Restaurant Gwendolyn

San Antonio

Taking  “local” and “energy efficient” to a higher level, this pretty venue sources ingredients from no farther away than 150 miles and eschews most modern kitchen equipment (anything invented after about 1850). Adroitly blending old and new, chef-owner Michael Sohocki produces such dishes as braised pork with savory crepes (pictured) and fragrantly spiced lamb sausage accompanied by a wonderful rice salad emboldened with poached apricots and stewed figs. Pork loin came smoked one time, sautéed another, with a light, crisp exterior. His desserts range from a chile-spiked chocolate tart to a brown-butter cake with soft vanilla panna cotta. Grandmother Gwendolyn would be proud. Beer & wine. 152 E. Pecan, at the river (210-222-1849). Lunch Tue–Fri 11:30–2. Dinner Tue–Sat 5:30–9. Closed Sun & Mon. Reservations recommended. $$$ +

Sapori Ristorante Italiano


Fans of Simposio’s are heading west for chef Alberto Baffoni’s new digs in Royal Oaks. The convivial atmosphere belies its strip-center location, and meals worthy of special occasions are standard fare. We started with a fetching combo of peppery arugula, paper-thin beef carpaccio, and shaved Parmesan, then followed that with deliciously fresh strozzapreti pasta with broccoli and pancetta. Grilled red snapper with rosemary-scented roasted potatoes and sautéed green beans, zucchini, and asparagus was equally lovely. Beer & wine. 12225 Westheimer Rd (281-496-4941). Open Mon & Tue 11–9, Wed & Thur 11–10, Fri & Sat 11–11. Closed Sun. Reservations recommended. $$–$$$ +