Saturday, May 14, 2011

Boardwalk Bistro -- San Antonio, Tx

You've seen this one on our favorites list and for good reason. Boardwalk Bistro, 4011 Broadway, San Antonio ( is a great dining experience. The cuisine is Mediterranean, and everything is delicious! The decor may be a little dated, but the low lights, candlelit, white tablecloth covered tables and lush chairs will leave you comfortable and relaxed.

We took the kids there to celebrate my daughter's graduation from UTSA. Rob, my daughter and I went with the five course wine pairing, while my son and his girlfriend opted for a more traditional route since he had to drive back to Austin afterwards. We made our reservations for 7:00 p.m. because on weekend nights there is live music beginning at 7:30 p.m. and we were looking forward to hearing some great jazz. Imagine our disappointment when we learned that there would not be jazz, but flamenco guitar. Well, we were not disappointed long. The gentlemen who played were quite talented and the music mixed well with our mood. We discovered that it encouraged us to concentrate on our conversation and was not as distracting as a vocalist might have been.

On to the food! There was so much, with five courses, that I'm going to touch on the favorites. Appetizers: Artichoke Heart and Serrano Ham -- thin slices of ham wrapped around an artichoke heart, sauteed in herbs and olive oil and served on toast points. It was a bit of a challenge to eat daintily, but who cares? Skewered Lamb Kabob -- chunks of marinated lamb sauteed with red onion served with couscous, garnished with Meditteranian salsa, tzatziki sauce and Rioja reduction. What does all that mean? According to my daughter, who was trying lamb for the first time, it means "A-ma-zing!" The Fried Calamari -- served with tomatillo lime salsa and a spicy pomadora sauce. As one who has sworn off fried calamari because of the rubbery texture, I was dubius, but I am now a calamari fan. The coating was crisp and the meat tender. Both sauces were great.
Skewered Lamb Kabob

Main course: Seafood Paella -- saffron rice, shrimp scallops, snapper, mussels, chicken, Spanish chorizo, peppers, tomato, onion and garlic. My son's girfriend could not finish this traditional Spanish dish. There was way too much. Often a dish like this would contain mostly rice, but this one was very meaty, and she said very good! My daughter and husband had the Salmon which was an extra option to the menu. It is prepared like the Mediterranean Halibut -- baked in a white wine jus, served with asparagus basmati rice and accented with citrus sauce and tomato calamata olive relish. Both agree that the fish was flaky, moist and flavorful and that the asparagus in the rice was cooked perfectly. I had the Crab Cake -- lump crab (with no fillers) topped with a mango relish and avacado emulsion with accents of citrus beurre blanc served over mesclun greens mixed with a citrus vinaigrette. Excellent! The best part, though, was a little surprise of little chunks of a fabulous firm goat cheese mixed in with the greens. A lot of flavors, but none overwhelmed the crab and all played well together.

Dessert: I always plan to try something else on the menu, but when I open my mouth "Chocolate Pecan Caramel Torte" is all I can say. A very tall slice of rich chocolate cake, but not like most chocolate cakes. Like German chocolate, it's heavier and a little dryer, but it's not like German chocolate. You just have to try it yourself. It is deliciously topped with a pecan and caramel mixture that is wonderful. Very rich! My daughter had the Tiramisu. It was light, creamy and fabulous.

This was just an overview of our meal. Everything was beautifully presented and delicious. If there is any complaint about the meal it would be that our wines did not always arrive with the dish to which they were paired. We had completely finished our first glass before the appetizers arrived. To be fair, the server was training another and she said that she didn't want those of us who were doing the wine pairings to sit without our wine while she served my son and his girlfriend their drinks. Personally, I would have been fine with water and waiting. She should have asked, but those things happen and I don't see it as a reason to not recommend Boardwalk Bistro.

Rob and I have eaten at the Boardwalk Bistro several times and have never had a bad dish. Actually, we trust them so much that we have often tried foods for the first time, or given certain foods, that we thought we didn't like (calamari), a second chance, because we know it will be prepared properly and we will get the best sampling of that food, like my daughter's first experience with lamb. (She has decided that she loves lamb!) Boardwalk Bistro is far from cheap, actually it's pretty pricey -- a splurge kind of place -- but you get what you pay for.

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