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Restaurant Notes & Quotes: Aldaco’s Helps Blue Santa; Lüke Shares with Tots

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Bring a toy to Lüke, receive a free appetizer

Christmas comes a little early this year at chef John Besh’s new restaurant, Lüke San Antonio on the River Walk. Luke will be a drop-off location for the Marines Toys for Tots Foundation of San Antonio,  a nonprofit fundraising and support organization for the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.

As part of the program, diners are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys to place under the Lüke Christmas tree throughout the month of December.  The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation of San Antonio will then deliver these expressions of holiday cheer to needy children in the community.

Every Lüke diner who brings a toy for the program will receive a complimentary appetizer from enticing appetizer menu. The restaurant is at 125 E. Houston St.

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation has supported the Toys for Tots program since 1991, and during that time has helped collect more than 64 million toys for needy children, worth $344 million.  For more information about Lüke San Antonio, call 210-227-LUKE or visit

Make a child happy; get a free hot cocoa

Warm up your heart with hot chocolate at Aldaco's Stone Oak.

If you drop off a Blue Santa child’s gift donation at Aldaco’s Mexican Restaurant through Dec. 17th, you’ll receive a complimentary hot chocolate. Aldaco’s Mexican Cuisine is at 20079 Stone Oak Parkway. Call 210-494-0561 for information.

The Blue Santa Program began in San Antonio in 1976 when officers from the Community Relations Unit adopted needy families at Christmas time. The officers provided these families with groceries for Christmas dinner and presents for their children. These police officers, wearing their blue uniforms, became known as “Blue Santas.” This year, SAPD officers and volunteers will assemble the gifts, wrap and label them, and make sure the appropriate gift is delivered to each child on the Blue Santa list.

Rashin Mazaheri (right center) talks with a customer on the closing night of Shiraz.

A last taste of Shiraz

Shiraz, 4230 McCullough Ave., went out with a bang Saturday.

Owner and chef Rashin Mazaheri had a full house of fans who wanted one more taste of her Persian delicacies before it closed.

Plates bearing the likes of Fesenjen (chicken with walnuts and pomegranate), the house shrimp made with a lemon cream saffron sauce, Bandary (sirloin strips in a spicy pomegranate sauce) and Lamb Gormeh Sabzi (pieces of lamb in a parsley-cilantro sauce) moved swiftly from the kitchen to the diners, who talked of how bittersweet it is to lose such an old friend.

Bandary, or sirloin in a spicy pomegranate sauce, at Shiraz.

Mazaheri decided to close the restaurant after 12 years because her law career is taking off and she wanted to be sure the quality of the food never slipped. So, she has sold it to Erick Abram, formerly of Métropolitain, who plans to open the Mediterranean-flavored Tangeré in February.

He was on hand for the closing, and Mazaheri introduced him around to many who welcomed him and his forthcoming project.

As joyous as the event was, complete with belly dancers and plenty of wine flowing, it was also sad because San Antonio has lost another of its finer independents. As one customer was overheard to say, “Where am I going to get food like this that’s this good? Nowhere else in town.”

Winter feast at Tre Trattoria

“Inverno Festa” Italian Wine Dinner at Tre Trattoria, 4003 Broadway Blvd., is a five-course dinner with wine. The event begins with a reception this Wednesday at 6 p.m., with dinner at 6:30.  The price is $60 per person. Call for reservations at 210-805-0333.

The first course is Honeycrisp Apple and Pumpkin Soup with Spiced Pancetta with a 2008 Antinori Bramito del Cervo Chardonnay; second course is Arancini with Bolognese with a 2005 Tentua Di Prima Voce; third course is Veal Milanese with Saffron Beurre Blanc with a 2004 Bertani Valpolicella Ripasso Secco; fourth course is Tuscan Rib Eye with Taleggio “Mac n Cheese,” with a 2004 Ceretto Barolo Zonchera, and fifth course is Polenta Budino with Cherry Compote and Pear Brulee, served with the 2007 Michele Chiarlo Moscato d’Asti.

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One Response to “Restaurant Notes & Quotes: Aldaco’s Helps Blue Santa; Lüke Shares with Tots”

  1. Judy Baum says:

    I enjoyed my evening at Shiraz, will miss the wonderful food I was hoping to taste. I wish you much success in your new venture, Rashin!