Tuesday, February 28, 2017

BIGA on the BANKS gets big bravos in San Antonio (2-27-17)

After our first day of cooking classes were completed I spent some time working and then headed on a2 hour walk around downtown to do some shopping before I went to Biga on the Banks at the International Center on the Riverwalk here in downtown San Antonio.
It's a beautiful restaurant on the second story above the Riverwalk with a small terrace outside where you can eat and enjoy dinner overlooking the busy Riverwalk. The temperature was about 77 degrees and the humidity even higher so I chose to dine inside.

My server Brittany was a gem and heard every word I said and gave me brilliant ideas about what to choose to eat. I was thinking of starting with a margarita but she suggested the Harajuku Sunrise made from Hou Hou Sho sparkling rose sake, Aperol and Saint Germain which was absolutely refreshing and tasty, not too sweet.
I was looking at the ceviche but Brittany steered me towards the house Applewood Smoked Salmon Nachos and while that sounds like a huge dish it was five simple chips with a slash of Chipotle goat cream cheese made locally here in Texas with some smoked salmon and escabeche veggies on top with a port wine balsamic that ran across the plate and was divine, not to mention the peppery arugula garnish. A glass of Talbot Logan Sleepy Hollow vineyard 2014 Chardonnay brought me back to a wine we used to drink all the time so long ago.

I was very unsure which red wine to choose with my main course so Brittany offered up a couple of beautiful large Riedel glasses and poured tastes of two different wines. First was Il Fauno di Arcanum Tuscany Bordeaux 2012 that nobody seems to know how you made Bordeaux in Tuscany... it was a delicious full body wine but there was no information on what grapes were in it. The other one I wanted to taste was a Nanthia "Termes" Tinta de Toro 2013 which was way too dry and astringent.
As I started to enjoy the wine Brittany surprised me with an extra plate this time it was the house made Bao buns with Berkshire pork belly, pickled cucumber, scallions and two sauces:hoisin and Sriracha. I tried not to eat all the buns as I really didn't need all the carbs but they were so delicious and the sauces were spectacular.

Since I had time for another glass of wine I was thrilled to see they had a 2011 Barolo on the menu from Casa E. Di  Mirafiori and it was truly one of the youngest smoothest Barolos I have had in ages.
There was delicious cornbread and two other plane breads but the whipped butter was superb so I had some of the corn bread and then stopped.
My main course was a revelation with 11 spiced South Texas Nilgai antelope as well as grilled Lockhart aromatic Quail. The latter was in a delicious sage sauce and the former was so tender with berry compote as well as juniper sauce for both. On the side were Brussels leaves as well as a superb soft creamy and rich goat cheese tart with chestnuts as well.
Of course all of these can be seen on Facebook and this was truly a dish to marvel in.
While I was full I couldn't believe that they had a3 tasting dessert for $11 so I figured even if I only ate two bites it was worth it and in the desert was Sticky Toffee Pudding which needed a little bit of custard and Mexican chocolate mousse which was extremely rich so cut by a rum whipped cream on top. The winner was the coconut creme brulee. Everything was quite rich so I enjoyed a wonderful small glass of Antique sherry Jerez from Pal Cortado that was super dry.
Now this was a meal worth coming to San Antonio for.