RESTAURANT REVIEW -
The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro Austin
Dennis Rettke
July 2, 2017

Restaurant: 
The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro

Address:
419 Colorado Street,
Austin TX 78701

Style:
Modern Western/Texan

Price:
$$$$

How much per person?
$80 - $100

What we liked:
 - Flavorsome ingredients
 - Creative dishes
 - Personalized service
 - Modern Western atmosphere

What we didn't like:
 - Wine by the glass is expensive
 - No prices on the spirits/cocktails menu​

Donkeys' Rating:
9/10

The Restaurant

Stepping into the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro is like walking into a Medieval tavern, Texas style. Candelabras, moose-heads, cow leather bar seats, western music and a lively crowd await you as you make your way inside the nondescript building on the corner of Colorado and W 5th Streets in downtown Austin. 

The restaurant is privately owned and well-managed, giving you the feeling you're being looked after, from the time you enter until the time you leave. There are seats in the dining room for around 60 guests in booths and tables, as well as a long bar area next to an open kitchen. Additional areas with seating ranging from 14 - 50 can be reserved and sectioned off for private events.

The space is warmly decorated with a woody theme that gives you the feeling of being in a ranch with a clean and modern touch and the open ceiling and windows without curtains makes the restaurant feel open and spacious. The personality of the owner shines through with candles on the tables, themed silverware and other complementary decorations. 

Food

When we saw the menu, it reminded us of food you would find in medieval Europe. Lots of individualized and clever dishes, some that are meat-based along with a great selection of fish and vegetables in every course. There is an excellent variety for all tastes and the dishes are prepared thoughtfully with ingredients that pair well together. The ingredients used were flavorsome, tasted fresh and were served at an appropriate temperature. 

The appetizers are split up into 1 or 2 courses and are designed like Spanish tapas, meaning they are small portions which can be mixed and matched upon request. Following the first course is a second course that comprises a selection of soups and salads. Every salad consists of four or five ingredients and are crafted beautifully on the plate. Each of these first round of courses range in price from $9 - $15, and each element tasted fresh and not frozen. 

It was pleasing to see a variety of selections for the main course, ranging from vegetable dishes to different types of meat and fish along with grilled steaks. Because of the open kitchen, you can occasionally view flames erupting from the grill, adding to the lively atmosphere. It was not just a variety of selections, but a variety of styles that stayed with the Western theme but provided choices depending on your tasting mood.

Desserts are not forgotten and on the day we went, there were 7 selections, each of which were $10. Again, there was a decent variety of desserts that were presented appealingly and tasted delicious.  

If you're looking for a large selection of wine, the owner of the Lonesome Dove has collected hundreds of varieties from around the world. The vast majority were from different parts of the United States, but most wine growing regions of the world and grape varieties were represented. Wine is expensive though and you can expect to pay an average of sixty to several hundred dollars for a bottle. There were not many selections for less than $50 and even glasses ranged from $10 - $25.

There is also a huge selection of drinks at the bar, including cocktails and a bunch of local spirits. One of our only complaints was the fact that there are no prices on many of the drinks which makes you feel hesitant in ordering them.
Service

The restaurant is very professionally managed. Our server demonstrated personal attention without being intrusive or fake, and was knowledgeable about menu items when we had questions. The manager personally greeted each table and his demeanor was attentive and not intense. We received unobtrusive attention from the time we stepped in, until the time we stepped out. We saw other guests were looking very relaxed and satisfied, while their meals and beverages were brought to them in a timely manner.

Summary

The Lonesome Dove is a place where you can enjoy high quality food and drinks in an enticing and sociable atmosphere. The originality of the dishes and the hospitable staff make for a pleasurable dining experience. This bistro will suit guests in their early 20's to mid 60's, in groups of 2 or 4, with the wide selection of different types of food and beverages.


Have you been to the Lonesome Dove?  If you want to share your experience or you have a question for us, let us know in the comment section below!