Yesterday was my wife's birthday (her first since we got married), so I wanted to take her somewhere both special and different for dinner. I googled for [romantic restaurants austin] and found a number of sites listing what they thought were the most romantic restaurants in town. More than one of these sites listed The Emerald Restaurant. Wait a minute, I thought. Isn't that the Irish restaurant on 71 just west of 620? We pass that place whenever we drive to my sister-in-laws house and always wondered what it was like. It turns out that it's a rather high end restaurant. I placed a reservation for last night, and let it be a surprise for Shea. We drove up at our reservation time. The Emerald Restaurant is a replica thatched cottage that really sets an old world atmosphere. It's quaint, but nice.