NAO at The Culinary Institute of America San Antonio

NAO at The Culinary Institute of America San Antonio

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://naorestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 2105546484x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: Closed
    Late Night: Friday & Saturday 10:00pm - 2:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,JCB,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Latin American, South American, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: Geronimo Lopez
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: East Grayson
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Free Parking at the Pearl Brewery
A word from NAO at The Culinary Institute of America San Antonio
NAO restaurant is dedicated to the exploration, preservation, and celebration of the authentic cuisines, cultures, and bounty of Latin America. Unique flavors, inspired by iconic ingredients and indigenous preparations, are presented in a contemporary style. Distinctive and exciting cocktails and beverages compliment the cuisine. And an extensive wine list rounds out the experience in this modern and dramatic setting.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
NAO at The Culinary Institute of America San Antonio reviews from OpenTable diners
60 reviews since June 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (43)special occasion (35)notable wine list (18)neighborhood gem (18)romantic (17)hot spot (17)good for groups (16)late-night find (7)vibrant bar scene (6)great for outdoor dining (5)scenic view (4)great for lunch (2)Show More
  • If you are into course dinning,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/13/2012
    If you are into course dinning, this is a great place!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food and service were
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 10/12/2012
    The food and service were great. We arrived a bit early and had a fantastic cocktail at the bar. With the tapa menu you have the opportunity to try all sorts of wonderful foods that make up Latin American cuisine. The menu is constantly changing and with the attentive service and attention to detail we will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent variety of
    Tcbird
    Dined on 10/12/2012
    Excellent variety of Latin American,Carribean cuisine. All dishes are $9 each and we ordered several different to split among us. All excellent!
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I loved this place! Their
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/12/2012
    I loved this place! Their ceviche was amazing and sharing 6 small plates between my husband and myself was more than enough. I highly recommend trying the sampler under their ceviche menu....you get a taste of all their ceviches...delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Best San Antonio dining option!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/10/2012
    Great meal! Menu broken into numerous small-portion offerrings. Each was quite affordable. Happy with vegitarian selections. Great menu diversity without being too wierd. Every course was delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Explore Latin America!
    GoodEater
    Dined on 10/9/2012
    Innovative yet approachable menu filled with a mix of dishes you won't find in ANY other US restaurant -- executed with perfection and artistically plated. At $9/plate you can tour the menu at will, and the "smart portioning" makes it possible to explore deeply. It's a bit loud due to hard surfaces, but that may add to the adventure for some. A MUST for those who love great flavors -- a find for groups that include vegetarians and carnivores. Cocktails are special too and the wine list is very affordable. Servers know the menu and are willing to offer suggestions. (Not "everything's great" comments.) NAO is perfect for business dinners and time with friends. Don't miss it if you're a visitor; make it regular stop if you're a local.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Outstanding new place, items
    houstonfoodieVIP
    Dined on 10/6/2012
    Outstanding new place, items come irregularly some time one just ordered before one ordered 15 minutes ago. But truly eclectic, exciting, and an unbelievable addition to the San Antonio dining scene.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great for Foodies!
    DTLA4P
    Dined on 10/6/2012
    Food was fantastic. Portions are small, but the we were well aware before we ordered. Enough to share each plate between two people. All menu items were the same price. Nice concept. Desserts were huge and fantastic! Once the service got started, it was outstanding. But, from the time we were seated, it took about 10 minutes before the waiter was ready to start service. We would come back more often, but it took three weeks to get the reservation on Open Table and we don't usually think that far in advance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrific experience
    Twistedtat2
    Dined on 9/19/2012
    Wonderful restaurant. The staff is very friendly, food was amazing, and the price was very reasonable. We will definitely be back again soon. I live the way the menu is setup. It allows you to try a lot if different items without the worry of having a bunch of wasted food and money.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • They had a Prix Fixie menu
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/18/2012
    They had a Prix Fixie menu the day I went. Had a three course meal for a steal. Everything was absolutely delicious. Management was very attentive. I will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Highly recommend
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/12/2012
    Everything was amazing and Nao is a unique addition to Pearl Brewery. Great service, excellent food
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We ate early so it may get
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/11/2012
    We ate early so it may get noisier later. Dinner was great, service was attentive, and they worked hard to get us to our lecture at Pearl Stable on time. But, it's really a place to go for a leisurely dinner when you have nothing else planned after.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food and service. If
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/5/2012
    Great food and service. If you like to try new foods & you like your meal to be an event this is the place to go.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Enjoyed the whole experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/1/2012
    Enjoyed the whole experience very much...your development of new ways to combine flavors is exciting. We three enjoyed each dish very much. The attention and service was excellent.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Get to Nao Now!
    diningfool
    Dined on 8/31/2012
    I've been to almost every restaurant in town and I wasn't sure what to expect from Nao. To say I was impressed is an understatement! The restaurant's decor was bright and inviting. Our server was very friendly and engaging. She was able to explain all the dishes available in detail (without having to read notes!)and made several suggestions. My guest and I each ordered different dishes so we could sample each other's. Not one was less than excellent. We were especially impressed with the presentation and the unique dishes used to serve the food. We had a smooth Argentinian Malbec to accompany the meal from the wine list. The meal was topped off by an equally impressive dessert. This restaurant is a gem and I definitely plan on coming back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • What a great dining experience,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/31/2012
    What a great dining experience, very affordable. The atmosphere was inviting and the service was great. The plates were beautiful and the everything that we ate was delicious, unbelievable flavors. I look forward to dining at NAO again very soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great food and filling portions.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/30/2012
    Great food and filling portions. Fun way to try lots of different menu items.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Cant say enough good things.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 8/30/2012
    Cant say enough good things. Early in its second week and service lags but 4 pro chefs in from across Latin America served up creative delicious latin fusion at a price that cant be beat.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • San Antonio has arrived
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/9/2012
    small, Intimate with South American ambiance. Corner bar that delights in creating South and Central American favorites. We went when they had their soft opening with a limited but GREAT food. Please save room for their dessert menu. You will not be disappointed. You nerd to have an open mind and love food. Every chef in their open kitchen could stand on their own in a restaurant. We had at least 6 here. This restaurant is on our "We will come back list."
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very good but SLOOWWWWW!
    TexasSourdoughVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2012
    This was our second trip to NAO and the results were mixed compared to our first trip. My wife thought the food was better,I thought it was slightly inferior. The biggest problem was it was very slow (2 hours for three courses) despite the fact it was almost empty. This may portend problems on weekends! As before the quality of ingredients was excellent. The jicama tacos were very refreshing.The octopus appetizer was very good, and the duck confit was excellent. Dinner partners gave their dishes similar praise.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Beautiful restaurant with
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/11/2012
    Beautiful restaurant with superior service. I liked the set price for a selection of a cold item and warm item, plus an entree. but it was difficult to know what we were eating as we were not familiar with the ingredients. Waiter was very helpful in helping us understand choice selection. Maybe we just don't quite understand latin cuisine and it will have to grow on us as we become more familiar with their vegetables and recipes. We were there for the soft opening.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Highly recommend!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/10/2012
    Great date night. Amazing food. Each dish was just the rt amount of food so that you are well satisfied but not uncomfortably stuffed when you leave. Adventurous food, fun to know there are still interesting combinations out there. Very calm relaxing environment. Never felt rushed and always felt appreciated and pampered. Staff was very knowledgable about the food and drinks. The chefs go out of their way to be friendly if you have the opportunity to sit at the bar and observe. Had a great first visit and took friends back the next week.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Such amazing food - interesting,
    GoodEater
    Dined on 7/7/2012
    Such amazing food - interesting, well-paced and well prepared. Only service drawback: a long wait for bar drinks. Get bartenders and lose the special "mixologist." Very loud when crowded; worth it for the food. Fix the noise, fix the bar and this is SA's #1 dining spot. Interested to see how it pan-Latino's out when the "regular" menu appears after the opening in August.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Enjoy the dinner very much,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/7/2012
    Enjoy the dinner very much, food, service was excellent. Our waiter, Jaime was very knowledeable about the dishes that were offered. Everybody was very friendly,attentive and helpful. Front door needs to have the name posted. We were not sure of the location. Overall a very pleasant experience. We would definitely return.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Peruvian dinner with Pedro
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/7/2012
    The Peruvian dinner with Pedro Schiafferino was an outstanding meal and an outstanding value, considering the relative cost of travelling to Lima for a comparable dining experience. Each course was perfectly executed and the service was excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great new setting in the Pearl
    JoeSA
    Dined on 7/5/2012
    Great new setting in the Pearl Brewery complex. Nice decor but marginal food. First courses are very spicy - almost indelible. Risotto was overlooked - almost a soup in texture. Skip the steak -poor cut of meat and quite chewy. Admittedly, it's still in per-open phase but they will have to do much better to survive.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Fabulous Night at Nao
    Regular1
    Dined on 7/4/2012
    What a wonderful and unique experience in San Antonio. I have not had food that tasty in a very long time, and sadly, it wasn't in San Antonio when I had it last. The unique menu, along with the freshness and artful preparation of the food made a lasting impression on me. I will be back. The tasting menu is such a great concept though it was hard to decide with so many great choices. The Chefs and wait staff were very friendly and attentive. I sat at the bar and was able to chat with the Chef and it was fun to watch them prepare the foods as well. The Latin cuisine, beautiful decor, and Latin music soundtrack made the evening very special. And a walk along the San Antonio river afterwards was the perfect end to the evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Had a tasting menu during
    Dalo
    Dined on 7/3/2012
    Had a tasting menu during soft opening that was very good
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was great.
    Charlene
    Dined on 6/29/2012
    Food was great but service a little slow evidently because of the CIA Student waiters. Still a fun experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • It was obvious they pride
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/29/2012
    It was obvious they pride themselves on great service, quality of food, and ambiance. They did a great job and it made for a wonderful date night with my wife.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great evening at the chef's
    Dalo
    Dined on 6/29/2012
    Great evening at the chef's table, aka bar adjacent the kitchen. The menu was a three-course prix fix with so many delicious options, choosing them was difficult. On Fridays and Saturdays, students from the affiliated C.I.A. work in the kitchen. When we were there a chef indicated that a guest chef was coming in the following week, adding some of his special recipes to the menu during that time. It seems this will be a teaching restaurant in all the best ways, with the diners benefiting as much as the students.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate