Francesca’s But Not at Sunset

amuse bouche

We’ve been wanting to go to Francesca’s and it seems like a special occasion kinda place, so we headed there on our sixth month anniversary.  J tried to make reservations early so we could see the sunset.. but Francesca’s doesn’t open til 6 pm (well after sunset in December), so we settled for Francesca’s in the dark.  It was actually quite pretty because the trees outside the window were all done up with lights for the holiday.  We scored Francesca’s an 8.0 overall.

the bubbly

We were the second group to be seated, so it was very quiet.  The first thing we noticed was the attentive wait staff.  It’s not often in San Antonio that the server notices if you need black linen so you don’t get white fuzz all over your slacks from the white linens… but here, it was the hostess’ first question.  Because it was a celebration, we started with a glass of champagne from a pretty robust list. And as a bonus, December is champagne month at Francesca’s so there was more variety in the by the glass selections.  Francesca’s has a full bar and a limited specialty cocktail menu (J had some sort of pumpkin cocktail and it was like pumpkin pie on 10).

Francesca’s website describes the menu as “South Texas cuisine meets Southwestern flair to bring you distinctive, profound flavors.”  And it’s true, pretty much every dish has a Southwestern twist to it.  Several of the options on the menu looked really appetizing, but you best be in a red meat or fish mood or you may be disappointed.  I was surprised to see that there were no chicken or quail mains on the menu.  Nevertheless, we found plenty that interested us.

crabby

To start, J had a crab bisque that was a special for the evening, and I had the old bleu bosc pear and watercess greens salad.  Both were phenomenal.  The bisque had plenty of crab in it, and was topped with a succulent crab claw.  The salad was equally impressive with the Texas wine soaked pears perfectly complementing the bleu cheese.  On top of that, we were served delicious jalapeno bread and a fresh tomato and feta amuse bouche.

perfection!

For the main course, J had the Guajillo Chile Rubbed beef filet, and I went with the Sustainable Salmon.  The filet was expertly prepared and the spicy rub definitely gave the dish a Southwestern flair.  The fish was fantastic – and perfectly done.  Even though I know it’s the “wrong” way to cook salmon, I like it all the way cooked through.  The fish arrived perfectly cooked throughout with a nice sear.

And, because it was our anniversary, our server brought out a nice lemon tart on the house.  It was so delicious – a nice, fresh tasting and light dessert to end a perfect dinner.

We were also pleased to read on the menu that Francesca’s supports the farm-to-table movement by working with Uncertain Farms in Seguin.  Go local farms!!  It’s not often that you see a hotel restaurant supporting local farms.

Our rating:

Atmosphere 6.0
Service 10.0
Food 8.0
Total 8.0

Fantastic service and food, but food gets an 8 because there were no poultry mains.  Low atmosphere rating for the canned hotel decor (which I know they can’t do much about).

Francesca’s
16641 La Cantera Parkway
San Antonio, TX 78256
(210) 558-6500

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