Classic steakhouse with Italian twist sizzles into downtown Austin hotel
There’s a new steakhouse in town, and this one comes with an Italian twist. Dean’s Italian Steakhouse opened quietly earlier this month at the corner of Brazos and East Second streets in the JW Marriott-adjacent space formerly occupied by OP Italian (née Osteria Pronto).
Named for the late, renowned businessman and philanthropist Dean White, the restaurant celebrates White’s reverence for the simple yet exceptional things in life, from the very best cuts of steak to the finest Manhattan. White’s son, Bruce, is the founder of White Lodging, which owns and operates 12 hotels, 10 restaurants and five rooftop bars in Austin, including the J.W. Marriott. This concept honors the family’s innovative passion for deep-rooted hospitality, and the Austin location is the group’s second, with a sister restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Open for dinner from 5 to 10 pm on weeknights and 5 to 11 pm on weekends, Dean's is sure to become a happy hour hot spot thanks to its distinct open-air space with patio seating and weeknight specials from 5 to 6:30 pm. And while that timeframe can be a no-go for locals who don’t already work downtown, valet and discounted garage parking will ease the logistical pains for Austinites braving rush hour traffic.
Even without that parking relief, the menu would be worth the effort: Featuring local Texas and Japanese A5 Wagyu steaks, market-fresh seafood, a raw bar, and house-made pasta on one appetizing menu, the restaurant seems to have a little something for everyone, plus great happy hour deals to complement the hotel’s luxurious ambiance.
Executive chef Michael Eccles, who most recently served in the same role at Bob’s Steak and Chophouse, boasts more than 20 years of fine-dining experience, with a focus on executing the nuances of American steak. His menu is designed to evoke feelings of old, vintage, and classic steakhouses within a modern setting. Locally sourced, 100 percent Texas Wagyu from Rosewood Ranch in North Texas, along with Japanese A5 Wagyu, are paired with house-made pastas and fresh takes on timeless sides like the Billionaire’s Potato — a twice baked potato topped with shaved truffles.
The restaurant’s raw bar will be an added draw for seafood-lovers, featuring a rotating selection of East and West Coast oysters, classic shrimp cocktail, and Alaskan king crab. Elevated options include Kaluga and Osetra Caviar, and there are customizable and signature seafood tower options for the go-big-or-go-home fan of crustaceans and mollusks.
Other highlights include house-made pastas such as the short rib gnocchi; truffle bucatini; Wagyu Bolognese with burrata, basil and grilled fennel; and lobster rigatoni with vodka sauce.
With proteins and carbs covered in such fanfare, it’s only right that the wine and liquor list would be equally decadent and similarly exhaustive. "The Dean’s List" is the restaurant’s iconic collection of rare select wines and bourbon, chosen for rarity and historical significance and representing a best-in-class selection. Where the wine list specializes in old world and iconic California wines — including rare vintages and bold reds — the bourbons focus on American bourbons and ryes featuring single release and exclusive lineages. Dean’s also features Brush Creek Distillery products from the world-renowned, ultra-luxury resort, Brush Creek Ranch.
Apart from a great steak, vintage wines and rare bourbons pair best with a good view, which guests will find on the restaurant’s Veranda, an adjoining open-air space with patio seating and views of Austin’s Tau Ceti mural. Sporting an ivy-laced bar and a pared-down signature menu, drinks, the Veranda services walk-in guests and offers daily weekday happy hours from 5 to 6:30 pm, alongside its dedicated menu, served daily from 5 pm until close.
Reservations for Dean’s Italian Steakhouse are available now on OpenTable.