Fredericksburg’s Finest Restaurant is…a Greenhouse

I have mixed feelings about this post.

On one hand, I want to share my incredible experience and hope that it inspires others but I also kind of want to keep this all to myself. The more exclusive my experience stays, the fancier I feel.

Private dining in the greenhouse at URBANherbal

But y’all – I want you to know this place exists! If you visit Fredericksburg, you’ll probably be busy with wineries but URBANherbal is really not to be missed.

I recently surprised Brian with a bike trip to Fredericksburg, Texas which I wrote about here! Our awesome bike host Deaton Bednar (of Texas Bike Tours) also connected us with the perfect birthday dinner host, Bill Varney, of URBANherbal.

margaritas at urban herbal in Fredericksburg, TX
Margaritas in the garden

To Call it Private Dining is an Understatement

URBANherbal is a garden and all natural apothecary that’s been a Fredericksburg staple for 35 years. You can also pop in for a first Friday art show and peruse the gallery in the back of the house.

What most people don’t know is that the owner, Bill Varney has written two books on growing and cooking with herbs and has cooked at the James Beard House in NYC and appeared on The Food Network. With the right “in” you can get an invite to dine privately in his extensive gardens or inside the greenhouse, which is where Brian and I got to eat.

This colorful salad made of edible plants and flowers was as delicious as it was beautiful

The menu is carefully crafted and cooked by Bill himself and almost all of the vegetables, from the eggplant stack to the edible flowers on the herb salad, are grown right there in the garden. Talk about eating local!

From Aperitif to Dessert, Everything was Perfect

An added bonus – Bill makes one of the best margaritas I’ve ever had. The secret is a salt rim made of edible flowers salt. Of course, we bought some!

savory salt with edible flowers at urban herbal in Fredericksburg, TX
This salt will change everything you thought you knew about margaritas

Flowers and Veggies and Chickens, Oh My!

Outside in the garden a selection of cheeses and crackers awaited us. As the sun was setting, we wandered the grounds and enjoyed the gardens and the chickens!

dining out in Fredericksburg, TX
Aperitifs and cheeses (and…phones) in the garden
Faith! ha, yes – definitely the main spice in my own cooking
Chicken coop at Urban Herbal in Fredericksburg, TX
gardens at Urban Herbal in Fredericksburg, TX

Who Knew a Greenhouse Could be So Romantic?

When the sun had set, we moved into the greenhouse. Candlelight and some awesome rustic chandeliers provided a soft ambience and created interesting shadows from the plants surrounding us.

greenhouse at urban herbal in Fredericksburg, TX
Homemade Chocolate torte with fresh berries and rosemary whipped cream
So many fun details…
private dining in Fredericksburg, TX
…and the man himself! Bill!

This was private dining at its finest and most rustic. There is nothing quite like lingering over a perfectly cooked meal in a setting as quaint and unexpected as a working greenhouse, surrounded by plants and suffused with candlelight. I hope you get to try it sometime.

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20 Comments

  1. What an amazing concept for a restaurant! I love it! That salad is almost too pretty to eat. Almost.:-)

  2. Oh man- that is so up my alley- love it! I HAVE to try this!

  3. We love Fredericksburg! We lived in Austin for 10 years. This looks so perfect. Thanks for sharing.

  4. That looks so wonderful!

    Did you walk the labyrinth?

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  6. Theresa,
    Loved this beautiful blog that you wrote about URBANherbal and me! Thank you for coming to visit URBANherbal and Fredericksburg. You and Brian are such a fun couple,I’m hoping to see you again, soon. I will share your blog with friends, family and clients, who all nurture love, through self love, romance, friendship, or the kindness among strangers.

  7. Hi Theresa,

    I’m working on a blog post about Bill for The Herb Society of America’s blog. Wondered if I might use one or two of your images to showcase what he’s doing at URBANherbal (would give you credit for image(s)). You can respond by email (which I’ve put in below).

    Thoughts? Thanks!

  8. Pingback: One Man’s Road to Herbal Success: An Interview – The Herb Society of America Blog

  9. How fantastic Great site you have will follow! Cheers!

  10. This place looks amazing!

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