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“Amazing Food Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Congress Restaurant

Congress Restaurant
201 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
512-827-2760
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Ranked #148 of 3,123 restaurants in Austin
Price range: $30 - $50
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Second Street
Austin, Texas
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Amazing Food Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

We have been wanting to try Congress since it opened and finally had our chance this weekend. Highly recommend it! Every bite was surprising, memorable and delicious. We chose the lesser priced 3 course menu and were not disappointed. It is perfect for a special occasion. The decor is elegant and refined. Nice background music but quiet overall so I could hear my husband. Only complaint is I can never see the menu with low light these days! Their food is truly an art and creative experience that we thoroughly enjoyed.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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48 reviews from our community

85% Recommend
    30
    11
    5
    2
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Paris, France
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Excellence on the plate”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2012

After seeing it named as one of Bon Appetit's top tables, I had to give it a try. Took a friend and went for broke. The highlight was the second course of Tete De Cochon, Charred Avocado, Green Chili Hominy, and Bacon Marmalade. It was blow-your-mind good. The Garden Carrot Ravioli was very good, but I wish I had been hungry enough for the seafood.. the Lime-Basil dessert was the perfect cool, light, yet satisfying finish.
The wines started in the pricier range, but fear not: if you don't finish, the restaurant will nicely package up your opened bottle in a festive bag and allow you to bring it home. For two, with wine and dessert, it hit about $300, so it's definitely a special occasion or expense account table.
Service was pleasant, informed and inobtrusive--so: perfect.
Only gripe? I found the interior hopelessly bland. Bland bland bland. Hushed, overstuffed, beige. Like a dark, beige cave. It lacks the presence that announces you are participating in "dinner theater", which is what top restaurants should strive for. I prefer the bare-bones ambiance of Spring restaurant in Paris to all this neutral hush-hush. It sorely needs a dash of drama.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Memorable Dinner”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

Our experience at Congress was fabulous. Everything from the décor, food, wine, service, and valet parking was impeccable. We ordered the seven course tasting menu with wine pairings. Although, there were several courses that my husband and I were not especially fond of, we decided to try them just for the experience. All the courses were elegantly plated and served; the server was knowledgeable about the food and wine, and we enjoyed each course. We were able to pick out some of the unusual flavors in both the food and the wine. The chef, David Bull, came out to greet the customers. It is not inexpensive but for a special occasion I don’t think one will be disappointed. There is a bar and Cafe that are a little less expensive.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
College Station, Texas, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Enjoyable, but wouldn't return”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2012

I had a lovely meal here with my husband. I can't really complain about the food- it was very good, as you would expect for this level of restaurant and price point. It met the standards, but nothing about it seemed any better or more special when compared to peer restaurants at this same level. I did not care for the layout or space in the restaurant. It just seemed too quiet with close proximity to other dinners to the point you feel like you are part of their conversation. It needed different/ louder music or better table separation to help up the intimacy factor. It was our anniversary and while we enjoyed the food and service- it was just average. If I'm comparing just food I'd go 4 or maybe 5 stars, but the general vibe here was sort of plain Jane.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A special meal for a special occasion”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2012

My husband treated me to dinner at Congress to celebrate my 60th birthday. The whole experience certainly made this milestone birthday much more tolerable! It was a special meal with three incredible courses all full of flavor and beautifully presented. There were several highlights including a slow poached farm egg, cherry crusted scallops and the most incredible lime basil sorbet! Service fit the meal. We thought the price was not out of line for the quality of the food and experience. Bonus, the choice in music!

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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