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The Perfect Date Night: Bureau De Poste in Austin, Texas

Is there a perfect date night restaurant in Austin?

My specifications include:

a) a cozy, welcoming establishment with good lighting

b) a straightforward menu where two diners can enjoy the elegant culinary progression of an ambitious yet flawlessly executed three course meal, and

c) cost between $50-75 per person.

Last week, I may have found just the place - although the word has been out on Bureau De Poste ever since its splashy opening in October 2023.

Bureau de Poste's logo is painted onto a white brick wall at the outdoor front of the restaurant in Austin, Texas
Outdoor Entryway to Bureau de Poste

Anytime a restaurant opens up to frenzied fanfare - including Texas Monthly magazine's accolades as the top new foodie spot in Austin - I feel compelled to make a pilgrimage.

Popular local destinations like Pasta|Bar and Sammie's Italian underwhelmed me, but after reading all of the glowing reviews about Bureau De Poste, I felt confident that this time I would not be disappointed.

Located at the old 43rd and Speedway Post Office in the quaintly residential Austin neighborhood of Hyde Park, Bureau De Poste is a new concept from chef Jo Chan and grocer Steph Steele offering "French classics with a modern twist."



Intrigued and on a mission, I made my 730pm Thursday reservation on OpenTable a week in advance (opening hours are everyday from 5pm - 10pm and for brunch from 10am - 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays).

Parking is free in their reasonably-sized parking lot, which is a very big deal in Austin.

As I walked in the front door, I was surprised by how small the restaurant is on the inside.

Seven four-top tables are the only indoor seating except for the welcoming bar seats at the counter.

My initial reaction was that the atmosphere reminded me of an upscale and modern version of an old-timey pharmacy/soda fountain.

Plentiful seating also exists in their romantic outdoor garden courtyard (which in the summer may not be an option for you, even with Bureau de Poste's extensive mist sprayers ).

Our table thankfully was indoors, yet I enjoyed looking out the large glass windows onto the lush Hyde Park greenery.

Service was a bit slow and uneven, especially for what seemed to be slow night once the crowd thinned out around 8:00pm.

For instance, we never received a new fork in between the appetizer and entree courses, and we barely interacted with the same waiter twice.

That being said, our meal was served promptly once we had ordered, and the staff was friendly.

As I perused the menu, I was pleasantly surprised with the pricing of the dishes - with appetizers under $20 and entrees in the $25-35 range, except for the steak frites, which cost $55.

Every glowing article I read included pictures of the Pomme Dauphine ($18), which is a potato croquette paired with crème fraîche, smoked trout roe and fine herbs, so my friend and I ordered this as our sole appetizer.

Four French potato fritters sit on a plate topped with creme fraiche and salmon roe
Pomme Dauphine

Immediately upon biting into the warm, crispy outside and the soft gooey inside, your taste buds are warmed by a smoky, ham-flavored filling.

The dual dichotomy of the ingredients and their presentation was poetic: Salmon roe and crème fraiche are aristocratic ingredients whereas the humble potato and roux provide the foundation for the dish.

From a temperature perspective, the roe and crème were refreshingly cold, a quintessential complement to the warmth of the potato underneath.

The gastronomic result is a not-to-miss delicacy, even at a price of $18 for four small bites.

For our main course, we decided to split the 14 oz. Steak Frites ($55), always a go to item at a French bistro.

14 oz boneless ribeye*, fries & your choice of: au poivre, sauce verte, or maître d’hotel butter
Steak Frites

While the fries were nothing special, the mayonnaise dipping sauce was divine.

In fact, the four accompanying sauces were all delicious.

From the mayo dipping sauce for the fries to the hotel butter to the stellar au poivre and finally to the chimichurri-like salsify, each added their own unique vibe to the perfectly cooked ribeye steak.

four sauces - mayo, butter, au poivre and chimichurri are presented
Four Dipping Sauces for the Steak Frites

By the end, I decided that mixing all four sauces was the way to go.


Bureau de Poste had nailed the appetizer and entree courses with only dessert to go.

I wondered - would Bureau De Poste deliver a perfect ending and thus earn my respect as a top date night spot in town?

I let my friend to make the choice between the three desserts on offer - Crème Brûlée ($10), Caramel Dark Chocolate Mousse ($10) or Clafoutis ($12).

hazelnut crumble, chantilly cream
Caramel Dark Chocolate Mousse

He decided on the Mousse with its hazelnut crumble and chantilly cream (having just returned from France a mere matter of days where he actually visited Château de Chantilly, undoubtedly influenced his decision).

While I would have appreciated strawberries or raspberries to give the chocolate a citrus punch, the chocolate and cream were a divine duo of sweetness.

Overall, Bureau de Poste's culinary style was consistent - if not a tour de France, it certainly covered the well-trodden ground of familiar French favorites.

Please note that Bureau De Poste also offers its Specials of the Day Sunday through Wednesday. For instance, Tuesday's special is a lobster frites dish that I bet is scrumptious.

Next time I would want to come with more people and order more food - perhaps the Bureau de Poste Moules et Frites ($21) entree - mussels served with tomatoes, fennel, bell pepper, white wine, parsley and fries and also Haricot Vert ($10) as a side. The Escargot ($15) also looked intriguing as I eyed it on the table next to ours.

And oh yes, there will be a next time.


After dinner, we visited the Tiny Grocer located inside the restaurant.

Tiny Grocer calls itself "a small, local, organic food market with a purpose," and its staples run the gamut from wine and cigarettes to Swedish Hill baguettes for $5 a piece.

Besides high end gourmand and other convenience-type items, Tony Grocer's pièce de résistance is a deli counter stocked with chicken curry and shrimp salads, pate and desserts.

I get the feeling they get a lot of Hyde Park residents there as customers, which I applaud.

My friend and I then walked next door to First Light Books, which had a crowd of people both inside and outside on a deliciously cool June evening.

If you desire a post-prandial cup of coffee or to continue that lovely conversation until it is time to go home, this is the ideal spot.

Overall, between the meal and the shopping afterward, I would rate Bureau de Poste as a must visit for a date night soon.

To read my other restaurant reviews, check out the Travel and Wanderlust section of this website.

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