When San Antonio native Andrew Weissman returned from parts more culinarily adventurous, he sowed his haute-cuisine seed in some of the rockiest ground imaginable: downtown San Antonio, circa 1998, and not on the River Walk, either. Dinner jackets and reservations required, as well as a substantial amount of disposable income. But Le Rêve has thrived, along with Weissman’s national reputation, and he’s continued to successfully challenge assumptions about what San Antonians are willing to eat, while almost singlehandedly building a family of establishments worth the plane fare from anywhere.
152 E Pecan, Ste. 100
Weissman’s signature restaurant, Le Rêve serves contemporary French cuisine with an emphasis on fresh ingredients (often locally sourced), inventive flavor contrasts, and smart wine pairings. Dinner is the evening’s event, so don’t schedule ahead of the theater, and mind the rules: reservations, jackets for gentlemen, and don’t be late.
Sip Coffee and Expresso Bar
160 E. Houston (210) 222-0149
Top-notch coffee drinks and delicious panini in a casual, cheerful café. Get it to go, or watch the street scene from the window bar.
152 E. Pecan
Inspired by the likes of Mary’s Fish Camp in New York, Sandbar still serves the best selection of raw oysters in town, a decadent lobster bisque, and delicate sashimi, but the menu also includes whole pan-fried fish, Asian-style (just thinking about it makes our mouths water).
Big’z Burger Joint
2303 N. Loop 1604 West
Big’z burgers are fancy by SA standards (don’t skip the fried egg on top), but the prices aren’t, and the house-made potato chips are irresistable. Mmm; they go good with beer. Let the kids run around in the big fenced Astroturf yard while you relax and have an adult conversation.
200 E. Grayson, in the Pearl Brewery complex
Opening July/August 2009
Weissman promises artisanal pastas, meats, and cheeses, and cuisine that an Italian mama would approve of, plus (much needed in these parts) European-style breakfast.
Le Rêve the Wine Bar
152 E. Pecan
Scheduled to open in Sandbar’s place when it moves to new digs at the Pearl Brewery, the wine bar will pair vin with cheese, pâté, and desserts.