111 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701
III Forks at Cesar Chavez and Lavaca has long been one of my favorite fine dining restaurants in Austin. I’m pleased to say that as of the last few meals we enjoyed there, they remain one of my favorites.
In what must be an unusually ironic twist, the current III Forks chef Adrian [most recently of Zed’s] has replaced the original exec Jamie Gutierrez for the second [the first being at the former Cool River]!
Well, it worked at Cool River and it’s working at III Forks as well.
Our most recent meal was classic III Forks. Adrian introduced a new appetizer featuring Wagyu Beef bone marrow that could be scraped out and along with chutney spread on toast points. Between my son-in-law and I the bones and the marrow and the other accouterments rapidly disappeared. I will have this one again.
Another new appetizer was the Chicken Fried Lobster. This is a bit reminiscent of an old Eddie V’s classic but with no shell involved. Very mellow flavors and wonderful texture along with a crusting of Panko bread crumbs. Also very tasty. Of course, Jenn had to order the famous Beef Croustades which Jamie had introduced at a Hill Country Wine and Food Festival at the Downtown Hilton. They are not on the current menu but can always be ordered and I suggest you do.
The mountainous pile of Onion Rings has long been a favorite and remains so. Love the smokey ketchup for dipping and they were perfectly crisp. We also tried a couple of bowls of the Lobster bisque. Mercifully, it was absent of the overdose of sherry and cream that usually are the core of poorly made versions of this soup. III Fork’s version was highly original with ample bits of lobster and a perfect broth.
I usually get the 20 oz Bone-In Ribeye but on the last visit I opted for the smaller Flat Iron Steak in a brown gravy. This steak was delicious and was cut-with-a-fork tender with great mouth feel. Marge tried the Sea Bass. It was a bit undercooked on the first presentation but the 2nd time around it was spot on. John and Jenn split the NY Strip which is one of III Fork’s most popular steaks. I negotiated with them for a bite and it was as I’d always remembered: mellow and tasty as hell. Cooked medium, which is more than I would have chosen, but still a great steak. And our Duckhorn 2012 Cab went well with the entrees.
The desserts are always fun at III Forks and I indulged although I was really quite full. Tried the Bread Pudding and it was a blast. The sauce was classic and vintage New Orleans. It was also the right composition: not too thick nor too runny. Marge got a Yellow Cake infused with mandarin orange and pineapple. it too was sampled by all at the table and all concurred: moist and delicious.
We finished with their time-honored complimentary whiskey cream drink that actually smells like it’s composed of sun-tan lotion. But the taste was irresistible.
And that’s pretty much they key word for III Forks: from the stunning decor to the cordial service. This is fine dining consistency at its irresistible best.