Cabernet Grill in Fredericksburg, Texas fully embraces the flavors of Texas and, in particular, the flavors of the Texas Hill Country. When you arrive at the restaurant, which is also part of Cotton Gin Village where you can book a romantic luxury cabin, you enter another world. You're surrounded by lush gardens, waterfall, Koi pond and that creamy Texas sandstone. In nice weather, you can opt to sit outdoors by the waterfall. It was raining the day I dined, so the dining room with its rock fireplace was quite comfortable.
Cabernet Grill feels elegant, but in true Texas style, it’s actually quite casual and comfortable. They offer a number of signature cocktails and serve only Texas wines, many of which I found to be quite good. I started my dinner with a Peach a Rita ($7.50) – a concoction of peach puree, Cuervo Gold, Triple Sec and lime. It was the perfect start to my dinner and I found it not too sweet nor too strong. It literally tasted like Fredericksburg in a glass. It wasn't yet peach season at the time I dined, so it was nice to have a taste of the town's famous peaches.
Executive Chef and owner Ross Burtwell prides himself on using fresh local ingredients, local produce, fresh Gulf Coast seafood and locally-raised meats. There are a number of appetizers and I found each of the ones I tried to be quite good. One of the most unusual was curried pheasant and sausage in apple chowder ($7.95). It was an intriguing combination of flavors. The pheasant was a little sweet, the apples a bit tart and the sage in the sausage brought everything together for an unforgettable bite.
The Jumbo Lump Crab Gratin ($11.95) is a signature item, served with red chile butter, asiago and breadcrumbs.
I also enjoyed what I was told was a new item – steamed pork buns. These were filled with braised pork belly, cucumbers and hoisin mayo, so you had a nice blend of sweet and tart, with the crunch of the house-made cucumbers adding a nice contrast to the soft buns.
The dinner menu is quite extensive, featuring shrimp, red snapper, rainbow trout, pork, quail, chicken and a selection of steaks. I had a special the night I was there, but it is something I was told Chef serves quite often. It was a beef tenderloin topped with cheese and I chose grits as a side. It was probably one of the best steaks I have ever eaten. Anywhere. That's saying a lot for me, because I'm very particular about my meat. This one was cooked to perfection, tender, juicy and the cheese provided a nice bit of salt to the meat. Entrees range from $18.95 to $$36.95, but most are around $22.
I had a glass of cabernet from Becker Vineyards in Fredericksburg that I enjoyed because of its subtle earthiness. It was an ideal pairing.
The dessert menu has some great offerings and I was lucky to be able to taste several. I’m not a bread pudding fan, but the Warm German’s Chocolate Bread Pudding with vanilla bean ice cream ($7.50) was excellent.
One of the most unique offerings is a chicken fried pecan pie with Jack Daniels chocolate ice cream ($7.95).
My personal favorite was the Strawberry Shortcake. Not just any shortcake, this is shortbread made with a touch of Fredericksburg lavender and topped with Chantilly cream. The restaurant also offers seasonal desserts, including a Honey Lavender Peach Crisp, combining Fredericksburg’s famous peaches and lavender. (See the recipe below for this dish.)
When you visit Fredericksburg, make reservations at Cabernet Grill and plan on spending a leisurely evening over drinks, appetizers and dinner. Remember to save room for dessert – they're definitely worth eating.
Cabernet Grill at Cotton Gin Village
2805 S. State Hwy 16 (2.8 miles south of Main Street on Hwy 16)
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Dinner is served Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to close
Cabernet Grill’s Fredericksburg Honey Lavender Peach Crisp
- 6 cups Fredericksburg Peaches, peeled and sliced
- 1 TBS lemon juice
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 TBS lavender sugar (optional)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup soft butter
- 6 scoops vanilla bean ice cream
- Place peaches in a 9-inch square pan.
- Sprinkle peaches with lemon juice and then drizzle with honey.
- In medium bowl, mix together remaining ingredients using a pastry blender or fork.
- Sprinkle mixture evenly over peaches.
- Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until top is golden brown.
- Serve warm topped with ice cream.