Lutie’s Garden Restaurant

 

If you read my last post, you know that we stayed at the Commodore Perry Estate during the July 4th long weekend. We unfortunately didn’t get to eat at Lutie’s while there because they’re open Wednesday through Sunday, and we were there Monday. Luckily, though, I was able to come back Wednesday to try them out. Continue reading for a look inside one of the most beautiful, sought after restaurants in Texas, Lutie’s garden restaurant.

 

 

Lutie’s garden restaurant is named after the lady of the original estate, Lutie Perry. She was known for her beautiful garden as well as hosting Gatsby level gatherings, from dinner parties to soirees. So this restaurant is a breathtaking homage to her.

 

The Interior

As soon as you open the door, you’re engulfed by the lush green décor, including a mixture of live and artificial plants hanging from the latticed ceiling. While there is lighting, the restaurant is mostly lit by the sunlight entering two huge walls of windows. After sunset, the chandeliers and pendant lights take over.

Lutie’s may also have the most beautiful bar I’ve ever seen, with its gold trim around cream and glass shelves, the green velvet rollback barstools, and chandeliers on either end that almost feel like floral arrangements.

Seating is a mixture of booths and tables, as well as outdoor seating on the patio that overlooks the sunken garden. I arrived promptly at 5pm (actually before then), at opening time. So I was the first patron seated.

I was taken to a table for two near the windows and had the perfect view to admire the entire restaurant, both indoors and outdoors. Your food is served on antique ceramic dishes with gold flatware. You’re also offered your choice of still or sparkling water. Since this is still during cautionary times due to COVID, menus are still digital.

 

The Menu

Here’s the thing. Lutie’s menu is a bit different from what you may be used to. There isn’t an appetizer, salad, or entrée section. Instead, the food is listed from the smallest to largest dish, ending with a 2 lb aged ribeye steak. The menu also changes regularly, depending on what fresh ingredients they have available. So there isn’t really a menu available online for you to peruse beforehand.

The entire menu is explained to you upon arrival, and every dish is described. My server, Candace, said they suggest 2-3 dishes per patron, with two smaller items and one larger item. There are also dishes made to share.

 

My Meal

I started with a cocktail, the very flavorful Indigo Kick (all specialty cocktails are $17). It’s made of vanilla infused Kettle One vodka, blackberry, basil shrub, local honey, ginger beer, and lemon. I used it as a palate cleanser between dishes. For my meal, I chose 3 dishes, the corn falafel ($9 for 3 falafels), the barbecued scallops ($30 for 2 scallops), and the green dish ($18).

The corn falafel was tasty. It was crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside. The tangy sauce drizzled on top was a nice touch for my taste buds.

The barbecued scallops was insanely  good! It had several contrasting flavors and was cooked perfectly. The purple daikon relish also gave it a nice little crunch.

Finally, the green dish was also exceptional and nothing I would’ve ever thought of creating. The ingredients for this dish change, depending on what’s in season, but as of July 5, it consisted of roasted summer squash topped with mixed greens and feta cheese, all covered in a green sauce with a dash of sea salt. If only I knew what the green sauce was made of, I’d definitely try making this at home.

Everything had a great combination of contrasting flavors that made them stand out and keep me excited for the next bite. The three dishes were also just enough to fill me up.

 

Dessert

Of course, I saved room for dessert! I ordered the chocolate shaved ice ($12), which is layered from bottom to top with dark chocolate ice cream, chocolate shaved ice, vanilla Chantilly, and cocoa nibs. 

Now I’m not a chocolate ice cream fan, but something said try it, and I’m glad I did. The different textures are a lot of fun in your mouth. The chocolate did start to take me over close to the end, but the vanilla Chantilly calmed it back down. It almost reminded me of tiramisu with a crunch. Then Candace, my server, said someone described it as a fancy fudgesicle, and they were absolutely right!

 

Final Thoughts

Lutie’s garden restaurant is hands down the most beautiful restaurant I’ve ever visited, but it’s also very down to Earth. The servers are very attentive and go out of their way to make sure you  fully enjoy your visit. The presentation of each dish was top tier, with nothing out of place. You definitely receive the full 5 star experience from arrival to your last bite (or sip).

I recommend everyone dine here at least once. You’re unlikely to experience anything like this anywhere else.

 

 

 

 

 

The Backspace Anderson Lane

 

I’ve been trying to branch out from my go-to’s and explore new restaurants. So, last week we visited The Backspace Anderson Lane, the sister restaurant to The Backspace, Austin’s first Neapolitan pizzeria. These restaurants are under the umbrella of Parkside Projects, which is comprised of several local restaurants and venues in Austin. 

The Backspace Anderson Lane serves Neapolitan pizza (of course), antipasti, pasta, paninis, and many other Italian dishes. Read below to see what we tried, including pictures to lure you in.

 

First Impressions

When arriving at the restaurant, you enter it from the back side of the building. Get it, the backspace? There’s a nice small outdoor sitting area near the door and cool painted signage on the wall with neon lights of a pizza being flipped (top picture).

Upon entering, you’re welcomed by the hostess, who is kind enough to give your husband a disposable mask because he forgot his at home. To the right, there’s a private dining area with banquet style tables. Straight ahead is the bar, kitchen, brick oven, and a shelf featuring the many Italian wines served there. Then, to your left is the seating, which is a mixture of booths and tables.

There’s a very nice ambiance inside, which is definitely matched by the food offerings. This isn’t your everyday pizzeria after all. I mean, you don’t have to be dressed up as much as I was, but I feel it calls for at least a polo shirt or blouse, depending on your preference.

Though there’s a bar, the restaurant is still family friendly. Case in point, there was a young lady celebrating her 13th birthday with her family and friends while we were there.

I love that the pizzas are made out front where you can see the artistry in action. Also, pretty funny to me, my favorite aspect was the water glasses made from old wine bottles. Enough of the visuals, though. Let’s get to what you really want to know. How was the food?

 

caesar salad
crispy calamari

William (my husband) started with a caesar salad, and I had the crispy calamari. I tasted his salad, and he tried the calamari. Both were delicious!

Usually when I think of a caesar salad, I just think of lettuce, parmesan, croutons, and caesar dressing. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see this colorful medley. The calamari included the typical calamari rings as well as mini octopi and was served with an Italian tarter sauce.

 

fettuccini

As I said, William had the fettuccini. So, here are his thoughts.

“It was very flavorful. The basil added a pleasant zing to each forkful. There  was a nice amount of pesto sauce. It wasn’t too much, and it wasn’t dry.”

 

the speck

I ordered the Speck pizza, and oh my goodness! The flavor combination was almost too good to handle, from the spinach and read onions to the calabrese chili and ham, it was a true party in my mouth! I will be honest, though. The chili almost had me, but I was able to come out victoriously. All in all, though, I’d absolutely recommend it.

 

tiramisu

Finally, there was the tiramisu, which I have to order whenever it’s an option, thanks to my oldest brother, Chef Tony Evans. May he rest in eternal peace.

In my opinion, tiramisu should be listed as one of the wonders of the world, and the one served at The Backspace Anderson Lane is top tier! The bottom wasn’t soggy, which I have unfortunately experienced elsewhere several times. The coffee flavor wasn’t overpowering, and the mascarpone was perfectly light.

My final thoughts overall are that this won’t be our last visit, and I look forward to trying other dishes in hopes that they’re all as delicious as these. If you have or haven’t been before, make this your next restaurant to visit. Dine in, and really take in the full experience and vibe.

 

*This was a hosted visit, but all thoughts are my honest opinions.

Peach Cobbler Pound Cake

 

Some time last year (I think it was in the summer), we had the most delicious cake I’ve ever tasted, a peach cobbler pound cake! I’ve been trying to chase that high ever since. So, last Thanksgiving, I decided to try my hand at making it since we had basically all the ingredients because I already planned on making a regular pound cake. After a quick web/Pinterest search, I came up with this recipe.

I’m not big on the blogs that have an entire autobiography before getting to the recipe. So, I’ll save you the five minutes of scrolling lol. The recipe is right below.

 

 

 

Peach Cobbler Pound Cake

Alyse Nicole
This is a fun and delicious twist on two classic desserts, a peach cobbler and a sour cream pound cake. There's a few extra steps for this, but it's definitely worth it in the end!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings

Equipment

  • 1 mixing bowl set (2 small, 1 medium, and 2 large bowls)
  • 1 10 in. Bundt cake pan
  • 1 stand mixer or hand mixer

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 eggs yolks separated
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 can (15 oz) sliced peaches in syrup separated from syrup

Glaze

  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • water, milk, or liqueur*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or any flavor you want

Instructions
 

  • Geez! That was a lot, but now we can start.

Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325°. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.
  • Butter the Bundt pan, and coat it with the brown sugar mixture. This will give the outside of your cake the flavor of a cobbler crust.
  • In the medium bowl, add the peaches, 2 tsp of cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp of nutmeg. Mix it together, covering the peaches, and save for later.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and the rest of the cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • In the second small bowl, beat the egg whites until firm. Now place all these bowls to the side.
  • In the second large bowl, mix the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until creamy and fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Then mix in the vanilla extract and 3/4 cups of the peach syrup.
  • Slowly add the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Once it's mixed well, fold in the buttermilk and egg whites.
  • Pour half the batter into the Bundt pan. Then add half the peach mixture. Next, fill the Bundt pan with the rest of the batter.
  • Bake for 1 1/2 hour, checking with a toothpick at about an hour. Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool in the Bundt pan for 10-20 minutes. Remember that the cake will continue to cook after it's removed from the oven. So don't leave it in longer than the recommended time.
  • Once the cake is cool, remove it from the pan and place on a wire rack (a plate will also do) to continue cooling. Finally, place as many of the remaining peach slices that you'd like on top of the cake.

Glaze

  • Place the sifted powdered sugar in the now empty and cleaned medium bowl from earlier.
  • Whisk in whichever liquid (water, milk, liqueur) you choose, one tbsp at a time, until you reach the desired thickness.
  • Whisk in 1 tsp of the extract.
  • Take the glaze, and slowly pour it over the cake to your preferred liking.

Notes

*If you use a liqueur, you can skip the extract.
Keyword fruit, fruit dessert, glaze, peach cobbler, pound cake

 

 

 

The Glaze

photo cred: Friendship Bread Kitchen

Here’s the thing, I didn’t have on of the ingredients to make the glaze, the powdered sugar! So, I put regular granulated sugar in the blender to make something similar to powdered sugar. Remember that if you ever find yourself in the same situation!

Well, that’s it! You now have yourself a homemade peach cobbler pound cake! Would you change/substitute anything? What did you use for your glaze? Let me know below!

How to Make Homemade Hummus

 

I’ve been really craving hummus lately, but I’ve also been on a DIY kick. So, I decided to look up some recipes on how to make hummus at home and came across this super simple one from Inspired Taste on Youtube. If you want to try your hand in making some tasty, really easy to make hummus, keep reading below. If not, keep reading below. lol

 

 

 

Easy Homemade Hummus

Alyse Nicole
For a fun homemade snack, give homemade hummus a try. You'll know exactly what the ingredients are, and you can experiment to make it your own.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • 1 food processor (a blender or chopper will also work)

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup tahini sauce
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 clove garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 can (8 oz) chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Stir up the tahini sauce and add it to the food processor.
  • Add lemon juice and run the food processor for about 1 minute.
  • Next, add the garlic, olive oil, ground cumin, chickpeas, and about 1/2 tsp of salt to start.
  • Run the processor for another minute. Then, stop to scrape the sides and to taste test whether more salt is needed.
  • Run the processor another minute.
  • Once it's at the texture and taste you prefer, you can be done.

Notes

If you want your hummus creamier and less thick, add about 1-2 tbsp of water, and run the food processor a little longer.
Keyword chickpea, fast snack, healthy, hummus, snack, vegetarian

 

Once it reaches your desired consistency, you’re all done. Grab your pita bread or your favorite dipping veggies, and enjoy! For a little razzle dazzle, sprinkle some chili powder or your favorite seasoning on top. Now you can teach others how to make homemade hummus also!

 

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe and if you add anything else, like roasted bell peppers or garlic.