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Anniversary Weekend in San Antonio

Hey All,
My wife and I just moved to Austin from Seattle and are celebrating our first wedding anniversary on July 4th in San Antonio.

We are staying at a nice hotel on the Riverwalk and are looking for recommendations for a nice dinner (good food, a little romantic, but hopefully not breaking the bank!) Thinking about Brasserie Pavil, but aren't necessarily excited about the half hour drive each way.

Any suggestions for something closer to, or on the Riverwalk that might fit the bill? Or must eats for breakfast/lunch the next day?

Also, what should we expect with the July 4th holiday? Will San Antonio and the riverwalk be a scene?

We really appreciate your help!

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Brasserie Pavil
1818 N. Loop 1604 West Suite 101, San Antonio, TX 78248

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  1. Brasserie Pavil doesn't fit my idea of a romantic restaurant simply because the space is too big to be "cozy"! It's quite striking in decor--so much so that I have always felt the decor was better than the food itself. And, as you point out, it is quite a ways from the Riverwalk. A better choice, IMHO, is Bistro Vatel, located just north of downtown. It has French bistro food, but is much better than Pavil plus it better fits the romantic description. www.bistrovatel.com to check out the menu.

    As far as lunch on the Riverwalk, we love Boudro's! The Southwestern Steak Frites is SO good, as are the nopal margaritas. Get there right as they open (I think 11) to get a good table RIGHT on the river, and it has great views of a little bridge, the river, ducks and interesting buildings.

    Can't help you re: crowds as we always try to go at "off" times.

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    Brasserie Pavil
    1818 N. Loop 1604 West Suite 101, San Antonio, TX 78248

    Bistro Vatel
    218 E Olmos Dr, San Antonio, TX 78212

    1. How about Il Sogno.

      1. You just moved from one of my favorite cities in the universe to another favorite city. In San Antonio, see my post to PatrickG regarding Le Midi and Biga on the Banks. Either
        of these beats Pavil, hands down. If you're going to drive as far as Pavil, drive a little farther and try Watermark Grill. The seafood won't approach what Seattle offers, but it is
        very good for our area. Enjoy you sojourn in Austin and your anniversary in San Antonio.

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        Biga on the Banks
        203 S. St. Mary's St., San Antonio, TX 78205

        Watermark Grill
        18740 Stone Oak Parkway, San Anotnio, TX 78258

        1. I'd definately second Ms Ghost's opinion of Pavil for a special ocassion. Il Sogno and Sandbar (both at the Pearl brewery complex-walkable/river taxi from downtown on the riverwalk extension)are personal favorites, note that neither takes reservations and both can get backed up quickly on weekends unless you're waiting when they open. Biga is great, as was our first impression of Jason Dady's Insignia (Fairmont hotel, a stone's throw from riverwalk) and Oloroso (about half mile stroll on South Alamo).

          1. We have made reservations for Boudro's based on Ms. Ghost's recommendations, other reviews we have read and its close proximity to our hotel.

            Any particular suggestions of what to make sure we get there or perhaps any recs for coffee places or lunch the next day?

            2 Replies
            1. re: chowdahhead

              Their guacamole (prepared tableside) is wonderful. We've had their grilled or blackened fish with beurre blanc sauce and their ribeyes....all were excellent. Indoor seating might be more romantic, but an outside table gives you an opportunity to take in the sights and true ambience of The Riverwalk....summertime heat and all. A breakfast recommendation is The Guenther House....site of the old Pioneer Flour Mill. It's a short drive there, but their Belgian waffle with fresh strawberries and whipped cream is worth the trouble. If your budget still leaves plenty of room, another choice would be Las Canarias in the LaMansion del Rio Hotel. They have a fabulous (but expensive) Sunday brunch, and it's within walking distance on The Riverwalk. Happy Anniversary!

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              Las Canarias
              112 College Street, San Antonio, TX 72205

              1. re: chowdahhead

                I would recommend Citrus in the Valencia Hotel, also Bohanan's, Las Canarias, The Fig Tree, Biga on the Banks. I don't think Boudro's is very romantic for an anniversary, it's great for lunch.

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                Las Canarias
                112 College Street, San Antonio, TX 72205

                Biga on the Banks
                203 S. St. Mary's St., San Antonio, TX 78205

                Fig Tree Restaurant
                515 E Villaret Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78221

              2. Wow, I love Pavil and disagree with Ms. Ghost. I find it to be romantic and both the food and service is outstanding. The menu is diverse and I've never had a bad meal there. Well worth the trip!

                1. Hola! As to what to expect, you're going to be hanging out with 70,000 members of AA.....their every 5 year convention is in town this weekend. Lots and lots of coffee and lots and lots of laughter. The bars will be EMPTY.

                  1. Saw you already made a res, and you will love Boudro's. But the best place for a romantic dinner in the area, hands down easy, is The Grey Moss Inn, outside the city just a little bit near O'Connor High School. The food is great on an outdoor pit grill and the ambiance is absolutely killer.

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                    Grey Moss Inn Restaurant
                    19010 Scenic Loop Rd, Helotes, TX 78023