Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Monterey in SA

I don't do restaurant reviews. Here is why. But I also don't always play by the rules, including my own and The Monterey in San Antonio is the perfect exception. Inventive, unique, and maybe a little bit crazy but this place is serving food that I'm hard-pressed to find even in New York. Maybe this is why I've only reviewed San Antonio places, to keep reminding people that my hometown is not just chips and salsa Tex-Mex and your usual suspect of chains. Heck they even have a CIA down here now. Great food lives here too, executed by creative chefs who know their stuff and could hold their own and then some against some of the guys up in NYC.

So last night we went for the New Years Eve tasting menu, the menu you can find here. I also included a few pictures of the food we had from just a regular Thursday night right after I got in to SA. And a few recommendations. Go hungry- the plates are small but filling. Go on a nice night- they have a great outdoor patio we haven't had the chance to sit out on because it was very chilly the first night (though they do have heat lamps). Order as much as possible. Come on people, this is probably the only place in the radius of the city that you can get a menu full of inventive food. And at SA prices! Ok, I'll let the pictures do the talking now.
BBQ Brisket, pickle and white bread. I thought this would be dry but the brisket was so moist
East coast oysters, kimchi mignonette, crackers
Chicken skin sandwich, everything cream cheese salmon roe
Hamachi, charred beets, broken mayo, nori. My Dad loved this,  leading me to  argue that he'd love doing an omakase at one of my fav sushi places in New York, Yasuda or Ushiwakamaru
Soft farm egg, au jus, pig head pastrami, queso, toast
Sticky short rib, brussel sprouts, celery root puree, chili
Seared foie gras, pecan pie macaroon . We ordered this the other night so didn't get it with the tasting.
Melted morbier, potato, peanut butter and jelly. My favorite! It seems so weird but it all worked, especially the potato and the cheese. So good!
Arg I forgot the name but it was like an eggnog creme over 2 kinds of chocolate and some citrus. Yummy and not too rich.
Happy family, sans Mom taking the picture
Now a few things we got from the regular night we were there. These were the fan favorites. So just go. Go! Please support a unique restaurant on the forefront of the San Antonio culinary scene because I want to be able to come back here when I visit again. And will definitely bring the boyfriend... this gives me some ideas for his eventual bar/restaurant.
Tripas. I've had tripe and was never a fan. This has changed my mind.
Frito pie poboy. Freaking awesome
OMG the best brussel sprouts I've ever had! In a sweet chili sauce with peanuts. I could eat this every day.
Photos via my Mom. No way do I cart the giant Nikon into restaurants.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you enjoyed it, it's sort of an anachronism in the land of 750 Mexican restaurants, for anyone that remembers the photos decorating the original Chuy's in SA.



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