Having just returned from the Westin La Cantera in San Antonio I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about the wonderful meal we had at Francesca’s at Sunset. For starters, the restaurant is in a magnificent setting perched high atop the hotel with 360 degree views through huge windows overlooking the Texas Hill Country. The meal started with an amuse-bouche of local tomatoes and micro-greens in a balsamic/basil oil dressing. For an appetizer, I had a perfectly roasted quail accented with a blackberry-bourbon reduction and zucchini. My wife had the local field greens with pecans, cherry tomatoes, and strawberry vinaigrette. For our main course we had the crab cakes – each portion consisted of two of the largest lump crab cakes I’ve ever seen and must have been 90% crab. They were accompanied by a light ragout of sweet corn, asparagus, and local shitake mushrooms. For sweets we had homemade raspberry and passion fruit sorbets – the perfect ending to an amazing meal. While the food was delicious, the service was equally orchestral making for a complete dining experience.
Oh…and let us not forget wine. One of the great things about this menu and wine list is the focus on local produce, meat, and wine. We each had a glass of McPherson Cellars Viognier. If you’ve been reading my blog you know by now that I hold this winery in very high regard. Well, the Viognier reinforced why I love this winery so much and how the folks at McPherson are producing top-notch wines across the board. It was crisp and refreshing with just enough citrus flavors and sweetness to play off the crab – the perfect complement to the meal.
Francesca’s also has a Farm to Table Experience that features produce from Uncertain Farms based in Seguin, Texas not very far from the hotel. Additionally, some of the courses are paired with Texas wines for a Texas wine and food pairing experience. The fact that the restaurant prominently features so many Texas wines both by the glass and bottle should be a model for others to follow. I am certainly not the first person to point this out, but it is important for restaurants to highlight local viticulture for the industry to continue to flourish. I tip my [ten gallon] hat to Francesca’s and hope to have the opportunity to dine there again soon!