Justine’s French Brasserie is one of my favorite restaurants in Austin and French food has never been my go-to. It’s probably one of the only restaurants here that feels like you are in NYC or LA with a scene that feels like you are out at a bar but still at a restaurant. The staff is bizarre and dressed as they should be with no rhyme or reason but enough personality and individuality to get your night going. Just take a look at their website for a little taste. During the colder months, the front patio is covered like a winter wonderland and in the summer, it’s wide open and a great area to congregate with cocktails. I don’t think a lot of people know that you can make a reservation for a party of 6 here, so I always bring out of towners here or June’s All Day for a fun night out. I’ve also grabbed two seats at the bar on Saturday night easily with no wait.
This is the only place (maybe in the world) where I just CRAVE their beef tartare. It’s sharp, a little peppery and maybe mustardy, a large size, and if I don’t get it, I end up staring down the person at my table who did. Tartare +Fries + Martini’s = Justine’s. The burger and bolognaise are also popular and on every table, but if you are trying not to weigh yourself down, the specials are always a good option to take a peek at. I’ve had the fish of the day which I enjoyed but it definitely wasn’t enough food. The Seared Scallops are even better! The crab and avocado salad is easy to share as well. It’s composed of Lump Crab, English Cucumbers, Avocado, Fresh Mint Leaves and a Lemon Ginger Dressing.
I also love the side of Ratatouille. It’s only $7 for a side and you can also get it as a larger plate for $12. There is something about ratatouille that gets me every time. The stewed squash, eggplant, tomatoes, onions and veggies are heartwarming. Justine’s gets away as being the cool kids on the east side while still being stylish, sophisticated, and serving memorable food. If you ask someone if they’ve been to Justine’s, you’ll see the twinkle in their eyes just like the one you’ll get after you spend an evening there. Oh, and their annual New Year’s Eve party is cray cray.