Hill Country Pasta House

Lakeside Dining 2000: Many Restaurants, Not Much Water

Hill Country Pasta House

3519 RR 620 N., 266-9445

Lunch, Mon-Fri, 11am-3pm; Dinner, Sun-Thu, 4:30-9:30pm, Fri-Sat,

3:30-10:30pm; Sun brunch, 11am-2pm

Located on the landlocked side of 620, the Hill Country Pasta House has steadfastly weathered the changing personality of the Lake Travis area as it has grown from a sleepy recreational community to a busy suburb. This cute checkered restaurant has been serving freshly prepared Italian-style cuisine to lake-dwellers for nine years. Their home-baked rolls, focaccia, and wood-oven pizzas have made a name for themselves among the neighborhood folks. Caution, though, to Lake Travis day-trippers: Filling up on their moist, chewy bread before the meal will add buoyancy to a post-prandial swimming excursion, but may prevent you from consuming the rest of the meal.

The Hill Country Pasta House offers a voluminous menu highlighting such Italian-American standards as pasta primavera, fettucine Alfredo, and chicken Marsala. Tucked into their menu are also a few daring inventions such as a grilled shrimp pizza with olives, tomatoes, peppers, and crushed pineapple; or a serrano, salsa, and gouda pizza. Daily seafood specials look promising on the chalkboard but tend to overdo it with rich sauces and buttery sides. Weight Watchers should go for the lowfat items indicated on the menu. Arugula salad and light, oil tossed pastas such as the savory linguini with chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and garlic are worthy choices for health-conscious eaters.

Like most places on the lake, the Hill Country Pasta House cultivates a family atmosphere. Crayons on the table help keep the kiddies occupied, enabling moms and dads to concentrate on more important matters, such as tiramisu or Italian cream cake. All of Hill Country Pasta House's menu items are available for take-out, making it a perfect supply stop for a lakeside picnic.

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