Do you love the actress Sandra Bullock? Did you know she owns a restaurant in Austin, Texas, where she lives with her little boy Louis? I do. I did. No visit to Austin would have been complete without dining at Bess’s place, at least in my opinion. My husband Mike was in perfect agreement so we made reservations for 7 p.m. and last Tuesday night we ate at Bess Bistro on the corner of Pecan and 6th Street in Austin.
The restaurant is below stairs (in the cellar) so if you are walking by on the sidewalk you can just bend over and peer in the windows to see patrons dining on shrimp, steak and great bread (loved the crunchy whole grain bread!). The exposed brick walls and lighting (chandeliers and candle sconces) made the rooms feel warm and, dare I say, romantic. We were seated immediately (surely only because it was a Tuesday night).
Two kinds of bread with soft butter were delivered to our table and a friendly waitress took our wine order, pinot grigio for me and pinot noir for Mike; both were delicious. When asked, our waitress recommended we begin with the Shrimp Bess so we did. The large shrimp arrived in a bathtub of Creole butter sauce; the shrimp was really tasty (I got one that was ‘bouncy’) and we scooped up the remaining sauce with the ciabatta. Yum!
Mike ordered the peppercorn-crusted filet done medium. When it arrived at our table it was still too rare for Mike so he asked for a redo; our waitress kindly spirited his plate away. Meanwhile, I eyed my fried egg and spinach salad (I wasn’t tremendously hungry, and once again, I asked our waitress for her recommendation.). The salad was well dressed and pretty. The yellow tomatoes were flavorful; the pancetta crispy. I’d never seen a panko-dusted fried egg before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. When I cut into the egg it was mostly well done; is that correct? It tasted good!
Mike’s steak returned to the table, he cut into it and it was done the way he likes it. He said he enjoyed the peppercorn-crusted steak; the mashed potatoes, on the other hand, weren’t ‘stiff’ enough and lacked flavor, at least that’s what I thought. That said, Mike ate them all because he’s never met a potato he won’t eat!
We enjoyed dining at Bess, but (sad for me) Sandra Bullock was nowhere in sight!