Luigi's Italian Cafe
Luigi's is a very popular and very good Italian restaurant just off the freeway in Rockwall. Run by two brothers from Northern Italy who sure know how to cook. It is very much a family affair with nephew and cousins all helping out. Plenty of staff, good service, an extensive menu and absolutely no complaints from us.
Favorite Dish: The choice of menu was exceptional and it was hard to make a selection. First you are brought a wonderful loaf of garlic bread which in itself is a meal. We shared the Shrimp Napoleone (jumbo shrimp in a butter, garlic and brandy sauce). Our mains were, Shrimp & Scallops Alfredo sauteed with white wine cream sauce - just a heavenly sauce with melt in the mouth seafood.
The other dish was Luigi's Special. An amazing dish of chicken sauteed with sausage, bell peppers, ham, olives, white wine in a cream sauce with a touch of marinara over thin spaghetti. No shortage of meat and the sauce was so unusual that it was hard to define the flavours. It was exceptional and very reasonably priced. There was also a wine list.
The Oar House
This is a great Seafood/Italian restaurant more in Rockwall than Rowlett. There is a 25 foot rosewood bar, which originates from the Palace Hotel in London, inside the door for just having a quiet drink or two sections of restaurant (smoking and nonsmoking which looks out to the outdoor patio area).
The restaurant namesake is from the 60 foot racing shell and the 8 16-foot oars which extend out from it. There are ornate mirrors set off dark wood and textured walls.
Favorite Dish: There are more specials than you can remember. The main menu itself holds enough to make the decision tough. Whatever you choose, it will be delicious and if you have room for dessert, or even if you don't, share one... The diet starts the next day. Good selection of wines too. Medium to high but value for money.
Bella Italian Ristorante
Bella Italian Ristorante is a 'small town feel' restaurant – cosy and maybe a little outdated in its décor for such a thriving community. There is booth seating as well as tables with plastic print tablecloths and vases of plastic flowers. The usual fake windows on one wall with painted scenery behind and the lightening is perhaps a little to low for reading the menu. Strip lighting around a small bar area where there is a TV. However, this takes nothing away from what you are about to experience with the food. The service too is good.
The added bonus is that this restaurant, while licensed, is also BYO (or BYOB as they say in the States) – a rarity in Texas. They also do take out and deliver.
Favorite Dish: Our choices were the Bella Salad as an appetiser – this was a huge portion of lettuce, olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper with a choice of Ranch or House Special dressing. The house special dressing was an amazing light Italian dressing. Then there was Lobster Ravioli which although minute, was sautéed with tomatoes and basil in a red creamy white wine sauce – with the added touch of parmesan cheese sprinkled on top – outstanding. The other choice was Shrimp Alfredo – jumbo shrimp sautéed in a creamy white wine sauce which was also exceptional. Both dishes were only $9.95 and we had an endless supply of garlic/herbed/parmesan rolls which were tasty and not oily. Little needed was the tiramisu which we shared and of course it was wonderful. The New Zealand bottle of white that we took with us was perfect.
Lone Star Oyster Bar
The Lone Star Oyster Bar and Restaurant at the marina is the newest location of this chain. The menu is moderately priced and is largely fish and other seafood.
Nice for a dinner on the water or after a day out on the lake sailing..
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