Sunday, March 2, 2014

Silo Elevated Cuisine… Alamo Heights

I recently purchased three new dresses.  Why I purchased them, I don't really know.  I don't really have a need for them, since Bill and I don't go out on "dates" that often.  They are a little too sexy for a workplace, not that I plan to be in one anytime soon.  And if Bill doesn't find a job, we will be too poor for dates anyway.  But anyway, we did decide to go out last night, so I wore my new navy blue dress.  I looked like this…


Yes, there was a little retouching on this photo.  Other than that, though, it's all me.

We decided to try Silo Elevated Cuisine in Alamo Heights.  Silo also has a second location on 1604 Loop, a big road not far from where we live.  Alamo Heights is apparently the original location.  The other one on 1604 is in a rather upscale strip mall, while the Alamo Heights location is in kind of a yucky part of San Antonio, right before you get to the nicer, older neighborhoods.  One thing I immediately liked about Silo was that there was plenty of free parking.  Valet parking is also available behind the building.

We got a little turned around.  Silo is at the rear of the building, but there's also a small plates restaurant called Nosh at the front that is probably owned by the same folks.  I actually liked the looks of Nosh and would happily try it one day.  They had lots of Belgian beer, which always impresses me.  We passed through Silo's rather cool but mostly unattended bar area to get to the restaurant and met a pretty hostess who checked us in.  To get to Silo's dining room, you have to take an elevator up one floor.  I guess that's why they call it "elevated cuisine".  Cute.

The dining room was a bit dimly lit and I could hear some cheesy music playing over the sound system.  I would have preferred something a little more avant garde or dynamic or even new age.  A man met us at the elevator and seated us at a two-top right next to a table for four.  I noticed Silo's dining room is kind of small and there aren't a lot of intimate places to sit.  Booths are in short supply.  No matter.  Bill and I wouldn't be doing anything naughty anyway.  I got a view of the open kitchen and the wait staff, while Bill got to watch people coming on and off the elevator.  

Our waiter's name was Barney and he was obviously practiced at his craft.  He delivered his specials perfectly from memory.  I was silently applauding him, since I used to struggle with that when I waited tables.  Bill ordered a bottle of wine and I asked for a glass of champagne while we perused the menu.  At around this time, the lights kept going up and down.  I told Bill that at the restaurant where I once worked, when the lights went down, the prices went up about 50%.


I love getting a little bottle of champagne...


This was the wine Bill selected.  It was okay, though not particularly exciting.

Silo has a prix fixed menu that offers two courses for $29.  You can get a third course with a $3 supplement.  It's a pretty good deal, since several of the dishes on the a la carte menu are available.  Bill and I decided to skip the prix fixe menu, though, and try something more adventurous.


I started with a spinach salad.  It had a sherry vinaigrette, raspberries, dried apricots, and applewood smoked bacon.  It was garnished with "crispy brie", which was really just a fancy name for a cheese stick.  I really enjoyed the brie, though I wasn't all that impressed by the way the salad was presented.  It was like a pile of leaves with layers of stuff under them.  It tasted good, though, and is keeping me regular.


Bill had the soup of the day, which was a white bean with bacon and Swiss chard.  It was very good, though it reminded me a little of Bean with Bacon soup.  Note the bread, which was outstanding.  There was wheat and some kind of cheese bread in there.  Yum!


For dinner, I had a pork shank with green chile "mac n' cheese", spinach, and some kind of creme fraiche.  This was way too much for me to finish, but I was impressed with how it fell off the bone.  It was garnished with a tasty cherry sauce which complemented the meat very well.  I look forward to enjoying the leftovers later.

About halfway through our meal, three ladies sat at the four top next to our table.  I could see they were eyeing our entrees.


Bill had the special, which was lamb.  It came with mashed Yukon gold potatoes, carrots, and spinach.  I don't like lamb much, but I tasted his and it was very tender, smokey, and flavorful.  If not for the slightly gamey taste all lamb seems to have, I might have preferred his dish to mine.


For dessert, I had vanilla bean cheesecake.  It was absolutely delicious… not too heavy or dense.


Bill had the signature "toasted coconut pie", which had a crust made of Belgian chocolate painted macadamia nuts.  It was really yummy, though I think I liked the cheesecake better.  It wasn't as sweet as the coconut pie was.  Bill said Barney "didn't oversell it".

As the ladies sat at the table next to ours, a couple at a four top on the other side of us were telling their waiter what they did and didn't like.  The lady sounded as critical as I am.  ;-)


Outside of the restaurant.


We spent about $185 before the tip.  Barney gave us outstanding service, so Bill tipped him accordingly.  I thought Silo was worth the money and would definitely go back.  It was great to get out last night.  I hope we can do it again soon.
  

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