Restaurants in Austin

I have roughly 10 weeks to go until my daughter is born and I regain the ability to eat goat cheese, sushi and drink copious amounts of wine (well, might still have to watch the last one). Often in the evenings, after I've put my toddler to bed and make myself a nice glass of water, I'll daydream of restaurants. Beautiful restaurants. Serving martinis and amuse bouches. Ahhhhh.

Let's play a pretend game, shall we? Here's where I'd go if I had no kids, all the time in the world, and money was no object (of course, some of these places are wallet-friendly as I love a good hole-in-the-wall).
  1. Wink. It's a bistro with a menu that changes daily. Everytime I go there I've eaten things that I didn't think I liked. Ok - sometimes I'm a little picky. But it's here that I discovered I LOVED the following: braised brussels sprouts, foie gras and crispy duck breast.
  2. Lambert's. The concept is crazy - fancy barbecue. And I'll admit that all I've eaten here is an appetizer plate (and a dirty martini). But oh my god. Crème brûlée foie gras. So amazing.
  3. Sushi time. Let me preface this by saying I'm a wuss when it comes to this, because most seafood makes me gag. But I love pansy ass sushi, like spicy tuna and california rolls. I crave it constantly when pregnant. So I'd probably go to Korea Garden because it's close to my house and has a sushi train, and love seeing food before I buy it. Everyone raves about Uchi and Mushashino in Austin, but to be honest a lot of it is wasted on little old me. Mushashino, however, also has Japanese curry katsu during weekday lunch hours. I love me some Japanese curry.
  4. Lately I've been liking the thai food at Titaya's. The atmosphere is less than desirable, but seriously, when's the last time you went to a Thai restaurant for the décor? Give me a good curry and a pad kee mao and I'll ignore any ugly artwork.
  5. Din Ho. You know it's a good Chinese restaurant when they hang their roasted duck in the windows, and the ratio of Chinese diners to non-Chinese diners is 5 to 1.
  6. Polvo's. It's more interior Mexican than Tex-Mex. Anything you get there should have at least one of the following: al pastor, pecan cream sauce or molé, because they will make you want to lick the plate clean.
  7. Shady Grove. I've never been totally blown away by their menu, which features Texas classics like chicken fried steak and catfish. But I love their outdoor patio. This place is always a winner with out of town guests.
  8. Chez Nous. Because every now and then I need a good steak frites. Their prix fixe menu is classic.
  9. Barbecue at Smitty's, which is 30 minutes away in Lockhart, TX.
  10. I have not yet been here, but I thought I'd throw out where I'd like to try: TRIO at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Man, I should start a list of all the places that I haven't been but am dying to try. Coming soon? Anyway, all of the above places have listings on Yelp.

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