Love and War in Texas ~ Grapevine, Texas ; Plano, Texas
Restaurants that sound like 19th century novels is a dicey proposition at best. When I first heard that our team dinner meeting was at Love and War in Texas (LWT) , my first reaction was "what the hell is that?". I had visions of a touristo trappo, with slide shows, dancers, costumes and other annoying gimmicks. But much to my surprise, the only gimmick here is that LWT focuses on the various culinary traditions of the diverse regions of Texas. And not only that, but everything is grown or made here, including the wine. And my response quickly went to "what a great idea!"
The five regions LWT define are: The Border, Texas Gulf Coast, Hill Country, The West Texas Plains and East Texas Piney Woods. And that's a pretty good designation, especially considering that the Texas state constitution has a provision to break into 5 different states. Each one naturally has a culinary theme: The Border focuses on Tex-Mex; West Texas is steak; Hill Country mixes wild game with German food; East Texas gets the BBQ, burgers, catfish and the like; And finally the Gulf Coast has a seafood focus - of course. I went with the Border menu and tried the Spicy Chicken and Shrimp Platter, which was served fajita styled on a bed of sizzling onions. Everyone at our table had something different including what looked to be some fascinating habanero tacos. Mine was excellent, and I heard similar sentiments around the table.
LWT is located near the Grapevine Mills outlet mall (Gravepoint Wills) and housed in the former Trail Dust Steakhouse. And according to the bartender, they've been there for 3 years. I'm always looking for places to take out of town guests, including business associates, and I'd rank this along with Texana in Arlington (now sadly closed) and Tolberts in Grapevine as a truly Texan experience.
I'll add both locations for Urbanspoon since we've been to both and there are slight deviations between them.