5406 Balcones Dr.
Austin, Texas, 78731
P: (512) 454-2666 F: (512) 583-0281
Concept: Founded in 1989, an American Bistro serving classic bistro fare with a Central Texas slant highlighting seasonal, local products. An Austin dining institution known for both its diverse menu and art-filled, warm atmosphere complete with music from the signature red piano Thursdays through Sundays.
Owner: Sharon Watkins
Seating: Seating for 140 in main dining room
Gallery Private Dining Room: Located in a separate building adjacent to the restaurant, the Gallery holds up to 100 people seated and up to 150 people for cocktail/reception style. The gallery is perfect for rehearsal dinners, presentations, award ceremonies, parties etc. The Gallery is complete with its own P.A. music system and piano.
Crescent Room: Located inside the restaurant and enclosed by either room dividers or curtains, can accommodate up to 50 people.
South Side Dining Room: Located inside the restaurant and enclosed by either room dividers or curtains, can accommodate up to 35 people.
Reservations: Online at https://www.chez-zee.com/ or by calling (512) 454-2666. Carryout available for lunch and dinner.
Credit cards: Accepts all major credit cards
Parking: Parking lot on premises
Located just minutes from downtown Austin on Balcones Drive, Chez Zee American Bistro has been an Austin favorite since its opening in 1989. The restaurant is owned and operated by original founder and owner, Sharon Watkins, an active and respected community leader. Chez Zee serves a wide range of American fare with southern regional influences and plenty of locally sourced ingredients. The bistro is also highly acclaimed for its sumptuous weekend brunch and desserts.
From inside to out, Chez Zee is warm and inviting with an original vibe that reflects both its art-loving owner and the creative city in which it exists. Upon arrival, an arched walkway of lights leading to the restaurant’s patio invites patrons to sit and play board games such as Connect Four. The revelry continues into the winter when heaters are placed outside.
Strands of white Christmas lights (a trademark touch year round) are hung throughout the dining rooms, along with an assortment of creative installations. Chez Zee’s support for local artists is evident from the rotating exhibits of photography and/or artwork on every wall. A red piano resides in the middle of the restaurant’s main dining room providing live music Thursdays through Sundays.
From intimate dining groups to receptions of up to 120 in the Gallery Private Dining Room, Chez Zee is a favorite spot for private functions. The Gallery, which showcases work from local artists, is located in a separate building, across the courtyard and adjacent to the restaurant.
Chez Zee’s diverse menu offers something for everyone. Popular dishes include their locally-sourced prime rib served with a loaded baked potato and grilled asparagus (served on Friday and Saturday’s nights only) and their New Orleans Crunchy Pecan Chicken, hand-breaded with chopped pecans and served with wild rice pilaf and fresh sautéed vegetables. Crabmeat quesadillas, Chicken Gorgonzola Pizza, Aztec Corn and Shrimp Bisque and a Center Cut Filet Mignon wrapped in bacon are just a sampling of Chez Zee favorites. The menu also offers a wide range of pastas, salads and grilled items.
A trip to Chez Zee is not complete without dessert. The restaurant receives rave reviews for bakery items such as the Lemon Rosemary Cake, Coco Leches Cake and Maida’s Cake, a flourless chocolate cake filled with sweet vanilla cream and frosted with mocha mousse, among others. In addition to the generous selection of cakes and pies, Chez Zee creates weekly dessert specials.
Crème Brule French Toast, the multiple award-winning signature dish, is served at brunch in appetizer or entrée portions, as well as having a permanent spot on the dessert menu. Because of its popularity, the French toast is also available for overnight shipping, vacuum packed and shipped with Vermont maple syrup.
Chez Zee is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday, beginning at 11am. Weekend brunch is served at 9am and lasts through the late afternoon. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 3:30pm until 6:30pm, and the restaurant is open for late-night dining until 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights.