She partnered with Reed Clemons, and together they opened The Grove in Westlake in 2007. Lasita said the original location stood out as a place to build because of the 150-year-old oak tree that now stands in the middle of the patio. Five years later, The Grove in Lakeway opened in an area with a far-reaching view of the Hill Country.
The Grove offers a variety of unique wine selections for customers, from Italian whites to the Spanish tempranillo. There are also dessert wines served by the bottle from Italy and Slovenia.
“We really focus on more of the smaller boutique wines as opposed to the really big names, which allows us to have some unique options for our customers,” Lasita said.
The Grove has over 10 different wine flights, which offer wine from a specific region or specific type of wine that comes in three small glasses. The flight comes with a brief history about the wine.
“It’s fun to come in and do some of the different wine flights where you get to taste them as well as get a little bit of education on them,” Lasita said.
The Grove offers a variety of new American fare that is fresh and locally sourced, such as different varieties of cooked fish, grilled chicken, specialty pizzas and beef tenderloin. One dish on the menu is the Big Glory Bay King Salmon, which is a crispy piece of salmon with summer vegetables, coconut-cilantro rice and a citrus-caper vinaigrette.
The Grove also has salads, pastas, sandwiches and small appetizers such as bruschetta. Additionally, the menu offers several options for individuals with dietary restrictions.
“One thing we really pride ourselves on is probably over 60% of our menu, we can offer gluten-free,” Lasita said. “We have vegetarian dishes; we have vegan dishes; so you know we try to reach out to all types of dietary restrictions”.
Lasita’s favorite thing about The Grove is the customers.
“We have some people that are there three times a week. I call it my little Cheers, if you will. All the locations seem to have this group of regular customers that they know everybody by name. We know them when they come in. We know what wine they want. You know what they’re coming in for,” Lasita said.
Each restaurant is also adjoined by Lola Savannah, a coffee and wine lounge whose beans are imported and roasted by Lola Savannah Coffee Co. in Houston.
In addition to the original Westlake location, The Grove also has locations in downtown Austin and Cedar Park, which opened in 2015 and 2017, respectively.
The Grove Wine Bar & Kitchen
Westlake:6317 Bee Caves Road, Ste. #380, Austin
Hours: Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 4-10 p.m.
Lakeway: 3001 S. RM 620
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 4-10 p.m.; Sun. 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., 4-10 p.m.