San Francisco Chowhound in town for a business trip last week and tried DaMarco, Goode's Barbecue and Aries for dinner.
DaMarco was fantastic. Interesting wines by the glass, very good service, and very interesting menu. I could eat there five more times and get something new and interesting every time. The oxtail ravioli special with black trumpet mushrooms was incredible, as was the venison. I wish we had a restaurant like this in San Francisco. Truly incredible. I considered going to Damian's as well but was turned off by the fact that they have a bus. Something about that just seemed cheesy to me. How does it compare to DaMarco?
Goode's was weak. The Austin beans were good but the barbecue was very bland. I wasn't expecting all that much but was still disappointed. Only other Texas barbecue I had was in Amarillo a few years ago at a place called Dyer's and this was not in the same league. Is there a regional difference between Amarillo and Houston in terms of barbecue, maybe it was a style thing. Tried to go to William's Smokehouse but it was closed on Sunday.
Aries was good but overpriced. Good service. The bread was excellent. Had scallops for a starter which were excellent and halibut as a main, which was good but nothing special. Wines by the glass were interesting but overpriced (especially by California standards). Seemed very Californian to me. Had the meal not been on the company, I would have been slightly disappointed. Last time I was in town I tried Mark's which I much preferred to Aries, and the prices are about the same. Should have tried Pappa's for fish.
Also checked out Eatzi's and Central Market. I could see eating/shopping at both of those places quite often if I lived in town.