500 W. 6th Street
Austin, TX 78701Neighborhood:
Contemporary French / AmericanPrice: $31 to $50
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.bessbistro.com/
- Phone: 5124772377x
- Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Sunday-Thursday 4:30pm-10:00pm;
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, 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: Lindsey Gerson 5124772377x
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
Bess Bistro - Best Restaurants in Downtown ›
Bess Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
114 reviews since June 2, 2014
- Ambiance4.4Noise LevelModerate
romantic (84)special occasion (80)fit for foodies (56)neighborhood gem (31)notable wine list (26)good for groups (22)hot spot (9)late-night find (7)great for outdoor dining (6)great for lunch (5)great for brunch (4)scenic view (3)vibrant bar scene (2)kid-friendly (1)Show More
- DisappointedOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 9/27/2014We had been to Bess several times and always enjoyed it. This time was a dissapoint me. They have changed their menu in the last couple of weeks so before you go be sure they still have your favorites. I was extremely disappointed that they took the Steak Frite off the menu. I had the burger which was overly expensive. My wife had the pumpkin soup and short ribs. Soup came out luke warm the first time and her dinner was under seassoned. Not sure we'll go back.Special Features:
- perfect balance of casual eleganceTexasgalDined on 9/20/2014Terrific service and food. For those of you who like good food that is unique and you would not make it at home but not so trendy you are not sure what you are eating this is the place for you. The atmosphere is sophisticated and casual as is the food.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great RestaurantFoodieDined on 9/20/2014Great restaurant for a special occasion. Quiet and romantic atmosphere.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Trends ....MelKVIPDined on 9/17/2014Love the ambiance of this restaurant. The service was outstanding. The food was very good to outstanding. The only reason this would not be a 5 star on this visit, is because notice shrinking portions but for the same price tag. Not liking this general trend in the Austin foodie scene – expensive but small “tricked up” plates. Seems like Bess could be on the way to joining that group of restaurants. I would prefer to see them continue serving solid and still "fit for foodies" great food with decent portions.Special Features:
- Receptionist tries to spoil eveningPutzarelliVIPDined on 9/12/2014The receptionist tried to seat my guest and I in a table sandwiched between the bar and a service aisle with very heavy foot traffic. Eating there would have been like trying to down a sandwich before boarding a subway train. When asked to be moved, the receptionist coldly replied that the restaurant was "full up", but that "[she] would try to see what [she] could do". The reality was the restaurant was trying to close a section that at the moment held three far more desirable tables. Acquiring a seating in this section was achieved by enduring another helping of receptionist attitude. Oh well. The rest of the service was very good. The dinner was very good. The wine list middle of the road.
- Excellent new Fall menuBrowner56VIPDined on 9/11/2014Went with another couple who had never been there. It has an interesting cocktail selection and starters. We all enjoyed the Arrancini with onion jam. Had 3 different entrees - scallops, duck breast and short rib. Everything was great and we had forgotten how charming the interior is with the exposed brick, cozy booths and below ground location. My only slight fault is that it is priced on the high side so for us it will remain a special occasion restaurant.Special Features:
- Good Food, but So-So ValueAustintatiousDined on 9/6/2014The atmosphere was interesting but loud, the service was top-notch, and the food was great. However, I don't think the food (or alcohol) warranted the prices for what we received, as I've had food and drinks just as good at lower prices at several other restaurants. The Wagyu burger and steak were delicious, as was the escargot, but the drink selection leaves something to be desired. The value just wasn't there for me. They accommodated a reservation modification with no problem.Special Features:
- We Loved Bess!!Foodies2Dined on 9/6/2014My husband and I chose Bess to celebrate our 50th Anniversary. At first we were a bit put off by the menu, which is very unique and not your usual fare. But our waiter, Samuel, explained everything and that helped. The breads were delicious-especially the jalapeño cornbread; and the salads and entrees were delicious! Our dessert was the Peach Upside Down Cake, and it was also delectable. The portions were just right. All in all we enjoyed our dinner, and Samuel's great service enhanced the occasion greatly.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful meal and serviceYammieDined on 9/5/2014Terrific location, beautiful decor and top notch food. With service over the top this is now a favorite place and we will come back:)Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not what I expectedNdi60VIPDined on 9/2/2014Seems to me that the oprice have risen and the quality has degraded. I do not plan to go back.
- An Austin treasureDrAlDined on 8/30/2014The food is a wonderful mix with southern and Texas overtones. If you want a great place to dine, this is it. We loved the service.Special Features:
- Happy AnniversaryMidnightDaveDined on 8/23/2014My wife and I celebrated our 17th anniversary here and they were very accomodating, seating us in the corner, our waiter, Samuel, greeted us by name, and was just fantastic. He was knowledgeable, attentive yet not intrusive, and witty. The food, as expected was fantastic in quality, presentation, and (important to me b/c I love to eat), quantity.Special Features:
- Shrimp Bess Great, the rest not soLongtalltexicanVIPDined on 8/21/2014I went here for dinner with a foodie-friend. I have usually gone for lunch and have liked it. I was frankly shocked by the poor food quality. Service was good but not great and the ambiance is great. The Shrimp Bess, thanks to tons-o-butter, is great and the shrimp portion was quite generous. The bread was completely pedestrian in a town of great bakeries. My friend got the squid-ink cured diver scallops @ $25 that had only two scallops! Unbelievable. I had the fish special (which I cannot remember the name of and was unfamiliar with) and it was almost inedible. Part was thin and dried out and the other part was thicker and I nibbled on that. Place was 1/3 full at 8:30 at night but apparently they aren't getting it.Special Features:
- Must Try At Least OnceeljefeDined on 8/17/2014The place lived up to its reputation for ambiance, providing a lovely intimate setting for dinner with my wife. The service was a little uneven, but acceptable. The menu items, though innovated and intriguing on one hand, lacked a certain breadth of choices in my opinion. The scallops I had were beautifully presented, but fell a bit short in exciting my gustatory senses (a little too salty and thin on the seasoning). My wife gave her pan-seared branzino fish dish a solid thumbs up, though. My fried green tomatoes appetizer was outstanding. My waiter made good suggestions for wine, but was a tad tardy with timely delivery of it with my meal (wine is an important accessory for my dining experience). Dessert was more than adequate.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Disappointing dinner experiencenativeaustiniteDined on 8/16/2014Unfortunately, our recent experience at this usually superb restaurant was a real disappointment. Two of us ordered the Surf and Turf special, but the lobster tail was so tough it could hardly be cut and was flavorlessly chewy. One of us ordered pork shoulder, but it was 90% fat, therefore inedible as well. The wait staff and manager were gracious enough to replace the dishes, but the lobster replacements were still lacking. We did appreciate the complimentary dessert to share for our inconvenience, but overall it was a dismal dining experience.
- Service was amazing.OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/15/2014The service and ambiance were absolutely spot on. So were the drinks and appetizers. But my fiancé and I weren't exactly pleased with our entrees considering how much they were. Would definitely go back for appetizers and drinks, though.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Worth making a reservation!ValleyVisitorsDined on 8/15/2014Make time for this bistro on your next trip to Austin. Totally worth the price. Everything is cooked perfectly and we were given impeccable service. Will definitely be back and recommend this place to friends and family.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Rare FindOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/14/2014Truly and Eddie Vs were booked and we got a table at Bess immediately. Loved it !Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Unique food, with a private feelDDNEVTEXDined on 8/14/2014I met a friend here for dinner who I had not seen in a while. We did not feel rushed at all by our waitress. We had lots of time to visit before ordering but were well taken care of. The restaurant seems small and very intimate. We had not trouble having a conversation without it being loud despite the fact that all the tables near us were full. The food was very good although be prepared it is not cheap but I feel it was a good quality for the price. I had the roasted chicken and it was perfectly prepared and just the right amount. My friend had the burger and she said it was good but the fries were her favorite.Special Features:
- To Dine ForanappetiteforaustinDined on 8/13/2014Great food--original and tasty fare by a talented young chef. Great Ambience in an historic old building. Be sure to get a table tucked away in one of the alcoves.Special Features:
- Incredible Happy HourAJ512Dined on 8/10/2014My daughter and I went to Bess Bistro for an early dinner after a Zach Scott play. The food was delicious, but because we were there during Happy Hour, we got half off a bottle of very nice wine. We both ordered the flat iron steak and a side of mashed potatoes. So so good. Then the beignets for dessert. Incredibly light and delicious. The service was outstanding and ambiance was lovely. Will be going back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very NicegoodgrubDined on 8/8/2014Food was wonderful in taste and presentation. Very nice and out-of-the-ordinary setting. Attentive waitstaff. All-in-all a special evening. Will def return. Love the actor, love the food.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Cheesecake Factory DiningOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/2/2014Waitress was great. Seated 6 inches away from the couple next to us. Felt like being at a Cheesecake Factory. If I'm going to spend over $50 a plate I'd expect a bit of privacy. Ordered the rib-eye (rare) with an extra char. Couldn't do the char because they didn't have the "right equipment". I simple torch would have been sufficient. Steak is brought out medium. Broke my own rule of never ordering steak unless I'm at a steakhouse but thought I'd give it a try. Burned again.
- WonderfulLisaVIPDined on 7/28/2014We loved the ambiance and the food was great. Service was great also! I was not feeling well when the meal came and did not really eat it. They took it off the bill even though it was not their fault at all and we did not ask them to. My husband and daughter LOVED everything about the food.Special Features:
- EnjoyableOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/27/2014Our server, India, was bubbly and welcoming; a sheer delight. She was very knowledgeable and offered appropriate suggestions without being too pushy. It was nice to be able to carry on a conversation at our table without having to yell over all the noise that seems to be all too common at other restaurants. The sauces are outstanding. (Grab a spoon and dig in.) The mussels were tasty, but a little on the small side. The entrees were well portioned and flavorful.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food was okEerangelDined on 7/26/2014We went with a scallops and pork belly dishes. Pork Belly was dry. Scallops were ok but small plate. Good gazpacho.Special Features:
- Great service & venue, food okayPhydeaudeauxVIPDined on 7/26/2014We had a wonderful waiter and the ambiance was great. The food was very expensive relative to the value received... e.g. $9 for four little beignets was indicative of the rest of the menu. Good wine list, though, and it wasn't priced too out of line with other similar restaurants.Special Features:
- Great first experienceJTeamDined on 7/26/2014On a recommendation from a co-worker, my wife and I wanted a "date night". Looking for an adult atmosphere with little distraction, we found it here. The waiter was super nice and patient as we discovered the menu for the first time and didn't know all of the language written. The matre'd from across the room could read our body language when we appeared to look for our server and was at our table for excellent service. Without a doubt first impression was superior and pricing was not break the bank too high either. Not sure if it was timing but parking was closer than 50' from the door with no hassles and wasn't a busy street to cross. This location was well thought out and everyone from greeting to paying the tab was professional.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Special CelebrationsFoodieDined on 7/26/2014One of the best places for special celebrations. The food is great. Offers vegaterian dinner. Something for everyone.Special Features:
- wonderful ambianceSusanDCDined on 7/19/2014Absolutely beautiful ambiance. Crispy artichokes are to die for. Wonderful service from surprisingly hunky male staff.Special Features:
- 11Yr Anniversary DinnerGreyghostDined on 7/18/2014Me 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A FOODIES PARADISEFood4ThoughtDined on 7/18/2014From 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.Special Features:
- SmithmDined on 7/14/2014Delicious food, great decor, intimate setting and friendly staff.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- food, ambiance, mood good, but slowdaviddinerDined on 7/5/2014the 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Absolutely phenomenalTylerDined on 7/5/2014Everything 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Just VisitingSteveDined on 7/2/2014On a quick business trip and it was a nice and elegant dinner withing walking distance of our office on Congress. Very good food.Special Features:
- Bess BistroOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 6/28/2014Amazing! We had the best time. Great food, great atmosphere, and great drinks! Definitely will be back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fabulous dinnerSouthTXFoodieDined on 6/28/2014Bess 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great for first dateDeuceumpDined on 6/27/2014This was our second date, great time awesome food.Special Features:
- BessTieDined on 6/22/2014I 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.