Friday, March 11, 2011

Ostra - San Antonio, TX

I know exactly what you are thinking, and I was thinking the exact same thing!  A restaurant in a hotel on the River Walk!  Absolute tourist trap!  Well, you would think so, but we were pleasantly surprised!

We walked past Ostra and the bar looked very inviting.  From the outside, you could see the soft blue glow of the wine cellar against the bag wall, and the glass topped bar had nice lighting and all the fresh seafood at a raw bar that you could possible want!  That said, we pulled up a chair at the bar, and had some chow.

First I looked at the wine list, and although they had some great wines and great storage conditions, that markups were kind of insane.  That said, we opted for cocktail as I am not a big fan of 300% markups.  Nevertheless, they had a great list, and wines that many restaurants would envy.

We skipped starters tonight and cut right to the chase.  Maybe this was a mistake as the stuff on the raw bar looked great and fresh!  Anything from oysters, to fresh shrimp, to crab, to maybe even sea cucumber.  Everything looked fresh, and some of the stuff was still very alive.  Even so, we were still a bit stuffed from lunch.

Zelda went the seafood route tonight and ordered the Iceland Arctic Char.  She had the choice of having this prepared 3 different ways, and she went with it hot off the grill, and it came out perfectly!  The texture of this fish was perfect, and it was absolutely delicious.  From the picture, the portion doesn't look huge by any means, but it was a decent size.  Not quite a "small plate," but also not a regular sized entree.  Even so, the quality was there, and I am sure she would eat this again.

Being someone who loves the meals that I love, I went the short rib route, and these were Wagyu beef short ribs.  Again, the picture from the Blackberry doesn't do this justice, but these were nicely braised, and fork tender.  The au jus that these were in was delicious, and they were cooked as perfectly as possible.

For sides we ordered two.  The first being the Tempura Fried beans that were OK, but were extremely greasy.  Yes they were drained, and yes I understand that fried foods are greasy, but they were a little too greasy for me.  Zelda ordered the Gold Mashed Potatoes, and they had a nice texture to them.

Overall, this was a pleasant dining experience with good service, and I actually went back here with Budda for a beer one night to see what the raw bar had.  It's not often I'll frequent a restaurant in a hotel as they tend to be let down's, but this was a pleasant surprise!  Cheers!

Ostra at the Mokara Hotel and Spa
212 West Crockett Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone:  (866)605-1212

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