The Grove Wine Bar & Kitchen
The Grove Wine Bar & Kitchen3001 RR 620 S., Lakeway, 512/263-2366
Sun.-Thu., 11am-10pm; Fri.-Sat., 11am-11pm
It was inevitable. After several years of success with the Grove in West Lake Hills, partners Reed Clemons, Beth Selbe Lasita, and Matt Berendt turned their attention to another posh part of town and decided that a classy wine bar and restaurant with inventive cuisine was just what the residents of the Bee Cave/Lakeway area needed. Having this team take over the lovely hilltop location bodes well. I can attest that everywhere Berendt works, a fascinating wine program suddenly appears, such as his series of wine flights here. My favorite is the sparkling wine flight ($12) which includes La Marca Prosecco from Veneto, Gérard Bertrand's Crémant de Limoux from Languedoc, and J Vineyards' Brut Rosé from Sonoma County. The revelation of the meal was the Crémant de Limoux, which is mostly Chardonnay and a steal at $7 a glass, $29 for a bottle, or $21.75 for a bottle to go.
The foods were uniformly top notch. The Caprese salad ($11) was a nice surprise, with tomatoes just the right size and tasty as a backyard garden version. The Sweet Sourdough Sliders ($11) are made with crispy fried chicken, spicy aioli, and topped with an incredible slice of horseradish pickle – pickle lovers will go nuts over these sliders. The red and gold beet salad ($12) starts with a large order of roasted beets, then adds arugula, apple, goat cheese, and walnuts, all heaped high and dressed with a citrus vinaigrette. My favorite dish was the Asian Crisp Salad ($8.50, or $13.50 with hoisin tofu) with a blend of cabbages, mixed greens, carrots, bell peppers, wonton crisps, shaved onions, cilantro, and crushed cashews, all in powerful sesame-ginger vinaigrette. For the economically minded, this salad and a glass of Bertrand's Crémant de Limoux would be a magnificent $20 dinner. We ended with the Popeye and Olive Oil Pizza ($12.50/medium, $15.50/large) with fresh spinach, roasted peppers, crumbled bacon, a deliciously rich goat cheese, and fresh mozzarella. The crust was ideally textured, and the spinach added a lovely earthiness. It looks like the Grove team has another winner on their hands.