Restaurateur and Boston native Chris Meroff offers two for one in Bee Cave, but not in the way you might expect.

It’s not the price, but in the experience. For those seeking upscale dining, there is Ellera, and for those looking for dining for the whole family, there is The Garden at Ellera.

No matter the mood, a choice of authentic Italian food or fresh seafood is in the offering, Head Chef Tim Lane and General Manager Adam Garcia said.

Having spent 10 years in Italy, Lane said he has helped organize a team committed to providing authentic dining that emphasizes Italian, not Italian American, culinary traditions.

“We are trying to pay respect to Italy,” he said. “I want this to be the most authentic Italian restaurant there is.”

A highlight of Ellera’s garden menu is the Pizza Tonda, which Lane said is a traditional Roman pizza that is light and crispy after coming out of a 600-degree oven.

Also, a focus is the “hyper- seasonal” ingredients, Lane said.

An on-site herb and tomato garden provides an array of herbs and heirloom tomatoes, like sunburst and Cherokee purples. Once picked, the fresh ingredients go right into the kitchen, Lane said. “You have to use the best ingredients because with Italian cuisine there is nothing to hide behind. You have three or four ingredients, and it’s all about making them shine together,” he said.

In addition to Ellera’s strong Italian influences, diners also can experience traditions from Meroff’s hometown of Boston. On the menu are traditional sandwiches, like the Live Maine Lobster Roll, which are served with fresh East Coast seafood that ships to Ellera within the day, Lane said.

Lane said the dual Ellera concept, offering indoor and optional outdoor dining since 2020, has worked out well and has attracted a steady flow of regulars from Bee Cave.

“It was a pretty radical idea, but we made it happen, and it has really worked out for us,” Lane said.

Ellera & The Garden at Ellera

12432 Bee Cave Road, Bee Cave


Ellera hours: closed Mon., Tue.-Wed. 3-9 p.m., Thu.-Sat. 3-10 p.m., Sun. 3-9 p.m.The Garden at Ellera hours: closed Mon., Tue.-Wed. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.,Thu.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.