The Nest is located on Highway 87 in a charming cottage. You’ll feel like you’re eating fabulous homemade food in someone’s cozy dining room at this location. The tables always have fresh flowers and you can enjoy citrus garlic sauteed shrimp with turnip mashed potatoes, and roasted New Zealand rack of lamb with pecan pesto and a stone ground mustard demi-glace. Finish your night on a high note with chef and owner John Wilkinson’s decadent, inspired desserts, including lavender ice cream with mint marigold red wine sauce, and the to-die-for caramel flan surrounded by fresh fruit.
The lighting, white chairs and stark tablecloths make August E’s a bright, inviting place to dine. You can also come for sunset service and sit on the outdoor deck for beautiful views. The food looks like artwork - all dishes are precisely plated, whether you’re eating oyster stew, stuffed quail or something from their extensive menu of Japanese maki, nigiri and sashimi.
Creek Road Cafe
Creek Road Cafe has been described as “a Hill Country must.” If you’re staying at a bed and breakfast in the area, head to tiny Dripping Springs for food inspired by Texas blue skies and trickling creeks. Creek Road Cafe has its own fresh veggie and herb garden and includes edible flowers in many of its dishes, providing a bright natural look. Try the crab-stuffed artichoke bottoms and the lonesome lamb chops, but save room for Creek Road Cafe’s famous coconut custard pie.
Farm Haus Bistro
Farm Haus Bistro is located in a historic rock home from the late 1890s. This cozy place is probably the most charming in the area - dine in the rustic and elegant dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows, or sit outside in the slightly wild but lovely gardens. Before even trying the food, you’ll know the owners have their flavors down pat because it’s located on the grounds of the Fredericksburg Herb Farm. The excellent chef whips up tasty Hill Country fare using fresh, local ingredients. For dinner, don’t miss the succulent osso bucco or grilled herb-rubbed shrimp, and dessert is a must here. Try the meyer lemon pie or rosemary rum cake. And no one said brunch can’t be romantic! Try a divine omelet or the quiche du jour for a quaint late morning meal.
You might not realize it but Texas Hill Country towns have a rich German heritage. At Rathskeller the food is different than your typical American fare but you’ll and eclectic and delicious mix of gourmet German plates and homestyle Southern foods. The jaeger schnitzel is a must, as are the apple, raisin and pecan filled crepes, which are topped with green apples and sour cream. You can find Rathskeller on the corner of Main and Lincoln streets.
The Leaning Pear
Lunch can be romantic, too. Visit The Leaning Pear in Wimberley for an interesting fusion of Southwestern and classic American flavors. It’s tucked into a quiet lot on River Road so you might miss it if you don’t know where you’re going. But dine al fresco at this hidden gem and get your fill with the BBLT - an applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich with double cream French brie, or the pecan and black currant tuna salad sandwich.
Gennaro’s Trattoria is owned by the Di Meo family who originated in Naples. Their fare is authentic and based on the philosophy of “che mangia bene, vive bene” - who eats well, lives well. Dine in a relaxed environment while enjoying Italy’s richest cuisines: risotto di mare, cacciatore, lasagna and scrumptious Neapolitan-style pizzas.
French fare is the cuisine of romance. Head to playfully named Vaudeville for equally fanciful food. The menu changes weekly, but includes updated takes on French classics, like seared sea bass nicoise salad, Hawaiian boar milanese, and a chevre torte with watermelon coulis and mint gelee for dessert. Come here on Mondays for the prix fixe menu. It’s located on East Maine Street near the corner of North Llano Street.