Cooler temps mean only one thing: it is officially patio season. And after a highly successful outdoor dinner the other night at La Terraza Rum & Lounge, I highly recommend adding the Hillcrest restaurant to your dining out, to-do list.
My wife and I enjoyed a relaxing date night on the restaurant’s cozy deck, partaking in a few appetizers, small plates, and mojitos. Those unfamiliar with La Terraza’s mojitos, just know that their house-made versions are the very best you will find in town. Loaded with rum, mint, lime, and ice, these refreshing cocktails come in a variety of fruit flavors (like mango and pineapple). I opted for the Venezuelan, which is much like a standard mojito but with dark instead of white rum. Overall, the Venezuelan tasted a bit more mellow and less sweet than the traditional version my wife was drinking. I enjoyed both but would definitely opt for the dark rum.
Within fifteen minutes, plates of Yuca Frita, Trio de Empanadas, Camarones a la Brava, Carpaccio de Lomito, and Patatas Bravas hit our table. It was a fun challenge fitting all the small plates on a tiny table for two, but the lack of real estate proved to be a good problem because every dish was an absolute winner.
The fried yucca root with guasacaca feels like something that should be ordered on every La Terraza visit. Thick cut and super crispy, the pipping hot yucca awakens the palate with a dip into the accompanying guasacaca. After another sip of my mojito, I dove into the trio of fried empanadas, one each filled with cheese, black bean, and beef. The subdued flavors of the empanadas proved to be an excellent pairing with the heat of the Camarones a la Brava, a beautiful dish of plump shrimp swimming in a spicy tomato cream sauce. For Indian food lovers, imagine something similar to a tikka masala laced with jalapenos. The Patatas Bravas included large chunks of soft potato drenched in the same sauce. Fans of beef carpaccio will love La Terraza’s version, the Carpaccaio de Lomito. A huge plate of thinly sliced seared beef tenderloin is topped with mushrooms, Parmesan, black pepper, and basil aioli. The dish is as tasty as it is beautiful, a work of art that not-so-sadly must be eaten.
And eat it, we did. Happily.
It was a perfect dinner, and, truth be told, we only scratched the surface of La Terraza’s menu. I am already looking forward to checking out many of the other offerings, while also enjoying a tasty mojito on the deck. The mini arepas, tostones, platano frito, and Aguacate Rellonos are all calling my name. If you are thinking about enjoying an evening at La Terraza, just know the restaurants is currently taking reservations.
La Terraza Rum & Lounge
3000 Kavanaugh Blvd
Phone: (501) 251-8261
Hours: Tuesday 5-9 p.m.; Wednesday-Thursday 5-10 p.m.; Friday 5-11p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Closed Monday