The Bur-gal had a conference downtown over weekend. Feeling fancy on a Friday night, we went with some of her co-workers to the beautiful St. Anthony's Hotel to eat from the new menu at Rebelle. Eric, Gina, and Angela joined George the alligator and us for dinner.
Service and Setting
The best I can do to describe the ambience is "Teen-Vampire Homecoming." One is greeted at the entrance by a full-size, disco-ball-mirrored lion. The dining area is dimly lit with some neon-blue hues, and several chromed-out table decorations (we had a 2 ft long alligator named George). I used a thesaurus to find the word 'tawdry' because it sounds like a classier way to say 'tacky.' Service was knowledgable and hospitable.
The new menu aspires to be a top seafood restaurant in San Antonio. Oysters, ceviche, octopus, and beef tartare for shareable starters, backed by hearty potions of different gulf fish and shellfish. They do serve several chops, which emboldened my choice to order a burger. I was not going to miss out on the seafood, so we asked for the burger to be divided into quarters and served as an appetizer. Prices are in line with other high-end restaurants.
They have a hefty list of house cocktails with a variety of flavors. Most of the group was happy with their drinks. I do not often peruse wine lists, so my best guess is that this one is on par with other hoity-toity restaurants.
The burger comes with cottage fries. They were under (or perhaps un-) seasoned. Texture was a bit off. They were not very good. The other shareable sides on the menu are not necessarily designed around the burger. They ranged from salty and mediocre potato dishes to rather interesting and delicious in the case of what can only be described as space-spinach.
The patty had tasty, good-quality beef cooked appropriately to enjoy the flavor. I suppose a victim of the upscale, circumstance, juices are kept to a minimum. Overall, it was probably the strongest feature of the burger.
Dress and Bun
Fontina cheese left a wonderful goo trail from the serving plate to mine. While it added some savory quality, the fontina flavor did not match well. The bun was unremarkable. The produce was bright and fresh. The pickles were closer to their pre-evolved cucumber state than brined. The bacon added an additional salty crisp, but would not say it was a cut above. It was cryptic from the itemized bill, but I think they up-charged us like $7 to add bacon and avocado at the server's suggestion. That made me finish the meal with a groan. If that was the case, I would recommend skipping it entirely for what started as an $18 burger.
Gina’s take: "The potato side was too starchy for me."
The new menu gives a good downtown option for seafood among innumerable steak restaurants. That said, the burger is below average compared to the rest of menu we sampled. This good-not-great burger earns 3 spurs.