Over the last couple of days my wife and I have visited three places in San Antonio that were new to us and reasonably new to San Antonio. Insignia and Auden's Kitchen are totally new. Sandbar has been around awhile but has moved into a nice new space at the Pearl Brewery development.
Insignia -- Chef Jason Dady's new venture in the Fairmount Hotel. We liked the space, with high ceilings and a large space where tables are well spaced. Large windows along two walls. We had dinner there last night. Nice service -- everyone there was very friendly. Food was pretty good. We had shrimp seviche and crab cake for apps. Both were good, expecially the seviche. Entrees -- filet mignon and striped bass -- were good except for tepid veggies served with the filet. Dessert of tres leches cheesecake was good. Overall, it was good, not great, but worth another visit.
Sandbar -- Chef Andrew Weissman has moved his seafood restaurant from catty-cornered with the bus station downtown to the developing Pearl Brewery area. The decor is bright, open and very, very nice. Excellent service -- by far the best we had this weekend. We were there for lunch yesterday. Had the clam chowder and a special, tempura shrimp, for apps. Both were delicious. My wife had the crab salad and I had another special, fluke sandwich, for main courses. Again, they were both delicious. We shared the key lime pie for dessert and, again, it was delicious. We loved this place. It was a great lunch.
Auden's Kitchen -- I loved Biga when Chef Bruce Auden opened it in an old house. I have never been impressed with Biga on the Banks and it's my opinion he made a mistake when he moved a great neighborhood place to the river. Thank goodness he has opened an new place that is more like a neighborhood place and that I think is a great concept. The place is very casual, the servers friendly and competent and the food was excellent. We shared an appetizer of wood-roasted Texas mushrooms that were sauteed with onions, peppers and tomatoes that was just out of this world. We split a wedge salad that was good. My wife ordered the short ribs and hit a homerun. Flavorful and falling off the bone. Excellent. I had a special, a sirloin steak served with fabulous mashed potatoes. The steak was delicious, but a little tough. (But I am accustomed to ribeyes, which are naturally much more tender than sirloin, so that may be why I thought it was tough.) Skipped dessert because we had just eaten too much already.
Still miss Le Reve, and don't think it can be replaced, but all three of these new places are worth a visit, IMO.