Updated 7 December 2001 URL is /marfa/alpine2.html
Reata Restaurant: A Taste of Texas, part two
by Magdalin Leonardo
Tortilla Soup. Nachos with Chargrilled Chicken. Tumbleweed Onion Rings. Bacon-wrapped Shrimp with Onion Marmalade and Cornmeal Stars. Are you hungry yet? Well, those are just for starters!
At Reata, the appetizers sound -- and taste -- just as good as the entrees. I started my dinner off with a Field Greens Salad drenched in Goat Cheese and Spicy Pecans, topped by a Sherry Viniagarette. Positively yummy! And my main course was even more scrumptious: Barbeque Shrimp Enchiladas served with beans and cornmeal. Mmm mmm good!
Other entree choices at the Reata included West Texas Beef Stew with Gruene Mashed Potatoes, Mesquite-Grilled Rib-Eye, Pan-Seared Pepper Crusted Tenderloin with a Port Wine Glaze and for you pasta lovers, Linguine with Spicy Tomato Broth and Wild Mushrooms. Prices in 1998 ranged from $9.95 to $24.95 and portions are generous, so bring a hearty appetite. But make sure you save some leftovers too...Reata packages them in a really cool cardboard box shaped like a cowboy's saddlebag!
NOTE: I was told back in July that Reata's menu was being updated, so the dishes may vary from the ones I described here. Not to worry. Executive Chef Grady Spears, who plans all of Reata's menus, has an impeccable reputation. He's even been featured in Martha Stewart's Living Magazine!
The staff at Reata dresses for success. While I feasted at Reata, chef Reggie Ferguson was nice enough to model his Reata duds for me. The black T-shirt and matching baseball cap (which also comes in beige), both feature the Reata log and are both for sale at the restaurant. (Note: the polka-dots on Reggie's shirt are NOT part of the design; they're simply food stains from a hard day's night in the kitchen.)
Reggie's restaurant uniform was no where near as cool as the waitress uniforms, though. Janna and Kathy, two of Reata's finest, struck a pretty pose for me in front of the James Dean mural.
Kathy was my waitress, and a darn good one at that. Her steady stream of "Yes, Maam's" made me feel right at home.
I especially loved Kathy's Reata nametag: a perfectly sculpted "R" made of silver and gold-tone metal. (Got to get me one of those!)
Bartender Jonas Edwards wasn't donning any Reata garb during my visit, but he was wearing a beautiful smile and he could flip those tequila bottles even better than Tom Cruise in "Cocktail!" He and Pam Miller, a Reata regular, were nice enough to educate -- and deliciously enlighten me -- on the merits of tequila. My newfound brand of choice? Anejo Tequila Lapiz, which is most definitely worth its $11 a shot price!
Feel like a party? Wade Sanders, General Manager of Alpine's Reata, told me that his restaurant could accommodate up to 80 people. Any more than that and you'll have to travel to Fort Worth's Reata. Located on top of the Bank One building in downtown Fort Worth, this sister restaurant is six times the size of Alpine's Reata. Wow! In fact, Wade tells me it has two bars--one that's just as big as the Alpine Reata!
The Fort Worth Reata Restaurant has been open a little over two years and seats up to 400 people. Best of all, it has five different rooms for private parties.
Here's some more great Reata news: plans are currently in the works to open a third Reata Restaurant in Beverly Hills as early as 1999. Won't California Deaners be thrilled? I can see it now...a huge grand opening bash with artist Kenneth Kendall as master of ceremonies. Maybe even Liz Taylor and Dennis Hopper will show up...?
Until then, the restaurant in Alpine remains the Reata of choice for Dean fans. But don't go there on a Sunday; they're closed. Located at 203 N. Highway 118 in Alpine, Reata is open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11:30 am - 2:00 pm, with dinners starting at 5:30 pm. Make your reservations early!
All text and images © 1998 Magdalin Leonardo, email
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