The Grove Wine Bar and Kitchen: Heirloom Tomato Salad
6317 Bee Cave Road. 327-8822, www. grovewinebar.com.
sweet teardrops of bright red. They rest on a mix of arugula, strips of fresh basil, even the red-veined leaves of beet tops, drizzled with sweet balsamic and basil oil. I asked for a wine pairing and out came a cool glass of Feudi di San Gregorio falanghina, a balanced white from southern Italy with enough fruit to soften the herbs and the right acidity for the milky mozzarella. At $10 a glass, it falls midway on the price scale of the Grove’s 50-some wines by the glass, ranging from $5 and $6 glasses
Reed Clemons is a restaurant survivor. The Granite Cafe, Mezzaluna, the Bitter End, Reed’s. All his. As the last doors closed and the noise died down, he quietly opened the Grove just west of West Lake Hills in 2008. There’s hardly a night when the parking lot isn’t overflowing. They come for an encyclopedic wine list and the food that goes with it: pasta, pizzas, a few grill plates, nine kinds of bruschetta. And salads. Particularly the $11 Caprese-style collection of greens and basil and mozzarella — and heirloom tomatoes. A light green one with cascades of dusky jade, a ridged beauty of blushing salmon rouge, tiny of sparkling Louis Pedrier rosé and Robert Oatley sauvignon blanc to $15 for a muscular cab from Chappellet. Flights of three glasses matched by country or style make exploration convenient. Now if they could just help me find a closer place to park.
The Grove Wine Bar and Kitchen is operated by longtime Austin restaurateur Reed Clemons.
For its Apple Buzios, Rio’s Brazilian Cafe roasts the fruit in red wine.