About NAO at The Culinary Institute of America San Antonio
Nao is a classroom for students in their last semester at the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio. Both Culinary and Service is provided by students earning an Associates of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts.
Bldg 2 Suite 2102
San Antonio, TX 78215
Latin American, South American, Mexican
Hours of Operation:
Student Run Dinner
Tuesday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Outdoor Kitchen at The Pearl Farmers Market
Saturday: 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Closed for major holidays, due to students being off campus.
Isleta / Emma Kohler
$30 and under
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
Recommended parking in the Koehler parking garage. From there, go to first floor.
If you are being dropped off, please direct your driver to Hotel Emma. We are directly across from the entrance of the hotel
Chef Instructor Vincent Carvalho and Hospitality Instructor Samantha Fletcher
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
Please contact Instructor Samantha Fletcher, Samantha.Fletcher@culinary.edu
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We love sharing food with people. Celebrate benchmark birthdays, recent retirements, or much-deserved promotions. Let our staff help you make a lasting impression on colleagues, association members, family, or friends while you share a great meal.
NAO at The Culinary Institute of America San Antonio Ratings and Reviews
Nao--the student run restaurant in the Culinary Institute of America's San Antonio location. We had a great meal and had a fun time talking with the students as well. Their commitment, their plans and their enthusiasm were part of what made the meal memorable. The seafood stew was top notch--seafood very well prepared. The cheese course was very nice--I would add some honey to options. The Latin flair was evident in the spices. All made for a very nice evening. We will be back.
Very disappointed. Server was not helpful and slow, expected him to talk about the food. He never checked to see how anything was or thank us for coming. Food was over flavoured and steak overdone, poor quality of steak. It's a shame that this is how future chef's are being trained.
Server wasn’t overly familiar with items on menu. When asked what was his favorite, he immediately went with the highest priced item; about the seafood stew, he said it was "seafoody." Cake was dry like powdered chalk. We had a great experience there a year earlier at lunchtime, but this dinner was a disappointment. There are several other restaurants in the Pearl area we will try next time instead.
We were only able to get a reservation at5:30, a little early for us, but we wanted to try NAO. The service was great, server was well versed on menu and details. We had the lobster Mac & cheese it had great flavor, great amount of lobster, and the sauce was perfect. I wold of preferred it served even hotter than it was , the middle was warm as opposed to the edges where it was toasty. The ribeye was perfect for me, medium rare and my husbands pork tenderloin was perfect as well. My dessert was the chocolate cake with coffee ice cream and my husband’s cheesecake was so light and a touch warm that made it even better. We will be back .
Interesting and fun concept to support the students of the CIA in San Antonio. All that are involved in preparing and serving meals are students. With that though there comes a bit of inexperience which if you expect going in, is not a big deal. Little things like serving soup without a spoon, not clearing empty plates for each course, etc. Then we were reported as no-show for the reservation (which was easily fixed). All in all, the menu is creative and definitely out-of-the-box. Even down to the creative cocktail concoctions. The students are chatty and happy to answer questions. Fun evening overall and worth a repeat visit.
We had a family gathering here. The staff was very accommodating in arranging a special table outside, where we could enjoy the mild evening and great setting in the Pearl. Wesley was knowledgeable and helpful with menu selections. The shrimp and pork belly tacos were tasty. Interesting options feature fresh, seasonal foods. All staff are CIA students and work hard to please. A very nice experience.
Great food and good service. Neat place. I know it’s set to be an upscale place but they really need a tv somewhere. Had to miss the first half of the World Series game 6...
What’s really cool is supporting the students here while having a great tasting meal. For some reason I always thought this was an Asian restaurant but it’s Latin.
Wife had the sea bass which was exceptional. Perfectly cooked and well seasoned. Both of our salads were excellent (pepita harvest and tamarind) and just the right size for just before supper. My salmon tacos were average at best. Tortilla was too try (almost like it was fried). Service was sub-par. Server was not at all familiar with the menu and could not answer questions.
NAO was recommended to us when we visited San Antonio as a unique dining experience. We liked the bar seating where you can observe the kitchen activity. They welcomed questions about menu items and I had plenty. The menu items were interesting and diverse.
Excellent dinner - period! The food was perfectly prepared and seasoned authentically. Service was top notch. Keeping in mind these are students who are cooking and servings the CIA. Well poised and disciplined, but sincere and dedicated. A very enjoyable experience. We were traveling with guests and have experienced other CIA venues (Hyde Park and Greystone). This was equally enjoyable and satisfying. Well done!
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