|1310 Hwy. 620 South
Lakeway, TX 78734
One of the more remarkable restaurant transformations in the busy Lakeway dining scene has got to be the swift and lovely transition from the old Ciola’s Italian restaurant on RR 620 to the League Kitchen and Tavern. Tony Ciola and Creed Ford IV have really stepped up here and created a wonderfully accessible new restaurant out of one of my long-time old favorites.
The first thing you see is this wall-length photo of Atlantic City circa late 1920’s. And it just sets the tone. I love the vibe of this place. Love the food too.
The appetizers are simple as well as simply delicious. No pretense, no foo foo. Just great flavors. I am crazy about the Meatloaf Bites served over mashed potatoes. The texture in these is spot-on, and the flavor is a bit smoky and irresistible. Adding to the pleasure is a neat Chipotle Ketchup that really ramps things up. I didn’t expect the Roasted Garlic Hummus to be as good as it was. But it is smooth and savory, and the Feta and charred peppers totally make the dish. Yum! And the Crusted Jalapeno Peppers are a delight as well. These are stuffed with Cheddar and pulled chicken, and come with a zesty pico. The quality of this appetizer is really remarkable. And can I please tell you about the Chicken Jalapeno Soup? This has got a wonderful stock that just sets the stage for a barrage of comforting flavors. It is unque: nothing Tortilla soupish (is that a word?) about it. Just great taste.
And funny, I thought I was over Cobb Salads until I tried the one at the League. It’s got all the standard Cobb elements (hard boiled eggs, turkey, bacon, avocado, etc.) but when tossed with the fresh artisan greens it just takes on an entirely new dimension of taste.
The burgers at the League also pass the vital comfort food test. They are moist and incredibly flavorful. I love the All American Burger grilled on a Broche roll with American cheese and a sunny side up egg. Nice touch. Great taste. Also recommended is the Southern Burger. Love the sugar-cured bacon on this one along with the Cheddar and the Brooklyn BBQ sauce.
And the entrees which they call the Main Attractions are again, for the most part spot-on. I have several favorites. The Fat Tire Fish and Chips makes one glad that cod fish exist! The batter is crispy, not greasy, and affords a mellowness to the dish that is very appealing. And I’m a fan of the Chicken Pot Pie. This is a bit more tricked up than some of the versions around town (the chili béchamel is one reason) but I love the flavor. The English peas and potatoes work well in the sauce, and the layered biscuit is very tasty. For me though, I pass on the serious carbs, and just eat the innards of the pie. Delicious it anyway you slice it. The Grilled Atlantic Salmon is another treat. The chefs just nails this one with perfect flavors, and an accommodating and highly original Gazpacho Israeli Cous Cous lights the plate up.
So join the League. No matter what franchise you represent, you’re welcome, and I hope to see you here.