Within its tranquil and rustic climes, Anne Marie's Carriage House Bistro rustles up gourmet comfort fare for an eclectic menu of late-morning nibbles and midday noshables. Celebrate a day away from the office and its cruelly mocking copy machines with weekend brunch fare such as the bistro benedict, a split muffin topped with ancho smoked beef, fried eggs, and hollandaise ($10), or one of two varieties of jalapeño-cheddar french toast ($10–$12). At lunch, meat mavens can indulge in the Carriage House meatloaf ($11) and South Texas cheesesteak ($9), while veggivores can keep their plant-loving mandibles from latching onto the botanical garden’s nearby flora by busying them with a garden hoagie, which comes loaded with seared portobello mushrooms, eggplant tapenade, jalapeño cream cheese, red bell pepper, onion, and provolone ($8). The bistro is open Tuesday–Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with brunch served on weekends from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Both a quick pit-stop for grabbing a coffee and homemade pastry and a respite for sitting down for lunch and lingering a while, Hearthstone Express functions as a coffee shop and bistro. The cooks usher in the day with breakfast, scrambling eggs and tucking them into buttery croissants with spinach-artichoke spread and crispy bacon. Meanwhile, the bakers whip up pastries such as danishes, scones, and bagels to complement cups of coffee. For lunch, the cooks move on to gourmet sandwiches and paninis; best-sellers include Alicia's club—turkey, avocado spread, mozzarella, and honey dijon on a croissant—and the turkey artichoke panini, topped with spinach-artichoke spread. But the staff is open to customers' own creations as well, making Build Your Own sandwiches. Diners can pick their meat, bread, cheese, veggies, and dressings, and name it anything they want, such as Janet.
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 oysters on the half shell, homemade maltagliati pasta, 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.
Chef Frederick Costa teams with his brother Michel to craft inventive fusions of French and Asian cuisine at an eatery lauded by USA Today as one of the top five restaurants to eat at in San Antonio while on a business trip. Thought born in Vietnam, the culinary siblings soon moved to France, where they strengthened their skills dead-lifting pepper grinders at their parents' gourmet restaurants. Visitors to the eatery can sample succulent meats and veggies crafted from Frederick's mother's own recipes or opt for one of the chef's more recent creations. The San Antonio Express-News lauds Frederick's as having seafood dishes that "are routinely among the best in town"
Taste Crepes & More treats its guests to foldable, flat European-style egg pancakes, wrapped over sweet fillings such as Nutella or dulce de leche, or such savory eats as smoked salmon and cream cheese, ham, or pepperoni. Diners sink their teeth into a sweet, zesty flavors of a traditional crepe suzette, or chow down on a lunch of crepes stuffed with sausage, olives, cheese, and caramelized onion. In addition to dishing out crepes fresh from the griddle, Taste whips up handmade pizzas to order, presses toasty panini sandwiches, and sides its meals with wholesome soups and salads.
Le Midi offers refined fare from the southernmost region of France, whipped up by a native chef. The dinner menu embraces traditional Provençal cuisine with escargots bourguignonne sautéed in Pernod, garlic, and herbs ($8), and crab cakes with lime beurre blanc, potato purée, and vegetables ($28) jealously tease land-locked steak au poivre in cognac sauce ($29).