Lakeside Restaurant & Bar
BY MIKE PUCKETT
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The Lakeside Restaurant & Bar is located at the La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa. While it is not actually in the hotel, it is just a short walk towards the lake. There is no doubt this is fine dining at it’s best.
To be on the safe side, you will want to make a reservation. But there shouldn’t be any trouble getting a table unless it’s high season. The dress code is casual due to the resort’s relaxed environment – and that is just fine with me.
What can I say about the esthetics other than take a look at the photography for yourself? This restaurant has such beautiful views from every table… take your pick. The wine rack between the bar area and the restaurant is a beautiful touch.
The patio, equipped with fans, is simply beautiful. That’s where we enjoyed our Tropical Paradise: a rum cocktail made with Triple Sec, simple syrup and sour with a splash of pineapple juice. Tasted just like paradise! The perfect drink to sip on while enjoying a gorgeous sunset over Lake Conroe. What could be better after a relaxing summer day at La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa?
Now, you have heard me say it before and I will say it again and again. Everything tastes better in the kitchen. So, when we were asked if we would like to dine at the Chef’s table, we jumped all over it.
What was on the menu? Chef’s choice, of course. I had been hearing about the Lakeside Restaurant for months, and now, here we were! I was excited about what the night had in store and a grin had formed from ear-to-ear.
Crab Cakes up first! Delicious crab patties seared and served with lemon citrus Beurre Blanc, frisée, bull’s blood and pickled onion. These crab cakes were so fresh – they were the perfect start. The chef selected a Maso Canali Pinot Grigio to go along with the crab cakes. Next up, the Diablo Shrimp, one of my favorite dishes. I was looking forward to trying it here and it did not disappoint. Delectable jalapeno bacon-wrapped shrimp with poblano peppers along with Gruyere cheese and a sweet chili glaze – all topped with pineapple salsa. The perfect combination of sweet and savory. The pineapple salsa made it a little sweeter than I am used to, but a nice touch just the same. Every ingredient was represented with purpose. Loved it!
Then came the Spinach and Artichoke Dip made with Boursin Cheese, baby spinach and artichokes. Boursin, a favorite in French cuisine, is a creamy, spreadable brand of Gournay cheese, flavored with herbs and spices. It made for a wonderful Spinach Dip. At last, the entrees! I couldn’t seem to get the Pan-Roasted Spiced Texas Red Fish out of my thoughts and then – there it was! The Red Fish was served with lemon citrus Beurre Blanc, frisée, bull’s blood and pickled onion and paired with a Sauvignon Blanc. If you are interested in going with a fish dish, then look no further – try the Red Fish.
Fresh seafood seems to be a staple at the Lakeside Restaurant & Bar. If you are from out of state, you might not be familiar with Red Fish. Don’t worry about that, you will be best friends when you leave. I promise.
For our steak entrée we were served up the house specialty: Peppercorn-encrusted New York Strip topped with sautéed and fried onions and drizzled with a red wine demi-glaze. It is easy to understand why this is the signature dish. The strip was prepared perfectly medium rare. Served along with a wonderful Zinfandel, every bite was better than the last! Just another example of the attention to detail here.
And, for our final entrée of the night, we enjoyed the Pork Tenderloin. Let me tell ya! It was as good as it looked. The tender, juicy pork was accompanied by a citrus marinade, horseradish mashed potatoes and broccolini topped with a roasted tomato rum sauce. The bright colors matched the vibrant flavors in this pork dish which was paired nicely with a wonderful Cabernet. Very enjoyable, it’s a great choice if you have pork on your mind.
One benefit to sitting in the kitchen is the opportunity to speak with the Chef and crew. These guys were great and made the night unforgettable. Good times and many laughs. It was also nice to smell the desserts being prepared. It felt like I was in heaven. Well, both desserts arrived at the same time and boy, were we in for a sweet treat! The Chocolate Lava Cake was accompanied by fresh strawberries, black berries and white chocolate mousse. The best! So chocolaty – and the sweet berries made this dessert my favorite of the two. But don’t get me wrong… I loved them both.
I couldn’t put my spoon down when it came to our final dessert: White Chocolate Bread Pudding topped with fresh strawberries and raspberries and a warm bourbon caramel sauce. The bread pudding was a treat and the warm bourbon caramel sauce was the icing on the cake, as they say.
It definitely didn’t put a damper on the evening when the Chef delivered the last dessert with a little Pyrat XO Reserve Rum, a tasty Caribbean blended rum from the West Indies with an orangey, spicy flavor. Fortunately, the resort was just a short walk away because we were feeling really good at this point.
This was one of those evenings that will sit with me for a lifetime. I am glad I have the opportunity to share my experience with everyone.
This whole day at the resort was one I will not soon forget. Fun in the sun at the pool, 18-holes on the golf course, massages at the spa and one of the best dining experiences I have ever enjoyed in Texas. Does that sound like something you would be interested in? Join the club. I can’t wait until I get a chance to enjoy another evening at this Lakeside Resort.
PHOTOGRAPHY: MIKE PUCKETT
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