TOAST THE TASTEMAKERS
We’ve only just recovered. After weeks of honoring the San Antonio bar and restaurant scene through a special editorial series, we finally crowned the winners on May 18 at a hotly anticipated party held at the Briscoe Museum. Guests sipped and savored while patiently waiting for us to reveal the champions.
During the exclusive VIP hour, guests received a first taste of the delicious bites from participating chefs. They also got in the first bids for silent auction items benefiting our nonprofit beneficiary, the Southern Smoke Foundation.
There were plenty of libations courtesy of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, Dripping Springs Vodka, and Epic Western. Hometown brewers Viva, Weathered Souls, and Second Pitch kept guests quenched with plenty of brews, a perfect companion to Twang’s beer salt. Guests could also grab Topo Chico Sparkling Mineral Water to cool off on a hot day.
Once the doors officially opened, guests were tempted by an array of succulent dishes from the nominees. Ladino, a dual nominee for Best New Restaurant and Restaurant of the Year, wowed with agristada de pishkado — a white fish bite perfect for spring weather. Bar of the Year contender Moon’s Daughter showed their culinary acumen with lamb ragu hummus. And Rebelle spoiled attendees with East Coast oysters.
Finally, the crowd gathered to congratulate this year’s crop of honorees. Cheers filled the Briscoe’s halls as KENS 5 personality Sarah Forganey revealed the winners. Throughout the night, partygoers voted in the Burger Throwdown, presented by Goodstock by Nolan Ryan, giving Southtown's Bar Loretta the ultimate prize.
Robbie Nowlin of Allora and Arrosta was named Chef of the Year, while Sofia Tejeda of Hotel Emma nabbed the Pastry Chef of the Year award. Amor Eterno and Künstler Brewing won Bar of the Year and Best Brewery, respectively.
Then, three diverse restaurants scored in the restaurant categories. East side fave The Magpie got an early boost as Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year, while CultureMap readers selected Reese Bros. BBQ as this year’s Best New Restaurant. Lastly, Pearl showcase Carriqui nabbed the biggest award of the evening — Restaurant of the Year.
It was heartwarming to see San Antonio’s culinary industry greats toasting their peers and the special connections forged between restaurants and their guests. Now that we have gotten some rest, we can’t wait to do it again next year!