Two new Italian restaurants that are taking their cues from Boston have opened in Bee Cave: fine-dining restaurant Ellera and casual beer garden the Garden at Ellera. The Garden opened on October 27, 2020 followed by Ellera on January 30, 2021. Both are found at 12432 Bee Caves Road with dine-in and takeout services.
Owner Chris Meroff is from Boston, and wanted to open something in Austin honoring the New England city. The inspirations for both restaurants are specifically coming from the Boston Italian neighborhood of the North End.
Running the kitchens is executive chef Tim Lane. The Austin chef has studied and cooked in Italy for almost ten years, and worked at Michelin-starred restaurant Glass Hostaria in Rome (which was also featured in an episode of Netflix food series Ugly Delicious).
Currently, Lane operates a Roman-style pizza takeout/delivery-only restaurant Phantasma Kitchen, which is under Meroff’s ghost kitchen operation umbrella on South Lamar (the former home of many Italian-leaning restaurants). These pies are featured on the menu at Garden at Ellera’s, along with lobster rolls. Ellera serves pasta and seafood dishes, among other items. As for drinks, expect beer, wine, and cocktails from both.
The rest of Lane’s culinary resume also includes now-closed acclaimed New York restaurant wd~50, as well as several Austin places: Italian restaurant Asti Trattoria, now-closed East Austin pizzeria Burn Pizza, and downtown cocktail bar Garage, and he did a guest chef stint at casual Anderson Mill restaurant Freda’s Seafood Grille.
The physical space of Garden at Ellera is meant to look like the Boston Public Gardens, which means there will be a lot of greenery throughout the indoor and outdoor areas. It’ll also feature a full bar and offer lawn games and live music.
As for its COVID-19 safety measures, social distancing will be implemented, employees are required to wear masks, guests will have to wear masks whenever they’re not seated at tables, and there will be digital menus available as well as hand sanitizer.
Lane’s wife Stef Cimini is the general manager. As part of Meroff’s MSB Hospitality, the other two businesses at South Lamar ghost kitchen hub include newly launched Lechuza Birria Tacos, which is overseen by Lane and Austin chef Carson Symmonds (Mettle, Lustre Pearl East); and cocktail delivery service HipStirs, run by beverage director Andrew Campbell and mixologist Matthew Ludwig. Then there’s his food truck and cafe Coffee + Crisp. He also had run Austin catering company Kurant Events, but shuttered the business amid the pandemic.
The Garden at Ellera’s hours are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Wednesday and Sunday, and then from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Ellera’s hours are from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday, then from and 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Takeout orders for both restaurants can be placed over the phone at (512) 401-8113.
This is also Garden’s first planned location. A second one will come to Georgetown, with construction starting in March 2021.
Update, February 10, 2021, 11:57 a.m.: This article, originally published on August 28, has been updated to include the opening dates of Garden at Ellera in October 2020 and Ellera in January 2021.