Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Where to eat in San Antonio, Texas

I think that the best way to discover a new city is through its food. Here are my favorite places to eat in San Antonio, Texas. I call them real "destinations"!!! Read my story and you will know why...

This Spring Break, we decided to go on a road trip from Lubbock, TX to San Antonio, TX. This was not our first time there, but we had many restaurants in the "wish list", so on Friday morning, we started our "culinary" adventure. Our first lunch was at "Silo Elevated Cuisine and Bar". This elegant restaurant is located on 1133 Austin Highway and you can check their menu at

Silo Elevated Cuisine on Urbanspoon

The restaurant offers prix-fixe menu for lunch, which includes starter + entree or entree + dessert and a glass of wine. My husband ordered the "Silo House Salad" (mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, croutons, and honey-dijon walnut vinaigrette). This salad was very similar to what we eat every day at home. The meal was accompanied by parmesan baguette and 7-grain-raisin crusty bread. I really enjoyed the ambience!

My husband's entree was "Shrimps and Grits" (andouille white cheddar grits, Texas Gulf shrimp, Tasso ham, sauteed spinach, black pepper, and cider sauce). It was full of flavors and really juicy!!!

Shrimps and Grits
I ordered "Wood Grilled Atlantic Salmon" with roasted corn and red pepper polenta and grilled asparagus. The salmon was medium-rare, just the way I like it! The smoky flavor was amazing. It was a perfect match for the creamy polenta and the Merlot we ordered.

Wood Grilled Salmon

As always, we had a room for dessert. I liked the "Dark Chocolate Truffle Mousse". It had Fleur de Sel Caramel, Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream, Cocoa Nibs. In my opinion, they should put more fruits, instead of only 1 blackberry and 1 raspberry. But anyway, it was a delicious, creamy way to finish our first lunch. 

Dark Chocolate Truffle Mousse

For Friday's dinner, we made a reservation for "Bliss Restaurant". It is located on 926 Presa St. and it stands on the place of an old gas station. But the place was so "hot", full with well-dressed couples and vibrant conversations. We started with a selection of 3 cheeses: manchego (spain, sheep's milk, hard), bucheron (wisconsin, goat's milk, semi-firm), and cambozola (germany, cow's milk, creamy blue). They were accompanied by honeycomb, marcona almonds, and slices of bread. We really enjoyed the full flavored cheeses and the aromatic honeycomb!

Bliss on Urbanspoon

Manchego, Bucheron, and Cambozola Cheeses

For my entree, I ordered the "Red Snapper". It was a pan roasted gulf red snapper, served on a bed of hazelnut couscous, Italian semi-dried tomatoes, and artichoke heart. The portion was pretty small, but loaded with delicious components!

Red Snapper

My husband ordered the "Housemade agnolotti". They were packed with spinach, ricotta, and goat cheese. On top of them: wild mushrooms, tomato cream, brocollini, semi-dried heiloom cherry tomatoes, arugula, and aged balsamic. He loved it!

Housemade Agnolotti

We ordered a nice bottle of wine: "Barone", 2010, Pinot Grigio. It was light and delicate. Just like our meals. We like to indulge, so the idea of deconstructed "Pecan Pie" was a sound one. This pie was far away from the tradional ones. Pecan brulee, three bean vanilla semifreddo, pecan macaroon, and caramelized apples, anyone? We had such a romantic dinner, beautiful conversations, and one more place to put in my "Best Restaurants" list.

Pecan Pie

On Saturday morning, we went to San Marcos Outlets. This is an outstanding place for all shopaholics, like me. I like to go to all kind of kitchen stores! But after few hours, we were hungry again (not unusual). For lunch, we went to Hotel Valencia in San Antonio's Downtown. Their restaurant is called "Citrus" and it uses mainly local, Texan, ingredients for its dishes. My husband ordered the "Valencia Burger". This all American option features roasted peppers, grilled queso fresco, and steak fries. It is pretty satisfying, even for a man with a good apetite!

Citrus on Urbanspoon

Valencia Burger
I like to eat fish most of the time. Not only it is healthy for you, but it is also delicious when well prepared. I liked the idea of "Pan Roasted Gulf Flounder". It was served with a sweer corn flan (creamy and buttery), pan roasted vegetables (zucchini, peppers), red pepper cream sauce, and watercress. The only problem was that it was extremely salty. I was able to finish it, but it was not pleasant to my taste buds...

Pan Roasted Gulf Flounder
That afternoon, we went to "North Star Mall". It has everything you need, but it is indoor center. So, we decided to visit an outdoor shopping center. The best one in San Antonio is "La Cantera". The place had even live music, water falls, and a lot of people-watching. I adored it! But the best part was the nearby resort "Westin La Cantera". The hotel has golf course, tennis courses, and swimming pools. However, we were there to try the fine-dining restaurant "Francesca's at Sunset". Probably the best in San Antonio (and the surroundings, for that matter), this farm-to-table restaurant had also first-class service, great views, and warming ambience. The first thing that arrived on our table was the amuse-bouche. Lovely!

Francesca's at Sunset on Urbanspoon


Next, we ordered "Old Blue Bosc Pear and Watercress Greens". The pear was poached in wine, topped with Stimulating Maytag Blue Cheese, Texas pecan crumbs, pear-balsamic vinegar, and prosciutto crisps. It can not get better than that.

Old Bleu Bosc Pear and Watercress Greens

My husband tried the "Squash and Celebrity Tomato Empanada". It was served on a bed of farm-to-table tomato sauce. He liked it and he said that the dish was very similar to the calzones I make at home (so I was proud!).
Squash and Celebrity Tomato Empanada
Since we ordered a bottle of white wine ("Albarino", Pazo Serantellos, Galicia, Spain, 2008), I decided to go with the "Sustainable Salmon". That was my favorite dish of all I tried during the getaway. It was sitting on top of Seguin, Texas Fingerling Potato Salad with Eggs. For pretty presentation, the chef topped it with shaved beets and mustard vinaigrette. Best of all, the prickly pear and chile were unexpected and so good! I ate it with corn bread and jalapeno chile biscuits. Heaven! The chef de Cuisine Ernie Estrada does a very good job!
Sustainable Salmon
We love chocolate and cheesecake. What about a "German Chocolate Cheesecake"? Pastry Chef Henry Wesolowski mixes the two classics (German Chocolate Cake and Cheesecake) into one. The marriage is unbelievable: decadent, soft, creamy, and chocolately. That evening was full of surprises. I will return to this "destination" again, I promise... 
German Chocolate Cheesecake
Sunday reminds me always of a nice brunch. We decided to try Chef Andrew Weissman's new restaurant "Il Sogno Osteria". It is located on 200 East Grayson Street, inside an old brewery. The space is very chic, with open kitchen (so I can take a look at the food's preparation) and a wood-burning pizza oven. Since we eat pizza all the time at home, we decided to try something new from the lunch menu. To start, the restaurant offers an addictive garlicly white bean puree, served with housemade focaccia. Very nice texture. I will be doing this at home, for sure.

Il Sogno on Urbanspoon

White Bean Puree and Focaccia
My husband's likes to eat seafood (he was born in a beach city), so he was attracted by the "Penne Arrabiata e calamari". The pasta tubes were covered with spicy sauce and a mixture of green and black olives. Huge basil leaves reminded him that he has to start the gardening season at home and a bottle of Peroni beer suggested that it is warming outside!

Penne Arrabiata e Calamari
I ordered the fish of the day, which was "Pesce Italiano e Pomodoro". A nice red fish in San Marzano Tomatoes Ragu, oil cured black olives and zucchini-squash parpadelle. Amazing! I was suddenly transported to Italy and I was inspired to make the zucchini shavings at home. The osteria had a nice Italian music and a good selection of Italian wines. I had a glass of La Quercia (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo). It was slightly sweet, with hints of blueberries and a soft finish. It complemented very nicely the acidity of the San Marzano tomatoes and the saltiness of the oil cured olives.

Pesce Italiano e Pomodoro
Finally, the last dessert of this trip. The famous "Tortino alla Nutella". Chef Andrew Weissman used to have this same dessert in his old restaurant "Le Reve" and due to the enormous success, he decided to include it in the "Il Sogno" dessert menu. Decadent tart filled with soft nutella, served with vanilla bean ice-cream, a mini-macaroon, and chocolate-hazelnut sauce. "Il Sogno" transported us to Europe, just for few hours, but the experience was worthy. We liked the service, the refined food, and the memories created on that Sunday afternoon. Until we go to our next "destination" restaurant, I will be mastering new recipes at home. I hope you liked San Antonio, viewed through the eyes of a foodie like me.

Tortino alla Nutella


  1. Nice restaurants and a very enjoyable review! I am looking forward to reading the end of the story ;)
    The burger that Luis ordered looks so good that Inaki and I decided to get a burger for dinner :)

    1. Dear Dani,
      Thanks for reading my story. I finished it and I hope that your burger for dinner is very delicious :)

  2. I should have looked at this review before I went to San Antonio last month. I made a list of where to eat in Austin and Houston if you're interested!

    1. Dear Natsumi,
      Thank you for the comment! I looked at your post about Austin and Houston. And yes, I agree, in Texas food is plentiful :).