The Texas Hill Country is a special place — it has the power to bring together people of all ages and all walks of life, and it holds a few surprises, too. Each month, we’ll be highlighting folks and features that make our community special. We call them Hearts of the Hill Country.
Love is in the air, and Apis Restaurant & Apiary is getting buzz for being a great spot to treat your special someone to a Hill Country date night in Spicewood. Chef-owner Taylor Hall’s dream to launch his own restaurant had been a long time coming, but it wasn’t until three years ago that he found the concept for his business in an unlikely ally — the honey bee.
“It all started after I read an article about the demise of the honey bee,” Hall explained. “After I started to realize how important of a species they were to the human food chain, I knew the bee would be the perfect mascot for the restaurant.”
Hall and his wife started studying the science and nature of beekeeping, and soon realized how honey bee byproducts like beeswax and bee pollen could be used to create culinary masterpieces. By February 2015, Hall had a fully operating 20-hive apiary and opened Apis Restaurant to wow palates across the Central Texas Hill Country and the greater Austin area.
As expected, honey is drizzled throughout the bar and dining room menus. A few notable bee-fused options include a splash of honey vinegar in a cocktail, vegetables simmered in beeswax, a traditional Japanese miso made from bee pollen and a trio of soft cheeses paired with one of the apiary’s honeycombs for dessert. It’s all forward-looking, chef-driven cuisine, Hall admits, but he’s conscious about keeping the food approachable, too.
“We are very careful to not go too far, so more traditional palates can be comfortable in our atmosphere,” Hall said. “We always have steak and potatoes for the Hill Country folk, if you will, and even though there’s a lot of fusion techniques going on in our kitchen, it’s important to us for our clientele to enjoy the entire Apis experience.”
That experience isn’t just a night of fine dining; children squeal and play under the grounds’ live oak trees, and local farmers (specifically with their farmer partners, TerraPurreza) gather at the market hosted at Apis every Sunday. All in all, it’s the local relationships that make this place the “queen bee” of Spicewood.
“We are very community-minded because we believe it’s our duty to offer the highest quality of food, and hopefully in return, we’ll have a healthy community,” Hall said. “That’s kind of our philosophy in a nutshell, and I think our desire to serve and give back to the Spicewood community is the reason why we’ve become a special place in the Hill Country.”
To learn more about Apis or its apiary, visit apisrestaurant.com.
Not interested in Apis’ cuisine? Walk next door to Hall’s second restaurant, Pizzeria Sorellina, for homemade Neapolitan-style pizzas in a casual setting.