I'd heard so many good things about Justine's, and today I finally got a chance to check it out. I went with my wife for a date night, and I wasn't disappointed. We arrived shortly before they opened at 6, and there were already several parties waiting to get in. We opted to sit inside, but it was a beautiful early fall night in Austin and most people elected to sit outside. Their outside space is incredible, very nicely arranged and with lots of space. There is a boule court and a stage for bands.
Inside it's very romantic as well, lots of French memorabilia adorning the walls and a rustic French theme throughout. Our service was really great, very attentive but also aware of our conversation and totally non-intrusive. I'd read some prior reviews about "snobbish" wait staff and host/hostesses, but I didn't see that at all. I was in a t-shirt and shorts and lots of people were in "keep Austin weird" attire, and everyone was welcomed and treated well as far as I could see.
The food was very good. It wasn't the best meal I've had it Austin (and that's not a snub, considering all the great restaurants in Austin), but everything was tasty and well-prepared. The bread that came before the meal was perfect, and my wife and I both enjoyed all our courses. I started with the French Onion Soup, which was very good, and then had the mussels which were also very flavorful. The frites were probably the best thing I had, especially with the home-made dijon aioli. My wife had a salad to start which she really enjoyed (especially the beets), and a daily special kale pasta which she thought was decent but not great. We were both too full to try a dessert.
The food at Justine's is very good, but the ambiance, the service and the space are what really make it an Austin treasure. It's definitely one of the more romantic spots in Austin, but also great for a family or group of friends dinner. I'm already looking forward to my next meal here.