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Second Bar + Kitchen

200 Congress Ave. (E. Second St.) Send to Phone
David Bull’s Congress offshoot has become the main attraction, combining vibrant energy with contemporary cuisine.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Cuisine
Open
Lunch Mon.-Sat., Dinner nightly, Brunch Sun.
Open late Fri.-Sat.
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Second Bar + Kitchen Restaurant Review

: Originally opened as the less formal offshoot to chef David Bull’s Restaurant Congress, Second Bar + Kitchen has catapulted its way to the top of the marquee, expanding to take over the Congress space --- chandeliers and all. The two restaurants always shared a kitchen, but where Congress was white tablecloth and black tie service, Second dons a more boisterous and chic and sleek flair. Never a question, of course, was the high quality of food. Second’s versatility is one reason for its popularity, and a group can share samplings of small plates, or go the entrée route; either way is a sure bet for satisfaction. Our favorites for sharing are the veal meatballs arrabbiata, delectably moist and mildly spicy, and the hot-and-sour mussels simmered with smoked apricots, jalapeños and salted peanuts. The braised beef short rib is a melt-in-your-mouth main, thanks to its brandied balsamic glaze complemented with truffle grits, caramelized onions and crisp tobacco onions. Hand-crafted cocktails are enjoyed on the spacious patio that boasts a downtown view. Somehow the wine list could be the best-kept secret at Second. It may be less voluminous than Congress’ wine book, but it headlines a number of European labels not found anywhere else in Austin.

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