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Bess Bistro Restaurant Review: Six years after actress and former part-time Austin resident Sandra Bullock opened this bistro, Bess still holds its movie star appeal to the city’s dining crowd. An historic stone building houses the popular, stylish spot. The menu features comforting American dishes and Creole specialties sharing space with more contemporary French bistro fare. Start with zesty shrimp Bess, which reminds us of New Orleans barbecued shrimp, or the semolina-crusted artichoke hearts with fried lemon wheels tossed in Parmesan. Don’t be surprised to see old-world classics like shepherd’s pie, this version served in a tiny cast iron skillet. The rich macaroni and cheese gratin is a menu staple, as is the ultimate French comfort dish croque monsieur. Flat-iron steak topped with a mushroom-blue cheese demi-glace served with crispy pommes frites makes a substantial meal for a carnivore. We also like the well-crafted wine list featuring many food-friendly selections.