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Fearless Critic restaurant review
San Antonio
Upmarket restaurant

Mon 11:00am–2:00pm
Tue–Fri 11:00am–2:00pm
Tue–Fri 5:30pm–9:00pm
Sat 5:30pm–9:00pm

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


152 E. Pecan St.
San Antonio, TX
(210) 222-1849
Restaurant Gwendolyn
A back-to-the-future chef sources locally and devoutly forswears machines

Gwendolyn has got herself to a nunnery—at least in culinary terms. Chef Michael Sohocki, an Andrew Weissman alum, has taken over the old Le Rêve space above the River Walk, and the restaurant’s vows of chastity (Gwendolyn is named for his grandmother) include using only products sourceable within a 150-mile radius (exceptions made for salt, pepper, wine…) and using nothing with a plug in order to celebrate a pre-industrial era in food. Out, out damned Cuisinart. Get thee behind me Aussie lamb. This is a hard row to hand hoe consistently.

And if it’s not clear that the results on the plate are commensurately better (a hand-churned Poteet strawberry sorbet, however, was utterly ethereal in season), we applaud the intent, yet comment discreetly that some servings can get a little precious. The more casual lunch is à la carte and has featured such offerings as locally raised chicken breast over (less-local) lentils. Dinner is arranged around multiple-course tastings in order to best take advantage of potentially limited quantities of seasonal produce. Dishes such as South Texas beef tartare with quail egg and locally farmed crawfish with house-made tagliatelle have settled comfortably into the diminutive space, now repainted in purple and yellow and furnished with a scattering of antiques. Desserts on the order of (grandfathered) chocolate soufflé cake have been far more than pious. We now wish the liturgy would include a token Texas wine or two; if not yet saintly, some are beginning to inspire a measure of devotion.

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