After reading a nice review of it on Chowhound, we traversed to the far east side to have dinner at the charming new restaurant, Justine's, 4710 E 5th St. www.justines1937.com. The place is east side funky in decor, and I mean that in a good way. The food is exquisite and very reasonably priced for what you get.
We started with the artichoke with drawn butter and the escargot. Both were excellent. They really shine with the entrees. We order the steak tartare (one of the best I've had), scallops and snapper with burre blanc sauce and hericot verts. The fish was good but was clearly outclassed by the amazing grilled scallops and the even more amazing steak tartar.
Dessert was also excellent. The creme brulee was one of the best I've had anywhere. I will say that my dining partners were not as enchanted as I was by the chocolate tart.
We had a lovely bottle of rose wine, at $30 the most expensive one on the menu. Dinner was $140 before tip, an excellent value for the high quality of food (for 2 cocktails each, 1 bottle of wine, 3 entrees, 2 appetizers and 2 desserts).
Bonus points for a kitchen that stays open until 1:15 am. I can see myself with a hankering for that steak tartare in the wee hours.
Service is still working out the kinks. The restaurant was completely full at 8:00 pm, and I don't think they expected that kind of volume so soon. The hostess was charming and competent, and helped out when our server fell a bit behind. Still, it did little to dampen our experience at a thoroughly charming addition to the Austin dining scene.