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Matthew Odam And Restaurant Jezebel: It's Complicated

Restaurant Jezebel is possibly Austin's most high-dollar dining experience, and with that experience the Austin American-Statesman's Matthew Odam finds a "stifled atmosphere" and "dark and impersonal" space, with "lead-footed" and "awkward" service, with chef Parind Vora's kitchen suffering from both repetition and inconsistency, though "many of his dishes ascend to the level of excellence."

Despite having nearly twice as many complaints about Restaurant Jezebel as he did positive remarks (yes, Eater Austin counted), Odam awards the menu-less downtown spot a respectable 7.5 out of ten. That puts it on the same Odam-ranked footing as the W Hotel's TRACE, Ramen Tatsu-Ya, El Naranjo and Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, but below the Four Seasons' TRIO (8.5), Swift's Attic (8.5), the Salty Sow (8) and SPIN Modern Thai (9).

Odam visits Jezebel for both four-course and seven-course prix fixe meals, priced respectively at $85 and $125 before tiered wine pairings. About that wine, a major source of Odam's complaints: Jezebel offers no wine by the glass, doesn't staff a certified sommelier, and Odam writes that he was "gently intimidated and upsold" into buying a more expensive pairing that would feature red wines rather than white.

In praise of some dishes, Odam raves about the "tender medium-rare roasted quail that slipped from the bone," a "wonderful first course of smoky and peppery sturgeon with tender parsnips," and a lightly breaded kangaroo that "tasted like an Australian version of chicken fried steak," while his dining companion called the seared foie gras "one of the best dishes he'd eaten in his life."

Other plates were so bad they had to be sent back: scallops overwhelmed by a "fierce peppery crust" went back to the kitchen, only to return "almost nude and too salty." Another one of Odam's guest began to get seafood fatigue after "oily salmon," and Odam was unimpressed with a fried soft-shell crab that came with "parchment-like skin and fishy-tasting mushy meat."

Odam finds no "seamless and non-intrusive" service with "personal exchanges and warmth," but instead has a server who "repeatedly fumbled" through pairings. Ultimately, Odam writes that Jezebel "needs to deliver at an exceptional level it has yet to reach."

· Restaurant Jezebel [Official]
· Restaurant Jezebel attempts to blaze its own fine dining trail in Austin, but makes some missteps along the way [Austin360]
· All Restaurant Jezebel Coverage on Eater Austin [-EATX-]
· All Week In Reviews Coverage on Eater Austin [-EATX-]

Restaurant Jezebel. [Photo: Patrick Michels/EATX]

Restaurant Jezebel

800 W 6th St Austin, TX 78701