Amid one of the most tumultuous travel seasons in the 15-year-old hotel’s history, the luxury accommodations were sold to New England investment firm Wheelock Street Capital last fall.
The hotel took to Instagram Saturday to announce the opening of Ambler, which took over Hotel Contessa’s existing restaurant and bar’s River Walk views and access.
The Current obtained a sneak peek at Ambler’s new menu, which offers twists on otherwise expected shareables such as a Shiner Bock shrimp boil and roasted cauliflower and chorizo queso. Entree choices include a chili-glazed short rib and gulf-red snapper boasting a chorizo crust.
Side orders look to be on the more bourgeois side. For example, the potato and goat cheese daphinoise — essentially potatoes au gratin — sounds tasty, but will likely be more difficult for folks to pronounce than it has any right to be.
The full bar offers a few different takes on the classic Old Fashioned, such as the Ambler Old Fashioned, which uses honey as the sweetening component, and the barrel-aged Oaxaca Old Fashioned, made with Oaxacan mezcal rather than the traditional bourbon.
According to the hotel, the latter was created in 2007 by Phil Ward at Death and Co., in New York City’s East Village, and remains one of the most famous drinks to grace its cocktail menu. With its smooth and smoky flavor notes, the Oaxaca Old Fashioned has been called “the perfect introduction to mezcal.”
Hotel Contessa's Ambler Texas Kitchen is open for breakfast Monday through Friday from 7-11 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7-11:30 a.m., Brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and lunch on weekdays from noon-2:30 p.m. Dinner hours are from 5:30-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5:30-10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
The restaurant is currently taking reservations on OpenTable.
So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest San Antonio dining news with our Flavor Friday Newsletter.