The Newest Fine Dining Establishment in the Rio Grand Valley is F & B on South Padre Island
The newest dining experience on South Padre Island is F & B, short for Food & Beverage. Co-Owned by Executive Chef Walter Greenwood and General Manager Brandi Hackett, this beautiful hot spot has a lot to offer diners seeking a great meal. The pair has an impressive background having honed their skills at restaurants in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New Orleans. They like to refer to the food here as Modern American with a nudge toward Island Coastal.
The dress code is Island Causal – a bit of refined sophistication with a beachy vibe. Sit back and relax with a crafted cocktail and get ready to be amazed.
The menu at F & B focuses on seasonal fresh caught fish, simple farm fresh ingredients with a spin on preparation by presenting dishes you might find on a Mediterranean or Italian coast somewhere. Presentation is also very important as everything is served up with a finely tuned & impeccable classiness, something not usually seen in a Texas coastal restaurant.
Of course, with fresh, seasonal ingredients the menu changes quite often, but this is a good thing. Every time you visit you will get something new but always delectable.
The night’s 4-course dinner has been specially paired with four different wines from across the globe to compliment and bring out the flavors of each dish.
The first course was a Red Snapper Crudo with thin sliced radish, local citrus & cilantro in an Aji pepper and Key Lime Marinade. The peppers gave the dish a spiciness and the citrus gave it a slight lemon tartness. The dish was paired with a French Armand De Chambray. This sparkling dry wine offered a crisp taste with citrus notes which brought out the delicate flavors of the Crudo.
Second course was a nice size Spiny Lobster poached in butter and served with a Crustacean and Black Truffle Beurre Blanc sauce and topped with lobster foam. Note: This lobster is actually found off the South Padre jetties. Who knew! It was paired with a Spanish Martin Codax, Albarino. This lively, clean white wine was definitely meant to be served with delicate shellfish. The fruit and bright acidity just enhanced the lobster. The Martin Codax vineyard is actually very close to the Spanish coast which may be why it pairs so well with seafood.
The Third Course was a show in itself, three whole fish, each prepared a different way. The Salt Crust Redfish was presented with flair. Cooked in a salt crust, the fish was prepared table-side which was quite a show to watch as they broke the meat out of the “shell” and de-boned it for easy eating.This process took about 15 minutes but was well worth the wait for the moist, tender flesh. The fish was complimented with a Agrumato Lemon olive oil.
Then there came a Yellowedge Grouper which had been marinated in a tomato emulsion with basil and pickled shallots. This dish had more of an Italian twist while the next, the Roasted Red Snapper with heirloom tomato broth, saffron, tarragon and Castelvetrano Olives seemed to have it’s roots in the Spanish influences. All three dishes in this course were equally delicious in their own right. The Patz & Hall Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast is another coastal vineyard wine. It has notes of citrus and tropical fruits and a clean, crisp mouth with a cross over to mineral notes. It worked well with all three entrées.
The Fourth Course was a sampling of several of F & B’s Family Style Desserts. First was their Adult Cookies and “Milk” which was served without the milk (Mozart White Chocolate Liqueur) since we were doing wine pairings. These cookies were huge and warm and filled with dark chocolate. (We didn’t miss the milk.) Next was a Chocolate Souffle served right out of the oven with Chantilly Creme & Vanilla Anglaise. It was prepared table-side for our added enjoyment.
The Profiteroles, a Choux pastry filled with Vanilla Ice Cream, drizzled with Chocolate Ganache, candied hazelnuts and topped with a flourish of spun sugar, wowed us all. Key Lime Pie just the way I like it with graham cracker crust, meringue and then decorated with fresh toasted coconut was simply mouthwatering. Last but certainly not the least was the Citrus Panna Cotta, the lightest of all but enough to satisfy a sweet tooth with its cinnamon & hibiscus spiced syrup. To accompany this procession of desserts was a French Chateau Romer Sauternes, a luscious sweet white dessert wine with notes of light stone fruit & honeysuckle. It was a delightful wine for the desserts.
Needless to say we went home over-stuffed, but very happy to have spent some time here. If you go to the island, please make this one of your spots to dine. And do try the crafted cocktails and selections of fine wines. You are always welcome to write me and thank me for the recommendation!
Location: 3109 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597
Reservations: (956) 772-8114
Manager’s Office: (956) 772-8113
Open Daily 5 pm – 10 pm
Happy Hour: Sunday – Thursday 5 pm – 10 pm (at the bar)
Want to make the evening a little more special? Hire a limo to pick you up and take you back to your hotel. Presidential Transporation Services owned by Jesus Flores, Jr. has a fleet of limos, large and small, for whatever your need. Give them a call at: (cell) 956.223.7488.
**Full Disclosure: I received dinner and limo transportation in exchange for my review, but not to worry, all opinions are 100% mine.