A visit to the Alamo gave way to an epiphany for businessman Mauricio Ruiz. He looked across the street from the sacred mission and saw opportunity starring him in the face. He shared his vision with wife Gabriela.
"He looked and said, 'That place should be a restaurant,'" Gabriela recalled.
Ruiz was referring to the historic Crockett building at 321 Alamo Plaza. Gabriela said that they realized San Antonio lacked a fine dining experience with a front view of the Alamo.
"This for us is our biggest dream," she said. "We are in front of one of the most emblematic places in the United States."
The couple secured the third floor of the Crockett building and started renovating office space into an upscale dining venue. And thus, 1718 Steakhouse and Bar was born. They opened in February 2016.
The restaurant's name is attached to the year San Antonio was founded. Dining Captain John Petry III said that the connection is city's most relished jewel.
"The story of 1718 is a basic homage to the Mission San Antonio De Valero," Perty said.
Executive Chef Christian Hernandez said that 1718 is a traditional steakhouse offering great fare and a unique view of a national treasure.
"We do open grill here. It's not a broiler," he said. "We do a simple [Kosher] salt and pepper seasoning."
The seasoning may be simple but Hernandez and Petry said that they pursue the best product from their purveyors for patrons.
"We chose the top 2 percent of all beef graded prime," Petry noted. "It does a 28-day wet aged process that brings out more of a natural game flavor."
Neighborhood Eats was provided a sampler from their menu as we gazed at the Alamo. Hernandez started with pan seared Brussel sprouts with bacon, garlic, onions, chicken stick, house butter and white wine.
Next, a 16 ounce New York strip with a bleu cheese crust and a red wine reduction. It came coupled with Atlantic scallops.¡Qué rico!
The tasting experience continued with an eight-rack of New Zealand lamb. Dollops of an herb cheese sauce come on the lamb lollipops which crown truffle potatoes with parmesan cheese, asparagus, and carrots. ¡Qué rico!
By location, the lion's share of 1718's customers are tourists. Now, more locals are discovering the experience.
That's this week's edition of Neighborhood Eats. If you have a suggestion for Marvin send him an email (Mhurst@kens5.com), tweet (@mhurstkens5) or post it to the KENS 5 Facebook page. #KENS5EATS