Had heard mixed reviews about Rebecca Rather's new restaurant. Decided to try it. Glad we did. Stopped by on a Friday night; they don't take reservations for small parties. Place was about half full. We were seated immediately. Decor is excellent, rustic/elegant, very appropriate to the Texas Hill Country. Big fire going in the back room, and Rebecca's Great Pyrenees was visiting some tables.
The first thing we noticed was the somewhat short menu - 4 starters, 5 entrees. Turns out they also had several specials of both not on the menu, so there were plenty of choices. My wife is lactose intolerant, and they could not have been more accommodating. Discussed which dishes could be prepared dairy free without affecting their taste, and delivered as promised. Further, several times during the evening, the very friendly and attractive hostess stopped by the table to be sure we were enjoying ourselves.
We decided to try the oyster nacho appetizer, not on the menu. Wonderful! The oysters were fried perfectly, and though we found the batter a little bland, the pico sauce it was served with complemented them perfectly. Unless you are a real Texan, bring your fire extinguisher! Very spicy! Very delicious.
My wife ordered the pulled pork on fry bread, which came with a side of "cabbage." The cabbage was more like a slaw, with one of the best sauces we've ever tasted. The pork was wonderful, and the slab of bread was superb.
I ordered the shrimp and crap cheesecake, as much for the novelty as the taste. Wow! Lots of marscipone with crabmeat and shrimp baked in, served in a wedge with a side of lettuce & tomato salad with a mouthwatering dressing. A very special dish!
We were too full for dessert, but saw some delivered to other tables and they looked superb.
Couple of other notes: When you go to anyplace where Rebecca is the chef, order anything with baked goods. The bread they served before the meal was almost worth the visit by itself. Second point is that every dish was presented looking like it was ready for a photo shoot. Beautiful is the word that comes to mind.
Despite some of the reviews which mentioned service problems, we were paying our check an hour and 10 minutes after walking in, about right for a dining experience at a good restaurant. We had time to enjoy our wine and the ambience; the dishes were brought out at perfect temperature and nicely paced; and when we were finished and ready our server was right there with the check. Whether this was a function of the relatively light night or that they've worked out their earlier opening kinks is unknown, but based on our first experience we'll be back to find out.
If you visit or live near Fredericksburg, you owe it to yourself to give this place a try.
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