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Biga On The Banks - 31 Reviews - 203 S Saint Marys St, San Antonio, TX - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (210) 225-0722

Biga On The Banks

203 S Saint Marys St (at River Walk, International Center, Downtown)
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 225-0722
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Banquet Rooms , Restaurants

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Food & Dining


Biga On The Banks - San Antonio, TX


( 18 )
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My husband and I met 8 years go when I was involved in a car accident and was running around the intersection in a skin-tight leopard leotard,., complete with ears, diamond collar...


My wife and I dined at Biga on the evening of 12/23/2006 and were, sadly, very disappointed with outrexperience. Biga has a wonderful rep but gave us no indication that it deserv...

Would not honor purchased certificate 1/18/2011

Several years ago, before the restaurant moved to the River Walk, my husband and I dined at Biga. The food and service was great. Last August Living Social offered a $60 certificate to Biga for $30. Thinking it was time we returned to Biga, I bought it. With all of the holiday hubbub, I didn't realize the certificate expired Dec. 2. I called Biga and was told by the Reservationist/Administrative Manager they would not honor the certificate, not even the $30 that I paid for it. Alas, we won't be dining at Biga, ever. more


My husband and I met 8 years go when I was involved in a car accident and was running around the intersection in a skin-tight leopard leotard,., complete with ears, diamond collar and leash, tail, leopard high heels and claws... looking for a witness because I still swear that it wasn’t my fault! Anyway, I ran out over to a good-looking, well-dressed man who happened to have a yacht docked nearby and who was simply on his way to the grocery store when he noticed a crowd that had gathered at the intersection. I asked him if he had seen the accident, but he replied, “No, but I’ll be happy to stick around” – and he’s stuck around for 8 years now!\r \r Halloween is always a special event for us, and although we’ve been married for 6 years (Yes, we married on Halloween!), we still do something extravagant every year to commemorate our good fortune. This year it was a long weekend at the San Antonio Riverwalk, complete with rose petals on our bed and champagne coming out of our ears. It was my turn to be the instigator this year, and had originally made reservations at the ‘Lover’s Table’ at The Fig Tree, which called to cancel on us at the last minute due to some kitchen problem… so I made reservations at Biga on the Banks because I’d never heard anything negative about it. It was impressive from the moment we walked in. We were escorted to a private table for two, complete with a sequestering curtain, a Riverwalk view and two glasses of complimentary champagne. We had the exquisitely light smoked-salmon nachos (And I HATE anything fishy.) to start and went straight to the dynamite. My husband had fork-cuttable venison and quail and I had the most memorable duck ever. The meal ended with a carmelized pudding that had “Happy 6th Anniversary written on the rim of the plate in semi-sweet chocolate.\r \r At no time was the service NOT out of something written by Emily Post, Amy Vanderbuildt, Miss Manners, or whatever etiquette guru is currently out there raising cane with society and its graces. The service was PERFECT, as was the food and the atmosphere. We couldn’t possibly have had a better time, nor do we regret our sudden change of plans for an instant. I’m normally somewhat of a restaurant snob, but I can’t wait to go back to Biga!\r \r I felt that the prices were totally in line with what we received. I was, in fact, prepared to pay more, and was pleasantly surprised. It was under $150 for the two of us, including a bottle of house champagne. I just need another excuse to revisit Biga… You’ll LOVE it!\r more

Amazing! 7/14/2009

My boyfriend and I were celebrating our anniversary and were looking to a special place to do so. At first we had a little trouble finding the place so I made a call to the restaurant and they were more than happy to help me find my way. We quickly handed over our keys for the valet and found one of the managers waiting out in front for our arrival...To make sure we found the place! (If that is not great service I don’t know what is) Moving forward, my boyfriend let them know that we were celebrating a special day when he made the reservations... In the restaurant we were lead to a cozy little table tucked away in the back of the restaurant ... Candle light and warm with a simple curtain to close us off and way from the others in the restaurant. Our server was amazing... she was sooo friendly and started off the dinner by congratulations us on our anniversary. We had the salmon nachos as our starter and it was to die for. (Yes it was pricey…if you worried about price than go to get fast food). For our main dish I ordered the Steak (13 oz I believe) BUT the side items I wanted was on another dish....NO PROBLEM at all... our lovely waitress did a switch and kept on going... My boyfriend ordered the Duck (Asian inspired) and was over whelmed to how well the dish was brought together (he said he can never eat duck again because he is sure it will never be better prepared) For desert we had some sort of chocolate peanut butter thing...Can’t remember exactly what it was called but it too was amazing... To top our amazing dinner off she asked in honor of our celebration if she could bring is two glasses of champagne to toast! I don’t know how anyone could have a bad experience at Biga. Every aspect ...the decor the people the’s all amazing! Some people you can given the world and they still wouldn’t be happy (I’m assuming the negative comments come from those who have negative cognition about everything) I will most defiantly come back, and am even thinking about planning my wedding reception at Biga! Loved it! Must go! Pros: great customer service more

Good but take your chances 8/30/2008

We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and spending the week-end in San Antonio. Our primary dinner reservations were at Morton's Steakhouse (see that review) and we were looking for a 2nd night of dining. We found an article that stated that Biga on the Banks was rated the #5 restaurant in TEXAS by Gourmet Magazine, so we thought WHY NOT? We had no reservations, so we took our chances. We were seated right away on a Friday night at 7pm...(I guess the economy at this time really was having an impact) anyway...we were greeted by friendly staff. The decor in the restaurant was wonderful, but the chairs were uncomfortable....90 minutes later & we couldn't wait to leave. So onto the dinner. Our waiter Arturo, was friendly & helpful, but had a very thick accent & spoke too quickly so was difficult to understand. His recommendations were: The sampler apetizer ($10.00 per person for 3 bite size treats)was a veritable delight for the palate. The best was the wild game lettuce wrap YMMM spicy/sweet oh sooo good. The salmon tortilla square was boring...the chicken fried oyster was ok......For dinner, Arturo recommended a rib eye, so my steak loving husband ordered that....this was a was cooked to perfection...(rare) ...but lacked any real flavor....13 oz boring steak....$44.00....the accomanying vegetables: garlic braised green beans (YUM) were amazing in flavor..the garlic mashed taters (MISS) were not they were gummy YUCK. I ordered the duck which was wonderful (YUM - $39.00) cooked medium the breast was tender and flavorful, the leg was tender and fall off the bone - the whole dish was asian influenced and just thinking about it I want more. The total cost of dinner was $124.88. I would go eat the YUM foods and maybe try dessert, other reviewers say dessert is something to look forward to... So do I think this is the #5 restaurant in TEXAS? no Was it good? yes Was it expensive? YES, so choose wisely Pros: Nice decor, friendly staff, good service Cons: Food cost varies a lot...some things were worth it..others were not. more

Mmm 5/16/2008

Mmm more

Mmm 5/16/2008

RaioDeLuz Provided by Partner
Mmm more

Poor overall 5/12/2008

Good food and wonderful waiter service. However as visitors from England we were astonished when the Manager allowed a screaming child disrupt diners enjoyment. The Manager was appraoched very politely about the problem, but stated the money from the childs family was just as good as any that of any other patrons. We asked to speak to the Owner, and we were told he had left the premises. Once again the Manager showed us how much he valued customers who had suffered through such interuptions by rudely slapping down both his and the owners business cards on our table. I presume we were to follow up our complaint through e-mailing the Owner. We have eaten in many wonderful restaurants in the U.S.A., however Biga on the Banks does not rate as one of them. If you are looking for somewhere to eat in San Antonio, go elsewhere. more

Avoid this restaurant 5/9/2008

As a Tour Director I have eaten in many restaurants around the world, and had a wonderful experiences. however Biga on the Banks was an exception. On May 7 2008 my party ate there and we were subjected to a screaming child who could be heard from across the room. When I approached the Manager, his attitude was on of, the child's parents have paid the same money as you have, I have been manager here for 15 years so I am going to do nothing about the problem you are experiencing. An Interesting comment from some one with that kind of experience in the Restaurant trade, especially as we were not the ones causing the problem. Later he came to our table and slapped down the business card of the owner so we could contact him.\r Perhaps this manager was having a bad evening, but if he was, he turned our evening sour.\r There are many Restaurants in San Antonio who are happy to have you business. Avoid Biga, as it does not seem to be one of them, unless you are willing to put up with screaming children and rude Management.\r Anthony Hawkins more

The best in San Antonio--hands down 3/11/2008

Don't listen to people who say that Le Reve is the best San Antonio has to offer. I take the tone of comparing the two in this review as I am trying to open the eyes of the suckers out there. I must admit, my wife and I were suckers and went to Le Reve one time to be able to compare the two. Apparently, they've never eaten at Biga on the Banks, where Bruce and Andy will dazzle your palate with their menu. We've always had the chef's tasting menu at Biga, and the chefs are very flexible if you have any allergies or special requests (unlike at Le Reve). They also take special care in making sure they don't serve you the same thing over and over again if you are a repeat customer, unless you really like the dish. A can't miss appetizer is the lettuce wraps with venison or anything with scallops. The entrees are outstanding, and whether it is sea bass, lamb, quail, or beef, they know what they are doing. For dessert, get the sticky toffee pudding. Hands down, it is the best dessert I've ever had and I've had a lot. The 8 course tasting menu is only $85, compared to a 5 course for $100 at Le Reve. Also, when you leave Biga you will leave completely stuffed and sated--unlike at Le Reve who likes to serve food fit for a dolly's tea party set. It says a lot when a chef will come to your table to speak to you, give you a recipe, and personally thank you for coming. Oh, and the staff are top notch. We have had three of the best servers that SA has to offer and they all happen to be at Biga. The only downfall I can even find with the place is that it costs money to valet park and a bus stop is located in front of the International Building that attracts some, ahem, interesting characters. Trust me when I say that your money will be better spent at Biga than at any other fancy restaurant in San Antonio. The difference is that you won't feel cheated when you leave Biga. Oh yeah, try to make it through all 8 of Andy's courses. Pros: Food, atmosphere, value for the money, personal touch Cons: Bus stop in front and paying to valet park more

Lovely location, overlooking the river (as the... 1/18/2008

Lovely location, overlooking the river (as the name implies). The decor is eclectic, almost north african,... more

Lovely location, overlooking the river (as the... 1/18/2008

CliveF Provided by Partner
Lovely location, overlooking the river (as the name implies). The decor is eclectic, almost north african, with lots of curtains giving the impress... more

Delicious!!! 8/23/2007

DId these people with bad reviews eat at the same restaurant as my husband and I did tonight? I think not! This was truly a wonderful night out. It was an evening..We got there around 6:45 and left around 9pm. It's nice & leisurely..The atmosphere is calm, cool, relaxing..and of course the food is absolutely AMAZING..everything we had was so delicious and made with love. Our waitress Gigi was a blast aswell. cannot wait to return!! Pros: service, atmosphere, FOOD!!!!! Cons: Not really a con, but just a warning--it is pricey-but worth it! more

Wow! The best service I've ever had! 7/1/2007

Honestly, the service overshadows my memory of how the food tasted! The hostess was a twit but the waiters are OUTSTANDING! I love dessert and this restaurant has other restaurants in town beat-hands down! Also, if you are big on ambiance, eat here. Pros: everything more

Biga is a Bigga Disappointment 12/25/2006

My wife and I dined at Biga on the evening of 12/23/2006 and were, sadly, very disappointed with outrexperience. Biga has a wonderful rep but gave us no indication that it deserves that today. This is a pricey restaurant ($150 with tip) and we expected much more than Biga delivered. \r \r We started with two bib lettuce, radicchio, goat cheese, pear, walnut, and tomato salads. Sounded good but the latter four ingredients would fit in a single tablespoon. so a greens salad for $9 is a poor start I ordered their renowned bouillabaisse and it cemented my assessment of the place. It tasted fishy (not good) and lacked any flavor that would justify the raves in many reviews. My wife's tuna entree was mediocre. On the plus side, dessert was fine and the service was attentive. \r \r We'll save our aggravation and go elsewhere--there will be no second chance. Pros: Location, ambiance Cons: food is not consistent with price or reputation more

Service is lacking. 11/6/2006

Definately overrated. With the wooden floors and all the glass, it is a noisy place. Our drinks were slow in arriving, the waiter had to keep checking his notes on the specials, and after placing our order, we found out that they were out of several dishes. more

Inconsistent 9/14/2006

My boyfriend and I went to Biga last night, looking for a VERY special evening. It was his birthday, and I was buying. I knew what I was getting into as far as price, but I have to say, I really question weather or not it was worth it. The Foie Gras was execllent, and the Souffle outstanding--the stuff in between--not so much. He had a steak that was quite thin, and pan cooked instead of grilled (?) I had the stuffed Mahi that was quite salty. add to that some rather uninteresting heirloom tomatoes and dry Mozarella, and some bland shrimp, and you have our dinner. However, the biggest insult truly has to be the wine list--one of the most amazingly over-priced I hace ever seen, and I have ""eaten around"" as they say! $102 for a bottle of Archery Summit Pinot Noir 2004--that never did open up as well the price would suggest, and a boring and equally price-inflated white list, and there you have it. Also, finally, the room was extraordinary loud, and VERY far off the ""romantic"" designation it has been given. The saving grace was the walk back to our hotel on the riverwalk--and extraordinary feature of San Antonio. Pros: Birthday desert with complimentary photo was a blast Cons: WAY over priced for quality. more

nice 2/12/2006

this restaurant offers a great view of the riverwalk without being in the crowded commercialized area. nice art deco decor. service was great. i really enjoyed the seared foie gras, venison, and souffle. Pros: view, food, atmosphere more

Rare in San Antonio 9/24/2005

Was in SA after being chased by Rita. It was our first anniversary and was looking for a special place to spend with my wife. The reviews for this place are right on - this would rank very high in Houston which has a much greater selection of higher end cuisine like what is server here. No dissapointments from start to finish. Great atmosphere, service, and better food. Check out the polenta - to die for. Pros: Food, Service, Atmosphere Cons: Pricy more

Excellent place 5/21/2005

Likely the best in town. Menu is unique and imaginative which only top quality ingredients. Menu changes every day so hard to say for sure what will be available but do not worry you certainly will find more then one thing to order unless you have a very limited range of tastes! Room is modern, table spacing is good and they can even handle larger tables (10 or so) without a problem. Service was fantastic, staff works together very well. Pros: food, service more

Very Romantic 10/1/2003

If you can get a corner area with the curtain, it is very romantic. Our anniversary is in December and the lights from the Riverwalk added to the experience. Not the typical Riverwalk restaurant. more
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Menu for Biga On The Banks

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  • In Short
    Modernist decor features concrete, plate-glass and curving white curtains--a hipper twist on most Riverwalk eateries. Chef Bruce Auden's menu involves bold combinations in...

  • 10/23/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Sun-Thurs 5:30-10pm; Fri-Sat 5:30-11pm
  • Payments:

    American Express, Diner's Club, Discover, Master Card, Visa
  • Neighborhoods:

    Downtown, Central San Antonio