Review: Aquarelle Restaurant Français wine bar in Austin, TX
606 Rio Grande
Website: Aquarelle Restaurant Français
Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday, 5pm to close
Happy Hour: 5 to 7 pm, ½ price bar food
At a recent wine tasting, one of my fellow tasters mentioned a wine bar at Aquarelle Restaurant Français. He was quite enthusiastic about the place and the wines they were pouring. I have had several fine meals at Aquarelle, and I decided to give their wine bar a try.
We visited Aquarelle on a Thursday evening. The bar area is smallish with a nice old wooden bar and a good feel to the place. The bartender/server was efficient and very pleasant. Aquarelle’s wine bar has a happy hour which runs from 5 to 7pm and includes half-price bar food.
I ordered several snacks and a class of Chateau du Crain, a very pleasant white Bordeaux. The wine was fresh and properly chilled, but the stemware was a little disappointing. The Libby’s glasses they use are a little small and are not shaped for tasting wine.
The appetizers were what you would expect from Aquarelle. The breast of quail was excellent and the two shrimp dishes were good, and could have been great but the shrimp were a little shrimpy.
The glass of red, a Côtes du Rhône, was suggested by the server and was a good drink. Unfortunately, the wine was a little warm. Like all wine bars in Austin, Aquarelle stores its red wine at room temperature. In Austin’s summer heat, this practice results in warm red wine.
I liked the feel at Aquarelle, and the selection of wines, with an emphasis on French, gives you an alternative when looking for a place to get a good glass of wine. Its location right off 6th St. on the way out of downtown makes it a great place to stop on your way home from work. I suggest you give it a try.