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Bess Bistro On Pecan

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(87 Reviews)

500 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

(512) 477-2377

Today: 4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Tomorrow: 4:30 pm - 11:00 pm
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General Info
BESS Bistro on Pecan is a restaurant located in a vintage building and features iron railings, antique artwork and mirrors, and brick columns and arches. It offers lunch, dinner and brunch options to guests. The restaurant s lunch menu includes caprese Panini, smoked turkey, grilled cheese sandwich, tuna tartare, chicken roast, crab cakes and steak frites. BESS Bistro on Pecan also serves herb salad, tuna tartare, croque monsieur, chicken potpie, beef tenderloin and smoked bacon mussels. In addition, the restaurant serves a selection of wines, beers and liquors. BESS Bistro on Pecan offers macaroni, pork loin, cheese gratin and fried green tomatoes.
Regular Hours
Mon - Thu:
Fri - Sat:
Payment method
amex, discover, master card, visa
Price Range
Downtown Austin
American Restaurants, Bars, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch Restaurants, French Restaurants, Restaurants
Other Information

Cuisines: American, French, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch, European, Continental

Good For Groups: Yes


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Nancy Hoffman


Provided by Citysearch - 
Bess is less..than I thought it would be.

I dined with my family at Bess last night in celebration of Mother's Day. We had a reservation for 7 pm. In spite of the holiday -- for which Bess should have been prepared -- and the early hour, the restaurant was already out of several of the popular entrees and desserts. Worse, the two much touted dishes I ordered -- fried green tomatoes and macaroni and cheese -- were inadequate and/or uneatable. The tomatoes had no sauce to counteract their dryness and the macaroni was so salty that I couldn't eat it. The over-salting, according to other family members, characterized their dishes as well.
The noise, even that early, reached the I can't hear what you're saying level. I can only praise the valet parking and won't be going back.

Andrea D S


Provided by Citysearch - 
Wish it had worked out better...

I've eaten at Bess several times -- each time we are impressed by the creativity of the food. The space is a bit cramped (your back will, undoubtedly, be against someone else during their peaks in service). That aside, I asked that a party be held there for an upcoming event. We are all professionals; I'm in my 30s. This was supposed to be an elegant night out with friends to celebrate my upcoming wedding.

First we had a reservation. Then, they lost it. (Their event coordinator, Natalie, actually accused us of ""lying"" about having made a reservation in the first place! Why would we do that?! And, who actually accuses customers of such things prior to some adult problem-solving? Perhaps its the teacher in me -- but I felt the whole thing was extremely childish!) Then, they said they could work it out with a base fee guarantee ($$) attached for the party. We thought it seemed quite high, but still were willing to make it we're two days away from the event and, again, it looks like we will won't be holding our celebration at Bess due to changes made to our agreement by Natalie. We worked on this reservation for a week...

I think we're fine moving else where. I'm breathing a sigh of relief really -- I thought this would be a great idea...I feel bad I drug my friends through all the trouble. Truth be told, I'm disappointed that such a bad taste will be left with all my guests who I was, originally, so excited to share this venue with.

So, this is what I'll say: Bess Bistro is great for 1-4 guests on an off night. If you don't mind getting cozy with the stranger next to you - weekend evenings will still offer up creative and exciting food. Looking to book a special event? Skip it. Me? Unfortunately, I'm removing this venue from spots I frequent.



Provided by Citysearch - 

My friends, family, and I had a terrible experience at Little Woodrows on 6th. They take forever to take your order and to bring you beers. It is smoky and dirty. And this isn't the worst of it. Our main complaint is that the manager was very rude to several people. They do not care about customer service here.

I recommend you try other beer bars with a warm, inviting atmosphere and staff. Try: The Gingerman, Opal Divine, or the Tavern. These places are phenomenal!

D Plouffe


Provided by Citysearch - 
A Precious Gem in the heart of Austin!

My husband and I went to Bess Bistro for the first time last evening. We have lived in the Austin area for 6 years now and my only regret is that we did not discover this most charming establishment sooner. The atmosphere is as warm and cozy as it gets with an eclectic mix of wood, stone, gas lanterns and chandeliers. Each member of the staff was kind and attentive from the hostess to the waiter and to even the chef who personally came out to our table to make sure everything was just perfect! I had the STEAK FRITES and being that I am watching my waistline, I asked if they would substitute the fries for asparagus which they did without hesitation. The glaze on the ever so tender steak was out of this world with a hint of bleu cheese and mushrooms. My husband had the SHEPHERD'S PIE which he described as EXCELLENT, 2 THUMBS UP, very tasty and just the right amount of food. For desert my husband ordered the CHICORY BROWNIE, described on the menu as: ""Chicory coffee infused fudge brownie with spiced pecan and bourbon ice cream with bittersweet chocolate sauce."" Waistline or not, I had to have a bite, nay I say two!! It was an OMG moment for me! I must say, I didn't want to leave! And to top this all off, we didn't have to break the bank for this fabulous evening. It's my new favorite place and I am counting down the days till we get to go back. In my opinion, this is as good as it gets! A hearty ""WELL DONE"" to all at Bess Bistro!! We'll see you soon!!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Comfort food never tasted so good!

My heart may not be too healthy after my open faced egg sandwich but my lips and tongue were singing praises! What an amazing and cozy little place and thanks to Sandy Bullock and her family for passing down such delectable dishes. You must try the madame with a kir royale! MMMMM delish

court atx


Provided by Citysearch - 
Yummy food, but that's about it.

I went to Bess Bistro on Friday for an earlyish dinner. After reading a bunch of good and a bunch of very bad reviews, I wasn't sure what to expect, it sounds like the place is extremely hit-or-miss.

Well, when we got there (there were just two in our party), the two hostesses were a little condescending when they learned that we didn't have a reservation, but said we might sit at any of the tables in the bistro area, on the patio or in the bar. The dining room looked then, and for our entire meal, much more than half empty. We probably arrived at 6:45, and after waiting tables for a few years, I know the dinner rush in the summer doesn't start until at least 8 pm, so I was a little surprised that they didn't seat us in the dining room, but it didn't really matter. The patio is on the west side of the building, so is definitely not the best option in the Texas afternoon heat. We sat in the bistro. They took our drink orders and brought us bread promptly, which was no surprise since the place was empty. I ordered a salad to start with (herb salad or something? The one that claims it comes with seasonal berries), and my friend ordered a tomato-apricot (I think) starter that she said was very good. The greens and the salad dressing were fine, but that was about all there was to it. I expected berries (cranberries maybe) to be mixed into the salad, but there were just a few slices of strawberry, a few walnuts, and a stingy sprinkling of cheese. It was honestly 95% greens. Oh well. For the main entree, I ordered the roasted chicken, and it was delicious. The portion was large, I think it was fully half a bird - I took home the entire wing, so no complaint there. I also ordered the vodka iced tea arnold palmer drink; it tasted good, but seemed about a dollar overpriced for what it was (the vodka is only about half as strong as regular vodka).

Also, this was sort of weird: we sat in the bistro (basically extra tables in the entrance), right below the air conditioner, and there was condensation built up *directly* over the seats opposite the wall, and it was dripping onto my dinner companion. She mentioned it to the hostess/waitress, who basically shrugged, but then claimed that they wiped it off constantly throughout the evening (which she didn't even once).

The valet was very friendly, though!

It might be worth going once out of curiosity, and the food was pretty good, but I felt like the staff was a bit judgmental (did they recruit non-Austinites or something?), and a little snooty for what the place actually is. I give it a B-.



Provided by Citysearch - 
A very so-so place

I went with my girlfriends for a late lunch. I ordered the lunch special, which was some sort of grilled fish, a portion of Tuna tartare, and a side of brussel sprouts. I am not joking when I say this... the side of brussel sprouts was TWO (yes, 2) brussel sprouts cut in half. That's right... 4 brussel sprout halves. The portions of fish were very small, but that did not disappoint me as much as the 2 brussel sprouts. What an insult. No self-respecting Southerner would call that a serving of vegetables!

The saving grace was that the waitress was very nice and attentive. Maybe it was because we chose to hit this restaurant at a slow time... I don't know.

Anyway, I would probably not visit Bess again.



Provided by Citysearch - 
I Didn’t Order Health damage!

Bess Bistro Austin, TX
I Didn’t Order Health Damage!
Bess Bistro gave us f00d p-0-i-s-0-n-i-n-g. My wife had a seafood dish that was recommended by the waitress and was up all night throwing up.
We call the restaurant the next day and Donnie insulted us by tell us (one PhD and two degrees in Chemistry / Biology) that it is impossible to have this in less than 24 hrs after you have eat. Sorry Donnie, I do not believe you came up with this on your own but your source is wrong. If we insisted we call speak to Mizael Saucedo, chef and general manager of Bess Bistro but that took three days of phone tag. When we spoke the Mizael and explained everything he thought is would be difficult to be sick from the seafood since it is delivered fresh every Saturday. This explains everything, we ate there on Friday night! He was apologetic and offer to mail us something for compensation but never did. We called back two weeks later and told him that we never received anything and he claimed he sent a $50 gift certificate. I explain nothing was received so he swore that he would send another one himself the next morning for $50 and if the other $50 showed up we could keep both of them for all of the pain, suffering and frustration that Bess Bistro has caused. Over a week later still no sign of anything. These people have a nice spot in a nice building but do not have the ability to operate a business or be permitted to p-0-i-s-0-n the public.
Thomas | Apr 28, 2009



Provided by Citysearch - 
Incredible food and atmosphere!

Wow. This place was incredible! West 6th street, super swanky. The place has a great upscale but down to earth vibe. My friends and I went there Valentine's night and all the tables were booked but we walked in hoping for luck and, what do you know, we sat immediately at the bar and got served! Even better than sitting at a table! Our bartender/waitress Summer was awesome. Knowledgeable, super sweet. I began by sharing the cheese plate which came with wine soaked goat cheese, two types of blue cheese, manchego, and brie, crackers, grapes and prosciutto wrapped almond stuffed dates (oh my god!). It was an incredible beginning to the evening. Superseded only by our main entree: Steak Frites. The tenderloin was cooked medium, it was absolute perfection. The fries were thin cut, not greasy at all. It all came with a demi-glace which we poured over the fries... we were basically licking the plate. I cannot even put into words here how incredible everything was. The service, the ambiance, the food, the quality. The food was absolutely incredible. Flavorful... just perfection. I would without a doubt recommend this place and go back here in a heartbeat to try their other dishes.

Cocktails: Made with real fruit? What an idea! (I didn't drink all these myself!)
# Vespa - Kind of sweet and mellow, really nice. Made with pear vodka, gin, peach juice...
# Lagniappe - Needed to add a bit more raspberry puree to it because it was too strong for my tastes, but then it was delicious. At the bottom of my glass were all my crushed raspberries! Yum yum! Made with raspberries, lime, basil... vodka? or gin I think?
# Rockstar Martini
# Redlight Martini - Think this was the one which was just pomegranate juice and vodka, it was surprisingly delicious, the best cocktail of the night!
# Something with mango? Literally had mango puree coming up the straw, which was awesome, but it was made with bourbon, which I don't like.



Provided by Citysearch - 
go, go, go -you will not regret it.

They do not serve chicken fried steak at Bess....Thank God.

In a word my meal was ""YUMMY"". My husband and I had a most excellent meal last night at Bess. We called ahead and learned they had availability so we headed downtown for a romantic dinner. Our server Micheal was knowledgeable, personable,and made our dining experience beyond expectation. The background music was groovy and and really complimented the cozy atmosphere- it was nice to be able to hear the music instead of the typical silence at other local joints. I am 90% vegetarian-only eat meat 10% of the when I do eat meat I have high expectations. Ordered the $32.00 steak on a duck pate cosini (sp?) topped with mushrooms and I think a red reduction sauce- whatever -it was amazingly tasty- with a side of asparagus- again yummy. I am not a food snob but I am a wine snob - ordered the Argentina Malbec..that's right... I ordered a second glass. My husband chose the steak frits commenting - it was one of the best steaks in Austin. Both steaks arrived as we ordered and did not arrive over cooked. He let me taste his salad-walnut ,blueberry, herbs, field greens...smackalious!!!! I offered to let him taste my steak but he declined and I was glad- yes, it will make the generous into non sharers. It's that good.

It wasn't my first time - but I hadn't eaten at Bess since they opened, had a couple glasses of wine at the bar maybe a year ago. The bar is fun, the staff great (looked real hard for snobs but couldn't find any), the food is 1000% better than when they first opened-

Oh, on portion size...your doctor will love the portions....if you need more food then what's served at this bistro you might have other issues(Hint: starts with G and is one of the seven deadly sins). However, the local Real Ale beer does come in a big portion- A nice big cold pint got it....yum.

So Micheal, if your reading this ""thanks man"" for your awesomeness-consider us your new regulars .



Provided by Citysearch - 




Provided by Citysearch - 
Best Coffee, Cute resturant, inconsistant food = Disappointed...

The first time we went to Bess it was fantastic! The second time was kind of a disappointment. The coffee is always spot on good though. My husband and I both ordered the larger brunch that comes with pancakes. The first time he got it was FABULOUS! and he ate every last bite....This last time was terrible. We ordered fries instead of grits. Everything just seemed overly salted, the fries, the bacon, the assuage wasn't smoked like last time. Even the pancakes were half the size as before, both of us didn't even bother trying to finish it off. I really wish it would have been better, I doubt we'll come here a third time...unless I just want a cup o joe.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Lazy Service and overpriced food

Horrible experience, waitress was rude and the food was really not that good. Way overpriced vs. quality, I would try Z-Tejas or Ranch 616, they are much better than this tiny place.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great service, comfort food, and atmosphere!

I had read so many differing reviews on Bess Bistro that I did not know what to expect. I live in New York City, but was in Texas visiting, so we made a special trip to Austin to go to Bess.

I was not disappointed. I really loved the decor, and the attention to detail. It was very comforting and soothing. I rarely go to a restaurant where I really love the bathrooms, but I would not mind having a bathroom that looks like that myself. I got to check out the aromas of the Bessence candles, of which there was one in the bathroom as well. The bathroom actually smelled great. I did not purchase them at this time but plan to down the road.

I also liked the fact that the tables had been designed from repurposed materials. There was also a lovely fish tank with some pretty, colorful fish.

The restaurant was not crowded as we were there on a Saturday afternoon during a holiday weekend. The service was friendly and impeccable. I ordered the semolina crusted artichoke hearts with the fried spinach and that was really good, plus the dipping sauce was excellent. I had never had spinach like that before and it was creative as well as rich in flavor. I also had the cobb salad and it was tasty, plus a very generous portion.

For dessert, I had the Tres Leches cake which I felt they did a good job with. I had coffee to drink and the coffee was a rich, dark blend that really tasted good, and my cup was kept full the whole time. The water glasses were as well and the filtered water really makes a difference in the taste.

For all of that food, my bill was well under $30 minus the tip, and we ordered from the dinner menu, so I would have to say it was not overpriced for the quality and the amounts of food we were served.

For me, Bess Bistro was all that I hoped it would be, and as far as the atmosphere and decor, a little bit more. I recommend giving it a chance with an open mind.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great food, wonderful service and nice ambience

We recently dined at Bess and had a great experience. I was a little skeptical after reading reviews but it seems like the staff at Bess have really stepped up their game. The service was impeccable - our hostess was courteous, our server couldn't have been more friendly and attentive and our drinks were always full. The food was fabulous as well. I started with the herb salad, which was okay. It was a little too herby for my taste but it stil had a nice flavor. I ordered the shepherd's pie and my husband got the lambchops with mac and cheese. The shepherd's pie was very flavorful and my husband really enjoyed the lambchops. My favorite, however, was the mac and cheese. It was a-mazing! We got bread pudding for dessert, which was also heavenly. We will definitely be coming back to Bess!



Provided by Citysearch - 
When they say 21 and over they mean it! Rude.

My husband and I were not aware of the 21+ policy when we wandered through the doors at lunchtime with our little ones in tow. The place was empty. The hostess looked at us with a panicky, confused look, but we didn't know why until a guy, maybe a bartender?, practically RAN over and told us, a little more forcefully than necessary, `Kids aren't allowed. You have to be 21 or over.' We headed for the door and he *repeated* this. I felt like we were practically being thrown out, felt like we had done something offensive. I understand, no kids, but maybe be nice about it? smile rather than bark? On a night when we have a sitter for the kids, you can bet I won't be spending my money here.



Provided by Citysearch - 
We love this place

My wife and I go to Bess about once or twice a month since it has opened and have never been disppointed. Through going there so often we have made some friends with the staff and it irriatates me the way some of these reviews are written. I think some people need to let go of the fact that the restaurant is owned by a celeb and just judge it on the food. Most of the reviews I read say they didn't like the food, but mention nothing about it and just trash the fact that this ""bistro"" not ""fine dining"" establishment is owned by someone who is in the movies. The food is great and there is not a bit of pretention to it. Just try the mussels or the sweetbreads for an app! They had just changed the menu the last time we went and we were blown away, not many places in this town are doing skate, sweetbreads, and game hen (which i had and was amazing), that are affordable and good. Don't worry Bess, we will keep coming back!



Provided by Citysearch - 
AVOID THIS PLACE AT ALL COSTS--Terrible food for the money and SUBPAR service---read below

I am a fourth generation Austinite who has frequented many fine dining estabilishments in the city of Austin. I am not easily star-struck & especially after having dined at this so-called-fine-dining establishment I am in the least impressed by by Sandra Bullock & her chosen staff & cuisine of this restaurant. Save your money & time please. I have never been so insulted about making a reservation for a dinner party. We had made a dinner reservation 3 weeks in advance for a party of 15 guaranteeing that we would be there & the young woman taking down the reservation created an unncecessary sense of alarm regarding being on time for the reservation, unless it would be given away promptly. On the day of the dinner party we were harassed with repeated phone calls assuring that we would be there promptly at 615pm otherwise the table would be given away promptly. The recipient of the call happened to be pregnant at the time & caused her undue stress. We frantically called everyone to make sure she arrived on or before 615pm only to find upon arrival that the restaurant was empty with a sheer paucity of patrons. At the door we were ""greeted"" by a valet steward who was preoccupied with a phone call involving his subsequent activities later in the night which one might refer to bluntly as his ""booty call"". Furthermore, we were criticized & patronized negatively by our very rude waitress who subsequently & wrongly overcharged us & then proceeded to insult & curse at us for her apparent mistake. After speaking with the management it was obvious to me that there was no remorse for the actions of all working in the restaurant nor any recourse for making amends regarding the suboptimal experience. Might I mention that all present are distinguished professionals worth millions with a great deal of influence. I have written a letter to this establishment reminding them of such & that every effort would be made to ensure than none attend this establishment.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Bad Food, Poor Service

I wasn't fond of this place before because I thought the food was overpriced, but we recently returned with some friends because they wanted to try Bess for the first time. Unfortunately our experience was even worse then the previous time. The service was poor at best. When we walked down the stairs and sat at the bar, the place smelled like a college bar and not like an upper end bistro. They served my wife a glass of wine that tasted horrible and unlike most restaurants, they didn't replace the glass with an alternative drink and then charged us for it. Things continued to get worse from there. Our entres came out, but the waiter forgot to order our side dishes. When we asked about them he said they would be right out, but we were finished with our meals before they made it to our table. He then proceeded to charge us for them. To make things worse the food was horrible. We ordered the pork (Which was their specialty) and it was way too salty. When we finally got our tab the price for such poor service and even worse food made my stomach turn. I will never go there again and based on the limited number of people at the tables, I think Austin is figuring out that this place just doesn't cut it!!



Provided by Citysearch - 

The appetizer and dessert were amazing, but I was underwhelmed by the main course ...I am not sure f this was because of the phenomenal mussels that I had as an appetizer, but the shepherd's pie that I had afterward was very blah...However the coffee flavored creme brulee for dessert was wonderful! Also the decor was beautiful and the waitstaff was beyond brilliant!!! I highly recommend this place!!!!