#FoodieFriday: Fine Poolside Dining in Downtown Austin

by Britni Rachal on February 26, 2021 in Food, Austin,

With COVID, and now SNOVID in Texas, you might be itching to get away somewhere tropical. But as not everyone feels 100% comfortable traveling yet, we’ve found what may be the next best thing.

Located on the fifth floor of Austin Proper Hotel, La Piscina has indoor dining options, and yes – outdoor poolside options right under dozens of nicely planted palm trees.

Located on the 5th floor of the downtown Austin Proper Hotel, La Piscina is a vibrant, open poolside restaurant and bar serving Texas-inspired Mexican cuisine. Courtesy photo

Vibrant Outdoors & In

My friend and I visited La Piscina on a cold, drizzly night. But, because we dressed in layers, the outdoor environment was actually very refreshing and comfortable for us. If you do get cold, heat lamps and warm blankets are available. With upbeat and fun music, spaced-out tables, and five-star service, there’s little not to like about La Piscina and its vibrant atmosphere. The menu’s food and drink options are abundant, and the food is just as flavorful as the restaurant environment, if not more.

For a fun beverage choice, perfect for tequila fans, try La Piscina’s copita board comprising a copita of mezcal accompanied by fruits, salts and the house hibiscus and pomegranate Sangrita plus cucumber and orange slices topped with spicy tajin and sal de gusano. Courtesy photo

Ceviches, Fajitas, Cocktails & Much More

We started out with the Tableside Caesar Salad, which was recommended by general manager Rudy Ghezzi. A great recommendation, the salad and dressing are made fresh, to your own preference, topped with house-made garlic croutons, with a nice chef’s demo, and the option to add white anchovy.

For drinks – my favorite was La Piscina’s Sunrise de Jamaica – basically, their take on a Tequila Sunrise. Cimarron blanco, hibiscus and mint grenadine, and fresh orange juice are the perfect combination for a tropical taste that’s beautifully topped with fruit. The restaurant also offers a special house daquiri, along with dozens of other offerings, based on your own palate preferences.

La Piscina’s Baja Bass with grilled corn and serrano mojo de ajo served alongside avocado, crema and fresh pressed corn tortillas. Courtesy photo

Menu Standouts

Sizzling Fajitas are a favorite at La Piscina. Tons of options include prime steak arrachera al carbon, a 12-ounce pineapple and soya-marinated ribeye, 6 ox bacon-wrapped filet mignon, anchiote-marinated chicken breast, whole main lobster, jumbo gulf shrimp – and more. We opted to try the sirloin steak and added on a few bacon-wrapped jumbo gulf shrimp. Wood-fired and served with a plate of delicious, filling refried beans, Mexican rice, house-made tortillas, fresh veggies, and smoldering cheese, these fajitas are a fun, sharable, very large portion main dish.

At La Piscina, you’ll find a menu full of fresh ceviches, grilled seafood, and skillets of sizzling fajitas from pineapple and soya-marinated wagyu to al pastor alongside house-made tortillas. Courtesy photo

Another top-pick menu item is the Lobster Quesadilla. Served with chipotle, fresh tomato, and pineapple pico, this shareable dish really puts a tropical spin on a Tex-Mex favorite. Incredibly fresh, it made for a unique addition to a quesadilla.

If you can – don’t forget to save room for dessert. The restaurant offers sizzling Crepes Flambé, a very citrus take on Tres Leches, and a Mexican Hot Chocolate Pot de Crème.

Weekend brunch at La Piscina is every Saturday and Sunday starting at 11am. Feast on gulf snapper and aji amarillo aguachile, tres leches french toast, chilaquiles verdes, and more! Courtesy photo

Poolside Fun

Brunch this summer will likely be a hot and trendy spot for being social by the pool, as the weather warms up in March and beyond. A brunch menu, full of seafood takes on Mexican favorites, is already available Saturday and Sundays, from 11am.

Reservations for La Piscina can be made online. Takeout is also available

Be on the lookout for some potential fun events planned for the poolside area as COVID-19 cases fall and local events return to normal.

La Piscina: Austin Proper Hotel, 600 W 2nd, Austin, TX 78701

Cover photo courtesy La Piscina, Austin Proper Hotel

Britni Rachal lives in Austin, Texas. She is a freelance journalist, full-time marketer, and a Realtor®. In addition to writing, Rachal enjoys traveling, event planning, fashion, fitness and serving the Austin community.