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Austin Critics Hit Up Counter 3.Five.VII and Prelog’s

Two different takes on fine dining.

Counter 3.Five.VII
Counter 3.Five.VII
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Despite the name, Statesman’s Matthew Odam was won over by the conceptual Counter 3.Five.VII. He enjoyed the setup of the space with the counter seating and open kitchen, from where the chefs divulged information about every ingredient on each served plate. The artistry of the food and plating were done well, but having five versus seven courses made a difference (the latter left him satisfyingly full):

One of the best dishes at Counter 357 also pointed to one of my few problems with the restaurant. Ruby-centered duck, smoked then lightly seared, hummed with the allure of five-spice on a plate texturally balanced with turnip puree and crawfish relish. I just wish I’d received more than four medallions of the excellent duck at my five-course dinner. I blame the modest amount of protein for my appetite that resurfaced about an hour after the meal.

Brandon Watson of The Chronicle won’t write off Prelog’s, but the look-at-what-I-can-do execution of chef Florian Prelog’s menu isn’t helping its goal of European-style fine dining. The menu is full of otherwise good dishes that would’ve been better with finer execution. There was no need to overwhelm the meals with culinary finesse and showy but unnecessary touches.

There's no floating spoonful of cream in his green pea soup ($9); there's an unsettling pink of frankfurter froth. The trout ($25) is rolled into a cigar, festooned with microgreens and shaved radish (Prelog's sprinkles those like pixie dust), and set just so in a shallow pool of bacon broth (a bit of fried skin has some "me" time on the corner of the plate).

THE BLOGS: Mad Betty finally wrote about her visit to Sala & Betty’s soft opening earlier this year, and Fed Man Walking’s Mike Sutter still has everlasting tacos in his eyes.

Prelog's [Closed]

360 Nueces St, Austin, TX 78701 (512) 350-2895

COUNTER 3. FIVE. VII

315 Congress Ave Ste 100, Austin, TX 78701 (512) 291-3327

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