Cover 3 Austin

Finally a restaurant that will hopefully survive this space! Though there seems to be a bit of an identity crisis, it’s a nice addition to the Anderson Lane Restaurant Row. The half-baked, self-promoted as an upscale sports bar concept needs some tweaking. This is more of an inviting, contemporary new American food restaurant that happens to have 15 unobtrusive and muted 52” flat-panel TVs on the wall. Although technically a sports bar, the images of pitcher slamming and wing mastication won’t be observed here. Ignoring the humdrum beer selection, think “Mr. Howell’s Sports Bar” if he never shipwrecked. The TVs are on mute and most are at distantly odd angles from wherever you happen to be sitting.

Endless button-up shirts and polos abound for business lunches, most-likely pulling from Houston’s wait down the street. The Anderson/Burnet neighborhood has undergone such transformation that Cover 3 can scratch an itch that previously needed the Domain or downtown.

Contemporary, orderly, and somewhat cozy, the leather booths, exposed brick walls, granite table tops in the bar area and on the patio seem out of place for the shopping center and sports bar aspect, but this ain’t your grandpa’s North Central Austin. Although, it’s a fairly large space, you don’t feel it. There is still upscale neighborhood warmth. Upstairs in the loft, you feel like you are in a skybox, with red leather couches and chairs, able to watch what’s happening below in the main room or be private.

The white queso style, as opposed to melted/shredded cheese, wasn’t our favorite, but it’s likeable. There’s a pretty serious steak knife in case your dinner companion gives you any lip. The Pacific ahi tuna burger just ended up being a waste of fine tuna, with the flavor of the fish drowned beneath the rest of the sandwich, which was accompanied by an unremarkable Parmesan-dusted shoestring fries. You won’t have any room for any of their desserts, but we urge you to not let that stop you from trying. Journey around Austin for a straight-forward “brownie thing” and you’ll find bla-dom. This one is worth the warm toothsink.

I ate about 40% of my tuna burger and picked at the remaining raw scabs. The waitress didn’t ask if everything was alright, her only downfall. The staff seems like they’ve worked at better establishments for the Austin scene. Enthusiastic and excited to serve.

There’s a great daily happy hour. Cobra Taps that deliver beer and some spirits at a degree above freezing, so quite cold, which may clinch the thirst for a light lager, but kills the weighty side of brew.

The idea is definitely there, it just needs a little tweaking. We have a strong feeling that Cover 3 will find it’s place and this may be opening week jitters (though it’s not the opening week). Nights get busy in the bar area. It’s a great place to happy the hour after work with drinks and appetizers.

Cover 3 Restaurant - Austin

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~ by GoodTasteReport on May 8, 2009.

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