For my recent birthday, my husband and I dined at LaVenture, the restaurant inside the beautiful Hotel Saint George in Marfa. We’ve lunched at the Bar at Hotel Saint George and thoroughly enjoyed it, but this was our first time to venture into the restaurant tucked behind the brick wall.
Our reservation was for 6 p.m., and unbeknownst to us, in time for us to experience the “Prix Fixe” menu that is available daily from 5-6:15 p.m. The Prix Fixe menu is a daily three-course Chef’s special that starts with your choice of a bowl of soup or salad, an entrée, and a dessert… an “early bird special” of sorts.
On the Prix Fixe menu, the entrée for Monday is Pork Schnitzel with mustard spaetzle and braised cabbage. Tuesday, hand-rolled chicken enchiladas with cilantro rice and charro beans. Wednesday, hand-cut fettucine with pork Bolognese. Thursday, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy and coleslaw. Friday, Trout Amandine with green beans. Saturday, grilled flat-iron steak with roasted potatoes and grilled Romano beans. Such variety of food from a skilled chef and outstanding kitchen was intriguing.
Our waitress Nikki knowledgeably told us about the market fish of the day and daily appetizers while we perused the menu, although my eyes kept going back to the Prix Fixe menu.
The Sunday special was Chef Stephen’s Meatloaf, and I love meatloaf. I overheard the staff talking about how wonderful the meatloaf was, so I decided to try it, and my husband followed suit. Knowing that everything that comes from the kitchen at Saint George exceeds excellence, I couldn’t wait to try the Chef’s special.
For starters, I ordered the Caesar salad, which was a generous portion served in the same type bowl my husband’s Chicken Tortilla Soup was served. Nikki warned that the soup was spicier than most, but that was no deterrent… and both were excellent.
Our entrée, the meatloaf, was served with mashed potatoes and sautéed zucchini and onions. The meatloaf had a smoky flavor and light barbecue sauce that was unexpected and very welcomed. Each meatloaf was individually made, and must’ve started out as a pound of meat before it was cooked. We had so much leftover that we ate it for lunch the next day.
For dessert, we both chose the Seasonal Fruit Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream – a perfectly presented blueberry apple crisp with vanilla ice cream – instead of the Brownie Ice Cream Sundae. I could barely eat half of it, although I really wanted to eat the entire thing. So much delicious food.
LaVenture is a nickname for a lucky or fortunate person, from old French meaning “adventure” or “destiny.” Everything about La Venture was fantastic. The hip-yet-cozy atmosphere, the well-trained waitstaff, the food experience… it was all top-notch. How lucky we were to experience such a truly superb dining adventure.
Located at 105 S. Highland in Marfa, you can visit their website with more menu details at www.marfasaintgeorge.com/laventure/ or call 432.729.3700 for reservations and information.
Blueberry Apple Crisp
(not LaVenture’s recipe, but one that can be made gluten-free if you want)
1 cup old-fashioned oats (substitute gluten-free if desired)
½ cup flour, divided (substitute gluten-free if desired)
½ cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
¼ cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 bag (12 to 16 ounces) frozen blueberries
4 cups peeled and cubed apples (or pears)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish.
For the topping: in a medium-sized bowl, combine oats, ¼ cup of the flour, ¼ cup of the sugar and the cinnamon. Add butter, and using your fingers, rub butter with dry ingredients to form coarse crumbs, stir in pecans.
In a large bowl, toss blueberries and apples with the remaining ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup flour.
Pour blueberry-apple mixture into prepared baking dish, and sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit.
Bake until apples are tender and the topping is golden, about 50 minutes.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Serves 6.