b and i had date night yesterday. i had a groupon that was going to expire in a couple days so it was the perfect time to go to jeffrey's, especially since he's never been there even though he's lived in austin for almost 20 years.
jeffery's beginnings go back to 1975. founders ron & peggy weiss and jeffrey weinberger pooled their interests, talents and enthusiasm to open a neighborhood austin bistro. they were part of the first wave of new american cuisine. knowledgeable, friendly service is a hallmark of the restaurant. Some of the waitstaff have been there for more than 25 years!
for a sunday night, the restaurant was buzzing! the lovely hostess and our waitress both mentioned that business today and next two days are expected to be busier than usual since the groupon was expiring. (side note: it was very smart of them to offer two pricing when the groupon deal came up: $30 for $60 for friday & saturday or $35 for $75 for sunday-thursday. for $5 more customers got $15 more and the restaurant got a boost of diners on slower non-weekend nights.)
i made reservations for dinner at 8:30 but we arrived a little early, so we grabbed a seat at the bar and had some cocktails. they make great classic. the bartenders are fun, friendly and knowledgable...and make fabulous and tasty drinks.
junipero gin, lemon, prosecco, fernet
about 45 minuets later we were seated at our table and our lovely waitress, lisa (i think), came by and asked if we needed anything to drink. b ordered a glass of famaey malbec. it was a great malbec and apparently about $10 a bottle. she gave us some time to look over the menu. i already knew what i wanted to eat, so i enjoyed the view and people watching. soon some fresh rye bread was presented for us to enjoy. i've forgotten how much like rye bread...time to pick up some. we started with a salad to share. lisa even offered to split the salad without us asking! my favorite part was the roasted fennel...yum!
pear and arugula salad
for entrees i had to braised lamb with house-made paperdelle. the lamb was perfectly tender and the pasta...amazingly light and fluffy. only minor thing...a little salty for me and i would have like more meyer lemon. b had the porcini-rubbed filet mignon and it was cooked perfectly. he had no complaints. plate was clear.
braised lamb papardelle
braised lamb shoulder, house-made papardelle, boggy creek
farm kale, roasted yellow cherry tomatoes with meyer lemon
gremolata & lamb jus
porcini-rubbed filet mignon
pecan-grilled prime tenderloin on black trumpet mushroom
& sweet potato hash with grilled brussel sprout leaves &
roasted garlic sauce
for dessert, we ordered lychee-blueberry sorbet and b ordered vanilla crème brûlée. i did not get a photo of the brûlée since it was devoured immediately.
lychee & blueberry sorbet served with almond cookies
not pictured: vanilla bean crème brûlée
served with fresh berries & gingersnaps
to say the least, the meal was great. the service was amazing as always. i even got a great recipe for cooking rabbit from lisa our waitress!
i read back in november that jeffrey's had been sold to larry mcguire. eater austin interviewed him a little while back about his new project elizabeth st. cafe and they discussed a little about the renovation that will take place in march and how the place will change. in the interview, mcguire mentioned the name will stay jeffrey's and that they are planning to make it their flagship restaurant (he along with partner tom moorman also own lambert's, perla's and elizabeth st. cafe) and he will be the chef!
i'm happy i got to have a meal at jeffrey's before the changes and i'm looking forward to coming back once the place gets renovated. jeffrey's was one of the first *fancy* restaurants i ate at in austin when i was a poor college students. it was a big deal and i remember that the staff made it feel like a special occasion. i hope the tradition of spectacular customer service continues on when the new reincarnation opens.