Landrace Named "Best New Restaurant" in San Antonio, TX
by Andrew Chalk
Steve McHugh set a standard in San Antonio with Cured a decade ago. Recently, he opened Landrace to a huge reception. Congratulations on this new award.
FROM THE WIRES...
Fire Up the Grill Chef Steve McHugh's Fall Picks are the Best from Texas’ Pastures and Waters that are cooked in the most natural way, over an open fire, at Landrace
As the seasons shift and environmental conditions change throughout the Southwest region, Executive Chef Steve McHugh - James Beard Award Finalist of his restaurant Cured - showcases at his newest restaurant, Landrace, of The Thompson Hotel [San Antonio] heritage breeds and seasonal vegetables from surrounding farms as well as sustainable crustaceans and fish from the Gulf. As a San Antonio Food Council member and a James Beard Smart Catch Leader, McHugh concentrates on the cooking techniques for these specially raised or harvested ingredients to be prepared in the most natural form - over an open flame. Recently named as a “Best New Restaurant” by San Antonio Magazine - the centerpiece of Landrace is the custom wood-fired grill by Grill Works, distinguishing it from other establishments in the city. Infusing all the ingredients – the seafood, meat, and vegetables obtain a true wood smoke seasoning and taste. The steady, open flame evenly cooks the food and retains the heat as it is brought to the table. Joining the menu is the 18-ounce Akaushi Strip Steak - regarded as the finest available breed for domestic Kobe-style beef. The intense marbling results in an extremely tender, rich, buttery flavor and presents a healthier option with lower saturated fat than conventional beef. This addition to the menu truly speaks to the meaning of Landrace - which isn’t just a reference to native Texas ingredients or produce with an heirloom heritage, but also something that has adapted extremely well to the Texas ecosystem. While the Akaushi cattle are native to Japan- it has not only survived, but thrives in this region. An array of seasonal sustainably-sourced seafood finds its way onto Landrace’s menu, drawing from the depths of cooling coastal waters. McHugh prepares a Whole Steelhead Trout a la Plancha with Red Watercress, Pickled Grapes, Brown Butter, and Preserved Lemon. Returning to the menu is the beloved bivalve - Gulf Oysters with BBQ Sauce, New Orleans-style, drawing upon McHugh’s years spent at some of the top kitchens in the Crescent City. The BBQ sauce features Worcester Sauce, White Wine, Lemon Juice, and Oyster Water - the juice from the oyster. It is cooked down before the oysters are grilled and finished by flame, tableside, for added depth of flavor that is most impressive. Other standout dishes combine indigenous elements with seafood - like the Texas Peanut and Pumpkin Soup with Crabmeat and Avocado. Texas is one of the country’s largest producers of Peanuts - with farmers harvesting an average of 160,000 acres of this legume. Grains and vegetables get fired up with the same amount of attention to produce different style vegetarian options. This also includes new dishes like the Habanero Garganelli topped with Pecorino, Hazelnut Gremolata, and Black Garlic - sourced from Texas Black Gold in San Antonio. A sweet addition that gets a finishing blast of heat is the new Banana Pudding Semi Freddo featuring a foundation of unique, house made Vanilla Wafers, crumbled at the base. Infused with Banana Purée and covered with Italian Meringue, it is flamed tableside. This elevated riff on a southern staple, which dates back to the 1880s, shares an over the top presentation for some dramatic “flare”!
Landrace | 111 Lexington Ave, San Antonio, TX 78205 | @landracetx