"I like to focus on finding the best versions of specific dishes, rather than “the best” restaurants in Austin." ----- MPH
On the Wink discussion, there seems to be a consesus that there is no single restaurant in Austin that you would recommend to a fellow from out of town without reservation. But, there are many places that you would recommend certain dishes with fervor. So that fellow 'Hounds may increase their likelihood of excellent meals at locations all across Austin, please list some superb dishes at upper end restaurants. I will start with a couple of recommendations:
Wink- foie gras (as another poster mentioned, it is always seared to perfection no matter the other machinations involved)
The Driskill- Salad nicoise (a friend of mine was the pantry chef there years ago and he always recommended this. It was excellent at the time)
Also, in a similar light, there are several restaurants where you end up going when you have non-Houndish friends in town (Guero's comes to mind). To save what would have been a frustrating experience, let's try to recommend a dish or two to save those evenings at restaurants that you would not normally frequent. I think we would agree that even restaurants in decline will have one or too good offerings.
Guero's- Tacos al Pastor, Tortilla Soup
Polvos- Guisada de Puerco, there is also a dish involving chuletas and pineapple that is good)