Nicest Restaurants in or near Waco

1,523 Views | 8 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by Robert Wilson
BigBeauregard
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I'm sure this has been discussed ad nauseum, but I don't see anything recent. What do you recommend for a great meal with a good atmosphere that is anniversary worthy?
Stranger
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BigBeauregard said:

I'm sure this has been discussed ad nauseum, but I don't see anything recent. What do you recommend for a great meal with a good atmosphere that is anniversary worthy?

Ridgewood Country Club
I'm a Bearbacker
bularry
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BigBeauregard said:

I'm sure this has been discussed ad nauseum, but I don't see anything recent. What do you recommend for a great meal with a good atmosphere that is anniversary worthy?

Can you drive to Austin or Dallas faster? I kid but if you want a real upscale type of experience (both food and service), my guess is you would need to leave Waco.

Not saying you can't eat well in Waco, I'm talking true fine dining, like a Jeffrey's in Austin, etc
forza orsi
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BigBeauregard said:

I'm sure this has been discussed ad nauseum, but I don't see anything recent. What do you recommend for a great meal with a good atmosphere that is anniversary worthy?
It's not on a par with the finest Houston/Dallas restaurants, but we really enjoy 135 Prime. Good food, good service, nice atmosphere, good wine list. The steaks are good, but most of the time we go with their seafood dishes, which are excellent.
Robert Wilson
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What kind of anniversary are we talking about here?

135 Prime
Diamondback's
1424
DiCampli's

Depending on what you want...

Baylor Club and Ridgewood are both ok if you have access, but I wouldn't go to either of them over any of the above.
Robert Wilson
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bularry said:

BigBeauregard said:

I'm sure this has been discussed ad nauseum, but I don't see anything recent. What do you recommend for a great meal with a good atmosphere that is anniversary worthy?

Can you drive to Austin or Dallas faster? I kid but if you want a real upscale type of experience (both food and service), my guess is you would need to leave Waco.

Not saying you can't eat well in Waco, I'm talking true fine dining, like a Jeffrey's in Austin, etc
I've eaten at Jeffrey's dozens of times. It's great. I wouldn't drive back and forth to Austin to eat there over 135 Prime just for a meal - that's just me based on hassle factor. Maybe if you're making an entire weekend out of it and staying somewhere nice. I like the old hotels - Driskill (great bar) or Stephen F (also a nice bar), but there are nicer new ones.
bularry
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I agree with you
RightRevBear
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These again are not on the same level as the higher end stuff in DFW or Austin, but they are solid places for a fine dining experience.

Waco:

  • 135 Prime is the best in Waco in my opinion. I had the best Chateaubriand I have ever tasted there one Valentine's Day.
  • Diamondback's is ok, but it has never really impressed me.
  • 1424 is way overrated. I have ate there four times, and I have never felt like I have gotten food or service at the level I was paying for.
  • I have never been to DiCampli's, so I can't rate it.

Temple area:

  • Cheeves Bros. Steakhouse is a solid choice. It has great service. It also has the atmosphere of a true fine dining restaurant. The food quality is good, but it is not as good as it used to be. It is hard for me to shell out the money for Cheeves, because while the food is good it used to be exceptional. Most people who go there now for the first time think that it is great. Most of the people who went there 10 years ago feel let down by the food.
  • Pignetti's is a great restaurant, but it isn't anniversary level in my book. It skirts the line of fine dining. It has good service, and really good food. I like the veal and the osso bucco, and it has a great wine selection. In order stay in business in a smaller market like Temple, it has taken its level of dining down a few notches in order to have enough steady clientele. It is a great date night place. It is not of the level of fining dining in Austin or even 135 Prime, but it is a solid restaurant for a nice meal.
  • Stagecoach Inn in Salado- Before I get roasted, it is under new ownership, and it has been renovated. I was told by a waiter shortly after its reno that it is now owned by the same people as the Driskel in Austin. I don't know if that is true or not, but it is believable. The food, atmosphere, and service are good. Like Pignetti's, it has to cater to its market. High quality, fine dining restaurants have struggled to make it in Salado due to market restrictions. I would again say this is a quality date night restaurant, but if you are looking for a true fine dining experience this place is a not at that level.

Robert Wilson
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I'd throw Olaf's in Clifton into the mix if you want a short country drive instead of a longer drive to a big city.

Got a new chef a few months ago.

Nice menu, neat setting in an historic building in the downtown stretch of Clifton full of art galleries and such.

The restaurant is in the back of such a building, behind a collection of antiques, etc. - some seating mixed into it.

Modern layout in the restaurant with a view out back of grain bins and the railroad running through.

Reasonably well appointed bar and wine list (I'm a whiskey drinker, so I stayed there, and the whiskey list is plenty good to keep you busy for a number of trips)

Nice menu - sorted our way through wagyu meatballs, shiner shrimp cocktail, crabcakes, then to a filet and grilled swordfish with a mango chutney

The owner and chef (who we coincidentally knew, but did not know she had started at Olaf's a few months ago) were both very attentive. The place was packed out by 7. Good to see.
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