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  • Congress

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Congress Details

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.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 Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
Diner Reviews
  • "Thinking of going to Congress? One word: GO! Okay, two words: GO TODAY! This is the best restaurant in town. Chef David Bull continues to create combinations of flavors that are fresh, surprising and exquisitely delicious. The service is attentive yet relaxed, the wine list is diverse, the room is beautiful. Everything modern fine dining should be."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Incredible menu - plates were orginal, (though small portions for the price) perfectly prepared and beautifully presented. Waitstaff attentive, knowledgeable about the food and wines and friendly. We had an earlier reservation (6:45) and had a cocktail to start. The sommelier selected a good and reasonably priced wine to compliment a mix of entrees. My complaint - it felt as if we had to meet their schedule to permit the second seating. Courses were rushed, plates cleared as soon as the utensil was set down, we were not offered coffee and the check was dropped on the table while we were enjoying our dessert. We had to ask for coffee after the check arrived. For an upscale, chic restaurant, this was dissappointing."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "It may be just my personal preference but every dish felt too salty, even the bread. Some salty dishes are fine, but it a becomes problem when every dish is salty. Service was great, and wine list is impressive."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "We had a wonderful experience at Congress, attentive service and terrific, memorable cuisine."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "David Bull has created a dinning gem with Congress. The sedate atmosphere of the restaurant is complimented with the adjacent 2nd Street Bar that provides a livelier atmosphere and outdoor dining. Each of the three course dinner entrees provide a good variety of Bull's delightful creations. A wonderful dining experience topped off by a personal visit from David."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "tasting is good, but overpriced. Chef is a little bit too much into pepper"
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "My only negative was our table was a too close to the drink station. We had an early reservation, we could have been seated at a quieter table. Next time I'll ask for an interior table. "
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "For 40th birthday dinner with partner, wanted ‘exquisitely intimate dining experience’ as touted on website; had enjoyed Driskill when chef was there. Instead got cavernous room, nearly empty on Friday night, with loud, miserable soundtrack of U2, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd giving air of sad hotel bar or high-school dance. Pluses: food allergy accommodated; wines well paired to food. 2 courses excellent, 2 fine, 4 lackluster, none I couldn’t enjoy elsewhere at 1/2 or even 1/4 the price (and disgusting bonbon at very end of meal literally left bad taste in mouth). Overall too much salt and sweet, with some balance, texture, plating, service missteps: certainly not ‘finest culinary experience from start to finish’. Overpriced and overrated."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "We savored the 7 course tasting menu and it was an exceptional experience. The preparation, presentation and taste were excellent and the pace of service was just right. We winced when the bill came but it was worth it."
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "I wanted a quiet, special evening to treat some friends to a wonderful dinner. Service was perfect and the evening was a great dining experience."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "There are many positive aspects of Congress; atmosphere, service, presentation. However I felt the value for the money was not met. Austin has a large number of new and existing restaurants that outshine Congress at a fraction of the cost. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "I thought Congress was an upscale restaurant and they clearly want to be, but I was shocked at the mediocre food. The cocktails before dinner were very good but the food simply did not measure up. At least the server noticed that I did not eat the servings and they did offer a replacement but it was embarrassing. Both my wife and I left our courses uneaten and left unhappy. Wink has far superior cuisine."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "The service and food were exceptional! I was nervous about not liking something on the 7 course tasting, but the restaurant was extremely accommodating, particularly to my fiancé's allergy."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "I moved to Houston from the San Francisco area recently and have missed finding great restaurants not only with incredible food but with a service and atmosphere to match. I picked Congress after searching online for a place to go to while spending the weekend in the Hill Country to celebrate after proposing to my girlfriend. It was a bit of a drive to Austin from Burnet but completely worth it! We had a great experience and loved everything about the food and our waiter could not have been better! If I lived in Austin I would be going back again and again!"
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "We invited another couple to celebrate our anniversary with us and it could not have been more perfect. Flowers with a card signed by the staff, delicious cocktails and wine and everything from amuse to dessert surprises delicious. The new scallop dish was a best in class. We go here often but they made the special occasion even more special. "
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "Great dinner at congress. We went for our anniversary and they had a glass of prosecco for us as soon as we sat down. Food was good the foie dish and uni pasta were definitely the highlights. I was really impressed with the service, the foh team worked very well together and didnt miss a beat. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "I worked at a food magazine in NYC for many years and have experienced the best of the best, and Congress can play with the big boys in fine dining. It's always our first choice for a special occasion. They've done their homework and deliver all the extras. From an amuse bouche from the chef, to remembering the last time you dined, their staff is seasoned and trained for flawless execution. "
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "Every time we go to Congress it is such a treat. Since we have several dietary restrictions, chef David Bull prepares a special menu for us and it is always fantastic and "over the top." The combination of ingredients is fresh and innovative. Congress is our favorite place to dine in Austin. The service is personable, refined and attentive. We couldn't ask for a better dining experience."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "This was a splurge ($330 included tip and valet) that was worth every penny! From the minute we arrived the service and attention was nonstop. We opted for the 3 course which was more than enough food and each dish was served with en expiation of ingredients and preparation style. Kudos for attention to detail, quality of ingredients and care of service! "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "My wife and I ate dinner here on our one day visiting Austin. There are so many places to choose from in Austin, and we're very glad we went to Congress. We wanted a place that served interesting cocktails, and the two drinks we had at Bar Congress next door were among the best we've ever had. Bartender was fantastic, friendly, and knowledgable. We were there pretty early - 6:30, so it wasn't crowded and very comfortable. Dinner was fantastic - everything was flawless. It's a small place, and we were seated close to the door, but amazingly it wasn't loud or disturbing. From the background music to the lightening the atmosphere was relaxing and unobtrusive. Our waitress was very knowledgable and interested in the wines we selected. "
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "We had high expectations for Congress based on a recommendation from a friend. The service was exceptional and Chef David Bull came by as well. The food really varied based on the selection. The steak tartar was outstanding, but the flash seared fish appetizer was a bit fishy tasting. For the second course, the gnocchi was disappointing (almost like fancy tater tots), but the Tete de Cochon was superb. As an enhancement to the 3 course fixed priced dinner, we added the Foie Gras. It was very good, but not grilled. The 3rd course was smoked 1/2 quail, which had a nice flavor, but the meat was dry. I love salmon and the king salmon was pretty good, but again it had a fishy taste to it. Desert was exceptional (custard)."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "The food was average at best and over priced. We were both looking forward to a wonderful dinner and it just didn't add up to a bill that was north of $300.00 There are so many better places in Austin, I was fooled by their hype."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Enjoyed our meals and the specials. The chef served us tasting menu options even though we didn't order the tasting menu. Food was great. Wine was even better. Drinks from the bar were outstanding. Very enjoyable. The decor is very serene and modern and the chairs are SOO comfortable. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "I have been here 5 times in the 8 weeks since I have moved here. I take every visitor that comes into town to visit me, since I am still in utter disbelief that such an amazing restaurant can be found in Austin. I have eaten all around the world at some of the best and most expensive places on the planet, and I am happy to report that Congress competes. My view of a truly great restaurant is when you can order anything on the menu and there is a consistent "wow" factor that creates a party in your mouth. I have tried every amazing restaurant in Austin, and it is my opinion ...or my palette/taste buds opinion that Congress has the most consistency of any restaurant in Austin. If you don't like it, then I feel bad for your unrefined taste."
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "Perhaps one of the most creative and delicious meals I've had. My only regret is not ordering the wine pairing. Having a meal at this restaurant would be reason enough to come to Austin. "
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "I brought my girlfriend here for our anniversary dinner. The service was attentive, and the food was fantastic. The little details really make a difference and make a place stand out. We'll definitely be returning."
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "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