A few months ago owner Allison Welsh hired a new chef and retooled the dining room of her former 1417 Bistro, transforming the casual Modern American spot (in the building that once housed Sway) into a classic French restaurant. Wednesday nights offer $2 oysters on the half shell, which we gladly took advantage of. Then we happily went out on a limb with an order of blue cheese beignets; the intriguing puffs reminded us of Italian zeppole, filled with a subtle blue cheese and served with a pear-and-raisin chutney. A simple green salad of butter lettuce was expertly bathed in French vinaigrette with fresh herbs. A heaping bowl of steamed mussels arrived in a heavenly red curry broth—we asked for more bread to sop up every last drop. Halibut meunière proved a bit dry and shy of lemony sauce. Chocolate pot de crème sprinkled with sea salt and served with three crispy potato chips could have used a touch more imagination. (We rather wished we had saved the blue cheese beignets for dessert.)
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1417 French Bistro
A classic French menu in a cozy South Austin space.