During the last half of the decade, San Antonio restaurants have increasingly kept it casual with white tablecloth establishments often usurped by more raucous joints. Considering those eateries often place more emphasis on a party atmosphere than the food, it is heartening to see one local chef is bringing back classic standards.
A rep has confirmed that fine dining newcomer Evolution Restaurant will debut November 8 at 201 E. Olmos Dr., the former home of Chez Vatel Bistro. In contrast to the many come-as-you-are spots crowding Alamo City cuisine, chef Arturo Fernández will offer 10-course prix fixe meals that are meant to be savored and an à la carte menu for those who want to chart their own adventure.
San Antonio diners may recognize Fernández from his stints at Fresh Horizons Catering and Castle Hill’s Spoon Eatery, but Evolution is a return to a more refined style of cooking for the chef, using skills he honed running Mexico City’s acclaimed Restaurante Raíz and the Michelin-starred El Bullí in Girona, Spain.
For a market price of $100-$125, guests will be treated to a dégustation menu — a series of artfully plated small portions meant to engage all of the senses. The cuisine has roots in the traditional foodways of Mexico, but the preparations will be experimental, with exquisite ingredients and techniques culled from molecular gastronomy.
The opening night menu has yet to be announced, but Fernández has been experimenting with dishes like octopus ceviche with a transparent cilantro “veil” and jalapeño cilantro sorbet and a deconstructed tortilla soup.
The restaurant will have a full bar with cocktails, but Fernández previously told CultureMap that the beverage focus will be on wine. The cost of pairings has yet to be announced.
Once open, Evolution will operate from 5-10 pm Tuesday through Thursday and 5-11 pm Friday and Saturday. Reservations can be made via the website and require a credit card number to confirm.