Great visit - Uchi was all its hyped to be - just terrific food, service, and atmosphere (but pricey, as expected).
Local recommendation of Ranch 616 for steak was a very good one - I loved my ribeye perfectly medium rare as ordered and over enchiladas (wow) ,the fried oysters are among the best gulf variety I've had, the live music was outstanding and servers Rosemary, Preston, and co. were awesome.
Bess Bistro and The Belmont were convenient and nice downtown spots for lunch - fresh, tasty salads at both and good service as well. The frites at Bess were a standout as well.
Vespaio bar was a destination in our search for pure mixology and craft cocktails - it was not that, but it was really enjoyable anyway. The Sazerac I ordered was very non-traditional (shaken instead of stirred, with Angostura rather than Peychaud's bitters, and Pernod anise flavor was poured into the mix instead of an absinthe or herbsaint rinse - and served up in a martini glass vs. neat in a rocks glass) but tasty (so I didn't complain or inquire further - as that's really the point, right) and the bartender was so friendly and engaging that it was worthwhile stop. Soco is definitely a must destination in more depth for next visit to Austin!
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