San Antonio -- LeReve, La Fogata, Paesanos & Scenic Loop Cafe
Was in San Antonio on business Thursday - Saturday and got another opportunity to eat at LeReve. Had another stellar experience there -- great food, great service, great ambience. Also had meals at La Fogata, Paesanos Riverwalk and Scenic Loop Cafe. Four very different places, but all have something to offer.
LeReve -- Thursday night, March 8
Hors D' Oeuvres: Seared Hudson Valley foie gras, tropical fruit "shish kebab"
Caramelized onion tart, French goat cheese and balsamic drizzle
Pan roasted duck glazed in its own juices, croutons and berries
LeReve "Breakfast Special," truffled egg and braised bacon
Wild mushroom, lobster and shrimp crespelle
Salads: Hydroponic baby lettuces, red tip and oak leaf with LeReve champagne
Watercress salad with grapefruit and candied walnuts
Main Courses: Crispy black sea bass, croquette potatoes incrusted in almonds
Colorado rack of lamb with eggplant and flageolets
Monkfish with roasted peppers, chicken stock reduction and saffron
Desserts: Orange peel pound cake with macerated berried and vanilla ice cream
Hazelnut and chocolate and poached pear, Belle Helene
Far and away the best meal I've had in Texas since my last meal there. We just
returned from St. Barth, where the food is ethereal, and this matched anything we
had there. Can't say which dishes were the best. The "Breakfast Special" is a
humorous take on breakfast, with a small poached egg, tiny "ranch fries" and a
piece of braised pork belly. Fois gras was incredible. Our rack of lamb connois-
seur pronounced her entree "the best I ever had." Black sea bass was a substi-
tution for the Australian sea bream that was originally on the menu and the monk-
fish was an addition to the menu. Both were delicious. Service was wonderful and
the nearly three and a half hours there passed too quickly.
La Fogata -- Friday lunch, March 9
La Fogata is our favorite Mexican/Tex-Mex place in San Antonio. Food is good, but
no better than several other places there, but we like the atmosphere, the guacamole
and the service. Had some excellent Green Enchiladas, Chile Relleno and Chile Po-
blano stuffed with grilled chicken.
Paesanos Riverwalk -- Friday dinner, March 9
After LeReve the night before, Paesanos had little chance, but it was OK. I know not
to really expect good food on the riverwalk, but tried it anyway. We had Shrimp Pae-
sano (the signature dish and the best of what we had), a pretty good sea bass dish
and a penne with chicken and sausage. We were surprised to be seated within five
minutes after arriving at about 7:15 and the service was really excellent. They only
take reservations for 10 or more, so I was concerned about a long wait on a Friday
night, but had no problem.
Scenic Loop Cafe -- Saturday lunch, March 10
This one was new to us -- recommended by friends. It's about 20 miles outside San
Antonio, three miles off I-10 West on the Boerne Stage Road. It's a big, hill-country
style place (white rock and metal roof) with several dining rooms, a large bar with
band stand, large outdoor patio and room for a lot of folks. They apparently have
live music on a regular basis. The menu is large diverse with a sort of upscale
Chili's feel. Spinach Artichoke Dip was good -- better than the Shrimp Artichoke Au
Gratin, which was just OK. Chicken fried steak was OK. Fried Stuffed Avocado,
filled with shrimp and artichokes, was interesting. Not a bad place for lunch out-
doors on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
We would have been better off to have done these places in reverse order. When you start with LeReve the rest of the places can't help but suffer by comparison. Even so, I would go back to the other places in the right circumstance.
Everyone here raves about Le Reve...I will be in San Antonio with my wife in early May and I would like to try it. My wife is not a big fan of "french" food but will go if the place is not too stuffy....Whats the dress code? Do men need a jacket? Is the service very pretentious or is it just about the food?
I believe a jacket is required and, although Le Reve is formal, I would definitely not call it "stuffy" at all. If you are even remotely a Chowhound do NOT miss it! Make your reservation now, however, if you want to get in. Also, I will be in SA in early May and I know that the chef will be out of town accepting an award for a couple of days during the week. One thing I love about Le Reve is that they close if the chef isn't there.
They require men to wear jackets and will tell you so when you make a reservation. When we were there last week I was the only man in the restaurant who did not have on a tie. That being said, it is not in the least stuffy. The waitstaff is very professional, but also very congenial.
I ate at LeReve on my last trip to SA and it was really, really, really good. Yes, men need to wear a jacket, but I didn't find it stuffy or pretentious at all. It's a small place with a relaxed pacing to the courses, and the food and the service were both excellent. It's expensive though!
Suggestion to you River Rat, if you're ever back for Scenic Loop... We tried them out at lunch a few Saturdays ago...try the Poblano side dish! Boy, it was YUMMY!! Now, I didn't like the shrimp appetizer we got (shrimp was WAY overcooked) nor did I care for the spinach Madeline (I prefer my spinach fresh and sauteed), but that poblano dish was terrific!
Regarding LeReve... I'm hoping someone can tell me some way to do this... I have a very small stomach capacity, but I'd love to visit LeReve some time. I know that I wouldn't be able to even come close to consuming a full meal, but could probably manage a bite of each of the offered courses. So, I'm wondering (and I know that at many fine dining restaurants and other places this is frowned on, if not forbidden), what is their policy on sharing? If, for example, dh got the tasting menu, would they permit me to just have a bite of each of his dishes rather than ordering one for me as well? I know that often there's a "plate sharing charge" and I'm ok with that, but is it even permitted? I really really want to try this place after hearing so many raves about it, but can't figure out how I could physically do it! Anyone know?