Lanny's at Last

Lanny’s has been a bit of a running joke between my husband and me. Chef Lanny Lancarte’s upscale take on traditional Mexican cuisine (although that is too narrow a definition, I can’t think of a better one right now), as well as the restaurant’s spare, sophisticated space and flawless service, have made it a favorite place for TCU faculty on special occasions. When Till flew down to Fort Worth for his own interview several years back, he was taken there; I got to hear all about it over the phone, from our then home in the frozen north, between our two young children’s wails. From that moment, I dreamed of a date-night at this far-away, exotic restaurant, though reality set in after the move, with one income, two young children, and a higher cost of living than in Ohio (entrees are generally in the $30 to $40 range). Till’s three-year term on faculty senate has also drawn occasional faculty-only invitations to Lanny’s, which I have teased him about, declaring, as I love to do, that evening and weekend events ought to include spouses. (Is that not basic etiquette?) Toward the end of his senate term, I was included in one such dinner, delighted to finally get to go to Lanny’s. And as if my complaints had been heard, as a parting gift from his senate service, Till was given a gift certificate to Lanny’s. And that is how, four full years after moving to Fort Worth, we had our long-anticipated date night at Lanny’s—at last. While I’m sure that the Lanny’s staff had no idea the build-up they needed to live up to that night, they did not disappoint. Following a salad with blood oranges, pepitas, and spiced goat cheese, the chef put together a custom plate, mainly drawn from the sides served with meat dishes—carrot ravioli and baby artichokes, to name a couple—making for one heck of a vegetable plate. The servers were swooning over it, in fact, admitting that they’d never seen anything quite so delicious. A bottle of prosecco and a crème brulee to share—chocolate on the bottom and fresh berries on the top—and it added up to an evening worth waiting for.