Just when I thought I knew everything I needed to know about San Antonio, my college friend Sierra took me to the delightful Soleil Bistro. I met Sierra when we were paired up in Chemistry lab and decided to let our third group member, Sivakiran, conduct the calorimetry experiments while we drew eyeballs on notebook paper to put inside our safety goggles and subsequently act out Britney's "Toxic" video. We later majored in Sociology together and have both ended up here in SA. Sierra has a great sense of fashion and life passion and I get to tag along when her job (sales bisnazz at San Antonio Magazine) lets her visit such events as SA Fashion week!
Soleil is a French eatery with a lounge-y atmosphere. There was a formal dining area, but we opted to sit in the bar part on plush couches. The owner seated us and let us know it was our "lucky week" because all the bottles of wine were half off. We chose a sweet Riesling to accompany our fried calamari with jalapeno cream sauce and soy glaze and our blackened seafood platter with Parmesan risotto. I am on a huge risotto kick these days, probably because it's such a fun word. I wasn't expecting much, but the food was really amazing in a good salty/spicy kind of way. I like to pretend I am a gulf coast snob and am really going out on a limb to order seafood this far inland, but Chef Nicolas Lebas really did a great job. I am anxious to try his new downtown establishment, Le Midi, and Olmos Park area Bistro Vatel. Because Soleil is in a shopping strip I was hesitant, but then I remembered every restaurant/bar/club in SA is in a shopping strip AND the food was actually so well prepared. The calamari was crispy and wet in a way that let's you know the fried-ness was very fresh and the risotto was so smooth and flavorful.
I realize that not all of our readers reside in San Antonio, so I'll just fill you in on a few other restaurants I've enjoyed across the country.
Austin-- Moonshine. To say that I only like one restaurant in Austin would be like saying I only watch one show on Bravo, but I'll save the rest for another time. One of the things I like most in a restaurant is getting bang for your buck. At Moonshine the platters are large and you get POPCORN instead of the usual Texas' chips and salsa in addition to jalapeno cornbread. I like getting the Jalapeno Hanger Steak or the Green Chili Mac 'n Cheese. Don't forget about the white chocolate bread pudding and a jug o' wine.
Boston-- Parish Cafe. I came this close to eating at the table next to John Mayer, but more importantly, the outdoor patio and sandwiches at this place are incredible. I had a tortilla de espanola inspired sandwich and B enjoyed a seared ahi tuna sandwich. Basically all the top chefs in Boston put their dishes into sandwich form and voila you have Parish cafe.
San Francisco-- Tartine Bakery & Cafe. Here I enjoyed the Pecorino & Almond pressed sandwich while my mom and dad sipped on chamomile tea. The atmosphere was kind of hectic, but the pastries were tasty and just walking to the cafe through the hood and past the park was quite a treat.
So I do, in fact, do other things with my hands besides eat. I am currently back into arts and crafts. I am working on a project, closet dividers, for B's future nephew that I copied from Ashley Ann's blog. Yay I get to be a---well whatever you call a girl whose boyfriend will soon be an uncle! In case this blog has made it to the Dallas suburbs, I'll hold off on pictures of this project until it is completed and shipped, but I will say I am enjoying using Mod Podge for the first time.