Sometimes a meal is so delicious that it sticks in your memory long after the dishes have been washed and put away. These meals are always born out of a true passion for food, something you can easily find at Chef Keith Kuhn’s Valeria Italian Restaurant. Situated at 109 Waterview Parkway off South Main Street in Boerne, Valeria offers the kind of quality-sourced and healthy meals that can’t be easily forgotten.
Founded in 2014, Valeria Restaurant has since been offering Boerne patrons a wide variety of Italian dishes as well as a long list of wines from all over Europe. Owner Keith Kuhn sources his wine from Serendipity Wines, a distribution company in Austin that he started in 2009, now owned by his brother. Most of the food is locally sourced, coming from Boerne farmers as well as Valeria’s own garden. Everything is GMO-free, and almost everything is made with organic products. Currently the hours are from 5 until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Valeria has been observing all the state-mandated orders following the COVID-19 pandemic, with socially distanced tables, hand sanitizer, and a mask-wearing requirement for all patrons and employees unless they’re seated at a table to eat. Before COVID-19, Valeria Restaurant was known for hosting large wine and food pairing events, the last one taking place in February with over 100 attendees. Although these events have been temporarily halted due to the pandemic, the next event will hopefully take place this fall, although the number of attendees will be limited to about 30 people.
Keith has been cooking since 1992. He worked in the wine distribution industry for ten years, including a five-year stint from 2010-2015 distributing and importing wine globally all over Europe and Asia. Keith’s extensive international experience and background have created in him an intense passion for quality food and wine, and Valeria is the result of an almost lifelong dream to start a restaurant. Despite the difficulty of being the only cook currently working at the store, he described his love for food as a daily passion, “When I’m off work, I dream about food. When I’m at work, I dream about food.”
According to Keith, about sixty to seventy percent of Valeria Restaurant’s patrons are repeat customers. This led to an extremely packed house the first night when reopening after the recent lock down. The most popular dish is the homemade lasagna, with handmade noodles and Bolognese sauce, grass-fed beef, Italian tomatoes, dried oregano, and organic milk. No matter what you’re craving, Valeria Restaurant is sure to deliver an unforgettable meal. His personal favorite dish at Valeria is the Linguini Pescatore, a spicy seafood dish with scallops, clams, mussels, tomatoes, garlic, basil, and fresh Calabrian chiles grown in the garden.
Kuhn also recently opened Nico’s Burgers right next to Valeria, where he currently works as the only cook as well. This leads to a rather rigorous schedule that involves moving over to Valeria after Nico’s Burgers closes every day, but Keith’s passion for what he does keeps him going.