Whether or not Sam Maverick would consider it iconoclastic (urged as we are to “make our own rules”), he would claim kin with entrepreneur-owner Peter Selig and chef-partner Chris Carlson. This crowd-pleaser sprawls across its near–King William block, clattering with cocktails and chisme. While the menu is mostly Texan standard (steaks and fish), there’s a soupçon of French flair, daily specials mostly, like cassoulet and coq au vin. Start with a fancy cocktail in the front room with the bar (definitely the high-profile spot for locals), then mosey through to one of several patios and dining rooms for a satisfying, if not particularly unique, evening out on the town. The aforementioned cassoulet was served in a tiny cast-iron pot, centered on two melt-in-your-mouth slices of pork belly. Next, a mixed grill of quail, sausage, tenderloin, and, yes, more pork belly, was tasty and plentiful; mixing and matching the condiments and sauces, a notable tomato jam took our vote for the best. The “all things à la carte” puts the onus for the tastiest pairings on the eater rather than the kitchen, and that means the choices are fairly predictable, but the skinny fried onions are, frankly, addictive enough to make it all work. Service is smooth, but expect a wait on crowded weekends.
City: San Antonio