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Review: Eddie V's Edgewater Grille – Downtown

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Kung pao-style calamari at Eddie V's

Kung pao-style calamari

Emily Starbuck Gerson
This upscale restaurant in downtown Austin specializes in fresh seafood of the highest quality. The atmosphere is jazzy and chic. There is a regular dining area, but also a festive lounge with a bar and frequent live music. If you love eating seafood, you will be delighted with Eddie V’s.

The Essentials

Address:
301 E. 5th St. (they also have a location in the Arboretum)

Phone: (512) 472-1860

Hours:
Open daily at 4:30pm (reservations are recommended for dining; the cocktail tables and the bar in the lounge are first come, first served)

Parking: There is no parking lot. Eddie V’s has its own valet but it is not free. There is some street parking available.

Happy hour: Happy hour is from 5-7 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, and all night Sunday and Monday (in the lounge only). During happy hour, you get $1 off all drinks and half off select appetizers, including the crab cakes, calamari, and tartare of tuna.

The Feel

Oysters at Eddie V's

Fresh oysters

Emily Starbuck Gerson
Eddie V’s offers a classy, upscale atmosphere perfect for a romantic date night or a special occasion. While much of downtown Austin is frequented by college students, Eddie V’s patrons are well-dressed professionals. The waiters are experienced and knowledgeable about the food and drinks.

The lounge is a stylish place to go for drinks. The lounge is large and roomy, with tall cocktail tables, seated tables and seats along the bar. Lounges at other restaurants and clubs are often very dim, but Eddie V’s lounge has windows, so if you go while it’s light out, it’s actually quite bright and cheery – very refreshing if you’re used to dark lounges. They have live jazz music playing there many evenings, and on Sundays, the Kris Kumura quartet performs and is quite popular with locals.

The restaurant outside of the lounge does have mostly dim mood lighting. This is ideal if you are on a romantic date, but if it is too dark for you, ask to be seated at one of the tables in the lounge.

The Food

Eddie V’s appetizer list is full of delectable seafood items. The crab cake is very large, fluffy, and full of visible lumps of fresh crab meat.

Executive Chef Carlos Capistran told me his favorite appetizer is the Pacific ahi tuna tartare. The tuna is served with chunks of avocado and citrus fruits alongside thin, toasted triangular crisps sprinkled with sesame seeds. The waiter mixes it together for you. Capistran said the sashimi is another one of his favorites, which he says “melts in your mouth like butter.”

The fresh oysters are succulent and the lobster bisque rich and creamy, smooth except for the tasty lumps of fresh Maine lobster. The kung-pao style calamari was a little too fried, but the Asian twist was interesting. It was served on a bed of bean sprouts, finely-cut carrots, roasted peanuts, green onions, red peppers and crispy noodles. It was large enough to serve several people.

They also offer several different delicious salads; I enjoyed the tanginess of the Fuji apple and golden beet salad. They also have a salad with crab and shrimp, in addition to a hot goat cheese and mushroom salad.

The entrée menu offers high-quality steaks, but primarily consists of seafood. There is everything from Chilean sea bass to smoked Atlantic salmon to broiled jumbo scallops to lobster tails.

At Eddie V’s, entrées do not come with sides. There is a separate family-style sides menu that includes scalloped potatoes, French fries, creamed spinach almondine, truffled macaroni and cheese and crab fried rice with mushrooms. These are large enough for two or more people.

The Drinks and Desserts

Creme brulee and cappuccino at Eddie V's

Creme brulee and cappuccino

Emily Starbuck Gerson
Eddie V’s has a robust drink menu with something for everyone. There is a large variety of red and white wines. They have many specialty cocktails; two of of their most popular drinks are the martinis (made with either vodka or whiskey; they have two types) and the cosmopolitans.

Eddie V’s also has a selection of after-dinner drinks, such as coffee and deliciously frothy cappuccino.

Be sure to save room for the delicious desserts! If you don’t mind waiting 20 minutes for preparation, they have a few warm and fresh-cooked items, such as bananas foster. But if you want your food fast, order up the chocolate mousse or crème brulee. When I most recently dined there, the chef had a special version of crème brulee, infused with lavender (he boiled the lavender flowers in the milk). It was a large helping, enough for two or three people, and was rich and creamy, with an interesting floral hints. In the first bite, the lavender taste was very strong, but after another bite or two, it became much more subtle and very enjoyable. It was served with powered sugar, raspberries, and a small chocolate chip cookie on top.

Please note that while this review is fully objective, the meal was complimentary.

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