So a chef friend of ours invited us to participate in restaurant week last night by visiting Jasper’s Austin. Aside from the drive in traffic up to the Domain, it was a very pleasant evening. I hadn’t been to Jasper’s before and while the inside felt a bit more high end than the ‘Backyard’ idea, the food did indeed present itself as gourmet backyard. Don’t get me wrong, the interior was very nicely decorated, I just felt it didn’t quite match their theme of cuisine. Since it was $25 for three courses, I had the prosciutto wrapped shrimp and grits (which was ridiculous good), the Pecan Crusted Rainbow Trout with Sweet Potatoes (which was ok, a bit bland) and the Stone Fruit Buckle w/Texas peaches for dessert. Jason had the crab cakes (which were ok), the ribs (which were so tender and delicious), and the dark chocolate cake w/mini vanilla malt (which was yummy). Apparently their normal menu doesn’t have a single entree item on it below $25, so I felt pretty good about getting three items for $25. I would not feel ok about paying for the entrees at the normal price – I don’t think the food is worth those prices. For what it was, I’m not sure that I would be jumping at the bit to go back (like I do with Fino), but if restaurant week rolls around again and we end up at in the vicinity of the Domain, I wouldn’t mind paying $25 again for another of their three courses.
Also, about Restaurant Week – according to my chef friend, this is the ‘preliminary’ restaurant week here in Austin with the nice restaurants in town. There will be another one in October that will be announced in September with the EXTREMELY high end restaurants. Not sure if it will still be $25. . . but even it’s it’s $35 for three courses, I’d go just to eat at some of the restaurants that are otherwise saved for very special occasions.