New and Noteworthy
Tresca, San Antonio and Sala, Dallas
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San Antonio Contemporary Italian fare takes a flirty turn with Dan Ward’s new amore, Tresca (his third, after Piatti and Luca). Outdoors in the pleasant courtyard, blessedly shielded from traffic, our tête-à-tête seemed almost Florentine, especially when two guitarists struck up a performance outside the wine shop next door. A light starter of green salads—spinach with portobellos and pancetta and arugula and endive with cranberries and candied walnuts—was followed by a white pizza of figs, greens, and fabulous prosciutto; its crust managed a magical balance between a crispy crunch and a doughy chewiness. Heartier entrées are available too, including fresh pastas of all shapes and sizes and some tasty-sounding seafood, such as grilled swordfish with a kalamata-olive tapenade. Bar. 700 E. Sonterra Blvd (210-545-0077). Open Mon–Thur 11–10, Fri & Sat 11–11, Sun 11–8. $$–$$$ W+
Dallas Most everything has a spicy kick at Sala, the fun new place in the former location of Amuse, where chef-owner Doug Brown (in a previous life he headed up Landmark, in the Melrose Hotel) has turned his talents to Tex-Mex with a vengeance. Killer chips are paired with two sauces; needless to say, the one with fire-roasted chipotles should be approached with fear and trepidation. Don’t be surprised if the fillings of the crispy chicken taco and the pulled-pork burrito look alike; all meats are rubbed with the same spices and appear similar. Good reports have come to us on the fajitas and the chiles rellenos as well. Not unexpectedly, Wednesdays already have a loyal following for all-day $3 margaritas. The decor is contemporary, if not particularly Mexican. Bar. 1326 S. Lamar (214-428-7300). Open Mon–Sat 11–10. Closed Sun. $$–$$$ W+