Austin >Food & Dining > Aquarelle
606 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX | Directions 7870130.270618 -97.749629
Aquarelle is sadly out of businesses. Try Chez Nous instead for French bistro food.
Aquarelle – This is a great special occasion restaurant. Our most recent meal was perfectly prepared and presented, from amuse bouche to dessert. Terry's team in the kitchen really delivers, and the waitstaff were friendly and professional.
Our server watched her tables closely from a discreet distance and noticed we didn't seem to be enjoying the wine we had ordered. She came to us and encouraged us to let her replace it with one we would enjoy - no attitude, just great service.
Ignore any negative reviews you may have read. This place is amazing!
A chef that does not taste his food – I was there on 2-27-10 with three guests. We had three apps and 4 entrees. Everything we had was overpowered by the taste of herbs and spices. Even the fillet was excessively coated with bleu cheese. None of us could really taste what we actually ordered. Clearly a case of someone trying to be creative and missing the mark badly. This was my third visit over the past two years and won't be going back.
Enjoyed entire experience. – First of all,we had great service. Our server was friendly and unpretentious. We started with the goat cheese in pastry which was fabulous. We also had arugula salads w/ peppered goat cheese and the duck appetizer with cherries and reduction. Awesome! Our group ordered the duck, steak and scallops. We were all very pleased with our entrees. We had a couple of bottles of wine and shared a couple of desserts. It was roughly $100 for each of us. The house is charming and the chef asked how our dinner was. I love the garden outside. We will all return. Recommended!
Not pleased – This place has got to be the farthest thing from French there is. I wouldn't recommend it unless you want to eat mediocre cooking for big bucks.
Aquarelle is as French as La Madeleine – Please do yourself a favor and go somewhere else if you are really in the mood for authentic French food. Aquarelle seems to be stuck in an eighties mentality where the only place to get Arugula salad and chicken with goat chesse is a pricey French restaurant. Hello People... this is 2007, I can get this stuff prepackaged at the Whole Foods cafeteria for a chepear price and more authentic taste. I'm serious, this what we got for our menu rapide (set menu)!! The appetizer was arugula salad sprinkled with some walnuts and a couple slices of canned apricot. The entree consisted of chunks of chicken with a whole drum stick thrown in with some goat cheese. What's so french about that? I could have gotten this at any Austin Cafe. The shells in our profiterole dessert tasted dry and old. Maybe this place used to be good 5 years ago, but now it is simply horrible. Has it changed ownership? management? It just feels like they are trying to squeeze every drop from a long-gone good reputation. Aqarelle is americana food with a french price tag. Stay Away.
Wonderful food, annoying service – The food here is exceptional, interesting, creative, flawlessly prepared and presented. I tasted the dishes of every member of my party and so had the opportunity to sample many of the menu items. With the exception of the foie gras ice cream, which I found a bit too odd, I was impressed with every morsel.
The service, however, was plain annoying. Time after time, a server would snatch one of our plates before we were finished eating. Sometimes there was just a bite or two left, but we would have enjoyed being able to savor it, but instead it was whisked away without our permission before we could protest. The same was true of the drinks. With the prices of some of the wines, we would have appreciated the opportunity to finish the glass. Every member of our party found the service offputting, completely unconducive to a relaxed and leisurely meal.
best wine bar – i only went here for a good glass of wine, but I will be back for dinner (after pay day). not only was the bartender, LeAnn, knowledgeable about wines but she made sure i tasted and found that perfect glass of wine I was looking for. the little yellow house is very cute and quaint and all the food looked delicious! the crutons that are served with olives and garlic are to die for!!
What happened? Highly disappointed. – I tend to be like most readers on Citysearch. Read, review, visit the restaurants and agree or disagree in silence. This time, I have to strongly agree with the recent reviews on Aquarelle: disappointing...
My wife and I visited this restaurant for the 4th time this past weekend and expected the same great experience we had the previous times. Unfortunately, Aquarelle was well below average, both on food and service. The tasting menu with wine (priced at $115/person) was not even close to what it used to be. Even worse, the service was overwhelmed by the heavy business and was sloppy at best: I recognize you can have bad evening, but the way you recover make the difference between poor and "I'll try you again". Well we won't come back because nobody really tried. We had both Aquarelle and Jeffrey's tied for best in town. Aquarelle is not even in our top ten anymore.
If you can afford nice dinner, go somewhere else.... – When we entered the restaurant, it was quite loud. I like upbeat chatters, but not that loud. It was on the border line, but I would have preferred a little less loud. We were seated right beside the window, and the window was broken right in the middle. There were several picture frames on the wall, and one of the big ones was tilted very noticeably. These shouldn't have bothered me, but when the food just completely disappointed us, we were done. Just like one of the reviewers here said, the rolls were cold, and they were in a group rolls basket that gets put on a small table in the corner of the room. Wine choices were limited.
We are not gourmets, but try to have nice meals ($300/two people) every other month, if at all possible. We go to Driskill Grill and Zoot several times a year, which are two of our favorites. You can spend less $$ (zoot) and get much out of it, atmostphere, variety of wine choices, wonderful bread, personalized attentions, etc. I get a lot more personal attention, and detailed explanation over the dishes that are presented at each course in those two places.
Aquarelle was one of the restaurants that were on the Zagat survey with a high score and that's why we tried there. We are glad that we've been to Aquarelle. Now we can put a check mark beside this restaurant and never go there again. FYI - we ordered Duoro Portugese wine (this one was pretty nice for $42/bottle), goat cheese pastry, steak, softshell crab, ravioli and chocolate souffle.
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