Archive for Express News

SA Express-News: “Ciao2 is memorable for all the right reasons.”

Posted in Ciao 2, Ciel Plaza, food and wine, Press, reviews with tags , , , , , , on June 15, 2009 by Do Bianchi

saexpress

Ciao 2
20626 Stone Oak Pkwy
San Antonio, TX‎
(210) 481-7031‎

By Edmund Tijerina — Express-News

With all the fuss over a sculpture of a fork that sits in front of Damien Watel’s two Stone Oak area restaurants, it’s easy to forget about the businesses.

That’s too bad, because the experience and quality of the cuisine at Ciao2 is memorable for all the right reasons.

For those new to Watel’s places, the numeral in Ciao2 is due, the Italian word for two, denoting that it’s the second incarnation of his successful Ciao Lavanderia in Olmos Park.

Its clever, modern interior with bright-colored walls, brushed metal tables and a spacious patio promises a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere, and the cuisine largely delivers.

Dishes such as a goat cheese portobello polenta, with two squares of polenta resting on mushroom demi-glace and topped with a dollop of herbed goat cheese and sautéed portobello slices, make that point abundantly clear. So did the mushroom and quail risotto and Pizza Napolitan that featured anchovies, capers and olives.

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Tanji Patton speaks out on Duran Fork censorship

Posted in art, Ciao 2, Ciel, Ciel Plaza, Damien Watel, Press with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2009 by Do Bianchi

tanji_pattonSan Antonio authority on everything food and wine, Tanji Patton, spoke her mind to the San Antonio News-Express on recent censorship of the Duran Fork sculpture at Ciel Plaza… Thank you Tanji!

Could the ongoing saga of the fork, the ugly wall and the angry homeowners association get any more bizarre!
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Apparently….YES. Well known San Antonio artist Gilbert Duran tells me he’s filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union alleging his right to freedom of expression and the rights of the homeowners are being trampled by the Stone Oak Homeowners Association. This gets really interesting – colorful civil rights attorney Gerry Goldstein has been contacted by the restaurant owner/chef to enter the fracas.

You’ve heard the story–culinary artist/chef Damien Watel commissions well known San Antonio artist Gilbert Duran to create a sculpture in front of his new restaurants Ciel and Ciao 2 on Stone Oak Parkway. The Stone Oak Home Owners Association cries foul, and now a 14 foot tall eyesore-of-a-wall covers the artist’s creation.

Wow…what a mess! I don’t live in Stone Oak, so I can’t say how I’d feel as a neighbor, but let’s look at the big picture. Damiel Watel is an incredibly well respected chef and restaurant operator who most landlords and neighborhoods would welcome with open arms.

A successful business creates energy and often opens the door for more successful businesses where it locates. Then, there’s the revenue generated with property taxes, sales taxes…etc. A good business is good for business!

To please the HOA, Watel doled out about $8,000 to erect the wall to cover the sculpture. Yet, nobody appears to be happy here.

My sympathies, so far, lie with Damien…unless someone can convince me otherwise. In fact, I think I’ll have dinner there this weekend.

San Antonio Express-News asks does Damien Watel have “A taste for more trouble?”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2009 by Do Bianchi

saexpress

carla_forkMay 31, 2009

By Jennifer Hiller – Express-News

(Photo by SO’R International)

Stone Oak’s rotund, curvy fork sculpture is now concealed behind a stucco wall approved by a property owners group. But Saturday, the wall was covered with artwork that could lead to another flap with the Stone Oak Property Owners Association.

The wall had represented a compromise between the association and the Vatel Restaurant Group, which this year installed the 14-foot sculpture outside new French restaurant Ciel, Italian restaurant Ciao2 and the Green Lantern bar on Stone Oak Parkway.

Chef and restaurant owner Damien Watel developed the property, called Plaza Ciel, and commissioned San Antonio artist Gilbert Duran to design the sculpture.

The problem was that Watel considered the fork to be art, while the property owners association saw it as a giant unapproved sign. Stone Oak regulations specify that improvements — including sidewalks, fencing, new buildings — require preapproval, which Watel did not have.

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