Cafe No Se South Congress Hotel Michael Paley Café No Sé

Café No Sé

South Congress Hotel
1603 S. Congress Ave. (Milton St.)
Austin, TX 78704
Comfortable continental café in one of Austin’s boutique hotels.
Openings: Breakfast Mon.-Sat., Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun.
Café No Sé, Austin, TX

Café No Sé Restaurant Review:

“No sé” means “I don’t know” in Spanish, perhaps the answer to the question of how this New American café came to be in Texas. The interior leaps directly from a photo editorial spread of a California home design magazine: erudite bookshelves occupy half the room while waitstaff cloisters comfortably around a kitchen island as if you were guests at a SoCal house party. But, alas, you’re actually on SoCo, Austin’s staple “be seen” scene on the ground floor of the ultra-chic boutique South Congress Hotel. The cuisine is clever, striking just the right balance between laid back and sophisticated chef-ery. Starters are standouts, especially the braised purple hull peas (a smoother, subtler cousin to black-eyed peas) simmered in a piquant sofrito with surryano ham and grated Parmesan, or the charred octopus with garbanzo beans with counter accents of spicy chiles and zesty blood orange. House pappardelle with braised rabbit is nice, though we were hungry for more rabbit, unsatisfied with the morsels mixed in the light sauce. Weekend brunch has ample winners on the menu, like the banana-ricotta hotcakes and the avocado toast with soft boiled egg and crème fraîche. No matter the meal, try to save room for dessert, most notably the banana cream, almond crunch and Blackstrap rum chocolate pudding.