Austin >El Arbol
Bad Argentine food; everything else is great.
As an Argentine living in Austin, I was excited when I heard about this place. The decor is divine, the drinks are great (they even serve Fernet con Coca) but the classic Argentine dishes are not good at all.
I am writing this after 6 visits to it and it disappointed me every time. The meat was burnt on the outside and I know that is how people like their steaks here, but for a $35 rib-eye you should get something beter than that! Sweetbreads were not good either and the milanesa napolitana was among the worst I've had.
What was really good every time were the non-argentine dishes, so if what you want is some Argentine experience: stay away; if what you want is some non-argentine food: this place is where you need to go!
Elegant Food in Beautiful, Unstuffy Setting.
When a restaurant has a setting this nice, I often expect the food to be secondary. I'm thrilled to report that the food was not only inventive but also perfectly prepared -- from appetizers to dessert. The wine list also was very nice, and the service was knowledgeable and solicitous without being intrusive.
It's on the pricey side (although not over-priced, given the quality of the food) so I probably won't visit every week -- but I definitely plan to return many times. It's a new favorite!
Great Food, Great Drinks.
Started off our Friday night at the bar, loved the space. A truly great design and a great mojito. We were sat on the first floor with the open kitchen which I loved but was a little loud. Loved all the empanadas, pork being our favorite. Next ordered some apps, the grilled beef heart being the favorite of the table. I ordered the rib eye, which might be one of the best steaks I have had, friend had the sweetbreads and wife had the fish with pickled vegetables(can't remember what the fish was), both were enjoyed.
Ended the meal with the apple crepe dessert which was great! Our service was very nice, could have been a little more informative, but did a nice job overall.
Finished the night with a drink on the third floor per our waiter's recommendation which ended the night on a perfect note, it is amazing up there!
el rip off.
I never write reviews, but I was so annoyed after dinner here, I am writing my first. I went here with high hopes and left disappointed and annoyed.
The setting was very pretty and promising, but the service was slow, and when the drinks and food finally came, it might as well have been served on Barbie tea party china. I am not a big eater at all, but the portions were puny, very salty, and way over priced for what you get.
You could get maybe 3 sips out of their very chinchy pour on a $12 glass of wine. Mixed drinks were more ice than drink too. Recommendations: Go with someone rich who wants to treat you, sit outside if it's cool enough, get a bottle of wine and a couple of empanadas. The steaks were tender, tasty and well seasoned but overshadowed by the other issues.
We're very sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your experience at El Arbol and apologize for any inconvenience. Our general manager, Victor Farnsworth, would be glad to provide you with two complimentary entrees at your next visit. Please feel free to schedule a reservation with him via email at email@example.com. We appreciate your honest feedback and hope to have a chance to provide a great experience in the future.
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