Chef Luca Della Casa sends out artfully designed small plates at Nosh, where "nearly everything is made in-house and it shows," according to my SanAntonio. Here, the chefs encourage diners to connect over shareable bites of gourmet cuisine. They serve plates of tagliatelle pasta with salmon and mushroom-and-parmesan fried risotto balls in a family-style manner—minus the traditional arm-wrestling match for the last slice of pizza. On the patio or inside the cozy dining room, diners can pair grownup snacks—such as cheese plates and truffle-oil french fries—with a wide variety of wines or specialty cocktails that rotate regularly.
The chefs at Stouts Pizza Co. knead handmade dough and let it rise for 12 hours every day before baking it into New York?style pizzas in their stone ovens. Stouts Pizza?s craftspeople transform 16-inch pies into canvases painted with 100% mozzarella cheese, homegrown-tomato sauce, and toppings such as Texas pepperoni, mushrooms, artichokes, canadian bacon, and fresh basil. The cheerful yellow dining room gives diners room to sip free refills of soda, and kids can avenge spelling-bee defeats in the game room.
It all began in 1989 when Cappy Lawton opened a 1950s-style pizza and burger joint in the hills of San Antonio. The place served pizzas fired in a brick oven, Angus burgers, authentic caesar salads, and hand-dipped milk shakes made with Blue Bell ice cream.
More than 20 years later, EZ’s is still serving the same made-from-scratch menu items with a few exceptions—in 2011, the team added healthier options such as organic spinach salads, wild-caught salmon, gluten-free pizzas and buns, whole-wheat pastas, and water from the fountain of youth. But the staff still handcrafts the pizza dough every morning and grills each burger patty to order. To make their signature Beanburger, cooks top the freshly grilled patties with cheddar, black beans, Fritos, picante, and guacamole.
The cooks at Orderup focus on the classics: burgers, fries, and shakes. Wielding hand-pressed patties, they craft signature burgers such as the La Bomba, which comes with cheddar, bacon, and a fried egg on a buttered bun, or versions with chicken, pork, and fish. The menu also showcases more than 10 shake flavors, including Mexican vanilla, banana, and nutella. Sides of honey-coconut sweet potato fries or serrano cheese fries round out a meal.
Nimbly darting through the forest of white-clothed tables in the Milano Ristorante Italiano dining rooms, attentive waiters carry platters of traditional Italian dishes and bottles of fine wines. In the kitchen, seasoned chefs labor over sizzling stoves, folding seafood, meats, and fresh vegetables into northern- and southern-Italian classics. Diners can sample baked pastas, veal dishes, and gourmet pizzas, such as the Milano, layered with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, and peppers. Meanwhile, seasoned bartenders mix martinis, margaritas, and specialty cocktails as skillfully as a vindictive construction worker mixes concrete into his boss’s convertible.
Vibrant oil paintings speckle the restaurant's textured walls, adding to the rustic decor and looking down on tables hosting family outings and romantic first dates. Outside on the expansive patio, a brick fireplace illuminates tables of alfresco diners and the cascading water of the ornamental fountain.