Battalion: Best new restaurant of 2017

Square meatballs

San Antonio has been fortunate that 2017 brought some very good restaurants, but Battalion stands at the top of the list as the best of the year.

The regional Italian and Italian American dishes here are absolutely incredible, while the cocktails sparkle and the atmosphere has enough style for several restaurants.

It has already vaulted to the No. 2 position as Best Italian in San Antonio’s Best Restaurants, and ranks high in several other categories of my book.

This is the latest project from owner Andrew Goodman and chef/partnerĀ Stefan Bowers, famed for their sibling restaurants Feast and Rebelle,

Bowers demonstrated his square meatballs on a video for Food & Wine magazine, and the recipe is not super difficult. The shape is not a gimmick — the flat surface means they’ll take a better sear than a traditional round ball. That That wonderful Maillard reaction works magic on the meatballs, too.

How to eat here

As with the menus atĀ Feast and Rebelle, the dishes at Battalion are meant to share. I really need to try every single item on this menu to make truly comprehensive recommendations. But for now, let me recommend the meatballs with a wonderful hard sear and eloquent marinara, the housemade ricotta with grilled pears and a light sprinkle of fresh rosemary, the daily risotto and the orecchiette alla Campagnola, with crumbled goat sausage, broccoli and ricotta salata. Truthfully, I had to leave before I could order a main dish, but those are next. But let me say that the handmade pastas are wonderful.

I will have to make several more visits to work my way through this menu. And I can’t wait to come back.