|301 E. 5th St.
Austin, TX 78701
9400-B Arboretum Blvd.
Austin, TX 78759
There’s a lot to be said for consistency, unmitigated good taste, and an unerring sense of accuracy in nailing the dishes that please the palates of Austinites. Then again, there’s a lot to be said for Eddie V’s downtown. Eddie V’s is typically one of the hottest restaurants in Austin with a lively bar scene, lots of A-list celebrity diners, and a spacious dining area where only the best seafoods and steaks are served. It’s a people pleasing kind of environment. One that makes for lingering over that last drop of Haut Brion.
I could not begin a meal at Eddie V’s without something from the oyster bar. The recent bad blood between Texas and the Pacific Northwest may have eliminated the pleasing Kumomoto oysters but there are still plenty from the North Atlantic. And they’re terrific. (I can take or leave Gulf oysters) Another appetizer that continually rewards is the Cold Water Maine Lobster tail. I can’t get enough of the batter-coated lobster in a delightful honey-mustard sauce. Rich and rewarding. And one of my new favorites is the Crispy Salt and Pepper Shrimp. This is a yin-yang kind of dish where ginger, scallions, and red chiles meet crispy rice noodles around an eminently tasty salt and pepper shrimp. Great flavors here with wonderful texture. And you’ll love the George’s Bank Scallops in Tempura. These plump scallops in a fresh tempura batter are presented with wok seared shitake mushrooms (a smash) and asparagus. The deal is sealed with a glaze of honey and black beans. Oh my!
One final appetizer that I inevitably order: the Sweet Corn and Crab chowder. This soup has an enticing flavor that screams out New England and is not tricked up with the usual annoying Sherries that one often finds in preparations like these. Very satisfying.
Eddie V’s covers the gamut on the entrée side. If you’re a fish lover, well you are in luck. And if prime steaks are your forte, then the dice are also rolling your favor. One dish that I repeatedly return to, and critics aren’t supposed to do that, (but I just can’t help it) is the Sauteed Gulf Snapper Filet piled high with lump crab meat and presented with a fulsome lemon butter sauce. The texture of the fish is perfect and the sauce enhances the delicate and searing flavors. And I love the Chilean Sea Bass steamed in the classic Hong Kong tradition with a light sherry broth and pickled ginger. This dish is subtle, and the flavors creep up on your in layers and even better, they linger. And shrimp lover that I am, the Grilled, Crab-Stuffed Colossal Shrimp always pleases. I must confess, run of the mill stuffed shrimp does very little for me. But this is far above the norm. The Remoulade sauce completes it and the parmesan, and herb and garlic crumbs offer very interesting yet complementary taste contrasts. Try this dish.
My friend Augie Garrido always get a steak at Eddie V’s. And I’d recommend the US Prime Bone-In Ribeye. This is 22oz. of beautifully marbled meat literally bursting with flavor. Medium rare is best for this beauty. And if you don’t mind trading in one of your 401K’s, try the latest iteration of dry-aged beef: the 32oz. Tomahawk.
Eddie V’s has expanded of late and moved into Scottsdale and Newport Beach CA. And why not? Good taste knows no geographical boundaries. For those of you who have wondered, the name comes from co-founders Larry “Eddie” Foles and Guy “Mr. V” Villavaso. Gee, come to think of it, my middle name is Eddie as well. Perhaps I should apply for part ownership. Well, if not that, perhaps they’ll at least keep my seat warm because you can bet I’ll be back.