At the Embassy Suites Downtown Riverwalk hotel, you can experience all San Antonio has to offer. The hotel is seated right in the middle of town, minutes from main attractions and boutique shops. With it's open lobby, large dining room, and fabulous in-house restaurant by acclaimed chef John Besh, you can experience luxury at affordable prices.
I arrived to a comfortable, beautiful room with plush beds and plenty of closet space. Needless to say, I slept pretty soundly. In the morning, there was a hot buffet with all the typical breakfast foods, which, I will admit, was not a shining aspect. However, they did have a made-to-order egg/omelet bar with skilled chefs who can whip up your breakfast in 2 minutes flat. I had an omelet with tomatoes, spinach, and onions---a much better and healthier alternative to the cold pancakes in the buffet line. They also offer tasty oatmeal, fruits, and cereal, but if you're looking for some real morning energy, I say go for the omelet!
For my evening meal I got to get chummy with the owner and mastermind of Luke, Chef John Besh. Besh and his executive chef Steven McHugh cooked up a fabulous 4 course meal.
Besh is a class-act and holds all of his cards quite poised and humbly. Here's a man with 4 kids, multiple restaurants, an Iron-Chef Runner-up title, a brand new cookbook, and a cooking show on The Food Network. Phew! Meeting him was an honor. He is generous with his time and his laughter and genuinely nice to talk to. We made a pact to take on the food in my neighborhood Astoria--can't wait for this challenge. He makes you feel excited to try his food, and boy was I.
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The restaurant is gorgeous and we were treated to an upstairs room with a fabulous view of the river below us. His food is as exquisite as his smile and you can truly taste how much he loves to prepare his cuisine. Using all local vegetables and meats, each dish was unique and calculated, yet surprising and ambitious. With delicious wine accompanying the meal, I found myself feeling like I was experiencing something truly special. My absolute favorite dish was the truffle gnocchi with lumps of crab meat. This dish is so good it's almost criminal. You can view his recipe here. The other courses were: crawfish remoulade, shrimp curry bisque, and 3 selections of lamb (shoulder, belly, and chop).
Don't think I forgot about dessert, a strawberry cobbler with buttermilk ice cream (below). The strawberries were picked from a local farmer who won for best berry this season. WOW. Admittedly, I cleaned my bowl.
The Embassy Suites Riverwalk-Downtown hotel is still a newborn at only 5 months old, but it is bustling with life. Thanks to the installment of Besh's Luke, there's an incredible restaurant in the lobby, which, if I could, I would eat there every night of the week.
For more information on how to book your San Antonio escape and stay in style, visit http://www.sanantonio.gov/
Thanks to John Besh for his wonderful new book!
Momtrends was not paid for this post. We did receive a travel package.
We're seriously hoping John Besh will open a restaurant in NYC. One can wish.