The West University neighborhood has long been one of H-town’s most charming residential areas. There’s a cozy, comfortable feel to the gorgeous tree-lined streets and neatly manicured homes.
There’s also some great food to be found tucked into the bustling retail strip centers and developments that border the neighborhood. All kinds of choices from Torchy’s Tacos, the famed Austin based taco joint to the higher end bistro Café Rabelais.
The lunchtime line to get into Torchy’s recently was literally out the door, so we opted for a 360 degree detour and popped into Café Rabelais. Plan on a challenging hunt for a parking space, but once you’re inside Café Rabelais there’s nothing challenging about finding something fabulous to eat and drink!
This cozy French café oozes charm. There aren’t many tables, 15-20 maybe, all draped with white linens. And, there are no printed menus. Each day’s fare is posted on the large chalkboards hanging on the wall–so French! And, I’m told the menu changes often, sometimes hourly, depending on what items the chef chooses to feature.
I opted for the steamed mussels with fries in a white wine cream sauce. Délicieux! The hint of cream in the sauce added a soft richness to the fragrant thyme and rosemary wine-laced sauce.
Another stand out, a stellar stand out at that, was the Chicken Breast with Hazelnut Truffle Butter—delish! The tender chicken breast was cooked perfectly, juicy and moist, and topped with bits of hazelnuts in a luscious truffle butter sauce. One bite left you longing for the next.
Also, quite wonderful was the giant, fresh, mixed-green salad tossed with juliennes of green apples and crunchy walnut halves and garnished with prosciutto and a giant dollop of creamy gorgonzola—a meal all by itself!
The service at Café Rabelais is wonderful, very friendly and attentive. I asked our server if it would be possible get the recipe for the decadently delicious chicken dish, and he returned with two handwritten index cards detailing how to prepare it. You can get it right here on Goodtaste.tv.
Wine lovers will find even more reasons than the fabulous food to dine at Café Rabelais. The wine list is extensive and offers many half bottle choices. For more delicious recipes and fun food and wine pairing ideas, subscribe to my newsletter.