Starting a restaurant is never easy, but Chef Megan Potts encountered two significant obstacles during her first year as restaurant owner Anise.
On the one hand, COVID-19 was happening. Then, on Valentine’s Day weekend in February, winter storm Uri hit the entire state.
Not only did Potts have to close due to freezing winter weather this weekend, she also ended up canceling reservations that had been postponed to the following Thursday because the restaurant’s pipes froze.
But despite all of this, Restaurant Anise turns out to be a lot like its owner: strong enough to take on challenges and unique enough to stand out.
The restaurant is quite different from other restaurants in town that serve bacon cheeseburgers, hot wings, chicken fried steak, or Mexican food in a relaxed atmosphere against a backdrop of cheerful noise.
Located off the United States Hwy. 377 near the Best Western Granbury Inn & Suites, Anise Restaurant offers fine dining in an elegant setting, with dishes that look as much like works of art as they do paintings by local artists hanging on the restaurant’s walls.
For those who like dishes that go off the beaten track, like kangaroo tartare, wild boar osso buco or seared Wagyu strip loin, the little restaurant at 605 Calinco Dr. could be your cup of tea (iced or hot, both are on). the menu).
Potts said his menu items, which change monthly, are moderately priced and about 25% lower than similar restaurants in the Metroplex.
Prices vary, but with the October menu, entrees were $ 9- $ 13, entrees $ 32-38, and desserts $ 9-12.
“The community has been very, very receptive,” Potts said of his niche restaurant, which is popular with tourists and lakeside people who come to Granbury for weekend getaways. “I think everyone was looking for something a little more upscale, a little more refined without the drive to Fort Worth.”
The November menu includes fennel and winter squash soup, seared scallops, braised lamb shank and cocoa-rubbed Denver antelope thighs.
The desserts on offer are a chocolate fondant cake with cordial cherry ice cream and a rum-chata cheesecake with graham cracker crust, raspberry coulis and candied nuts as well as a potts standard meat and cheese plate. for those who prefer a less sweet final touch.
One thing that never changes is the lavash (flatbread chips) and Aleppo honey whipped goat cheese that are served to every table to provide what Potts calls “an element of familiarity.”
Potts is planning a punch card promotion for 2022 that will include a one-year raffle with eight or 10 prizes for people who come for a “regular” dinner (not monthly wine pairing dinners) for at least eight months.
Those who come for dinner once a month during the 12 months of the year will be eligible for the grand prize: a private chef’s dinner for eight at their home.
Potts, 38, was born in Richmond, Virginia, but raised in a small town in France. As a little girl, she dreamed of becoming a chef.
Potts tries to help young people who have similar dreams. She works with students in the Culinary Program at Granbury High School.
On a recent fall Thursday, Daniel Vanranden, a 2019 GHS graduate who spent three years in this program, made a pumpkin flan with molasses whipped cream and pecan praline in the modest-sized kitchen from the Anise restaurant. He has been working at the restaurant for about five months.
“I love it,” he said with a smile.
The Anise restaurant is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. There is a lot of parking.
Those who want to experience the Anise Restaurant are welcome to make reservations. Although the fire code capacity is 41, Potts kept it comfortable with 28 seats and eight tables.