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Fearless Critic restaurant review
San Antonio
Upmarket restaurant

Sun–Thu 5:30pm–10:00pm
Fri–Sat 5:30pm–11:00pm

Features Date-friendly, good wines, outdoor dining, Wi-Fi
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


203 S. St. Marys St.
San Antonio, TX
(210) 225-0722
Biga on the Banks
The city’s dean of contemporary cuisine makes frequent cameos in the kitchen

Though he doesn’t brag, Bruce Auden could easily claim the deanship of contemporary cuisine in the Alamo City; it was at his first gig in the Fairmount Hotel that we learned to love New Southwestern cuisine enlivened with occasional Asian accents—and this from a skinny Brit. Today, in his posh redoubt overlooking the River Walk, Auden is still the face of the operation, but the cooking has largely been delegated to others. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

Exemplary apps include the original chicken-fried oysters, the smoked salmon nachos and the radicchio game packets with Asian chili sauces. Eschew the pot stickers. Though many dishes are seasonally sensitive, the rack of lamb with parmesan polenta cake, the duck with egg noodles and baby bok choy, and the “Close-to-Bouillabaisse” seafood stew with fancy fish are fine and normally available. Cheese plates, changing every other week or so, are “fabulous” in the words of an admitted partisan; curiously, but this is San Antonio, they sell much better as appetizers than post-prandial possibilities. The wine list, necessary with cheese, has its merits—but not always all its bottles. And yet it’s often rewarding to sit at the bar with an appetizer or two as you sample from what wine actually is available. Sticky toffee pudding, introduced to us by Auden, is a perfect finale, especially when enjoyed with abandon behind the diaphanous curtaining of table 31.

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