While boating on Lake Travis this Sunday, we decided to try out Cafe Bleu near Volente. Its entire restaurant is an open-air deck with teakwood tables and chairs, overlooking Travis in a spot for a perfect sunset dinner. At 6:30pm it was still brutally hot, but a later appointment would be lovely weather. The tanorexic Austin lake socialites didn't get seated in full sun as we were.
The meal was pricey by my standards--$12 shrimp and crab ceviche (but only enough to fill a martini glass and served with 10 chips. Really? 10 chips? I wonder what that works out to for cost per chip) and $10 calamari, but they were both excellent starters. In fact, my brother's gf had the sense to follow those apps with a simple side salad; Taste Tester and I went for a $25 entree of crab-stuffed shrimp with brown rice and creamed spinach. I wouldn't have paired creamed spinach with shrimp, but it was pretty delicious and rich, and we waddled out happy.
Our lazy/dirty boating clothes made it pretty obvious that we didn't qualify for the yachting club discount cocktail hour, which may partly account for the lousy service. But I have to say, those two appetizers made it worth the cost. The calamari batter was seasoned with red pepper flakes and plenty ground black pepper, spicy enough to make you keep diving back for more.
Overall I'd recommend Cafe Bleu highly--for a special occasion. Meanwhile I'll be trying to rip off their seasonings and ceviche sauce for my own evil purposes.