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“A mother daughter feast and conversation”

Restaurant Gwendolyn
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Ranked #132 of 4,764 Restaurants in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $125
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cross street: N St Mary
Description: Classic, Fine Dining, Strictly Local All perishable products from within a 150 mile radius. Everything made by hand as it was done in 1850, without electric machines. Everything made by the classic methods, using only preparations that existed in San Antonio in 1850. We are the reflection of Old Texas in a graceful, romantic setting by the river.
Reviewed December 27, 2013

Restaurant Gwendolly is a prix fixed 3 or 4 course dinner with paired wines There is no rush and ample time to have great conversations with an adult daughter you don't often see. My lamb was perfectly cooked and seasoned her vegitarian main course was beautiful to look at and reportedly as good to eat. For desert we shared a tart and cheese plate. My daughter was still talking about the wonderfull cheeses the next day and I will never forget that intimate mother daughter time we had that Christmas eve.

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Thank Nancy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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106 - 110 of 142 reviews

Reviewed November 22, 2013

Restaurant Gwendolyn is surely one of the top 5 meals I've enjoyed anywhere. This place is pure magic. Thanks to the softspoken chef and Jenn Wade, who made planning a client dinner so easy, our evening was unforgettable. They propose that you begin with a charcuterie platter ahead of the courses, but that doesn't really doesn't do justice to the pure artistry which arrives on the plate featuring okra, pickels, sweet almonds, candied pears, cheeses, a small pot of lamb rillettes, and artisan cheeses which all arrive delicately arranged on a platter for the table to share. And once the courses arrive, you won't be disappointed: venison sliders, quail done to perfection, pan seared shrimp over mushroom risotto, spaghetti squash, churros in ice milk, and a chocolate torte. The coffee was even done with an impressive German press machine, ressembling a bunson burner. It was a rich evening with decadent food and great company. The chef also came to the table and spoke to us about the meal and the restaurant, which was greatly appreciated. I am not sure how it could have been better. I barely even noticed the wine being poured, the waiters were so discrete. I will remember this night and this meal for a very long time. Well done!

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Thank FoodieRichmond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2013

Many speak highly of Restaurant Gwendolyn (RG); I do not.

RG Background: RG offers a 3 or 5 course tasting menu.The chef prides himself on being part of the slow food movement. No electrical equipment is used in the kitchen other than refrigeration and the hood over the range. RG and its chef advertise a close relationship with local farmers and indicate that they often travel to the farms to select items.

What we had: My wife and I ordered the 5 course tasting menu plus a $45 cheese and cured meat plat to share before the tasting menu.

Our service experience: RG took the slow food movement a bit too literal. We often waited 30 minutes between courses. We had a great view into the kitchen from a side table, and I saw more recreation than cooking going on. The Chef was not working the "line" the night of our visit, but did prepare desert.

Our table was beside an old sliding glass door. Each time a serve opened the main door to attend to the needs of guests seated outside, the door rattle. After nearly 3 hour (way too long) dinning experience, this became very annoying. There was also an extremely bad draft at the table or an air vent was pointed at the table. Additionally, the music played in the background was some sort of new-age garbage. It was distracting, and often annoying.

I found the wait staff to be less than attentive and was left for 15 minutes at a time with an empty water glass. One of the items on the tasting menu was a salad of "heirloom" tomatoes. I asked the server what variety of "heirloom" tomato. I was told that she did not know. I asked her to ask the chef. A few minutes later she found a copy of the menu, and after studying it for some time told me that she was not sure. For all the self aggrandizement the restaurant had done about local, slow food and knowing the local farms, and that "white trucks" did not deliver their food items, how can such a place not know the verity of tomato? The server at the restaurant in our Hotel (Omni Mansion Del Rio) was able to tell me the 3 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes in my heirloom tomato salad.


The Food: Uninspiring. Most of the food was "okay" but none was inspiring. The risotto in one dish was clearly under-cooked. Had anyone along the line sampled the risotto they would have seen that it needed 5 more minutes cooking time. Under-cooked risotto is typically chewy; this was crunchy.

Though the chef did bring our dessert (because a server indicated they had to let their pastry chef go due to financial limitations), the chef never made the rounds to ask about our food. Please understand that this restaurant has a maximum occupancy sign that reads 45 people. It is not such a large place that it would be impractical for the chef to make the rounds.

Bottom line: There is a great line in Steel Magnolias, "an once of pretension is worth a pound of manure." If you can back it up with high quality food and service, you may be able to get away with a bit of pretension... here, it was just the manure.

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3  Thank Fred A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2013

My friend and I went to Gwendolyn before going to see a show downtown. The patrons varied from romantic couples to families gathering for a special meal. We were casually dressed in jeans and blouses, but did not feel uncomfortable in the least. We had the three course dinner and every course was beautifully presented and delicious. Our dining experience was about 2 1/2 hours in length. The courses came our perfectly timed. The waitstaff was exceptional. We had a wonderful experience at Gwendolyn and I will return in the future.

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2  Thank bluenorth11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2013

My husband and I were fortunate enough to stay nearby so we visited the Gwendolyn 4 times for lunch and once for dinner. The menu is limited but oh, what a treat the available selections were! We so enjoyed the lentil soup served at lunch, best I've ever eaten. We did go back once for dinner. We ordered wine pairings with our meal. The service and prix fixe choices were amazing. Chef Michael is a culinary artist for sure. From the amuse-bouche to the charcuterie/cheese platter, to the main course and dessert, everything was exquisitely prepared and a treat on the tongue. The little outdoor patio over the riverwalk holds about 3 diners. We ate outside a couple of lunches. It was great and the staff is so terrific. They enjoy talking about the food, like the homemade grapefruit soda offered when we were there. The food is sourced from local farms so it is fresh and healthy. For a meal like that, price was worth it. Also, they do get busy at lunch and can frequently be out of menu items.

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1  Thank BethRose640
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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