Janice Williams Loves Austin And sometimes I write about it.

October 23, 2011

A Beautiful Birthday

Filed under: At home,Austin,Family,Food — Janice @ 10:11 pm

Mark’s birthday comes at a wonderful time of year. But usually Mark’s birthday is on a day that he has to work or play a gig—since he works or plays a gig just about 365 days a year. This year we got lucky and he had the entire weekend off. Today was a nice day to celebrate.

We had a lovely lunch at a fabulous Italian restaurant called Trattoria Lisina in Driftwood. I don’t know how long it has been there, but it is one of those places we would never have had the opportunity to go to except for the sweet gift from his boss a while back: a gift card for this restaurant. So we decided this would be the day to take advantage of it.

The sun was shining and what isn’t completely destroyed by the drought in the Hill Country is beautiful and we had a nice drive out to the country and had no trouble finding the vineyard that surrounds the trattoria. It looks like an Italian villa, though I can’t really say since I’ve never been to Italy.

They had done their gardening well with native plants and flowers and everything was in bloom and there were butterflies everywhere.


But the food was really the reason to eat here. So good!

Mark had an asparagus salad with asparagus, obviously, but also beautiful fresh greens and two kinds of pesto encircling the plate and a ring of feta cheese. I had a caprese salad with their fresh mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes (so they were unusual colors and had a true tomato taste) and basil, plus large pieces of sea salt that added texture that I usually don’t have with this salad. The pasta course improved even on this wonderful antipasti course. Mark had a mushroom ravioli in a cream sauce. I had a huge bowl of risotto with figs. Yes, figs. It looked like a bowl of porridge when she sat it in front of me and, honestly, I was disappointed. Then I took a bite of this very hot creamy and cheesy risotto and I could not stop eating. I kept thinking I would certainly take home three-fourths of it, then half, and then finally I decided it could never taste better than it did right then, so I finished it off.

For the main dish, Mark had a big veal chop that was as tender as roast beef. I had a half a chicken all grilled and delicious along with a cold salad of cucumbers and tomatoes and onions and grilled potatoes. I did pack almost all of that to take home after having had all that risotto.



We did a lot of people watching in this place and were curious about how these people could afford such a fabulous meal on a Sunday outing. Of course, we realized they might be thinking the same about us, not knowing this was truly a rare event for us. The place was lovely and we had a sweet waitress (who had a cat named Marcel, we learned) and we did not feel totally out of place like we have at some super nice restaurants.

And because Mark is the sweetest husband in the world… even though it wasn’t MY birthday, he let me stop at the Driftwood Cemetery for a quick look-see before we headed home.

Then we came home, stuffed, and didn’t even stop to watch the Cowboys game. It was nap time.

But tonight we did enjoy birthday pie. That is the only gift Mark every asks of me for birthday, Valentine’s Day, anniversary, or Christmas. It has to be apple pie for him and he swears it is the best pie ever made. I always find fault with my pies and these were no exception, but they did look awfully pretty last night as they were cooling. The one on the right is the birthday pie with an M cut into the crust. The one on the left is my “get your act together Texas” pie and it apparently worked. We ate pie and watched the World Series and cheered the Rangers on to victory.



  1. The food at Trattoria sounds wonderful, thanks for sharing pics.
    Happy Belated Birthday to Mark!

    Comment by Denise — October 24, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

  2. Sounds like a wonderful day and the meal sounds even better. I love risotto.

    Comment by sandy — November 4, 2011 @ 8:33 am

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