During my little hiatus, several new restaurants have popped up in our lovely city. One that we’ve had our eye on is Saveurs 209 — a little French restaurant downtown that’s been getting some rave reviews!
Parking is a little bit of a pickle (but it’s worth the little bit of trouble). There is no valet and street parking is tight. We found a spot in the St. Anthony’s lot for $10 — a little pricey but only a block and a half away. When we walked in the restaurant, we were pleasantly surprised by the cheerful modern decor. The small space seemed very open because of the white paint and orange accents. The cute orange lanterns and modern orange chairs were a nice touch!
J and I arrived early and decided to enjoy a glass of wine before our friends arrived. A local wine sales rep and friend of the restaurant owner, Oliver Bourgoin, was helping out that night and he recommended a very nice white for me and a red for J. (Oliver was also very efficient and helpful when we had a little wine spill!) As our friends, J & M, arrived and we started browsing the menu, we were served a tasty amuse bouche of a bite size quiche.
There is nothing that bothers me more than a Cheescake Factory style menu that includes pretty much every dish in existence (ok, there are things that bother me more, but you know what I mean…). The Saveurs menu is the exact opposite — short, sweet and simple, but with a good variety. One of my absolute favorites — gazpacho — was on the appetizer menu, so I ordered that. It was quite good and had a nice spicy kick to it, but I still like the one J makes for me better. Two of our group each ordered this lovely breaded and fried soft-boiled egg, which I thought was delicious (I ate most of J’s); and one had the foie gras.
Overall, the main course was solid. I seemed most enthusiastic about my dish, the scallops and bok choy. I am extremely picky about the doneness and texture of scallops and these were absolutely perfect! J had the halibut; he liked it, but seemed to wish he had the scallops. Our friend J had the duck with polenta. The duck was a tad tough, but the accompanying polenta was stellar. Our last dining companion chose the filet mignon — a safe choice that didn’t disappoint.
Of course, we all had dessert. Two of us had the chocolate soufflé. It was quite rich.. more like a gooey brownie than a soufflé. Delicious, but we could have shared just one because it was so rich. J had the “comme un suzette de crêpe” which, as the name implies, is like a crepe suzette. The show stopper was the merengue. Two desserts between the four of us would likely have been enough (especially in light of the wine, appetizers, and nicely portioned meals!)
The service, experience and food were all very strong. We only had one real complaint. Our dining companions called to see if they could bring a bottle of wine from their trip to Napa to share with us. When they called they said that they would pay corkage fees, but they were told no, they could not bring the wine because it was not a French wine. We were surprised by this bit of pretentiousness in such a comfortable and upscale, casual place. My advice to Saveur would be to loosen up a tiny bit…it is casual, laid-back San Antonio after all!
Saveurs 209 is on our list of places to visit again. Thanks for a lovely dinner! Merci!
The prices were very reasonable for a high end dining experience, so we gave Saveurs 209 a 7.4 for value.