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  • Congress

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Congress Details

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.congressaustin.com
  • Email: congress@congressaustin.com
  • Phone: (512) 827-2760
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 6:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 6:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: David Bull
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Second Street
  • Parking: Valet
A word from Congress
Congress features a prix-fixe dinner menu inspired daily by fresh, seasonal premium ingredients. Chef David Bull is imaginative in utilizing unique flavor combinations, creating an extraordinary dining experience in an elegant, intimate dining room. Bar Congress features the cocktail expertise of Jason Stevens and wines by Wine Director Paula Rester...
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "The food was pretty nice.... it's a course menu, if you expect it, and like it, GREAT! The building and ambience was nice, but the MUSIC was quite odd. Having a romantic, $300 dinner while listening to Led Zeppelin, The Who, and The Doors was just odd. A Sinatra or Jazz room and meal, with that just seemed out of place..."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Congress continues to ascend to the ranks of a truly excellent restaurant. Paula Rester's creative wine pairings compliment and enhance the menu"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "We had two variations on the three-course meal. Every bite delicious. Flavor contrasts well thought. Staff ultra-helpful without being intrusive. Nice to have a high-quality place that's also quiet."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "This is a wonderful dinner destination for a special occasion for adults. My husband and I went for our anniversary and had a wonderful experience starting with a champagne toast. The atmosphere was warm and romantic. The noise level was low so it was perfect for conversation. The cost is pricey but I felt we received our moneys worth, starting with the terrific service and then for the main reason we chose it, THE FOOD. WONDERFUL!!!!! Definitely do not go if you hare in a time crunch. You need to take your time and enjoy these amazing dishes. Oh, and don't forget the great wine list!!"
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "My wife and I celebrated our anniversary with dinner at Congress. We had heard great things and had high expectations. We weren't disappointed in the least. The food, service and atmosphere were incredible."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "When my husband and I read the menu initially we were a bit disappointed since we are not keen on too many ingredients in a meal. But to our very pleasant surprise each of these ingredients complimented the other one to perfection and hence the experience became euphoric. Service on the floor was outstanding in efficiency and perfection and the kitchen was in tune with the orders without excessive waiting. Compliments to the Chef. CM"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "I visited Austin for a long weekend and this was the big dinner night out with my friends; we wanted to have a delicious meal. Congress ended up being a very poor choice, but we will definitely remember the meal forever as to how sub-par it was. The lovely parts- the mixed drinks are fabulous (thank goodness as they help you endure the meal with a smile) and the amuse bouche was quite tasty. For a $75 prix fixe meal I was expecting to be blown away, or even just wowed. Unfortunately the 3 courses served are very small. In addition, half the plates served looked like a science project, and taste like one as well. My Torchys $4 taco that I had a day later was far superior to anything served here (and twice as big)."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Congress is getting better. This was our second time there, and we were all pleased. The choices were exceptional, the service courteous and knowledgeable, and the setting lovely and comfortable. All food was very well prepared. The portions are adequate but not large, which is a good thing. We felt quite full and omitted dessert and coffee because we were headed to the symphony. Our server was fun, courteous and earned her stripes answering our questions. Overall, we'll be back for a special occasion meal."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Our favorite in Austin. Consistent food and service for discriminating tastes. Must try."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "We had a wonderful dinner at Congress. The service is outstanding with attention to every detail. The food was delicious with so many options! The ambience was lovely and we could enjoy each others' conversations. My only suggestion was a bit more lighting for reading the menu. Maybe even offering small flashlights to patrons........older patrons, in particular."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "This is one of those places where everything feels perfect: the subtle balance of flavors in the food, the impeccable service, and the nuanced and tasteful ambience. I can't say enough good things about Congress. We loved it."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "Outstanding food, quite & classy, great place for special occasion. It was my Girls birthday, they did their best to make it special for her. It is pre fixe, 3 course or 7 course. We had the 3 course with desert plus 2 glasses of wine each, cost with tip about $345."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "My husband and I had an amazing dinning experiences at Congress! From the elegant ambiance, staff attentiveness and of course the brilliantly executed menu ! Chef David Bull is incredibly inventive and puts his heart and soul into each and every dish on that menu. We had the great pleasure of meeting the chef that evening. He is a star! Cannot say enough great things about this place. If you love amazing, exciting food, Try Congress! Chef Bull's menu is truly a standout and you will be beyond delighted!"
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "My meal and overall experience at Congress was one of the greatest fine dining experiences ever."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "I can say that this place is a solid 9/10, which in my opinion is just about as good as it gets. I have only had a handful of 10s in my life and some of those were not some of the best rated restaurants in the work. Their menu is consistently good and each dish starts a party in your mouth. I am pleasantly surprised this place exists in Austin, especially coming from San Francisco. Anyway, I highly recommend it."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Hamachi, Branzino, black truffle risotto, Tete de Cochon. Every time we come we are so impressed with the food, drinks and libations. And the level of peace they achieve is astounding."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "ok I love Austin BBQ and tacos, but for my wife's bday ( I have been advised not to say which) I wanted something with more complexity. My son's fiancee suggested Congress and we had a most enjoyable evening. The 3 course prix fixe was creative with only a single miss in one of 12 ( 3 courses x 4 people= 12 dishes). Nice call by John on the premier cru Borgogne was a plus. Little pricey but for special occasion not too bad. Thanks"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Great food and atmosphere. Would highly recommend it."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "One of the best in Austin. Great atmosphere. Excellent service and food!"
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Chef's Creation on foods, OMG, it is out of world. We had to wait for a while due to busy Saturday night, it was a worthy of long drive to visit this restaurant. We celebrated our 24th anniversary and service was great and so as food."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "The atmosphere is lovely and well spaced seating permits easy conversation. Our server was friendly and professional. We did not enjoy the food because of over salting. Sally rolls. I typically love salt topped rolls but with the heavy salt in everything else, I couldn't finish even one. Salt overwhelmed the taste of our beef carpaccio and pear salad first courses. The second course of shrimp in some sort of spicy broth was quit good. Our third course selections were a tenderloin and salmon both of which were over salted. I ate most of my salmon but didn't do more than taste the accompanying vegetables because of the salt. Our experience may not have been typical in such a highly rated place but we would not go back or recommend."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "My wife and I ate at Congress this past Saturday. The food was fantastic and the service was wonderful. I liked the pace of the meal. We did not feel rushed and were able to truly enjoy the meal."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Just Go! Experience it! My bill was about $400 because I did the 7 course meal. It ravished my taste buds and is well worth the experience. Know they have dishes for all budgets too. If if you wanna go big and celebrate, LIFE is SHORT! Experience it and don't get cheap, unless you have to. Money is made to be enjoyed friends."
    Dined on 1/28/2014
  • "It was an awesome anniversary dinner and all of the staff including David Bull made it very special. We had the 3 course tasting menu with wine pairings and it was incredible. Thank you."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "My wife and I celebrated our 19th anniversary here and the service, the food the staff all were excellent! They went above the call of duty and provided additional entree samples for us to taste. We will definitely be back!"
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Extremely gracious service, even when dealing with my dietary restrictions. My husband and I will travel back to Austin JUST to return to Congress. A real gem; delicious food, excellent wine list, and warm and hospitable service."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Our first time at Congress did not disappoint. We went for our anniversary and upon checking in we were wished a happy anniversary and quickly greeted by our server. It was great that she checked with us on any time commitments. We did have a movie roughly three hours from the start and she made sure we enjoyed every minute while getting us out on time. Her explanation of both the drink and food options was impeccable and truly enhanced our experience. The cocktails were perfect and the food was exquisite. Our server and the rest of the staff were all very attentive and we could not have been happier. We will definitely return."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "For my anticipation in finally making it here, the evening was a mild disappointment. The cause: almost entirely the food. This isn't too say it wasn't good, or that there weren't a few excellent dishes, but there were too many misses, in part due to an over-abundance of salt (and I'm typically a salt fiend). Wine list: For a wine nerd, this is a so-so list. It's a hotel-style, please everyone kind of approach ( from Cloud Bay to Vouette & Sorbee), but the recommendations were excellent. Serivce: This stood-out the most. There were small miss-steps, but overall really excellent. Most of all, it hit the balance of welcoming (friendly), relaxed (genuine), yet appropriately reserved (formal). That's hard to do, and I really enjoyed it."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Food was amazing. Service was great. The physical restaurant itself was very cool. Simple but elegant. Really loved our experience there. We will definitely go back at some point. Chef Bull came out to present our entrees and he is just an all around badass."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "We traveled to Austin for the first time and it was my husband's birthday. I booked us a reservation at Congress and it was a hit! It was excellent fine dining. We had the Chef's Tasting Menu and was delighted with every single course. The atmosphere was elegant but not stuffy. Service was impeccable, fun and energetic. Will be going back the next time we're in Austin."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "One of the best restaurants in the country. We're from New York and we've traveled all over the States. Our waiter was polite, friendly and very professional. He made drinks recommendations which were right on the spot. I loved the Apricot cocktail! The three-course meal was exquisite. I had duck breast and my husband had prime ribs as our main course. Neither was anything but perfection. Dessert was excellent too. It'll be worth coming back to Austin just to come to Congress."
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "I booked this restaurant for my birthday last weekend. i had never been to this restaurant before, and it was on the list of the 50 best restaurants in austin, so i wanted to give it a try. it is prix fixe only, which came as a little bit of a surprise. my friend and i did the 7 course tasting menu with wine pairings, and our husbands did the 3 course meal. the food was very complicated---many ingredients and layers and layers of tastes. it was amazing, probably the best meal i have ever eaten. however, it was extremely expensive---$195 for the tasting menu with wine, and $75 for the 3 course meal. it was almost $1K for the 4 of us by the time we were done. i might come here for a very special occasion, but not routinely."
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "Took the new owners of an Austonian condo downstairs for a special dinner. Did the selection of 3 courses on the left of the menu, but the 5 course chef's tasting menu, with the wine pairings, on the right might be the way to go. Each dish was impeccable, creative, and yes, very tasty. 1st course, the lamb tartare the best choice. The burrata was good, not memorable. 2nd course, Tete de Cochon was stand out. I had the shrimp dish (how did they make the shrimp in a helical curl?). Had the prime ribeye loin for 3rd course. Simply outstanding! The espresso rubbed beef just this side of heaven. For dessert white truffle panna cotta. "Oh my", is all I can say. The service was exactly correct. All in all, a great value. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "The ambiance was supurb and service outstanding. From the moment you enter, you feel the elegance of the atmosphere. Beautiful apointments and very classy. We were very pleased we chose to celebrate our wedding anniversary there. The attentive and gracious staff was the icing on the cake. The food was not only creative and delicious, but artfully and beautifully presented. Every member of the staff went above and beyond without being officious or "snobby." We loved it!"
    Dined on 12/12/2013
  • "This is a perfect spot for a special night out. The wife and I went here for our 15th wedding anniversary, and couldn't have been happier with the experience. The food was fantastic, and our waitress took great care of us. Can't wait to find an excuse to go back."
    Dined on 6/1/2013
  • "What an outstanding dinner to celebrate a birthday! Exec. Chef David Bull is extraordinary; a genius. The three courses, and complimentary ones were over the top visually stunning, and each plate was filled with numerous enhancements that were all incredibly delicious. Other than lacking a view of Notre Dame Cathedral and waiters in tuxes, our dining experience at Congress far exceeded the one we had at the #1 restaurant in Paris. Loved the cheerful lady who waited on us too."
    Dined on 12/5/2013
  • "I wanted a nice dining experience for my wife's birthday, and that is exactly what we got. The staff is professional and knowledgeable, creating a seamless dining experience from making reservations to seeing you out the door. They see to every possible detail, and the food and wine selections are exquisite. The best experience I've had in Austin!"
    Dined on 11/29/2013
  • "I have been wanting to go to Congress since it opened, so took full advantage of a special occassion to finally dine here with my wife. We arrived early so we could first enjoy specialty cocktails at the bar. The knowledgeable staff helped us find fantastic drinks to suit our tastes. After enjoying a drink, we were ready to dine. One of our fondest dining experiences prior had been when Chef Bull amazed us at the Driskill Grill several years back. We were excited about experiencing a bit of nostalgia in a much more modern and inviting environment. The staff were exceptional. The food....sensational. Every bite brought a smile to our faces. It's refreshing to leave a restaurant fully satisfied yet not stuffed to the gills."
    Dined on 11/30/2013
  • "We have had Congress on our list for a while and finally tried it this weekend. Danielle was wonderful in recommending her favorites of the list and made the overall experience worth remembering. The food exceeded all expectations, and we will definitely be back and on a more regular basis! Another reason Austin is such a great foodie city."
    Dined on 11/30/2013
  • "The 7 course tasting menu is of the quality you'd expect for the price. Which is to say, excellent. Service was attentive and the atmosphere was elegant. We arrived quite early and waited at the bar for our table to be prepared. The mixologists know what they're about here, whether you order on or off the menu."
    Dined on 11/23/2013