San Antonio, Texas, was known for things like the Alamo and River Walk, but groundbreaking cuisine has never really been at the top of the list. Despite being the seventh-largest city in the U.S., its food scene was mostly centered on barbeque and TexMex. That is until James Beard Award-nominated chef Steve McHugh came along, opening charcuterie-focused Cured at Pearl in 2013. And now he's opening a new concept that focuses on small local growers and Texas' version of terroir.
Called Landrace, the new project was inspired by McHugh's passion for ingredients and Texas' heritage farmers and the idea that something tastes better when prepared and served close to where it was grown. He plans to source seasonal ingredients from 20 regional Texas growers to bring that to life and prepare them simply and flavorfully to pay homage to local heritage farmers. For example, quail and quail eggs will come from Broken Arrow Ranch, edible flowers and habaneros from Wholesome Harvest Farm, and cabrito from Windy Hill Farms. And Red Wattle hogs will hail from the sixth-generation Texan Peaceful Pork.
And to make the experience even more unique, most of the dishes will be whipped up on the Grillworks wood-fired grill. Everything from grilled BBQ oysters with charred lemon and lamb sirloin with papalo chimichurri to a baked brie dessert will be prepared on the coals. The beverage program will also have standout features like a tableside cocktail cart where Old Fashioneds are made to order.
As far as the ambiance, expect a mid-century modern vibe with floor-to-ceiling windows providing views of the River Walk.
While this new eatery is already a milestone for the city, it's even more critical given the restaurant's troubles this year. The February 2021 opening will be one of two restaurants at the new Thompson San Antonio hotel, aka the first new hotel in San Antonio in several years.