Posts Tagged ‘Shoreline Grill’

Shoreline Grill: peaceful lunch with view

The Shoreline Grill now bills itself as “Austin’s first sustainable seafood restaurant.” Today’s crowd seemed to be half business meetings (law-related, to judge from what was overheard) and half conventioneering (really, also mostly business-related).

At our table, we sampled the soup of the day, a very complex and subtle preparation involving oysters and fennel and many mysteries. It was delicious. The lamb sliders were rich enough on their tiny toasted buns without the addition of a mayonnaise. They were tasty, and intended to be shared, I’m sure, since the three little lamb-burgers were a bit too much for one person. The unanimous choice for the entree was the fish of the day, loup-de-mer accompanied by watercress or a similar green in vinaigrette and by tiny, tiny potatoes.

The post-luncheon coffee was excellent, as was the expresso. The man-magnets quail and fried chicken remain on the menu, but chocolate intemperance, alas, is no more. In its place was another chocolate dessert, chocolate mousse cake, which those who ordered it happily downed, but the flavor was not so subtle or intense as the old standby dessert and the texture was more like a solid mousse with a bit of custard, or something like that. The fish was hot from the pan and exactly as it should have been, for the most part escaping the heavy hand with the salt-shaker that seemed to prevail everywhere else but for the soup.

Parking in the underground garage is still free with a stamped validation from the Shoreline. The music today was California-style pseudo-jazz loud enough to mask conversations but not so loud as to overpower them. Service was attentive and professional. This is still a great place for a business meeting and still has entrees, including vegetarian and salad specialties, to suit everyone, but I’ve decided it was really the chocolate intemperance that was the draw.

We were out and around during the noon rush-hour in order to buy bus passes and conduct some other business. Our plan had been to dine at Chez Nous if possible or, if not, at Louie’s 106. The pedestrian traffic jams were irritating in the extreme and that’s why, after leaving Capital Metro, we headed for the Shoreline. Even on Rainey Street and at the MACC, congestion is the rule.

Shoreline intemperance

No matter what changes at the Shoreline Grill, chocolate intemperance is the constant. It’s always on the dessert menu, no matter what else is on what other part of the menu. We always, always save room for this triple-chocolate delight.

We satisfied some of the rest of our appetite at lunch by trying two of today’s soups: a cannellini bean and a duck and sausage gumbo. I loved, loved, loved the gumbo, and so did the table of men with Louisiana accents just behind us. We also satisfied some appetite, and very wisely so, with crab cakes and the day’s salmon preparation.

Seafood is always impeccable here. There are also dainty but generous salads, as well as hearty fried chicken and various meat preparations for the non-vegetarians. When we splurge here, we often overhear some little morsel of gossip when the indiscreet speak loudly in the sort of commanding voices that carry, as those who must answer to no superior sometimes do when they imbibe at lunchtime. This was a beautiful day to dine here. The light coming through the expanse of windows changed moment by moment as the towering clouds by turns obscured and revealed the sun, and the waters of the river were choppy and in constant motion.

We were seated at once, even though we arrived shortly after noon. Later in the week, there’s sometimes a brief wait. I’m not sure what the parking situation is these days. We walked. Service, as always, was timely and professional. The chocolate intemperance, as always, was beyond compare.

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