Austin >Food & Dining > Braise
We just returned tonight from a
wonderful Groupon experience. I'm used to doing my research - so, I'm familiar with the many reviews posted previously that spoke to this venues disregard for vouchers, separate menus, varying qualities... I want to start by saying we had a wonderful evening - fantastic food, personable service, and an overall experience that will, easily, bring us back through the door of Braise again -- and soon!
Yes, they have a "separate" groupon menu -- however, this is only due to the fact that they offer a 4th, inclusive dessert course, whereas the regular 3 course option does not. We found the options to be spot-on in terms of highlighting both their more famous fare while offering some new items. They welcoming and inviting upon our arrival; no one felt like second-class citizens for toting a groupon.
Despite a few negative reviews, we both started with the sausage. When I asked the server about it she shared that they had removed it from the menu and, after a brief hiatus, reintroduced it with some slight alternations. It was phenomenal. The grits provided a buttery, smooth, base for the succulent - and perfectly spiced - sausage. Bliss.
I went with the salad (I added the pork belly because, well -- its pork belly!) and my husband opted for the pumpkin soup. I initially had shied away from the soup, fearing it might be a bit too sweet -- however, the hubby talked me into trying a spoonful. Wow. Nutty, savory, complex... a hint of chipotle oil that brightened and lifted the entire dish... Nothing like pie; yet, unlike like any other soup you've tried. Superb. We both went with the Osso Bucco -- and so should you. Tender, melt-in-your-mouth-perfection.
A note regarding spice: This spot does not add extra "stuff" to their dishes -- the crab cakes aren't packed with mayo...they're dense with the perfect amount of crisp. The meats are not over salted; their sides aren't soaked in butter. The greens they serve on the side of the surf and turf were perfectly seasoned - and one of my favorite parts of our already outstanding meal. Folks who are used to more processed foods might feel these dishes lack the power-punch of other popular spots; however, I feel Braise successfully allows for each ingredient to speak for itself. I love that they don't over spice -- this is definitely a spot to visit to taste the food used to create your meal.
Final note: order the bread pudding. Its perfection.
Great Evening. Our party of four had dinner there this Tuesday. Each of us agreed that Braise was an excellent experience. The service was fantastic, the menu was creative and our meals were very good. The wine prices ranged from very affordable to must be amazing wine which is a nice change - having an upscale meal but not having to double the bill in wine. We will go again.
Delicious. My husband and I went to Braise last night and enjoyed a really lovely meal. We started with the french onion soup which was light and tasty. Also had the crispy pork belly with collard greens which was delicious -- the pork was crispy on the outside and so tender on the inside. I would go back just for the pork belly! We then split the osso bucco for our main course. Again, so well prepared and tender. The beef just melts in your mouth. Had a chocolate tart for dessert that was sweet and rich. Very nice understated service and chef Fred was out talking to the tables, greeting all the customers. Really nice experience overall. The atmosphere is a little lacking as the restaurant looks a bit worn, but this is easily forgotten once you taste the food.
A terrific dinner for a sophisticated palate. my husband and I were meeting an out of town friend, and chose Braise on the recommendation of a friend. What a well kept secret! Great service, friendly staff who made us feel like they were there just for us. The other patrons seemed to be having as great an experience as we were. The food is amazing! We were surprised to find such a great place in East Austin. Wow!
Horrible experience. I was a big fan of Jezebel and was excited to try Braise, especially after hearing some good reviews. Being 6 months pregnant and having 14 month old twins, I don't get too many 'date nights' and when I do I want something GOOD. Anyway, went to Braise tonight and was very disappointed. To begin with, when we walked in there was no one to great us for several minutes. We eventually seated ourselves. There was only one other table occupied so we had the pick of the place. It was chilly inside so we chose not to sit by the windows or the door. When our waiter showed up he noticed the table wasn't fully set up and if we wouldn't mind moving to the table by the window which had all the glassware, etc. We explained we didn't want to sit by the window. Then he informs us that it is BYOB because they don't have their liqour license yet. WHAT? I studied their website before we left the house and there was NO mention of this. Disappointing. We did get a comp glass of Chardonnay but that's not what my husband drinks. The waiter wasn't very knowledgeable of the 'new menu' so he had to go to the back to find out the answers to some of our questions. Our appetizers were good, I had French Onion Soup and my husband had Rosie's salad. We both ordered the Cajun blackened amberjack with the grits, etc and that was what was truly horrible. The fish was so tough you practically needed a steak knife to cut through it. And it was flavorless. Totally flavorless. The grits were watery and also flavorless. I could only eat one bite and I can't remember the last time that happened. I rarely complain but this was very bad food. I actually didn't complain while I was there which maybe I should have. It's odd that the waiter didn't ask me if there was a problem when he picked up my plate with only one bite taken. He asked me if I wanted it to go and I replied no. He still didn't ask if I liked it or not which I think is odd. I'm very sad to have to report this but I feel like people need to know and hopefully someone from the restaurant will read this and make sure this doesn't happen again. I certainly won't ever go back.
Citysearch Editorial Review. Often times a great restaurant will give us a sister location, rarely do we get three siblings all different in their own right. Consider Braise the middle sister to this family of fabulous cuisine. Chef Parind Vora wooed us with his upscale Jezebel, which had a recent fire and needs a new home. Next came little sister, Simplicity, and just as the name implies Vora made a menu of simple (and cheap) wine and delectable eats in a casual laid-back atmosphere served on eco-friendly disposable serving wear. Braise falls somewhere in the middle of the two. Described as "Food for the soul as well as the belly," with a come-as you-are Austin vibe. It is located in the uber hip area on East 6th at the base of a cool new loft-style building. Here you'll experience all the complex flavors Vora has been spoiling us with at moderate prices. Another cool feature is that all main courses are available in 1/2 portions encouraging the diner to experience multiple courses and flavors. Standout dishes include the Niman Ranch Osso Bucco and a starter of Escargot in garlic butter. Mmm a mid-ranged priced restaurant with five star flavors, our souls and bellies are happy!
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