Now helmed by chef Matthew Garcia, Barbaro is staying consistent with playful pies, technique-driven sides, and plain delicious desserts. Did we mention the extensive list of cocktails and quaint Monte Vista setting make this the perfect spot for late night ‘za? 2720 McCullough Ave., (210) 320-2261, barbarosanantonio.com.
Biga on the Banks //
Bruce Auden’s menu includes such Southwest-Continental dishes as chicken-fried oysters with squid-ink linguini and pancetta, and grilled Texas quail, all of which can be paired to appropriate wines by the glass from Biga’s ample list. 203 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 225-0722, biga.com.
Chef Mark Bliss (see what they did there?) opened his namesake dining room with evident attention to detail. From the elaborate charcuterie boards to the iconic chicken fried oysters and expert service, Bliss is is one of Southtown’s dining jewels. 926 S. Presa St., (210) 225-2547, foodisbliss.com.
The Cookhouse Chef Pieter Sypesteyn keeps Tobin Hill happy with this Nawlins-inspired kitchen. From po’boys at lunch filled with blackened catfish and barbecue shrimp to dinner with pan-roasted trout, smoked duck breast and a redfish on the half shell, Cookhouse has wow diners since 2014. 720 E. Mistletoe Ave., (210) 320-8211, cookhouserestaurant.com.
Since 2013, Cured has helped cement the Pearl as a dining destination. The charcuterie is made in-house, produce is sourced from local farms and Cured’s dinner service means chef Steve McHugh and his staff can really stretch their legs with a collection of small plates (bison tartare, anyone?), large plates (rabbit cassoulet for bigger appetites) and recently an heirloom corn five-course tasting menu. 306 Pearl Pkwy., Suite 101, (210) 314-3929, curedatpearl.com.
A contemporary gem on the Southtown corridor, the Feast here is for all of the senses. The modern and glamorous décor sets the scene for cocktails and a fun twist on familiar classics, like lettuce-wrapped barbacoa, sought-after macaroni and cheese and goat cheese-stuffed grape leaves. Don’t miss sister restaurant’s Battalion and Rebelle. 1024 S. Alamo St., (210) 354-1024, feastsa.com.
The Granary ’Cue & Brew //
Sure, we could have listed this restaurant under barbecue, but that would be selling it short. With quality Texas ’cue served up for lunch and gastronomy-influenced dishes for dinner such as the 44 Farms beef clod with coffee quinoa crunch or grilled veal breast and crispy sweetbreads, The Granary is more dress up than down. 602 Avenue A, (210) 228-0124, thegranarysa.com.
Opened in 2013, Mixtli (or Nahuatl for cloud) ups the ante on multi-course dinners. Led by chefs Diego Galicia and Rico Torres, this progressive restaurant shares beautiful dishes, all telling the story of Mexico one region at a time, for 12 guests at a time, inside a renovated train boxcar. 5251 McCullough Ave., (210) 338-0746, restaurantmixtli.com.
Restaurant Gwendolyn //
Old is new again. SA’s pristine locavore has added a la carte options to their prix-fixe offerings making it that much more accessible for diners to check out this award-winning fare. 152 E Pecan, Ste 100, (210) 222-1849, restaurantgwendolyn.com.
Silo Elevated Cuisine //
An elegant update on shrimp and grits and signature chicken-fried oysters are among the favored dishes at this restaurant and bar. The Dominion area is home to the latest iteration, Silo Terrace Oyster Bar and it’s as delicious as it sounds. Don’t miss Italian Nonna and Silo Prime inside the Fairmount Hotel. Multiple locations, siloelevatedcuisine.com.
Start with the five-piece house-made charcuterie selection. Presented on an antique wooden paddle, it’s a marvel of composition and a textbook example of varying tastes and textures from salty to sweet and plush to rustic. These and more discoveries are why you should head to Andrew Weissman’s latest endeavor. 16401 La Cantera Pkwy., (210) 247-0176, destinationhotels.com.
Hotel Emma’s resident restaurant is led by chef John Brand (formerly of Las Canarias). The Midwesterner is packing in new American flavors from breakfast through dinner. You can’t go wrong with the smoked crispy quail or braised pork with charred cabbage, almonds, raisings and mustard. 136 E. Grayson St., (210) 448-8351, supperatemma.com.
Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery //
Great beer (brewed by Les Locke) pairs well with solid bites from chef Jeffrey Balfour and staff. From shrimp boils with zesty Crystal dressing, to double-stacked burgers, and buttery pretzels, Southerleigh’s a catch-all for Pearl-goers in search of seafood, brunch, a really great michelada, a place to cool off with a cream ale or a place to celebrate that promotion. 136 E. Grayson St., (210) 455-5701, southerleigh.com.