Where to begin?
Luke Restaurant in San Antonio opening last night. Remember when I went to the preview? Ever since, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the opening. I’d heard rumors it was going to open on Monday, November 22, which is my birthday. But it got pushed back to Tuesday. No worries. John and I went to yoga on my birthday to work off all of the sinful delights of my two surprise parties this weekend.
So last night, we made our reservations and sallied forth to the opening night of Luke Restaurant.
It’s on Houston Street in the new Embassy Suites. I didn’t know it then, but you can valet at the hotel and they’ll validate it for you. Pretty awesome.
The restaurant is right on the river looking out onto the IBC Plaza. Very cozy atmosphere, almost a brasserie feel to the style of it. It’s amazing how quickly the interior was finished since I saw it at the preview.
The service was awesome last night. I’ve been to a couple opening nights at restaurants, and a certain amount of craziness, lost orders, and long waits are to be expected. We did wait for our dessert for awhile, and John’s soup came after his entree, but our awesome server Charlotte was extremely accommodating and attentive. For everything that went askew, she let us know and apologized for it. Not that we minded at all. We had a great time, and completely understand that there are always opening night hiccups.
After we looked at the menu, Victor, the manager, came over. I remembered him from the preview night, and he suggested we order the French 75, made with cognac, champagne and lemon juice. I’m a sucker for champagne, so I loved it. Victor also suggested we order some ribs for an appetizer, in addition to the shrimp in a cup and fried quail. Who are we to argue?
The quail came with some honey and ranch for dipping. I like quail, but the heavy breading kind of killed the flavor of it. The ribs were great, very smoky and not messy. More of a dry rub rib.
But the shrimp. OMG. This was the best thing I ate all night. Charlotte, thank you for suggesting we order it. Because it is AWESOME. Fried, then covered in a tangy cream sauce and chives. These shrimp are tender but not too soft. I hate shrimp with no bite to them. They also had just a hint of spice and citrus on them. And it’s a great size too, they filled the cup up completely, so John and I each had about 4 medium-size shrimp. So good. I told John that I could eat a whole meal of these, and then die of cardiac arrest. Gladly.
For entrees, I went with the jaegerschnitzel, a milanesa-type breaded veal cutlet with a bacon mushroom cream sauce over noodles. John got the express dinner, which on Tuesday was a suckling pig. The express dinner every day is a different meal, and comes with a soup and bread pudding. Pretty good deal for $23.
Let’s talk about prices. There wasn’t a single thing on the menu over $30. Nice prices. Which makes it easy to order everything on the menu, which you will want to do.
By the time we got to entrees, we were stuffed. STUFFED. Like, moaning on the floor stuffed. So we didn’t eat a lot of our entrees. But these were delicious. John’s suckling pig was formed into a cube that broke apart when you put your fork to it. It was delicious, but a LOT of pig. He took it today with some bread to make a sandwich. My jaegerschnitzel was nicely fried, and the cream sauce was bacony. The noodles were very lemony, almost alarmingly so, but when eaten with the schnitzel, gave a good balance to all that friedness and cream. The gumbo was hearty, but really not spicy at all. It’s not gumbo if it’s not spicy.
Dessert! How can we possibly eat dessert after all that food? Well, we’re not quitters, that’s how.
The profiteroles were not my favorite. They were really dense and dry, and even all the ice cream and chocolate sauce didn’t soften them much. I liked the nutty ice cream though. The bread pudding arrived last with a scoop of ice cream on it. Delicious and dense. It tasted like a cinnamon roll soaked in custard and then baked. So gooey and warm and I really can’t talk about this anymore, because I’m full just looking at it. We had to take it home.
It was a delightful meal, and we ran into An Average Joe and Waspy Redhead and Jason Dady and Luke’s chef, Steven McHugh. All delightful. Jason Dady’s Movember mustache is growing in nicely, and Steven McHugh always is so nice and gracious. Glad to have him in SA.
If you’re in SA, I would definitely recommend eating here. They have a patio area on the river, huge bar, and they’re open 11am to 11pm, so you can come for happy hour and stay for dinner. Or come for dinner. Waspy Redhead works right across the street, so I’m betting she’ll be able to tell us how the lunch is there soon enough!