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Amuse-BOUCHE 

Taking advantage of spring-like mid-winter in South Texas, we decided to lunch at the Grill at Leon Springs, an easy 10-mile ride north from downtown. Thierry, who put L’Etoile on the culinary map a generation ago, has created a very comfortable country-style restaurant, with spare but inviting furnishings. Particularly appealing is the spacing between the handsome dark cherry tables, allowing for private conversations.

The midday menu is fairly simple, a half-dozen large entree salads, four sandwiches, and four full entrées. Service was pleasant and efficient, although I wound up with the marinated beef salad rather than the chopped Chinese salad with seared jumbo shrimp I had ordered. Not to worry — an easy correction and apologies from both waiter and owner. My companion had a Thai curry with shrimp and basmati rice in a lime sauce. Although it was milder than she likes, I reminded her Thai meals at non-Thai restaurants tend to be blander. 

The Grill has a well-chosen wine list, with most in the $8-$9 a glass range, and the house wine, a modest $5.50 a glass, is a California Cooperidge. All told, nice setting, good service, reasonable prices, and a great way to spend a leisurely lunch hour (more likely two) in the country. leonspringsgrill.com.


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