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
"Inspired By Latin Live Fire Cooking"
Tuesday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Live Fire Kitchen at The Pearl Farmers Market
Saturday: 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Closed for major holidays, and when students are 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 Sofia Sada Cervantes
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 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
We went here for lunch during Restaurant Week. The food was delicious: ribeye, cast iron chicken, ceviche, quinoa fritters, mango cheesecake and Mexican brownie with tequila ice cream. All the staff we encountered was nice though our waiter was so-so...I hate when I have to ask for a refill. We definitely will return and highly recommend.
I've been to Nao a couple times already and they never fail to impress me with their food. The food is very well prepared - well seasoned, flavorful and of good quality. I love how they change their menu quite often so you can always try something new. The ambience and location is great as well It is such a fun place for everyone!
FANTASTIC. Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to try new places. Now wondering why we waited so long. Steaks perfect - one of the best Steaks we've had. Cast iron chicken was tender juicy, fat rendered and skin crispy. Desserts OMG. Get the plantains foster- done tableside. Flame on!
We went for Restaurant Week and were pleasantly surprised. I had a crab salad with salmon that was made at the table by chef in training, Jenny. It tasted great and beautiful presentation. My husband had the strip steak and we couldn't believe the size...it was huge! Perfectly cooked. The plantain foster was so good and this was also made at the table by Jenny. We will definitely be back and have recommended it to everyone.
Probably the 10th time we've eaten here, always look forward to something new. We usually struggle to order because we want almost everything on the menu. This time we struggled to find anything that really drew us in. The waiter wasn't bad, but didn't seem to really be In the mood to be working--very perfunctory performance. In the end what we ordered was good, but the overall vibe not so much. I was also struck by how expensive the meal seemed--I usually walk out feeling we got a really good value but this time $110 + tip for two seemed excessive for what we got. I'm sure we'll go back, but definitely not for a while.
this is the outlet for the students of Culinary Institute - they serve lunch but dinner is done by graduates of the program. Latin flavors to the fore. Everything was professionally handled. Food was great (lamb shanks with a slight spice to the sauce) and nightly specials exist too. Wine list had plenty of choices - just check the smell in the empty glasses - the dish detergent was leaving a dusty odor.
highly recommend this place
Amazing Christmas Eve dinner with the family. We all chose off the prix fixe and the vegan and vegetarian in our party were easily accommodated. Service was good, not intrusive at all and the timing of the courses made for one of the best meals I've had since moving to SATX. Definite gem of the Pearl District and will be visiting frequently in the future.
**Addition to earlier review - came for lunch on a Saturday with my daughter in mid January. Service was the absolute slowest, and when a drink got spilled, the attitude of the staff was "oh well, we didn't do it" and begrudgingly wiped it up. As our food was coming out at the exact same time as spill, they had the audacity to give to "another table that had the same order" and made us wait 15-20 minutes for new dishes to be made. My daughter was appalled, as was I, but it wasn't worth dealing with the horrid attitude of the woman who gave us the explination that "we gave it to another table." When my husband wanted us to go there with a couple from out of town, I was hesitant, but it was better than the previous time, not as good as the latter. Different waiter helped...
I have eaten lunch at NAO and had a wonderful experience. Unfortunately, dinner was less than stellar. Out of four diners, three of us ordered filet dinners. We all ordered medium rare. Two were over cooked and burnt and although my steak was cooked properly it was room temperature. Not what I expect for a $34 plate.
I made reservations on Open Table for eight for a birthday party on a Tuesday at 7:00 pm. I received a confirmation email and a reminder, but when we arrived at 7:00 pm, the door was locked. There was a worker inside, but no diners. The sign by the door said that NAO opens at 5:30 pm on Tuesdays, but the worker would not answer our knock. We had to scramble to try to find a new location for our group. I won't book there again.
Needed a restaurant for a meal for six before the Billy Joel concert in San Antonio. We had cocktails before ordering, but skipped the appetizer course because we had a schedule to meet. The service was very slow, especially considering we were the first people in the restaurant and it wasn't busy for a while after we arrived. Five of six were served together, but one person had their dinner delayed. We smelled something burned from the kitchen and we suspect that was the delayed dish. The food was very good with reasonable portions. The wine was OK.
If the service matched the ambiance and food quality, I would have rated Nao higher.
We arrived at 6 and it was still quite slow except for a party of some kind in the bar area, so there was no one near the hostess stand at that point and it took awhile for us to be escorted to a table. Once there, the service and food were good to very good. The food was quite fresh and the portions were very generous. The "latin" flavor was muted in what we ordered, but there's a lot on the menu and it changes often. They have a good list of wines by the glass that are not expensive compared to other venues. The on-site menu was different than the on-line menu, but since they change their menu so much, it's probably hard to keep it synced up. Just go and trust that they'll have something that will make you happy!
NAO is one of my favorite restaurants! Its attachment to the CIA gives you a high expectation of quality in food and service. It does not disappoint! The servers are all very friendly and knowledgeable about the menu and wine list. We shared two appetizers, the arugula salad and the pork belly skewers. The salad consisted of arugula, apple and fennel slices, and feta cheese. It was beautifully dressed with a citrus and oil vinaigrette. The stroke of genius was pairing chunks of pork belly with chicharron pieces for a wonderful contrast of textures. The flavor of both was superb. We ordered for dinner the Parilla for two, a meat lover's delight. The meat was perfectly cooked, but the potatoes on the plate really shined! The churros we had for dessert were the perfect cap to the meal! Kudos to all in the kitchen!
Great food. Service was emthusiastic, but inexperienced, since the CIA students are "interning" as front of the house hosts and servers. It all depends on who you get for a server. Our guy was sincere, but seemed nervous. Keep working on it; you'll smooth it out soon.
Our first visit to NAO and we were impressed. My party of 8 was seated at a large round table with a lazy susan in the center, which made sharing easy in this tapas style restaurant. The service was impeccable and our waiter's suggestions were spot on. Great interaction and attention from the wait staff and management. WEll done!!
Went there for my birthday with my family. All of the appetizers were great! The chicharrones and the octopus were my favorites. My young daughter was with us, and she ate the empanadas as her meal, and she loved them (Argentine style corn empanadas). I tried two different drinks (Chicana75 and the Wahaka mezcal old fashion) and they were both good. I ordered the filet as my meal and it was cooked perfectly (rare). We were there on a Thursday, so it was pretty empty, but the atmosphere was great. My only complaint would be that it took a long time to order drinks. Overall, it was a wonderful experience and I would definitely go there again.
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