Some days you just really need to get out of the city. Lucky for Austinites, we’re surrounded by the beautiful Texas Hill Country which just happens to have some of the best breweries, vineyards, and BBQ joints in the state. This Friday, February 6th, the Hill Country is getting another jewel city dwellers will happily make the short trek to visit.
Apis Restaurant and Apiary is named for and inspired by the honeybee and its bounty, the restaurant will serve locally-minded contemporary American cuisine complemented by honey yielded from twenty on premise bee hives. Conceived by husband and wife team Taylor and Casie Hall (with Taylor serving as Executive Chef) the restaurant and hives are situated on six beautiful acres of land off of Highway 71 backing up to the Pedernales River. Open Wednesday through Saturday for dinner to start, Apis plans to offer Sunday brunch in the Spring, as well. Can you imagine a more perfect spot to celebrate Mother’s Day?
Apiary Photo by Kip Sikora
The Apiary is the soul of Apis. With twenty hives onsite, the apiary actively completes the cycle of sustainability and symbolizes the team’s mission to provide and promote that which is pure, clean, and local. The bees will pollinate the future gardens on the restaurant’s campus and they plan for those gardens to, in turn, provide some fresh herbs for the restaurant. The honey harvested from the hives is used in Apis’s craft cocktails and culinary creations. Apis is a dream come true for the Halls who have kept their own hive at home since 2010.
Apis has twenty hives onsite, situated at the back of the six-acre property, on the cliffs overlooking the Pedernales River. At a healthy distance from the restaurant, and with a feeding barrier, the bees should not disturb guests who might be concerned about being harassed or stung. Additionally, the breed of honeybee at Apis is known for being docile. The teams’ vision is to provide tours of the hives for guests interested in learning more about beekeeping and they will eventually sell jars of their honey to guests who would like to bring a part of Apis home.
While the entire menu won’t feature the honey produced onsite, there will be influences and hints of the property honey in dishes and cocktails. The menu will offer a variety of options perfect for every day dining and special occasions including:
- Market Oysters with Valley Grapefruit Mignonette
- Egg Toast on Everything Brioche with Cured Salmon Belly and Smoked Roe
- Hamachi Crudo with Beets, Preserved Lemon, Caraway and Parsnip
- Foie Gras Terrine with Winter Citrus, Gingerbread and Radish
- Grimmway Carrot Soup with Maine Lobster, Vadouvan Curry and Goats’ Milk
- Foie Gras Stuffed Chicken for Two with Popcorn Grits, Grilled Chard and Buttermilk Jus
- Maine Lobster and Monkfish with Apple, Celery Root, Savory Cabbage and Cider Hollandaise
- Aged Rohan Duck Duo with Beets, Faro, Rose and Pecan
- 40-Day-Aged Wagyu Ribeye with Braised Short Ribs, Sweet Potato, Miso and Black Garlic.
Apis Duck Currant Sausage – Photo by Melissa Skorpil
With Freddy Yandrisovitz of FYI Designs on the interior design, the 3300 square foot restaurant is rustic and charming. The space’s natural sensibilities are a perfect fit for the Hill Country location, and the restaurant’s concept is hinted at throughout the space with playful nods to the honeybee and its important work.
Running throughout the main dining room and bar are gorgeous wood floors that are antique reclaimed oak from a Civil War era barn in Missouri. As guests enter the space they are first greeted by a chandelier custom designed by Mark Ansier of IronWaves. The piece was transformed into its current form from a rusted spool of barbed wire that Chef Hall found while running on a ranch in North Texas.
The restaurant’s bar, resting on a base of beautiful Texas limestone with a bar top of honey ambrosia curly maple with a black walnut honeycomb inlay, was hand-crafted by Vaden Custom. As the eyes continue up, guests will notice the ceiling is adorned with burnished gold hexagon pattern. In addition to the cozy banquets in the main dining room, guests will also notice custom ceramic planters commissioned by Susie Fowler from Spicewood. She used flora and fauna from the Hill Country to create her art in addition to actual honeycomb and bees to imprint her pieces.
Located at 23526 Hwy 71 West in Spicewood, Texas, the Apis Team looks forward to welcoming guests from Austin, neighbors in Spicewood and those traveling through the Texas Hill Country.