Restaurant Gwendolyn: A first date

Chef Michael Sohocki, the Weissman alum that has taken over the old Le Rêve space downtown, is nothing if not sincere about his pledge to serve only product available within a 150-mile radius of San Antonio. Yes, he’ll have no bananas — or Chilean sea bass, Maine lobsters, Australian lamb, Burgundian wines … oh, wait: wines are excepted.

We applaud his zeal but wonder if sincerity is sufficient — or is it suicidal, at least in San Antonio? Apparently interest has been sufficient for him to expand from a small, lunch-only menu to dinner service based on three-, five-, and maybe even seven-course tastings, a format made necessary, explained Sohocki, by the sometimes-limited availability of appropriate product. The names of producers are included on the menu; fortunately, we aren’t also treated to the name of the creature that will adorn our plate — in this case, a first-look luncheon order of seared chicken breast with lentils from Peeler Family Farm.

The menu is said to change daily, but the chicken dish has apparently been on the lunch menu since the beginning — though it may rotate off and on. Was it more wonderful than a less regionally restricted fowl (Sohocki also locally sources duck and smokes it himself)? Not notably — but it was expertly prepared and served atop soupy lentils flavored with a meticulous brunoise that matched the legumes in size. The house’s milk bread was appealing in a nostalgic way, too. In the long run, though, the food will have to match conceptual purity with culinary excitement. The dinner menu may fulfill that promise. We sincerely hope.

Restaurant Gwendolyn

152 E Pecan, Ste. 100

(210) 222-1849

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