Patio weather is here, and at Presidio, the new restaurant from Charles Bishop and Adam Dorris at 911 W. 11th Street in The Heights, there is 4,000 square feet of open air seating ready to be occupied.
If you recall, Bishop and Lyle Bento of Southern Goods had plans to open 60 Pioneers in the Presidio location. But before that could happen Bishop and Bento parted ways – Bento remains at Southern Goods, and now Bishop is focused on Presidio, which opened to the public in mid-February. Bishop joined culinary forces with Dorris (previously at Pax Americana) to create a menu that is Texas- and seasonally-focused. As of now, Presidio is only open for dinner, starting at 5 pm (except for Monday when the restaurant is closed).
The decor includes reclaimed wood, balanced with industrial elements like concrete countertops and copper accents as well as lush natural features. The main dining room and bar are flanked by two outdoor spaces – one with tables and chairs, one slightly more casual with picnic tables and gravel. It’s a sleek place, the kind of atmosphere that encourages imbibing, but only of the good stuff, of course. At bar, there are 24 regional and national beers on tap. There’s a list of eight speciality cocktails, as well as wines by the glass and by the bottle.
For a smokey-citrusy cocktail that’s well balanced with a hint of bitterness, order the Smoke & Herb, featuring Cachaça, mezcal, agave, Aperol, lemon juice and basil leaves ($9, photo above at right). Want something light and refreshing? The Grapefrost Bite ($9, photo above at left) is dangerously easy to drink, combining Dulce Vida Grapefruit, grapefruit and lemon juices, St. Germaine, Peychaud’s Bitters and a splash of tonic.
The dinner menu is divided into four categories: snacks and veggies, salads, plates and desserts. There’s a children’s menu, too, with $7 kid-friendly options like grilled cheese and a burger.
Starters include French fries with brown butter aioli ($7), chicken wings ($11, photo above), bacon-braised greens ($8, photo below), crispy Brussels sprouts ($12) and smoked beef tartare ($18). The chicken wings are sous vide cooked and then baked and tossed in a “sweet, spicy, salty” sauce. They are marvelously moist with an extra-crunchy exterior. We could have used an extra punch of that sweet, spicy and salty, though. Meanwhile, the greens have a pleasant vinegary bite and unusual bright polkadots, thanks to pink peppercorns.
For a main dish, there are options like grilled cheese with green apples ($14), Gulf shrimp tacos ($14), 44 Farms cheeseburger ($13), pork milanese ($18), free-range chicken breast with sweet potato puree ($26), smoked brisket pibil and Granny Rose’s tacos ($14, photo below), which are reminiscent of Jack in the Box’s bad-but-so-good 99-cent tacos. Inside each of the three tacos you’ll find ground 44 Farms beef, black olive, sweet onion and pepperjack cheese. And then just like how Granny used to make them, they are flattened and fried for a crispy, yet greasy (in a good way) exterior.
Reasons we’ll return to Presidio? The patios, the cocktails and the tacos.
Presidio, 911 W. 11th St., 3 blocks east of N. Shepherd, 832-740-4574, presidiohtx.com
Hours: Closed Mon.; Tues. to Thurs. 5-10 pm (bar open until midnight); Fri. and Sat. 5-11 pm (bar open until 2 am); Sun. 5-10 pm