Review: Bistr09 meets, beats French food expectations

May 23, 2019

Note: This is an abbreviated version of the full Taste Test review, with a star rating based on multiple visits. See the complete version on our subscriber site ExpressNews.com.

Expectation is a hell of a drug. Anxiety wrapped in anticipation wrapped in the thrill of the Next New Thing. San Antonio huffed junkie-level expectation for Bistr09 in Alamo Heights as it snowballed toward its March 4 opening.

Here’s why: First, Bistr09 comes from one of the city’s most celebrated restaurant couples, chefs Damien Watel and Lisa Astorga-Watel. Second, it lives in the Alamo Heights space where for 23 years the French bastion L’Etoile held court. And third, it fills a need for French cooking in a market where French mostly means fries.

Bistr09 met its French obligations with sauces of brown and gold and white.

Brown for a tender beef short rib braised in a sauce like Sunday gravy at mom’s house if mom were Jacques Pépin. Gold for Dover sole meunière draped in a rich velvet jacket of butter and lemon. White for fried chicken legs plated like lollipops with charcuterie gravy suitable to the South, whether it’s the South of France or south of Memphis.

Bistr09 is a prime see-and-be-scene spot for socializing over cocktails and it’s a nice place to toast the power of expectation and the possibilities that come with it at Bistr09.

To read the full Taste review, please visit our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com .

Mike Sutter is a food and drink reporter and restaurant critic in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | msutter@express-news.net | Twitter: @fedmanwalking

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