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Acclaimed Austin restaurant group grills up expansion to San Antonio

Acclaimed Austin restaurant group grills up expansion to San Antonio

Ladino San Antonio mezze spread
Ladino's menu will focus on regional Mediterranean cuisine. Photo courtesy of Ladino
Ladino San Antonio meatballs
Live-fire specialties like meatballs are sure to be a hit. Photo courtesy of Ladino
Ladino San Antonio interior rendering
The interior of Ladino sticks with the Mediterranean theme. Rendering courtesy of Ladino
Chef Berty Richter Ladino San Antonio
Chef Berty Richter will helm the new restaurant. Photo courtesy of Ladino
Ladino San Antonio mezze spread
Ladino San Antonio meatballs
Ladino San Antonio interior rendering
Chef Berty Richter Ladino San Antonio

As Austin’s restaurant scene continues to rebound from the hardships of the pandemic and thrive in its tenacious growth, one of the city’s most acclaimed hospitality groups is heading south, opening its first concept in the San Antonio market.

Emmer & Rye Hospitality Group — the company behind some of the Capital City’s most lauded restaurants, including Emmer & Rye, Hestia, Kalimotxo, TLV, Henbit, and the recently opened Canje — will open a new eatery called Ladino at the bustling Pearl development in San Antonio by summer 2022, according to a release.

Ladino will be located at 200 E. Grayson St., suite 100, moving into the space formerly occupied by Pearl trailblazer Il Sogno Osteria.

True to executive chef Berty Richter’s Sephardic roots, Ladino is billed as a “Mediterranean grill house.” The menu will center around live-fire cooking with freshly made pita, regional specialties, mezze, and plentiful vegetables. Dessert will put a modern spin on some of the region’s most cherished dishes.

In keeping with the theme, the name is borrowed from the Judeo-Spanish language of Richter’s youth — a mixture of Castellano, French, Italian, Greek, Turkish, and Hebrew. The name not only honors the food of the chef’s formative years, but also acknowledges the influence of surrounding cultures.

“For the better part of my culinary career, I’ve been wanting to create a concept like this and share my vision of Mediterranean cuisine, influenced by my Sephardic roots and traditions, and tell a story that has never been told through food here in Texas,” explains Richter via a release.

This comes at a time of continued explosive culinary growth for the Pearl, as well as for the Emmer & Rye group, so the new restaurant seems a fitting addition for both entities. The Pearl debuted two upscale concepts in 2020: French restaurant Brasserie Mon Chou Chou and pan-Asian spot Best Quality Daughter. The popular tourist destination has also revamped its Bottling Department Food Hall with recently added vendors Chilaquil, Mi Roti, and Kineapple.

Ladino, while continuing Pearl’s curated approach, extends the Emmer & Rye group’s restaurant empire beyond the Austin city limits and perhaps portends further out-of-town growth for the group’s concepts. In the meantime, Ladino is sure to shed preconceived notions that San Antonio is only a Tex-Mex and barbecue town.

“The vision of Emmer & Rye Hospitality Group and chef Berty is so compelling and we feel that this concept will profoundly enrich the culinary community of Pearl and San Antonio at large,” says Elizabeth Fauerso, chief marketing officer for the Pearl, in a release. “Ladino as a manifestation of Berty’s culinary upbringing and his expertise is representative of our ambition to connect profoundly through food and culinary stories.”