The Pearl has become the crown jewel of the dining scene here in San Antonio since the old brewery was revitalized into the ultimate social destination. The diverse complex offers high-end residences, hip office space, trendy bars, eclectic social venues, an outstanding weekend farmer’s market, and a collective of some of the best restaurants in town.
For the past five years, the complex has achieved national recognition with the completion of Hotel Emma. An architectural beauty offering elegant and unique accommodations, the hotel has captured the attention and admiration of some of the most respected travel publications and critics in the country. A key element that continues to be mentioned by discerning critics is the hotel’s restaurant, Supper.
Executive Chef, Jaime Gonzalez, has been with Supper and Hotel Emma since it opened in November of 2015. Under the guidance of Culinary Director, John Brand, Chef Gonzalez has faithfully maintained a consistent level of quality with a farm-to-table wholesomeness that has elevated Supper to a culinary superhero. The menu is very vegetable- centric, and their delicious treatment of locally sourced produce will entice even the most hardcore vegetable hater.
The décor at Supper is simple and clean. It is light, airy, and welcoming. While the dishes are meant to be shared and there is plenty for everyone in your party to enjoy, you will find yourself wanting to order more so that you can savor the intense favor of each bite, trying to decipher exactly which ingredient stands out. And don’t expect to find anything as mundane as steamed green beans on the menu at Supper. Instead, you’ll be treated to Blistered Green Beans with Sunchoke Granola, Zatar, and served with a deliciously creamy remoulade. I promise that you will never look at a green bean the same way again.
Another shareable standout is Chef Gonzalez’s Lamb Meatballs. This Asian inspired dish takes its favor from his in-house Five Spice BBQ Sauce. The meatballs are then sprinkled with sesame seeds, scallions, and spicy peanuts bringing back memories of the best Chinese spareribs you’ve ever tasted.
If you are a salad adventurist, then you will want to move over to the section of the menu labeled “Greens, Roots, and Grains.” For one of the most deliciously colorful dishes you will ever encounter, order the Beet and Spinach Salad with Kumara and Grains served with a decadent Pumpkin Seed Morita Relish. There are so many amazing favors coming through that it is like a gastronomical scavenger hunt to identify each one.
Chef Gonzalez, born and raised in the Los Angeles area, is a graduate from Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena and has worked under Chef Brand for many years. Gonzalez is outwardly proud of his staff and the way that Hotel Emma has handled the COVID19 situation. He boasts, “Everyone here has worked together to be very transformational. Not a single employee was furloughed or laid off.” The cohesiveness of the team is evident as every staff member at Supper is friendly and welcoming. This summer they will continue to evolve with weekend specials and their “takeout with a twist” to continue to encourage their guests to pick up lunch or dinner and enjoy a social distance picnic by the river or at home.
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner with reservations highly recommended. There is also a lovely patio where guests can enjoy their meals and an outstanding bar program with unique craft cocktails in addition to an outstanding beer and wine list. Chef Brand’s original goal with Supper was to elevate hotel dining to a new level and create a place where hotel guests and local diners can come together to enjoy a unique culinary experience that is part fine dining with a lot of Southern farm table charm. Five years and one pandemic later, the restaurant is thriving and setting a standard that will take them into the 2020’s as a leader in the upscale San Antonio dining scene.
Supper American Eatery
Hotel Emma @ The Pearl
136 E. Grayson
BY MEREDITH KAY
PHOTOGRAPHY BY AL RENDON