Not Your Average Office Party: A Seafood Dinner in Downtown Austin Worth Wearing Your Uncomfortable Shoes For

Austin is known around the world for its unique and diverse food scene. From bahn mi and bao to tacos and tortas, there’s certainly no shortage of options for the intrepid foodie. But, as a landlocked city with no access to saltwater fishing, many Austinites covet fresh seafood like Gollum covets The One Ring – an inside joke for Tolkien fans. πŸ˜‰There are a few essentials around Austin where peckish patrons with a craving for crab claws can always get their fresh seafood fix: Quality Seafood, Perla’s, Clark’s Oyster Bar, Salt Traders and Mongers to name a few. But, when it comes to superior seafood experiences in Austin, you should never miss an opportunity to dine out at the famed Truluck’s.Nestled amongst the bustle of bars and nightclubs, Truluck’s stands proudly among the best seafood spots in downtown Austin. Perfect for those who enjoy the finer things, this prestigious – albeit pricey – place has it all: ambience, decadence and plenty of panache!Known around the world for their unique and indulgent seafood dishes, Truluck’s is the place to sup on a Saturday night if you’re in the mood for something fresh, sophisticated and savory. I had the immense pleasure of dining at Truluck’s on a cool December evening at their main downtown location – off Colorado and W 5th Street – where I attended a company holiday party for C3. The first thing I noted upon arrival is the fabulous $10 valet parking right outside the doors. Locals and visitors alike can definitely appreciate this precious commodity in downtown Austin! The building itself is modest and welcoming, with massive glass double doors at the entrance.As we entered, we were overwhelmed by the scintillating aromas of fine cuisine and the opulence of the main dining room. The floors are onyx black like marble and the ceiling is loftily high and airy. Front and center is a large cocktail bar – known as the Stone Crab Lounge – where you can socialize and sip on craft cocktails like the Pink Cactus with Reposado Tequila, lime juice hibiscus and cinnamon syrup or the sensory tour de force Voila! with dry ice smoke, vodka, cava, Chambord, pineapple juice and raspberries.

A grand and elegant spiral staircase leads upstairs to a second level of intimate table settings, where diners can get a bird’s eye view of the full bar and a sultry jazz serenader on a small stage with a grand piano.Our private reserved dining room had been pristinely prepared in anticipation of our arrival, and every detail was exquisite! As we entered, we were warmly greeted by a designated group of servers who promptly offered us an adult libation of champagne, fine wine or handmade cocktails.The room was adorned with festive decor in the form of Christmas trees, wreaths and deep red tablecloths covering the cocktail tables. But the dining table itself was the main attraction.Set up right next to a glass wall filled with an impressive selection of over 70 fine wines, the table was dressed to the nines with a sequined table runner, snowflake-shaped placemats, fresh red rose votives and soft candlelight. And, to top it off, each dinner setting had a custom menu with our company logo, origami-shaped cloth napkins on pristine dinner plates and a perfect smattering of silverware.Now onto the piece de resistance: the food! Truluck’s is favored for their fantastically flavorful, fresh seafood and impeccable fine service – and this particular evening, they undoubtedly delivered both! The seasonal dinner menu at Truluck’s is a myriad of mouthwatering selections ranging from light Crab Appetizers, Caviar and Tuna Tartare to hearty dishes like Alaskan King Crab, Miso-Glazed Sea Bass, Pacific Swordfish Steak and juicy Filet Mignon. Check out their full menu here.The servers were all very knowledgeable about the contents of each dish and were more than happy to accommodate food allergies such a gluten intolerance. The enticing amuse bouche spread included fresh jumbo Shrimp Cocktail on a bed of ice, olive bruschetta toast bites, Prime Chuck Meatballs made with brisket and short rib and Lump Blue Crab Cakes. Mmm…πŸ˜‹The prixe fixe for the evening offered a selection of lobster bisque or salad and a choice of Miso-Glazed Sea Bass, Lobster Tail, Grilled Chicken, Filet Mignon or Salmon Bearnaise. I opted for the Lobster Bisque appetizer and Petite South African Lobster Tail and was not disappointed!For my first time trying lobster bisque, I loved it! The broth was creamy and rich and the lobster chunks were savory and spectacular – this dish is also gluten free. The Petite South African Lobster Tail entree was luxuriously prepared and sinfully scrumptious, coated with seasoned butter and spices and topped with a jumbo blue crab cake. And it gets even better. Grilled asparagus sits atop a soft pillow of parmesan mashed potatoes in this dish while a small tea light candle keeps your lemon-garlic butter dip warm. All I can say is…Wow. 🀯😍 The lobster bisque could have easily been a dinner on its own! But then you would miss out on the pure perfection that is the Petite South African lobster tail. And the food FOMO here πŸ‘ is πŸ‘ real, y’all! Succulent and soft, each buttery bite of the tender lobster tail melts in your mouth and leaves you wanting more! The top notch steaks are impeccably seasoned and grilled to perfection. But those parmesan mashed potatoes…you’ll be thinking about those bad boys for days after!As if we weren’t already filled to the brim with delectable foods, the servers brought out an extraordinary collection of divine desserts served family style along with fresh-brewed espressos to cap off a spectacular meal. By the time the party started to wind down and everyone had finished off their last sips of espresso and morsels of sweets, it was clear that the entire room had been captivated by a charming, sumptuous and unforgettable dinner.From the seductive setting to the stellar food selection, Truluck’s is a culinary revelation and a true fine dining treasure in downtown Austin. At this swanky dinner spot you’ll certainly get your money’s worth within the first 20 minutes! All in all, I would recommend an evening at Truluck’s for special occasions, office parties, hot dates or a memorable night on the town! *Get a few helpful tips before you go!πŸ‘‡

Tips before you go:

  • Valet parking is available on weekend nights for just $10 – be sure to tip!
  • Dress code is not necessarily enforced, but if you want to dress the part it’s best to stick with slacks, a suit and tie, your favorite LBD or any of your stylish “semi-formal” attire. *The website says no flip flops, tank tops, sleeveless shirts, short shorts or hats.
  • Watch out for the front doors – they’re extremely heavy and difficult to open if you’ve got weak arms like I do!
  • Be sure to wear slip-safe heels or dress shoes to avoid clumsily skating on the smooth floor then face-planting in the middle of the dining room right in front of the jazz singer (This didn’t happen to me but it definitely could have with the wrong shoes!) And, again, no flip-flops – you don’t want to be the one with the footsteps that sound like a loud duck waddling around the dining room.
  • If you have gluten allergies, make sure to ask the staff about the contents in your selection before ordering. While some dishes seem to be gluten free, they may contain ingredients like soy sauce or oyster crackers – namely the miso-glazed sea bass with crab fried rice and the jumbo lump crab cakes made with oyster cracker crumbles.
  • The bathroom is located in the main dining hall to the left of the entrance. You can find it at the end of the left wall as you enter the restaurant, across from the staircase. But the catch is you have to awkwardly walk right in front of the singer on stage on your way there and back if you’re eating across the restaurant. It’s almost like being “that guy” in the movie theatre that walks right in front of the big screen in the middle of a movie!
  • Try not to fill up on the tasty appetizers and finger-licking finger foods! The dinner portions here are pretty hefty and you’ll need room to enjoy all the different flavors and tastes they pack into each plate.
  • This place may be fancy af, but don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions or modifications, because the staff and chefs at Truluck’s are super nice and more than willing to modify your order to give you exactly what you want!
  • Stop by the Stone Crab Lounge on any night from 4PM-7PM where you can get 1/2 price on select appetizers, cocktails and wines.
  • Truluck’s can get pretty bumpin’ on a Saturday night, so if you want to avoid waiting for a table be sure to make a reservation early.

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