Nao and again
Ever since San Antonio’s Culinary Institute of America announced it was closing its student-run restaurant, Nao, speculation has surrounded its replacement. Would it be a stylish European bistro or a farm-to-table eatery? Maybe it would explore the flavors of Asia or Mediterranean cuisine? Turns out, it's all of the above.
On December 11, the school announced its new restaurant, Savor, will be settling into 200 E. Grayson St. #117 in the Pearl sometime in January 2019. According to a release, the modern American format will allow students to showcase their skills by serving a diverse menu inspired by the world’s great culinary traditions.
Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, Savor’s menu format will allow guests to customize a three- or four-course dinner from dishes like honey-chili roasted chicken with fat rice and Asian lime; grilled Gulf shrimp with polenta, olives, and tomato; and Berkshire pork schnitzel with egg, chamomile apple, and red sauerkraut. All plates will use locally sourced ingredients when possible.
The restaurant will also include a bar and lounge area that will serve small bites such as caviar, potato, and soft egg with leeks and pumpkin seeds; roasted cauliflower and Brussels sprouts with toum (a Lebanese garlic sauce) and chicken cracklings; and crisp-fried wings with miso-chili paste, pickled cucumber, and toasted sesame.
The bar program will stick to classic cocktails — think Negronis, Manhattans, and dirty martinis — that hold up to the bold tastes coming out of the kitchen. Local craft beer and a selection of New World and Old World wines will also be available.
“We are curating a menu with seasonal ingredients and global cooking techniques we admire,” said chef Uyen Pham in a release. “The menu at Savor will encourage our guests to try unfamiliar flavors.” Pham will oversee the restaurant along with service instructor Samantha Fletcher.
The menu isn’t the only new aspect of the operation. CIA tapped renowned Austin architects Clayton & Little to give the former location of Andrew Weissman’s Sandbar a refresh. The firm is known for some of the most breathtaking hospitality projects in the Pearl such as Larder, The Bottling Department, Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery, and Cured.
The warm, industrial interior will highlight the open kitchen, giving guests an appreciation of what it takes to run a restaurant. “As a graduate of the CIA, I understand the hard work these students put in to make this a special experience for the guests,” said Pearl culinary director Shelley Grieshaber via release. “I am excited the restaurant will bring flavors from all across the globe to our city.”