Le Politique Austin is permanently closed
photo credit: Roger Ho
Le Politique Austin
Perhaps you’re familiar with the concept of avoiding people you know. Prime times for this activity include waiting in line for your first coffee of the day (pretending to be interested in your old neighbor’s dogs is so much easier after caffeine), or entering a building after conspicuously failing to parallel park in front of it. You’re just not at your best, and you’d rather not have witnesses.
Le Politique is not a restaurant you should approach with this mindset. This is the type of place where people go to see and be seen, so you’ll want to get a little dressed up and have enough caffeine in your system to make enthusiastic small talk with anyone you might run into. Luckily, it’s not just a scene - its food and service are more than worth putting in some effort.
This spot is holding down some important real estate in the center of all the Seaholm District’s new construction. It’s on the ground floor of a high rise, but you’ll barely notice that because the restaurant has so much of its own character. There’s a long raw bar where you can sit and watch the nonstop oyster-shucking action, plus big windows for those who prefer watching people to watching mollusks. The space is big, with thoughtful decoration choices throughout - the wallpaper, dishware, furniture, and even the matchbooks are very elegant.
The French food - from giant seafood towers to a mille crepe cake for dessert - is just as attractive as the setting. At brunch, you’ll find classic breakfast dishes with little twists (like Parisian ham on the benedict, and poached apples on the French toast). But dinner is where Le Politique really shines. There’s caviar (ranging from $50 to $195 per ounce), escargot, and a foie gras terrine. There are high-quality French cheeses and classic dishes like moules frites. The food delivers, as long as you’re in the mood for things that are rich and somewhat over-the-top. And even though this is an upscale spot, dinner here doesn’t have to be the most expensive meal you have all year - all the entrees are under $30. You don’t need to order the seafood towers and caviar every time, but going all out is part of the fun of coming here, and we endorse that approach.
So when you’re ready for a long, somewhat extravagant meal with friends who like to see and be seen, Le Politique is a great choice. Make a reservation, liberate a nice outfit from dry-cleaning-bag-purgatory in your closet, and bring your best self here - the one who didn’t spill that morning coffee, and for sure knows how to parallel park.
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Choose three, five, or seven French cheeses from the menu - they’re all good. And we love the sweet raisin toast that comes with the cheese boards here.
Creamy deviled eggs topped with smoked trout caviar. Be sure to order enough so that everyone gets at least one piece to themselves. There’s no sharing when it comes to deviled eggs.
The best way to guarantee being seen at Le Politique is to order this seafood tower. You have two size options (one for 2-3 people and one for 4-6), and you’ll get a solid sampling of lobster, shrimp, oysters, and their other seafood pals.
The broth that comes with these mussels doesn’t steal the show, and that’s a good thing - it highlights the mussels rather than drowning them. Dunk the fries in it.
A high-quality burger topped with cheese that’s good enough to be on the cheese plate, and a good deal for an entree at $16.
Mille Crepe Opera
A chocolate crepe cake with some brown sugar mocha ice cream on the side. This is more than just a pretty slice - it tastes great, too.