Today, two of my friends and I had the great pleasure of eating at the Italian Garden Restaurant in Canyon Lake. This restaurant is very easy to find since it is on the main road, Hwy 306, which leads to Canyon Lake.
The first good sign was the ample parking lot. Not only was there ample parking, there were shade trees too! I was impressed with the outside presentation of the building. It was very clean and neat. If I am not mistaken, I believe the owner was washing the windows as I arrived.
The entry is warm and inviting. A new bar has yet to open where wine and beer will be served and possible wine tastings.
The daily special was in full view before being seated at a table. We were greeted by a friendly hostess that had an extra friendly smile.
The restaurant has been totally remodeled.
This is the original dining room.
We were seated in the new addition to the restaurant. It is airy, bright and classy. Did I mention “clean?” No cracker crumbs on the floor; no sticky table; and, most important, no wobbly table!
Anne Marie, our waitperson greeted us and could see we wanted to visit a while before ordering. She said when she goes out with friends; they all talk and have such a good time. She said she will bring us our drinks and we can order when ready. What a thoughtful person!
About 30 minutes later and after reviewing the very extensive menu, we were ready for Anne Marie to take our order. Being Sally’s nemesis (When Harry Met Sally), I had several questions about how a couple of dishes were prepared. Anne Marie was quite knowledgeable about the menu and answered my questions with pleasure.
Gino & Gule Zeneli, settled in Canyon Lake from Macedonia by way of New Jersey. Gule (pronounced Julie) developed the Low Carb, Low Fat Entrees. She also prepares the homemade desserts…more on that later.
I settled on the Grilled Chicken made with spinach, artichoke hearts, garlic, olive oil and pine nuts. Marlene ordered the same thing and Viola ordered Fettuccine Alfredo.
First comes the freshly baked rolls. Oh my…buttery crisp tops! I could not resist. Next came my Greek Salad. Just the right amount of feta cheese and red wine vinaigrette. The red onions were thinly sliced to just give a hint of onion flavor without overpowering the salad. Anne Marie is a budding children’s book author but she is a fantastic server. She waited until I was nearly finished with my salad before bringing out the main course. After a lot of oohing, we started eating.
The lunch was so delish! But what about an Italian dessert? Being full had nothing to do with not ordering…Gule had not made fresh desserts today so were only offered “store bought” delights. Well, we decided on Tiramisu. It was divine. The liquor softened the lady fingers just to the point where it melted in your mouth! The chocolate was not overwhelming…but just enough to make you want to take another bite! I can only imagine how good Gule’s desserts will be. Sorry no picture...we ate it too fast!
The menu is so extensive there is something to please all ages and palets. Appetizers range from fried Mozzarells sticks to Escargo. Pizza with just about any topping you could wish for is just right for the Friday night game night crowd. What Italian restaurant would not serve subs and calzone? And did I mention they have homemade pasta? Seafood, chicken and veal round out the menu along with traditional pasta dishes. The kid’s menu will please any picky eater.
Everything on the menu is available for take-out. Catering is also available. Open 7 days a week, Italian Garden Restaurant is a real winner. Be sure to ask about the catch of the day for fresh seafood. And, be sure to ask for Anne Marie…you will not be disappointed.
Italian Garden Restaurant
18220 Hwy 306, Canyon Lake, TX 78133
Until next time make that call you have been putting off....and, start your Christmas cards!