before you realize that you just passed it as it is an old house. It has been remodeled to serve as a restaurant, but it still has a homey feel to it. The ambiance is like your grandmothers house, but with a bit of a romantic and whimsical twist to it. On the night we went, they had a harpist who was wonderful and playing all of our favorite songs.
The service is lovely, with polite and sweet, soft spoken people being attentive to your every need. It is a family run business, and you do feel like you have been invited over by dear friends for a meal. (Not in an intrusive way though.)
About the food: We got the Patty O'Cupid's Valentine's feast, and it was most certainly a feast. The meal began with the Irish soda bread, which was so delicious. It was warm and fresh and so tasty it melted in your mouth. Next, we were brought out a potato soup which I have to say, is better than my mother's. I am mostly Irish, and am a snob about potato soup, and this would never let down anyone's expectations. Then, came the main course. Chateaubriand, in a beautiful mushroom sauce with the most delicious veggies ever; broiled lobster that was too flavorful to butter; and a rack of lamb that was so good that despite being full we had no choice but to eat. The meal ended with a lovely Irish whiskey cake, which was yummy and fun.
This is not a generic restaurant. It is an experience, and a very special one at that.
Very Special Restaurant – We are new to Austin and are avid users of the groupon site-it's a great way to get to know what is in the area. The Emerald is now one of our "go to" restaurants-what a find. Great service, delicious food and an atmosphere that is so warm and inviting. The harpist was playing this past Saturday and was so personable-he took requests and the whole restaurant felt included-we actually exchanged phone numbers with the table next to us! The Emerald is really very special and we will definitely return.
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