Another jewel

Acclaimed Austin hospitality group grills up first San Antonio restaurant at the Pearl

Acclaimed Austin hospitality group grills up first Pearl restaurant

Ladino San Antonio mezze spread
Ladino's menu will focus on regional Mediterranean cuisine. Photo courtesy of Ladino
Ladino San Antonio meatballs
Live-fire specialties like meatballs are sure to be a hit. Photo courtesy of Ladino
Ladino San Antonio interior rendering
The interior of Ladino sticks with the Mediterranean theme. Rendering courtesy of Ladino
Chef Berty Richter Ladino San Antonio
Chef Berty Richter will helm the new restaurant. Photo courtesy of Ladino
Ladino San Antonio mezze spread
Ladino San Antonio meatballs
Ladino San Antonio interior rendering
Chef Berty Richter Ladino San Antonio

Need further proof that San Antonio’s restaurant scene is the next big thing? One of Austin’s most acclaimed hospitality groups is heading to Alamo City with its first local concept. According to a release, Ladino will settle into the Pearl by summer 2022.

The upcoming eatery comes from the Emmer & Rye Hospitality Group, the company behind some of the Capital City’s most lauded restaurants, including Emmer & Rye, Hestia, Kalimotxo, TLV, Henbit, and the recently opened Canje. Ladino will be located at 200 E. Grayson St., suite 100 — the former site of Andrew Weissman’s much-missed Pearl trailblazer Il Sogno Osteria.

True to executive chef Berty Richter’s Sephardic roots, Ladino is billed as a “Mediterranean grill house.” The menu will center around live-fire cooking with freshly made pita, regional specialties, mezze, and plentiful vegetables. Dessert will put a modern spin on some of the region’s most cherished dishes.

In keeping with the theme, the name is borrowed from the Judeo-Spanish language of Richter’s youth — a mixture of Castellano, French, Italian, Greek, Turkish, and Hebrew. The name not only honors the food of the chef’s formative years but also acknowledges the influence of surrounding cultures.

“For the better part of my culinary career, I’ve been wanting to create a concept like this and share my vision of Mediterranean cuisine, influenced by my Sephardic roots and traditions, and tell a story that has never been told through food here in Texas,” explains Richter via a release.

The new addition continues a period of explosive culinary growth for the Pearl. Two upscale concepts debuted in 2020: French restaurant Brasserie Mon Chou Chou and pan-Asian spot Best Quality Daughter. The popular tourist destination has also revamped the Bottling Department Food Hall with recently added vendors Chilaquil, Mi Roti, and Kineapple. Allora and Arrosta, two Italian concepts from San Antonio-based Maverick Restaurant Group, are set to open in the nearby Credit Human and Oxbow buildings by the end of the year.

Ladino continues Pearl’s curated approach, adding another layer of culinary diversity to Alamo City dining. And it is sure to shed preconceived notions that San Antonio is only a Tex-Mex and barbecue town.

“The vision of Emmer & Rye Hospitality Group and chef Berty is so compelling and we feel that this concept will profoundly enrich the culinary community of Pearl and San Antonio at large,” says Elizabeth Fauerso, chief marketing officer for the Pearl, in a release. “Ladino as a manifestation of Berty’s culinary upbringing and his expertise is representative of our ambition to connect profoundly through food and culinary stories.”