Visconti Ristorante & Bar: Dining scene a mix of guests and locals, northern Italian and Texan cuisine

Visconti Ristorante & Bar's Bone-in nNiman Ranch nRibeye includes Alla Diavola butter, potato gratin and green onion.

Visconti Ristorante & Bar's Bone-in nNiman Ranch nRibeye includes Alla Diavola butter, potato gratin and green onion.

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The kaiserschmarrn, or scrambled pancake, consists of amaretto soaked pancakes, macerated strawberries, almonds and fresh whipped cream.
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The Lobster Fritatta is made with fresh fennel, lobster tail, a little bit of green onion, cream to make it fluffier, caviar and creme fraiche.
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The restaurant offers a two-course lunch special for $22.50, and this private dining space can be rented for business meetings.
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Rustic French bread is topped with preservative-free Italian ham, a poached egg, basil and a little bit of gruyere cheese and dijon mustard.
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From left, executive chef Miguel Ortiz, director of sales and marketing Ray DeJohn and general manager Olivier Glattfelder chat on the patio.
The lively, natural buzz of Hotel Granduca draws Westlake locals up the hill to drink and dine, in turn encouraging guests into the upscale Visconti Ristorante & Bar.

“It’s nice; one feeds the other,” said Ray DeJohn, director of sales and marketing.

With breakfast, lunch and dinner options as well as a Sunday brunch, a visit to the restaurant does not need to be saved for special occasions, DeJohn said, though it is also used for meetings, weddings, banquets and other events. Live jazz and cover bands play music in the bar area on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, and patrons are welcome to take drinks into the courtyard when it is not in use for a private event. There is also outdoor patio seating.

Visconti opened with the hotel in 2015, and the menu focuses on northern Italian cuisine.

“We’ve changed the menu a few times over the last few years to make it especially palatable to the Austin area,” DeJohn said. “We’ve evolved since opening and really found our footing. We’ve had a couple different chefs, but with [current chef] Miguel Ortiz, we’ve hit our stride with the restaurant and a consistent product.”

Ortiz became executive chef about a year ago and said the restaurant is unique in that while the menu plays largely off northern Italian themes, he has the freedom to incorporate some Texas flair.

“The result is a great mix of the two,” Ortiz said.

Patrons can also take advantage of the restaurant’s menu and views during special meals such as Mother’s Day brunch and a holiday event geared toward the community that consists of a tree lighting, Westlake High School students singing carols and a visit from Santa Claus.

“We want to make sure those who live nearby are coming and taking advantage of it all,” DeJohn said. “This is not just a hotel restaurant; it’s a neighborhood place to come and enjoy.”


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