Our inaugural visit to Larry McGuire’s Clarksville cottage was quite nearly foiled, for we, alas, had not made reservations for lunch. On a Saturday. At 2 p.m. In Austin. Nevertheless, we managed to secure spots at the tiny marble bar, welcomed by an enthusiastic server who steered us to California cuisine–style dishes like crispy-skinned grouper with a colorful medley of romanesco and diced beets and fat, hand-cut noodles bathed in a wild mushroom ragù and Parmesan. A meal here is exceedingly pleasant (one imperious welcome notwithstanding), like lunch in a sunny farmhouse, albeit one with marble counters and servers in starched whites and a slew of excellent cocktails, which are served, blessedly, all afternoon.
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