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Fearless Critic restaurant review
San Antonio
Food
Feel
Price
7.2
7.0
$90
Modern, Southwestern
Upmarket restaurant

Hours
Mon–Sat 6:00pm–11:00pm
Sun 10:30am–2:00pm

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

www.westinlacantera.com

Northwest
16641 La Cantera Pkwy.
San Antonio, TX
(210) 558-6500
Francesca’s at Sunset
Occasional farm-to-table crop failure is often redeemed by inspiration

Yes, the name is odd, but the sunset view of manicured greens meeting scruffy cedars is truly fine. After dark, the place seems merely stuffy. Service is beyond uptight—and often clueless. We once had a butternut squash and rutabaga soup that evoked thick pasta sauce. Toasted pepitas added textural counterpoint, but give us more. Texas Gulf shrimp consommé with green and pickled onions and ghost chile oil was nicely shrimpy with major lime flavor. But about the foie gras hoja santa with poached quail egg, etc., etc.: what a disaster—way too much going on, including the licorice-like leaf and rubbery egg. Yet the foie gras itself was fine, worthy of flying solo.

We guess the new emphasis on South-Texas and farm-to-table cuisine admits of Buffalo ribeye with smoky black bean, a queso de Oaxaca arepa, and San Antonio barbecue sauce. The ribeye is nice (but more than $40), arriving medium-rare as requested and sporting a crusty, flavorful rub; the arepas have comforting flavor and texture. But plantain-hazelnut crusted mero seabass (the selection changes) with Texmati rice, Frangelico sauce, and mole negro was the real winner. A huge hunk of fish, it was flaky, and hazelnuts added texture without sweetness. The rice, however, was drowned in sickening amounts of butter.

Some find the wine list, salted with sommelier selections, a tad too New World, but the bias seems fair given the menu, and it’s otherwise one of the best in town for thoughtfully selected bottles.

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