|103 Yacht Cove
Lakeway, TX 78734
I return today to the scene of my very first review on KVUE-TV, the Grille at Rough Hollow out near Lakeway overlooking the Rough Hollow Yacht Club. A lot has changed since then: I’ve lost 80 pounds and the Grille has a new Chef, Casey Simmons from Perry’s. They’ve also got some really cool new menu items to go along with my old favorites. But the awesome view remains the same, and the food still merits a spot in our Top 20.
There is a warm and pleasant feel to the Grille. And Chef Simmons has got appetizers that are likewise warm and pleasant. I love the Prince Edward Island Mussels: the fennel broth with grilled Ciabatta (for dipping) compliments these plump and tasty denizens of the deep. And for some good old fashioned American taste, how about the Shrimp Cocktail? The shrimp have a nice texture and there’s a really piquant cocktail sauce. A little lemon drizzle and you have a great dish. The Tuna Poke would make any Hawaiian proud. This is a classic with tuna tartare, sweet chili, red onion, ginger scallions and chives. There is a beautiful lightness to this dish and the soy reduction and won ton chips complete things nicely. And no self-respecting diner at the Grille should leave without trying the Loaded Potato Chips. These homemade chips are indeed loaded with bleu cheese, Roma tomatoes, scallions, and bacon. This is crunchy bliss!
Casey Simmons has crafted some really interesting choices for his Chef’s Selections part of the menu. The Shrimp and Grits has undergone a bit of a makeover from the older version, but I love this new one! The tempura-battered shrimp are served atop a bed of luscious and wonderfully flavored jalapeno cheese grits. The applewood smoked bacon is the final complement. You won’t be able to stop eating this once you’ve begun. Another great new dish is the Poblano Chicken. This is a chicken breast wrapped with smoked bacon and stuffed with Poblano peppers, onions, spinach and Monterrey Jack cheese. This dish simply dissolves on the palate into a mélange of intriguing flavors. Love the concept. The Georges Bank Scallops are seared until perfect and topped with macadamia nuts, cherries, and an achingly good brown butter. The browned butter and the scallops go together like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Not only tasty but lovely to look at as well.
The beauty of a fine dining restaurant like the Grille is that is can also kick back a bit and indulge its patrons in some nice sandwiches. The last time we were there the Rough Hollow Burger could be seen at many tables. This is Niman ranch ground chuck with all the fixings and most importantly, a fresh and delectable bun. Order it medium and make sure to get the fries. And a restaurant overlooking the water would be remiss not to offer something like the Baja Fish Tacos. The prime ingredient is marinated Gulf snapper (done in garlic and cilantro) along with fresh flour tortillas and jicama slaw. This is a nice lighter dish but still packs a serious taste punch.
There are nightly specials (Fish and Chips is a favorite) at the Grille and thoughtful and reasonably priced wine list. So make the effort to drive just a bit further from Lakeway center to this beautiful hilltop bistro. You will thank me.