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  • Bess Bistro

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Bess Bistro
Bess Bistro

Bess Bistro Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.bessbistro.com/
  • Phone: (512) 477-2377
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Sunday-Thursday 4:30pm-10:00pm;
    Friday-Saturday 4:30pm-11:00pm

    Happy Hour: All night Sundays & Mondays in the bar. Tuesday through Friday 4:30 - 7pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary French / American, Creole / Cajun / Southern
  • Executive Chef: Roman Murphy
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Dancing, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Bess Bistro offers two private dining options.

    Our Library offers a semi-private dining experience that seats up to 16 and features our luxurious fresh-water fish tank, flat-screen television and the comfortable warmth of a private wine room.

    The upstairs Terrace Lounge, seating up to 35, can be reserved for private events and offers a mélange of options including small bites, cocktails and formal dining, with spectacular views of west 6th street.
  • Private Party Contact: Hannah McClellan (512) 477-2377

Getting there

  • Cross Street: San Antonio
  • Public Transit: Accessible by Capital Metro Bus Routes
    #4 Montopolis & #21 Exposition
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Tuesday-Saturday 5:30pm - 11:00 pm
    $7 per car
A word from Bess Bistro
Bess is an authentic bistro in the Stratford Arms building at 500 West Sixth Street, Austin's Old Pecan Street. Originally the Stratford Apartments built in 1918, the vintage building's old bank vault is Bess' kitchen today. Hand-crafted beers, wines and liquors are served from a stunning pewter bar custom-made in Montbazon. The ambiance provides a unique blend of casual elegance, cheeky ease, and European flair. The menu deliberately defies classification, serving eclectic fare such as Creole inspired Shrimp Bess, Mussels from Prince Edward Island, Steak Frites and old-fashioned Mac & Cheese. Natural, organic and local, the menu's common thread is the passion of the chef.Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Diner Reviews
  • "Absolutely beautiful ambiance. Crispy artichokes are to die for. Wonderful service from surprisingly hunky male staff."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Me and wife visited Bess on a Friday night with a reservation. The restaurant was not overly crowded and we were sat immediately in a very nice somewhat secluded booth. Waitstaff was very friendly and helpful. The food was only ok simply because of a bad cut of steak and everything else was great. The manager was very helpful though and offered to do whatever was necessary to make it a great experience. We love the atmosphere and will definitely go back."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "From the moment you walk in you know that you are in for a treat. No detail was spared on this French Bistro cozy underground find. The service is top notch (Ask for Samuel). The wine list carefully chosen with enough choices to satisfy everyone. The food is great. We enjoyed the fried artichokes, rib eye and roasted chicken. Lastly the desert, olive oil short cake with fresh berries was amazing! We will return."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Delicious food, great decor, intimate setting and friendly staff."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "the setting, the mood, the ambiance, all a good feeling. excited about being there. started with great attention, but it was too long between salad and main course. long enough that we lost the mood."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Everything was absolutely amazing. My wife and I went her for her birthday and we could not have been more pleased. I was worried with it being on 6th that it might be crazy but it wasn't. It was a fantastic quiet romantic dinner for the two of us. We got the streak with the duck liver on top and for appetizers my wife got a delicious salad with peaches and I got the escargot. Both were fantastic. The good was chopped perfectly and tasted divine. And the bread! Wow delicious with the 3 different kinds of salt to choose from which enhanced the already delicious bread! Everything was the best of I've ever had on all categories. Definitely recommend!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "On a quick business trip and it was a nice and elegant dinner withing walking distance of our office on Congress. Very good food."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "Amazing! We had the best time. Great food, great atmosphere, and great drinks! Definitely will be back!"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Bess Bistro in downtown Austin was amazing. The staff was attentive, food timing perfect. The quality of the ingredients was top notch and mostly local. We had a great time and will most certainly be back!"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "This was our second date, great time awesome food."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "I continue to love Bass Bistro. The escargots and scallops were excellent. I wish they weren't out of the mussels as they are my favorite. The hostess was very acommodating to me and my out of town guests. Our server was so polite and knowledgeable and very attentive that I didn't want our evening there to end. Thank you team Bass."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "The food we ate was delicious, as always. And, we very much appreciated the half-priced bottle of wine offer, particularly because we were able to take what was left home. However, the restaurant was already "out" of an appetizer just 30 minutes after the restaurant opened, which was disappointing. Also, the desserts were so "exotic" (and few) that we went elsewhere for that."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "We enjoyed our dinner here. Server was prompt and on too of everything. Food was great. I think it was slightly over priced for what it was but the feel made it worth it. Did get a little loud towards the end but that's to be expected for a downtown restruant."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "I love Bess and have been in more times than I can count. Unfortunately, I had my first bad experience there this week. Samuel, our waiter was PHENOMENAL but the food was just not good at all. Disappointing for sure. Hopefully kitchen just had an off night."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "Lovely ambiance, fantastic service and wonderful meal. Steak frites, scallops and pork chop were all delicious."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "Food was terrible. Would not reccomend. Service was great. Staff was kind."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "I wanted to order the shrimp appetizer and the shrimp and grits for my entree. Both shrimp dishes indicated that they were served with the heads on. I inquired of the waiter if the heads could be removed before being served and he said no, "the chef won't do that". When I seemed dismayed he stated that he couldn't tell me how often he is asked that, but the answer remains the same. I do not understand why a chef would rather alienate customers than accommodate them. Taking the heads off before serving would in no way change the flavor of the dish, just the appearance. The gumbo was great as was the steak. Does the management truly not care that they chefs inflexibility is turning away customers?"
    Dined on 6/9/2014
  • "Dined here on a Saturday night and it wasn't terribly packed yet our service was very slow. Food was tasty and well prepared. Ambiance was romantic and upscale. Skipped dessert and picked up some fresh cake slices and dessert wine at Whole Foods just a block away afterward. Bess was easy to find, centrally located and parking was easy."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "If you want great food, drink, and service, this is the place to go."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Good food excellent service. Even our ten year old enjoyed it"
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "We had 3 boys under age 16 with us for Grandmother's birthday celebration. It is rare that they will eat things like Brussels Sprouts in any form, but they tried a bit of everything ordered, and the Mac n Cheese was especially a hit. The service was timely and we were not rushed but never waited too long for anything either- just right tempo given three teenage boys at the table. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "The food was good but the great service and friendly waitstaff made this a great evening. Laura was our waitress and was wonderful."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Mediocre, expensive food. Visiting Austin for the holiday weekend and ate at multiple restaurants. Eat somewhere else. For the same $ you can have an amazing dinner at Eddie V's or Trulocks."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "I was disappointed after having to wait almost 8 weeks for a reservation. And when I did get to the restaurant we were the ONLY patrons in it and they sat us in a tiny table in the corner. The waiter liked the word "libation" far too much for my tastes. All of his recommendations reflected the most expensive items on the menu. We followed his suggestions, and were not impressed. Steak frites (frites were good) , scallops were tasteless, room temperature and the risotto tasteless. The wine list was a yawn for Austin, and please tell the waiter that YES I have had Rose BEFORE entering Bess Bistro...The gumbo soup on special was just heavy and dull. The spinach salad was salty. "
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "Had a wonderful meal with a good friend who came in from out of town. The service was fantastic...very quick and the food was superb. The herb salad was so fresh and my scallop dish was very good. Only thing I would say was it seemed too dark...almost could not tell what you were eating."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "I liked the feel of this place, would return again to try some of the othe dishes, loved the dessert out of this workd This was my first time here and I liked it. Would recommend to my firiends"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Everything about Bess Bistro was top notch. Since moving to Austin from San Francisco in July '13, this is by far the best restaurant we've visited."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "We shared a mussels appetizer and the sauce was outstanding. I had the diver scallops as my main and my husband had the Filet Mignon. He asked for it medium rare and it showed up medium. The did ask for him to cut into to make sure it was to his liking. When it was a little overdone, they were very apologetic and accommodating and cooked him a new one right away. It took a little while and the waiter and manager kept coming by to apologize about the delay and check on us, without being annoying. They offered us a free dessert, as well. When it came, the steak was perfect and delicious. The service overall was fabulous. Not everything will come out perfectly every time, it is how it his handled that is key. I highly recommend."
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "We had been to Bess Bistro before, and were able to make our reservation on the same day as our visit, thanks to Open Table. It was good to see that the place was doing a fair bit of business for a later dinner hour. After being seated, we found that it was so dark that we had to ask for assistance. Our server provided flashlights, but perhaps a little more room light would be better. For starters, I ordered the cheese board, and it was really delicious; particularly the honeycomb add. There seemed to be a long wait between starters and mains. For main, I ordered the steak frites au poivre. When it arrived, I was disappointed that it was pre-cut and slathered with the au poivre sauce. I would have preferred to add it myself."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "We are so glad we tried out Bess's Bistro. The food was delicious!"
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "It was my 60th birthday and this is where I wanted to dine. The entire experience, service, ambiance, food, drink, dessert...all exceeded my expectations. I will go back."
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "We celebrated my wife's birthday. The food and ambience were wonderful. We had an excellent evening!"
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "The shrimp and crawfish dishes has sauces that overpowered the protein. The menu looked great and simple dishes might be good bot stay away from the sauced dishes"
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "Bess Bistro is a great find. Interesting menu of French inspired classics and modern twists. They have options for all tastes. They have great and cozy settings for couples or small groups. I definitely look forward to getting back for a date night rather than a business dinner although it was perfectly fine for a business dinner. "
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "We traditionally eat at Bess Bistro on Sunday nights when we are in Austin. We love the ambience and the New Oleans type food. Our waiter was non-attentive, and appeared "bored" with his job. No smiles, small talk, encouragement, etc..."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "We had a great experience at Bess Bistro. Food was amazing we were still talking about it the next day !"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "We went for my daughter's 21st birthday to celebrate and it was amazing! Our server Julie went out of her way to make everything special for my daughter and she was helpful in suggesting wine (which was fabulous) and entrees. Everything was perfect and I almost hate to complain about anything but both my other daughter and I felt like our entrees (she had athe pork chop special of the day and I had the steak frites) were a little salty. We do tend to follow a low sodium diet at home so it was more pronounced because of that. My other daughter's salmon was perfection and we decided hers was the best on the table! The beignets were scrumptious and we could have eaten those all night. Would definitely go back again."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Overall great food and ambience. Had a good time for a group of 5 for a birthday dinner. Would definitely recommend for a special occasion."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "The food was wonderful and creative. A bit of New Orleans vibe. Very very comfortable!! Loved it."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Make no mistake, the food is very good. We shared a salad and had entrees (Creekstone filet with bone marrow, and Grilled salmon with gnocchi) with a side dish. Even with a coupon, the bill was a bit high. The location is cute, below street level. They have valet parking, which is helpful. But the service just seemed a bit spotty that evening."
    Dined on 4/5/2014