Trending
MOST READ
Best Brunch

Best Brunch

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Lt. Governor Race: the \'Luchadora\' vs. the Tea Party radio host

Lt. Governor Race: the 'Luchadora' vs. the Tea Party radio host

News: A few Saturdays ago, I spent several hours hanging around a Texas Realtors Association conference in San Antonio, trying to catch state Sen. Dan Patrick... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta 9/17/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy Disappear into ‘Eleanor Rigby’

Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy Disappear into ‘Eleanor Rigby’

Screens: “If you’re going to start, you might as well start big,” an ambitious person once said. Ned Benson must have been paying attention, because for his first... By Cameron Meier 9/17/2014
Daniela Riojas’ Photographic Studies in Self-discovery

Daniela Riojas’ Photographic Studies in Self-discovery

Arts & Culture: Daniela Riojas explores ideas of the figure in art, Latin American rituals, letting go of the past, and Jungian archetypes in... By Tom Turner 9/17/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Restaurant Review

Tre Trattoria at the Fairmount Hotel coming into its own

Photo: Josh Huskin, License: N/A

Josh Huskin

Market salad from Tre Trattoria at the Fairmount Hotel


Tre Trattoria at the Fairmount Hotel

401 S Alamo (210) 223-0401 tretrattoria.com

The Skinny: Tuscan classics and house-cured specialties, served family-style.

BEST BETS: Chef’s Market Salad, changes weekly. Our rendition included baby arugula, Fredericksburg peaches, and pork torchon served with a pomegranete molasses dressing.

Hours: 11am-10pm Mon-Fri 10am-10pm Sat & Sun, brunch offered

PRICES: Small plates $3.75-$7 Main courses $11-45

If downtown has a dining scene, hotel chefs are the vanguards. Last year, Lüke managed a graceful entry into the River Walk arena, while veterans like Las Canarias were still slogging through the recession. Now solidly in the ring is Jason Dady’s Tre Trattoria at the Fairmount Hotel. The original Tre, located in the Boardwalk Bistro near Alamo Heights and Mahncke Park, proved to be a successful formula — so much so that Dady retired his Restaurant Insignia to install a new Tre.

Six months in, Tre Trattoria’s kitchen is emerging from the shadow of the original thanks to Chef Matt Hanck’s innovations. “My biggest hope is that tourists know how to eat well,” he said. Hanck grew up in the Chicago dining scene, and wants to see San Antonio become even more of a culinary destination.

To test drive the dinner experience, my companions were three dyed-in-the-wool foodies, twentysomethings like myself known to gush about such culinary arcana as the unique flavor of tomatoes grown in volcanic ash. We first ordered a flock of antipasti, including marinated mushrooms and olives, house-cured gravlox, hand-pulled mozzarella with sea salt and toast, and still more vegetables. Asparagus with salsa rustica was crisp and fresh but not nearly as luscious as the pesto-coated cannoli beans.

Dabbed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, the hand-pulled mozzarella was so delicious I may request it for my last meal on Earth. Equally delicious and unexpected were the roasted golden beets.

Then, two pasta dishes: The first, a spinach and almond ravioli served in broth, didn’t really excite anyone; Spaghetti Bolognese, on the other hand, was a delicate, nearly translucent house-made pasta coated in a tender mix of beef, pork, and veal — pink from the cream and not at all saucy. This is a dish you come back for again and again.

We were veering towards rainbow trout for the final main course, but the waitress encouraged us with a devotee’s zeal toward the duck confit. She explained how the duck takes 14 hours to produce from start to finish, which seemed reason enough to order it. But the meat, though perfect in texture, was almost too salty to eat. Soft inside with a perfectly browned crust, the duck legs were served over vegetables described to us as “just picked up today.” In the end I regretted not ordering the fish.

So what does Tre offer? Simplicity. It takes a deft hand to deliver the pure flavor of an espresso martini with a shred of floating lemon, or a golden beet roasted to perfection. Our waitress told us that most of the dishes we’d eaten had no more than five ingredients, many of which, like the pork and chicken, come from nearby, small farms. It turns out that Tre is as local- and seasonally minded as sustainability-themed restaurants like The Cove and Gewndolyn, but Tre doesn’t knock you unconscious with the fact. The waitstaff can rattle off the provenance of just about every dish, but the menu doesn’t boast.

After years of operation, the Tre concept has become a skillful mix of price, cuisine, and service that draws back regulars while simultaneously reeling in newcomers. If the new Tre at the Fairmount can keep that up, much more than tourists will be flocking to the historic hotel. •

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus