Hotel Valencia, located at 150 E. Houston St., provides you with a full sensory experience as soon as you enter through the doors. Sounds from the water fountain flow into your ears, dimly lit candles meet your eyes and the smell of what we can only describe as pure relaxation float through your nostrils. Upstairs is where you’ll find the experience of taste at Hotel Valencia’s restaurant, Citrus.
For restaurant week, Citrus, featuring executive chef David Gilbert, had an extraordinary menu made up of eclectic cuisine that we could not resist. After glancing at the menu and spotting a refreshing watermelon salad as an appetizer and tiramisu for dessert, our table was booked.
Let’s start off by saying that this was not a watermelon and pineapple salad – this is all watermelon! The Texas watermelon salad with pickled ginger and fresh shallots to be exact.
After the watermelon disappeared (quickly, very quickly), roasted corn and crab fritters with leaf lettuce and herbs arrived at our table. The fritters were warm, crunchy, and paired perfectly with the light, citrus sauce and fresh greens.
Citrus’s yuzu, a citrus fruit found in East Asia, chicken wings with a spicy, Vietnamese style sauce and perfectly cooked jasmine rice came up next. After attempting to eat the dish with a fork and knife, I put my silverware down and bit right into the chicken and the taste was far better. No matter how fancy the restaurant is, you eat chicken wings with your hands!
Whew, Jacqueline and I were leaning back in our chairs completely content after the chicken wings and then the smell of a savory sauce filled the air. The main dish, braised beef short ribs with green apple kim chi slaw and a generous portion of cilantro, had arrived. I took out my knife ready to cut into the rib and realized all I needed was a gentle push of my fork to gather the delicious meat. The intense flavor of meat was accented beautifully with the tangy and sweet kim chi.
Citrus’s 2015 Restaurant Week menu came to an end with hot coffee paired with Citrus’s uniquely crunchy take on tiramisu. After the table was cleared, Jacqueline and I couldn’t resist wandering outside onto the balcony. With the buildings of the city all around us, all was calm and peaceful in the center of San Antonio.
While restaurant week is coming to an end for 2015, the savory flavors of Citrus are here to stay. Citrus is open for breakfast from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m Monday through Friday and 6:30 to 11 a.m. on the weekend. Lunch is served Monday through Friday starting at 11 a.m. with a lunch buffet (ideal for anyone working in the downtown area!) starting at 11:30 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m. Dinner at Citrus is from 6 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. You can find the various menus here.
What’s your favorite dish at Hotel Valencia’s Citrus?