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Fearless Critic restaurant review
San Antonio
Food
Feel
Price
7.0
6.5
$65
Seafood, Modern
Casual restaurant

Hours
Daily 6:30am–10:30pm

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

Website

Downtown
212 W. Crockett St.
San Antonio, TX
(210) 396-5817
Ostra
The recent name change is a sideways shuffle; execution hasn’t evolved

Pesca changed its name to Ostra with the rechristening of the Watermark hotel to a name we’re never going to be able to remember. (For the record, it’s Mokara Hotel and Spa.) The menu changed too, though the raw bar remains front and center in every sense. Numerous oysters are available daily, but there’s also an option called “blowtorch” oysters. Four of the critters are served atop an elevated platter with all the ice and seaweed ceremony of the brand-name bivalves; a tobiko aïoli is the announced accompaniment, and it works, but a kind of Rockefeller-esque pesto is at least equally important. It doesn’t. The announced twenty seconds of torching is in no way apparent. Luxe lobster tacos are another possibility, and panelists have appreciated the crab cakes and seared scallops while heaping scorn on an over-smoked seafood chowder.

The fish of the day may be had two ways, and one can choose from several sauces. The onus then returns to the kitchen, and it mis-stepped with a grilled arctic char; the salmon-like fish was delivered just undercooked enough to be texturally unpleasant, though a beurre rouge sauce (emulsified butter and red wine) helped boost the char’s mild taste. Oil was the salient impression of a side order of tempura-fried green beans.

Service may be the element most improved. The wine list appears to have been burnished as well, with very good choices in mostly American Chardonnay, Pinot, Cabernet, and Merlot. The haute-diner décor didn’t change. It’s time.

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