Fodor's Expert Review Bess Bistro
In the restored cellar of a 1918 brick building on the more sedate end of 6th is this casually chic boîte owned by actress Sandra Bullock (but if you come here to gawk at celebs, you'll likely leave disappointed). Bess has pivoted from its French-Cajun focus, with a new executive chef and updated modern American menu, including dishes like semolina-dusted fried artichokes and mushroom risotto balls. But previous staples like shrimp and grits, Bess beignets, and the "classic with a twist" cocktail list, remain. Bullock designed the interior, which suggests an early-20th-century artists' sanctum, with stunning pecan woodwork, exposed brick pillars—some half-clad in quilted red leather—and quiet booths tucked away in intimate alcoves. A Sunday brunch service offers buffet and à la carte selections.
500 W. 6th St.
Austin, Texas 78701, USA