One of my favorite parts of traveling for work is the opportunity to try out new restaurants in great cities across the country. I really enjoy researching various places and trying to find somewhere interesting to go.
By far, my favorite restaurant of the trip was 20nine, a wine bar in the Quarry Market district of San Antonio. (The Quarry Market is essentially an upscale strip mall.) 20nine is named after California Route 29, which goes through the Napa and Sonoma valleys (it also happens to be my current age, as Lisa pointed out). Since it’s been a few years since I’ve been to wine country, I was interested to see how a California-style wine bar would translate in Texas.
I was not disappointed. In addition to wines by the glass and by the bottle, we had the opportunity to try various flights of wine. The flights were grouped by varietal (Chardonnay, Merlot, etc.) or by region. I chose a flight of spicy reds from and Argentina to begin with.* The server brought them to the table using this really cool carrier and each wine was accompanied by incredibly amusing tasting notes.
[photos courtesy of Lisa. She likes to take pix of food. We make fun of her, but it comes in handy when trying to spice up a food blog. And, yes, these are white wines and I had red, but I didn’t take the photos. Beggars can’t be choosers.]
We ordered cheese plates and antipasti. They were so delicious, I was afraid I wouldn’t enjoy my dinner.
Lord, was I wrong!! I ordered the sea bass with a side of gnocchi. It was phenomenal.I also had some really great homemade ice cream (unfortunately I didn’t ask Lisa to take any pix–next time!) We had some other nice dinners in San Antonio, but 20nine was definitely my favorite.
The other highlight of the trip was Bar Rojo at the Grand Hyatt, which was next to the Convention Center and across the street from my hotel. It was pretty fun for a hotel bar and they had the best raspberry mojitos, made with real raspberries. I bet I had 10 of them while I was there*, and each one was slightly different. Yum!
*I should probably note that, although my employer pays for our meals while we’re away… drinks are on us. I spent a pretty penny on wine and cocktails this trip. I just didn’t want y’all to think we were pulling an Enron or something!