Restaurant Review - Peche

Myself and 3 girlfriends hit "Peche" in downtown Austin last night for dinner. Located in the old Malaga space on 4th street between Colorado and Lavaca, this is a bistro in every sense of the word. A quintessential French brasserie menu down to the moules, frites, and croque monsieur. The restaurant also offers an interesting selection of European alcoholic drinks and is especially known for serving absynthe. The prices are right too with entrees between $12-$15 and excellent wines by the bottle as inexpensive as $22.

The girlfriend who organized the evening is a frequenter of Peche (forgive me, there are two accents on "Peche" but can't seem to recreate them with my English keyboard) and she was able to give us full run down on the menu before ordering. She considered the Steak and Frites (cost $14) as the "Best dinner deal in town..." I don't eat red meat so I can't confirm. However, 2 of the 4 of us followed her recommendation and ordered this as their meal. Both were pleased. I had the Coq Au Vin (cost $13). I am 95% sure they serve this chicken dish "on the bone" in France which is why during the 2 years I lived in France I never ordered it (my #39 on list of weird food aversions). However, at Peche, it's happily "pulled" chicken over a parmesan palenta. A moderately stylized version of the dish, yet altogether good.

Sorry I don't have a picture of the restaurant to post (sigh...next time) -- but basically the decor is unchanged from the old Malaga except for the addition of some slightly ostentatious black crystal chandeliers suspended high above the bar, some giant leather couches (that we all decided were almost TOO soft and cushy to sit on and eat and carry on a conversation) and a green faux painted wall at the entrance.

Overall, worth a visit. Of course, we went the night of the national college football championship so it was empty -- but apparently quite a hotspot for the trendy downtown crowd.

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