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Aquarelle - 27 Reviews - 606 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX - Romantic Dining Reviews - Phone (512) 479-8117


606 Rio Grande St (at Downtown)
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 479-8117
Incorrect info? Correct your listing


Aquarelle - Austin, TX
Aquarelle - Austin, TX
Aquarelle - Austin, TX
Aquarelle - Austin, TX
Aquarelle - Austin, TX


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This is a great special occasion restaurant. Our most recent meal was perfectly prepared and presented, from amuse bouche to dessert. Terry's team in the kitchen really delivers...


I was there on 2-27-10 with three guests. We had three apps and 4 entrees. Everything we had was overpowered by the taste of herbs and spices. Even the fillet was excessively coa...

Aquarelle is sadly out of businesses. 6/5/2012

Aquarelle is sadly out of businesses. Try Chez Nous instead for French bistro food. more

Aquarelle 7/12/2010

This is a great special occasion restaurant. Our most recent meal was perfectly prepared and presented, from amuse bouche to dessert. Terry's team in the kitchen really delivers, and the waitstaff were friendly and professional. Our server watched her tables closely from a discreet distance and noticed we didn't seem to be enjoying the wine we had ordered. She came to us and encouraged us to let her replace it with one we would enjoy - no attitude, just great service. Ignore any negative reviews you may have read. This place is amazing! Pros: Food & service absolute perfection! Cons: A bit too pricey for frequent visits. more

A chef that does not taste his food 2/28/2010

I was there on 2-27-10 with three guests. We had three apps and 4 entrees. Everything we had was overpowered by the taste of herbs and spices. Even the fillet was excessively coated with bleu cheese. None of us could really taste what we actually ordered. Clearly a case of someone trying to be creative and missing the mark badly. This was my third visit over the past two years and won't be going back. more

Enjoyed entire experience. 7/18/2009

First of all,we had great service. Our server was friendly and unpretentious. We started with the goat cheese in pastry which was fabulous. We also had arugula salads w/ peppered goat cheese and the duck appetizer with cherries and reduction. Awesome! Our group ordered the duck, steak and scallops. We were all very pleased with our entrees. We had a couple of bottles of wine and shared a couple of desserts. It was roughly $100 for each of us. The house is charming and the chef asked how our dinner was. I love the garden outside. We will all return. Recommended! Pros: Duck is fantastic! Cons: might be considered expensive more

Not pleased 12/22/2007

This place has got to be the farthest thing from French there is. I wouldn't recommend it unless you want to eat mediocre cooking for big bucks. Cons: mediocre food at a high price more

Aquarelle is as French as La Madeleine 11/3/2007

Please do yourself a favor and go somewhere else if you are really in the mood for authentic French food. Aquarelle seems to be stuck in an eighties mentality where the only place to get Arugula salad and chicken with goat chesse is a pricey French restaurant. Hello People... this is 2007, I can get this stuff prepackaged at the Whole Foods cafeteria for a chepear price and more authentic taste. I'm serious, this what we got for our menu rapide (set menu)!! The appetizer was arugula salad sprinkled with some walnuts and a couple slices of canned apricot. The entree consisted of chunks of chicken with a whole drum stick thrown in with some goat cheese. What's so french about that? I could have gotten this at any Austin Cafe. The shells in our profiterole dessert tasted dry and old. Maybe this place used to be good 5 years ago, but now it is simply horrible. Has it changed ownership? management? It just feels like they are trying to squeeze every drop from a long-gone good reputation. Aqarelle is americana food with a french price tag. Stay Away. Cons: Price, quality of food, staff indifferent more

Wonderful food, annoying service 9/2/2007

The food here is exceptional, interesting, creative, flawlessly prepared and presented. I tasted the dishes of every member of my party and so had the opportunity to sample many of the menu items. With the exception of the foie gras ice cream, which I found a bit too odd, I was impressed with every morsel. Pros: Food Cons: Service more

best wine bar 8/24/2007

i only went here for a good glass of wine, but I will be back for dinner (after pay day). not only was the bartender, LeAnn, knowledgeable about wines but she made sure i tasted and found that perfect glass of wine I was looking for. the little yellow house is very cute and quaint and all the food looked delicious! the crutons that are served with olives and garlic are to die for!! Pros: nice small bar where you get full attention from the knowledgeable bartender Cons: parking more

What happened? Highly disappointed. 8/7/2007

I tend to be like most readers on Citysearch. Read, review, visit the restaurants and agree or disagree in silence. This time, I have to strongly agree with the recent reviews on Aquarelle: disappointing... more

If you can afford nice dinner, go somewhere else.... 7/1/2007

When we entered the restaurant, it was quite loud. I like upbeat chatters, but not that loud. It was on the border line, but I would have preferred a little less loud. We were seated right beside the window, and the window was broken right in the middle. There were several picture frames on the wall, and one of the big ones was tilted very noticeably. These shouldn't have bothered me, but when the food just completely disappointed us, we were done. Just like one of the reviewers here said, the rolls were cold, and they were in a group rolls basket that gets put on a small table in the corner of the room. Wine choices were limited. Pros: Portion is pretty large. Cons: Not that romantic, below average value, money badly spent more

poor service disappointing ambience 6/30/2007

I had asked for a special table for my wifes birthday. we arrived at 7 pm early for a nice dinner. I was told I would have a special table. The table was in the middle of the room. Sad but true we were jostled all night and rushed through a fairly expensive meal. We will not be fooled again. there are enough good (I do consider aquarelle good not great) restaraunts in Austin. Pros: Food was good Cons: as noted service and communication more

Over Priced! 2/1/2007

The food and service were very good. The prices are just too high for the this locations good. The client base appears to be over 50 and they may believe in the higher the price the better the quality. For the rest of us, I say no. The house doesn't truly work for business or a night to impress. Pros: Good Food Cons: Ambience and Price don't match up more

Perfect Place for a Special Night! 11/27/2006

Aquarelle is THE perfect spot for a special night with a loved one or another couple. The atmosphere is romantic and the service is very personable. The food is fantastic! A perfect spot to linger over a glass of wine with friends. Pros: Ambience, Food, Service Cons: Wine, Beer only, no Spirits more

didn't live up to the hype 11/18/2006

I had heard good things about Aquarelle via this site and the Chronicle, and got the opportunity to go when I took my girlfriend to celebrate our one year anniversary. Sadly, for all the hype about the restaurant, my girlfriend and I were really disappointed. We knew things weren't starting off well when the bread they brought out was as hard and cold as a rock. Now I know French bread, which this wasn't, it was more like a ciabatta roll from Jack in the Box, is supposed to have a crisp outer crust, but when it's fresh it's supposed to be soft too. For such an upscale restaurant one would think they'd serve warm fresh bread. Following that, my girlfriend who happens to be from New Jersey and knows a thing or two about seafood, ordered the soft-shell crab appetizer. Again, thinking this place would serve fresh food she could tell there was something not quite rite about its taste and unfortunately paid the price the rest of the evening and following morning by being sick. As for myself I had a substitute soup for their bisque which was some sort of cold and bland avocado cream soup. If I wanted cold avocados I would have asked for guacamole, and was hoping to eat it with my fresh warm bread, but since I didn't have that either, it made for a lackluster second course. For the entree my girlfriend and I both ordered the beef tenderloin. Although it was cooked great, the cheese they put on top of it was so overpowering in smell and taste, it literally smelled like sweaty socks, it took away from the overall presentation of the dish, and I most likely could have gone to Outback to get a same cut of meat for at least 1/3 less of the price. The desserts were good, I had the chocolate creme brulee, and our waiter or the chef went out of their way to write ""happy anniversary"" on our plates which was really nice. Other than that, the atmosphere is nice and quaint with mood setting french/italian music playing in the background. Overpriced and overrated Pros: friendly staff, nice ambience but really only for special occasions Cons: expensive, hopefully you'll get better quality dishes than I did more

wonderful food wonderful atmosphere 12/13/2005

This restraunt is wonderful. The food is so good , the service is great , and the atmosphere is beautiful.The food was not inexpensive but it was worth every cent .I will go back again and again. Thank you for a wonderful experience. Pros: good parking, great food, atmosphere more

Sacre blue 10/10/2005

Good lord! I was actually speachless for a few minutes after my first bite of the beef tenderloin. Blue cheese. Shallot-Port reduction. Mushrooms. Heaven. My wife and I went here for an anniversary dinner and the entire staff was outstanding. From the hostess to our waiter, everyone was great. Oh... and did I mention the food?? Awesome. The only small let down was the profiteroles. But that was a tiny blimish on an otherwise outstanding dinner and entire evening. Try the beef tenderloin. Sacre Blue! Pros: Beef, Tenderloin, Blue Cheese Cons: If I ate there every, day I would be 800 lb, s and die young more

Pretty good overall 6/6/2005

The fois gras with blueberry mango gastrique was so good; ditto the red pepper soup. My entree, the rabbit with North African spices and baba ganoush, was a swing-and-a-miss. The scallops, on the other hand were seriously tasty. The spiced wine sorbet was terrible but the profiteroles with pistachio ice cream made up for it. Extremely romantic atmosphere, but not stuffy. I'd go again for sure. Pros: pretty all around, good food, get to meet the chef Cons: our smarmy waiter, SPICED WINE SORBET more

Best table in town 5/10/2005

This is definitely the best restaurant in Austin. Try the Chef's Confiance menu. You won't be dissappointed. Pros: great food, great service, great ambience Cons: a bit pricey more

Elegant Exprience 2/6/2004

The service was excellent-- each dish was perfectly timed to arrive after the other with only a moment's hesitation for us to prepare for the next gastronomic feat. My friend and I both had the gourmand tasting menu and we were thoroughly impressed. Our waiter suggested the perfect wine to complement our dinner and by the end of the meal, I was very satisfied. I highly suggest Aquarelle to anyone craving that elegant, sophisticated dining experience that is so hard to find in Austin. Pros: Ambience, Free Parking, Wait Staff more

Overrated, unsophisticated, overhyped 10/18/2003

Dining here will take over 3 hours...either thats classy or slow, understaffed service. Many of the staff are unpolished college students that detract from the intended high brow atmosphere. They come off like kids that you'd have serve you at Chili's; not too quick on their feet. The wines by the glass are largely low end choices marked up 3 times retail. They had run out of several things when we arrived for a 7:30 PM Saturday reservation. Appetizers did not arrive together. My steak arrived luke warm. Seems that the original chef (J. Richard) is now gone. This is not the best place in Austin and I will not go back. Pros: Above avg. food, Above avg. decor Cons: Poor service, Too cold AC, clueless staff/server more
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Menu for Aquarelle

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Owner Message

  • Call for Your Reservation, 25 by The Glass, 100 Different Wines by The Bottle


  • In Short
    A well-tended garden flanks the entry to this gracious yellow cottage with neat white trim. Inside, the small dining rooms feature long wood-planked floors, tall ceilings and...

  • 7/19/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Tuesday To Thursday From 06:00 PM To 09:00 PM Friday To Saturday From 06:00 PM To 10:00 PM
  • Payments:

    Carte Blanche, Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover, Diner's Club
  • Neighborhoods: