"Café Josie, a fine-dining restaurant in Austin, Texas, is celebrating its 19th anniversary this year, and, while the menu is very upscale, it aims for a relaxing ambiance. As Taylor brainstormed ways to attract new guests, he realized he had to think of ways to reinvent the dining experience. “A lot of the motivation to do this menu was because we’re in one of the hottest restaurant cities in the country but we’re not a new restaurant,” Taylor explains.
"Celebrating their 19th year in business the March, Cafe Josie wanted to do do something special for their diners that would keep the concept fresh and interesting. Taylor and Chef Todd Havers decided to offer what they refer to as "The Experience," which allows guests to experience the entire menu (for a mere $40) while still enjoying a fine dining experience.
"The ambience of the courtyard is so charming and unpretentious that I can't imagine wanting to sit indoors, even in August, but the food really stole the show. We were very impressed with the drink menu, and the three menu items we ordered left us licking the plates clean within 20 minutes start to finish (oops). I already can't wait to walk down and spend some more evenings here in the early fall.
"Cafe Josie is first and foremost a classic fine dining restaurant with a casual upscale demeanor. The interior dining space is cozy but airy, in it’s mid-century elegance leaving you with the feeling that’s almost historically eccentric , as the cafe provides a particular ambiance of Austin’s unique past.
"Chef Havers, an integral component of Café Josie’s success over the past five years, is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and holds the unique distinction of having honed his skill set alongside both longtime chef and founder Charles Mayes and former executive chef Brandon Fuller.
"The cool stone floors at Cafe Josie provide instant relief from the summer heat, and the exposed beams and white linens give the feeling of dining in a modern castle. The food is nothing short of fabulous, with inventive dishes like their beet terrine with hazelnuts, chèvre, tangerines, and baby greens, or scallops cooked to perfection."
"n my first morning in town, I showed up for an early call at Café Josie, a restaurant on the quiet edge of downtown. A production assistant trying to guard the shoot from nonexistent rubberneckers asked whether I needed help; it wasn’t long before I saw the filmmaker at work.
"While die-hard regulars may be nostalgic for classic dishes from the menu, the overall consensus is that the spot just keeps getting better. The bright and sunny restaurant takes the farm-to-table mantra seriously and aims to locally source as much of the menu as possible. Inventive, fresh flavors are delivered in dishes like the local goat ribs, served with blue corn grits and a shaved fennel salad.
"5) CAFE JOSIE If your drink tab is usually higher than your food tab, you're not alone. That's why I love the happy hour here, when all wine, beer, and wine-based cocktails are half off from 3-6pm. That leaves plenty left to spend on their superb food (two words: grilled octopus).
"The expertly prepared fish at this Clarksville farm-to-table classic almost takes a backseat to the mango-habanero butter and accents like tomatillos and pepitas, not to mention the side of colorful summer vegetables.
"Chef Brandon Fuller has used Springdale’s tomatoes for the past four years because he likes that they're “allowed to ripen on the vine and are tremendously juicy.” In fact, along with Swift’s Attic, Café Josie has offered a tomato dinner at Springdale for the past three years.
"After a change in ownership in 2012, Café Josie's menu and interior were overhauled. The new menu has been modernized, and after quite a few meals there, I've been very impressed. Don't miss their brussels sprouts - they are currently my favorites in town.
"You can still smell mesquite smoke perfuming the air as you approach the small West Sixth Street restaurant on a cold winter evening. But the fire now is more Hill Country hearth and less Caribbean beachside blaze.
"The pumpkin soup special ($8) at one dinner was the best bowl of soupI've had this winter, toasted pepitas and scallions scattering crunch in a velvety soup sweetened with roasted orange juice and honey, with just a hint of heat from cayenne pepper. It's the kind of dish you want to order again as you write about it."
"Here’s an idea: Instead of Ubering across town to experience Austin’s Next Big Thing, stick close to home and dine at your favorite neighborhood joint, a gem in your own backyard like Café Josie. Ensconced in a quiet pocket of Clarksville, this West Austin eatery has been satisfying friends and neighbors for almost twenty years.
"Ground lamb is good for lots of things, including meatballs and especially burgers. Chef Brandon Fuller makes a lamb burger at Cafe Josie, 1200 W. Sixth, that is topped with feta cheese, roasted red peppers, horseradish mayonnaise and escarole. It’s on the fall lunch menu, but co-owner Cody Taylor shared the recipe if you were looking for a way to use up that pound of ground lamb in your freezer.
"One of Clarksville’s oldest restaurants, Josie knows New American food. Classic dishes like crispy Gulf oysters, pepita redfish and high-end steaks have stayed on the menu for years, and with good reason. The spot has also trained and turned out many a well-known Austin chef.
"Soon after opening in 1997, Cafe Josie became the place to go for adventurous tropical cuisine. Chef Charles Mayes, one of Austin's pioneers of world fusion cuisine, served a colorful, sun-drenched menu with an emphasis on char-grilled meats and seafood, which garnered the cozy Old West Austin eatery a loyal following for 15 happy years."
"The fried brussels sprouts, with their rum-soaked cherries, candied pecans, and rum-dijon glaze, seemed all but destined to succumb under that surfeit of finery, yet it only enhanced the little cabbages."