Archive | January 25th, 2013

Take This Advice to Heart: Think Early About Valentine’s Day Reservations

Take This Advice to Heart: Think Early About Valentine’s Day Reservations

What’s not to love about dessert at Biga on the Banks?

It’s time to sweep your loved one off his or her feet. Yes, Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. There are a few do’s and don’ts to remember when dining out on the holiday, one of the busiest on the restaurant calendar.

  • You need to make reservations sooner than later. Many places have already booked up, others are quickly approaching capacity.
  • You should not make reservations at multiple places and then decide on Feb. 14 where you’re going. That is the reason why some places will only take a credit card reservation, and if you don’t show up, you may still be charged for the meal.
  • Remember whom you want to please. You’ve got plenty of options for all sorts of budgets and tastes.
  • You don’t have to settle for the prix fixe or special menu. The regular menu is available in most places. But ask first to make sure.
  • You don’t have to go out on Feb. 14, just because it’s Valentine’s Day. Many of the restaurants below are offering specials on the day before or several days after the event, carrying through to the weekend, if that’s what works best for you.

Ácenar, 146 E. Houston St. on the River Walk. Call 210-222-2362 or visit Ácenar Valentine’s 3-Course menu will be offered on Valentine’s Day as well as through the weekend of Feb. 14-16, nightly, from 5 p.m. until closing. The regular menu also will be available.  To choose from 3-course menu: Appetizers, Quail Salad $12, Spring Mix, Heirloom Tomatoes, Cotija Cheese, and Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette;  Cocktail de Camaron $10, 3 Jumbo Poached Shrimp with a Smoked Chili Cocktail Sauce; Entrées: Crab-Crusted Alaskan Salmon $28, served with Wild Herbed Rice, Baby Carrots, topped with Pineapple Pico, and finished with a Chardonnay Beurre Blanc; Steak and Prawns $38, grilled 8-ounce filet with 2 large prawns accompanied by Grilled Asparagus, Jalapeño au Gratin, and Spicy Guajillo Demi Glace; Dessert:Corazon de Chocolate $7, Heart-shaped Flourless Chocolate Cake with Rich Layers of Chocolate Mousse and Chantilly Cream with Dark Chocolate-Covered Strawberries.

Antlers Lodge at Hyatt Hill Country Resort, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, (210) 647-1234 — Antlers Lodge’s Valentine dinner is offered 5:30-9:30 p.m. Feb. 14-16. It will begin with an amuse of cauliflower and porcini soup, followed by a choice of artichoke crowns stuffed with saffron-perfumed crab or chili-crusted antelope medallions, crispy shallots, and orange oil. Local greens with clementines, endive and pecans in a prickly pear vinaigrette will be served before your choice of potato-wrapped grouper with carrot and turnip puree, shoestring beet fries and blood orange butter sauce; all-natural organic pork chops with roasted fingerling potato, slow-braised mustard greens, and apple and fennel compote; Niman Ranch filet, lobster mashed potatoes, pan-roasted kohlrabi and port wine sauce; or black bean cakes and stuffed poblanos with avocado salsa, and cumin and lime yogurt sauce. Dessert is a bittersweet chocolate mousse with local honey, vanilla raspberry tuile and pomegranate sauce. The cost is $68 per person.

Arcade Midtown Kitchen at the Pearl, 303 Pearl Parkway — The Valentine’s special begins with an amuse bouche of a Shrimp Fritter, followed by a choice of appetizer:   Black Bean Bisque with White Chocolate Sour Cream and Pico de Gallo;  a half-dozen Oysters on the Half Shell;  Escarole and Tuscan Kale Salad with Cranberries, Pepitas and Whipped Goat Cheese; Lobster Soft Tacos; Hearts of Romaine Caesar; P&B Meatballs with White Bean Hummus; Foie Gras “French” Toast; Seared Nantucket Bay Scallops with Toasted Lemon Rice Cake and Champagne Cream; and Pork Belly Ragu with Ricotta. Entrée course options:  Butter Poached Maine Lobster;  Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli with Toasted Hazelnuts;  Smoked Pork Blade Chop with Habanero Fruit Preserves; A.M.K. Filet with Trinity Rub; Ahi Tuna Steak with New Mexican Chile;  George’s Bank Diver Scallops with Bacon Salsa;  Lemon & Pepper Peeler Farm’s Chicken with Roasted Jalapeño Beurre Blanc; and Australian Lamb Chops with Coriander Rub. Dessert choices: Mexican Chocolate Pot de Crème; Banana Mousse Stack; Meyer Lemon Cheesecake; Red Velvet Cake;  and Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cake. Price is $69 and includes a bubbly toast. Tax and tip not included. For reservations, email or

Auden’s Kitchen, 700 E. Sonterra Blvd., (210) 494-0070 — The Valentine’s prix-fixe will be available Feb. 14-16. The special menu begins with a choice of in-house smoked salmon blini, Bibb salad, caramelized onion and cheese tart or fennel and arugula salad. Main course choices: Tomato Risotto, Smoked Pork Tenderloin, Lemon Sole or 8-ounce Filet with Lump Crab. Dessert choices: Cherry Rose Meringue Pie or Flourless Chocolate Cake. The price is $49.95 a person.

Azuca, 713 S. Alamo St., (210) 225-5550 — The restaurant and chef Rene Fernandez continue their tradition of offering an aphrodisiac-inspired menu on Valentine’s Day. The four-course dinner, a glass of sparkling wine and a rosé for her can be had for $68 a person.

Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 225-0722 — The Valentine’s special is a three-course prix fixe menu at $60 a person, or $85 with paired wines.

Bin 555 Restaurant and Wine Bar; 555 W. Bitters Road at The Alley on Bitters. Make reservations at 210-496-0555 or email  The five-course Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu features Butter Poached Lobster with Mascarpone Pomme Puree; Baby Leeks, Glazed Carrots, Celery, and Tawny Port Bordelaise; Braised Short Ribs “Galbi” with house-made Brussels Sprouts; Kimchi, Arancini, Quail Egg, Asian Pear, Nori, and Gochujang Coulis. The Prix Fixe menu is $60 per person. Wine pairings can be added at $30 per person.

Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, 219 E. Houston St., (210) 472-2600 — The regular menu, with Akaushi beef and chef Mark Bohanan’s custom cuts of prime aged corn-fed beef, fresh seafood and table-side desserts flambé, will be available. The wine list, classic cocktails and live jazz add to romantic ambiance.

Crumpets is nestled in a sylvan section of town.

Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden, 312 Pearl Parkway, (210) 354-4644 — The Valentine’s Menu will be offered Feb. 14-16 and includes a three-course prix fixe menu for $45. Wine pairings available for an additional $30. The menu includes  Caramelized Scallop with Braised Bison Cheek Crepe, followed by a choice of Texas Wagyu Hangar Steak or Meyer Lemon Mackerel Barigoule. Sides include Braised Salsify and Salt Roasted Butterball Potatoes. Third course is Brittle Crusted Dark Chocolate Bar with Almond Milk Ice Cream. On Thursday, every couple will also receive a small package of handmade fudge.

Bolo’s at the Omni San Antonio, 9821 Colonnade Blvd., (210) 699-5803 — Valentine’s dining will be from 6 to 10 p.m. The special begins with chilled yellow pepper gazpacho with crab claw, followed by a  salad of  butter-poached lobster tail with salad greens. After an intermezzo of white wine sangria shooter, choose from  herb-crusted rack of lamb, spiced rubbed strip steak or grilled halibut with Southwest ratatouille. Finish with a chocolate layered mousse cake for two and a glass of champagne. The price is $150 a couple. Live piano music in the background, and each lady will receive a rose.

Cantina del Rio, 1299 Gruene Road, New Braunfels, (830) 515-1950 — The Valentine’s special will be served Feb. 13-17. The Sizzlin’ Valentine’s Special includes happy hour prices and a dollar off chicken or beef fajitas marinated in fresh squeezed lime marinade. It is served with beans, rice, guacamole, pico and your choice of fresh flour or homemade corn tortillas. The price is $8.95 for one or $17.95 for two. A frozen margarita or sangria (for $3) or an ice cold beer ($2.50-$3.75) can be had on the deck tucked into the trees of Gruene Historic District.

The County Line, 10101 I-10 W., (210) 641-1998 — The restaurant is taking reservations for Valentine’s Day. The regular menu will be offered, including its Grilled Chicken Breast Special, ½-pound skinless chicken breast seasoned with lemon pepper for $11.99, and Slow-Smoked & Flame-Kissed Pork Chop, ½-pound center-cut pork loin chop seasoned with lemon pepper then slow-smoked and flame-kissed on the grill for $15.99. Happy hour specials in the bar area (only) between 3-7 p.m. include $2.50 domestics, $3.50 imports; $2.50 well drinks and $4 frozen or on-the-rocks margaritas, plus discounts on select appetizers.

Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, (210) 821-5454 — Valentine’s Day dinner hours are 5:30-10 p.m. Appetizers such as mousse truffle pate, artichokes stuffed with fresh goat cheese and almonds or Norwegian smoked salmon will be offered. Soups offered are cream of mushroom and fresh New England clam chowder. Main course choices include breast of chicken with montrachet sauce, shrimp Lyonnaise, fresh salmon fillet, tenderloin of beef savoy or veal scaloppini with mushroom and cognac sauce. The Crumpets Trilogy includes an appetizer, soup and salad, lobster tail with garlic butter, rack of lamb Provençal and tenderloin of beef with Rossini sauce. Desserts from the bakery close out the evening. If dining in doesn’t suit you, you can still show that special someone you are thinking of them with our gourmet breakfast delivery. Your valentine will be pampered with eggs Benedict, fresh fruit, orange juice, coffee, European breakfast pastries and croissants, all condiments, a fresh flower and a card all put together in a basket.

EZ’s Brick Oven and Grill, various locations — From 5 p.m. until closing on Valentine’s Day, EZ’s will offering the follow special in addition to the regular menu: EZ’s Classic Caesar Salad or Superfood Organic Spinach Salad, followed by a choice of Grilled Wild Caught Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Fillet or Grilled Pesto Chicken Breast, both served with rice, steamed vegetables and brick oven focaccia bread. Dessert is a Hot Fudge Chocolate Ganache Brownie Blue Bell Sundae for two. The price is $40 a couple and includes a bottle of red or white wine (Note: There is a $3 additional charge for Franciscan Chardonnay).

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 255 Basse Road, (210) 824-9463 (WINE) — Fleming’s is offering a Valentine’s celebration Feb. 14-17. For $69.95 a person, the special menu includes Heirloom Tomato and Housemade Burrata appetizer, an amuse of citrus-marinated salmon tartar and a choice of roasted lobster tail or Chateaubriand with crab glaçage. Anyone dining at the restaurant over the course of the four days will get a $25 gift card for use on a future visit.

Enjoy the open kitchen at Boiler House.

Francesca’s at Sunset, Westin La Cantera, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 558-2442 — A special four-course dinner is being offered. It includes Duck, Rhubarb and Beet Soup; Pan-Seared Snapper with Oyster Cream; Cocoa Dusted Lamb with Foie Gras, Pine Nuts and Mint Cous Cous; and Raspberry Infused Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart with Secret Fresh Raspberries inside. The price is $65 a person, tax and tip not included.  A wine flight of three rosés is also available: Piper-Heidsieck Sauvage,  Becker Vineyards Provençal and Banfi Brachetto d’Acqui Rosa Regale; the flight is priced at $30, tax and tip not included.

Frederick’s Restaurant, 7701 Broadway, (210) 828-9050, and Frederick’s Bistro, 14439 N.W. Military Hwy., (210) 888-1500 — The special Valentine’s menu begins with a choice of Jumbo Crab Meat Lump and Salmon Cake; Spring Rolls with Mint Cilantro and Lettuce Wrap; Seared Veal Carpaccio with Herb Cheese and Roasted Pepper Vinaigrette; Assorted Seafood (Lobster, Crab, Shrimp Cocktail, Oysters) on the Half Shell with Caviar and Smoked Salmon; or Pan Seared Ahi Tuna. Second course is Frederick’s Salad, followed by a choice of Glazed Duck Breast with Orange Ginger Sauce; Beef Tenderloin with Jumbo Shrimp and Roquefort Fresh Herb Sauce; Parmesan Crusted Sea Bass with Avocado Relish & Basel Beurre Blanc; Fresh Maine Lobster and Jumbo Crab Meat;  Spring Vegetables Navarin over Linguine; or Curried Lamb Chops with Garlic Cabernet Sauce. Dessert choices: Frozen Mocha Parfait with Kaluha Crème Anglaise Sauce;  Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake; Three Layers of Chocolate Terrine; or Rum Euphoria with Pecan & Rum Syrup. The price is $100 a person, not including tax, tip or alcohol. Both restaurants are offering specials on Feb. 13 and 15 for $55 a person. The menu on those evenings includes: choice of Jumbo Crab and Salmon Cake; Spring Rolls; or Seared Veal Carpaccio, followed by choice of Curried Lamb Chops with Garlic Cabernet Sauce; Beef Tenderloin Rossini with Truffle Mashed Potatoes; or Parmesan Crusted Red Snapper with Avocado Relish & Basil Beurre Blanc. Dessert choices: Frozen Mocha Parfait with Kaluha Crème Anglaise Sauce; Three Layers of Chocolate Terrine; or Rum Euphoria with Pecan & Rum Syrup.

The Granary ‘Cue and Brew, 602 Avenue A, (210) 228-0124 – The Valentine’s special includes a smoked chicken for two, smoked potatoes, root beer-glazed carrots and thyme jus for $38.

Gristmill Restaurant and Bar, 1287 Gruene Road, New Braunfels, (830) 606-1287 — Valentine’s Day will be celebrated Feb. 14-17. The specials include an 8-ounce New York strip accompanied by bacon-wrapped stuffed Texas gulf jumbo shrimp. It is served with loaded mashed potatoes and served with an iceberg wedge salad ($23.49). Dessert options include Ultimate Turtle Cheesecake with rich fudge, topped with caramel, pecans, chocolate chips and whipped cream. Served with two spoons, just the right ending to a truly romantic meal.

Gruene Hall, 1281 Gruene Road, New Braunfels, (830) 606-1281 — A free Valentine’s Day dance with the Rodney Hayden Band will be offered.

Josephine St. Café, 400 E. Josephine St., (210) 224-6169 — The Valentine’s Day special will be offered Feb. 14-17. Start with a glass of wine, the iceberg wedge salad topped with cracked black pepper and bacon plus chunky blue cheese dressing. Then enjoy a 7-ounce bacon-wrapped filet and served with a fresh vegetable of your choice. Finish off with a homemade chocolate brownie served warm and topped with a scoop of ice cream. The price is $19.95.

Romance is in the air at Antlers Lodge.

JW Marriott, 23809 Resort Parkway — Two restaurants at the resort are offering Valentine’s menus. In Cibolo Moon, the prix fixe menu begins with Angels on Horseback, grilled oysters wrapped in house-cured bacon, followed by Cupid’s Fire, a 10-ounce Filet with Honey-Jalapeno Diver Scallops. The Perfect Duo dessert features Dark Chocolate Pecan Pot De Creme and Cream Cheese Pound Cake. The price is $75 per couple or $40 per person with smaller portions. Tax and gratuity are not included. Call 210-491-5841 or 210- 276-2500. The special a la carte menu at 18 Oaks includes appetizers such as oysters on the half shell ($17), butter poached giant prawn ($28) and wedge salad ($12) as well as entrees that include Windy Bar Ranch Short Ribs ($36), Baked Stuffed Lobster ($62) and 8-ounce filet mignon ($40). Dessert drinks include a chocolate martini ($12) and a cherry chocolate martini ($14). For reservations, call 210-403-3434.

La Gloria Ice House, 100 E. Grayson St., 210- 267-9040 – Enjoy a complimentary dessert on Valentine’s evening:  Caramelized Bananas & Rum Tres Leches Cake.

Las Canarias at Omni La Mansión del Rio, 112 College St., (210) 518-1177 — Las Canarias will feature a special four-course prix fixe menu and a la carte dinner special Feb. 14-16. The prix fixe menu includes roasted parsnip and cider bisque, followed by a warm spinach salad with strawberries and double cream brie. The entrée is a choice of either butter poached lobster or filet mignon. The meal will close with a decadent Valrhona chocolate ganache. The price is $90 a person or $175 a couple and includes a glass of Champagne for each. The à la carte dinner special: Chateaubriand for two carved tableside. The price is $45 a person or $90 a couple. . In addition, regular à la carte dining will be available during dinner service, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Las Canarias’ regular Champagne brunch offering will be available on Sunday, Feb. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost of the is $39.95. Tax and tip not included on any option.

Laurent’s Modern Cuisine, 4230 McCullough Ave., (210) 822-6644 — The Valentine’s four-course prix fixe menu begins with a choice of Ginger glazed smoked pork belly with pineapple spring roll; Crispy Shrimps Katafi with orange-garlic marmalade; Duck Confit Gyoza with green tea foam; or assorted East Coast oysters. After a Little Belgium Endive Salad, choose from Achiote-glazed Halibut and octopus paella; Braised Domestic Lamb Shank with Merguez sausage; 24-ounce Bone-in Rib-eye (for two); or Sous-vide Pork Tenderloin with green mole. Dessert options: Chocolate Flourless Cake; Passion Fruit Cheesecake; and White Chocolate Fondue (for two). The price is $80 a person not including tax and tip.

Max’s Wine Dive, 340 E. Basse Road, (210) 444-9547 — A Valentine’s Day Wine Dinner is being planned for Feb. 14-16 with a four-course complete with wine pairings. The price is $50 a person for just the meal or $40 extra with wine pairings.

Morton’s Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake is a Valentine’s favorite..

Messina Hof Winery & Resort, The Vintage House Restaurant, 4545 Old Reliance Road, Bryan, (979) 778-9463, ext. 234 — Valentine’s dinner at the winery will be at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 14 and 16. Begin with a choice of Sauvignon Blanc Crab Bisque or Grilled Heart Salad, followed by Stuffed Grilled Petit Filet of Beef; “Love Birds,” two grilled quails nestled a top a bed of mushroom risotto; or Heart Shaped Ravioli with Maine lobster and ricotta. Choice of desserts: Chocolate Marbled Tulip Cup, Red Velvet Cake or Strawberry Shortcake. Price is $59.95 a person, plus tax and tip.

Mike’s in the Village, 2355-3 Bulverde Road, Bulverde, (830) 438-2747 — This Feb. 14–16, Mike’s is offering a four-course dinner menu. Begin the evening with a warm and soothing roasted red pepper bisque with herbed croutons and then move on to a choice of mixed greens with dried cranberries, goat cheese and roasted almonds or arugula with strawberries, blue cheese and roasted pecans. Entrée options: Lobster Thermidor, pepper-crusted filet mignon or seared duck breast with cherry demi-glace. Dessert choices: chocolate strawberry crepes with brandy and Kirsch or a flourless chocolate torte with a warm dark chocolate ganache. The meal comes with served with a glass of Champagne. The cost is $60 per person, plus tax and tip.

Mozie’s, 1601 Hunter Road, New Braunfels, (830) 515-1281 — The Valentine’s special is available Feb. 14-17. Steak lovers get a 6-ounce filet and a 16-ounce Porterhouse T-bone. Both flat-top grilled, covered in Hoffbrau lemon butter and served with a bleu cheese wedge salad and a choice of side ($28.99). To “sweeten” your dining experience, try specialty martinis, including Strawberry Cheesecake, Godiva Chocolate or Key Lime Pie.

Morton’s the Steakhouse, 300 E. Crockett St., (210) 228-0700 — The regular menu will be available. Plus, on Feb. 13-16, a steak and lobster special will be offered for $49.95 a person plus tax and tip.

NAO, 312 Pearl Parkway, (210) 554-6484 – NAO, the Culinary Institute of America’s restaurant focusing on New World flavors, will offer a four-course special with wine pairings. Exact details and prices had not been set yet, so call for details.

Ocho at Hotel Havana, 1015 Navarro St., (210) 222-2008 —Chef Toby Soto will serve a special five-course Valentine’s Day menu that includes Torched Gulf Oyster, Cauliflower Puree, Mixed Hydroponic Greens, Potato-crusted Salmon or Braised Bone-in Beef Shank, and Apricot and Chevre Stuffed Bosc Pear with Candied Figs. Cost for dinner is $75 per person. The hotel is also offering “The Getaway” package for $195 and it includes a room, breakfast for two, two cocktails and a flexible checkout time.

Oysters are on many Valentine’s Day menus.

Oro at the Doubletree Emily Morgan Hotel, 715 E. Houston St., (210) — Oro is offering its Valentine’s dinner from 5:30 to 11 .m. on both Feb. 9 and 14. The meal includes Day Beso De Vino Wine: Old Vine Garnacha 2009, Seleccion 2010 and Garnacha Rose 2010. Chef Chris Cook’s menu includes an amuse bouche of a Garden Strawberry with Goat Cheese and Applewood Smoked Bacon, followed by a choice of Bluebonnet Farms Baby Arugula with Truffle Gulf Shrimp Fritter or Hickory Smoked Oyster and Corn Chowder. Second course options:  Tri-Peppercorn Crusted Ribeye Steak “Au Poive”; Pan Seared Nutmeg Scented Alaskan Halibut; or Peeler Farms Coriander Roasted Young Chicken. Dessert choices: Caramelized Banana Crème Brûlée or Tangerine and Anise Cheesecake. The price is $89.95 per person plus tax and tip. Valet parking complimentary.

Ostra at Mokara Hotel & Spa, 212 W. Crockett St., (210) 396-5817 — The regular à la carte menu will be available during breakfast and lunch, but after 5:30 p.m., a special Valentine’s menu will be offered.

Q on the Riverwalk at the Downtown Hyatt, 123 Losoya St., (210) 222-1234 — The theme of the Valentine’s Day menu is the Garden of Eden and begins with  Brazos Valley Creamy Brie with a Vegetable Ash Center  and Juniper Berry Smoked Westphalian Ham Morsels, followed by Hearts of Locally Grown Organic Red and Green Romaine Lettuce with Aged Asiago Cheese. After an intermezzo of Blood Orange Sorbet, Chateaubriand with Fennel Bulbs, Swiss Chard, Baby Patti Pan Squash, Golden Beets and Chateau Potatoes will be served. Dessert is a Molten Lava Hot Fudge Cake. Cost is $100 a couple and includes a glass of Champagne.

Sustenio and the city of San Antonio are celebrating Valentine’s Day with yellow roses.

River’s Edge Cafe + Patio Bar at the Hilton Palacio del Rio, 200 S. Alamo St., (210) 270-0786 — The new restaurant (formerly Ibiza) is offering a dinner for two on Valentine’s Day with a menu from executive chef James Bocanegra) opened on Thanksgiving Day and features American and South Texas inspired cuisine. The Valentine’s Day Menu, prepared by Executive Chef James Bocanegra, is a classic and romantic dinner for two. Begin with a Spring Mix and Spinach Salad with sliced strawberries, candied pecans, dried cranberries and heart-shaped beets, followed by a choice of Pan Roasted Lamb Chops served with tangerine-chile sauce or Lobster Thermidor with saffron roasted Yukon potatoes. Dessert is a chocolate heart tart with strawberry mousse and fresh berries. The cost is $80 a couple, not including tax or tip.

Sand Bar Fish House & Market, 200 E. Grayson St., Suite 117 (Pearl Brewery). 210-212-2221. Join executive chef Chris Carlson and his culinary team as they present a series of dishes crafted from finest ingredients from land and sea. Now accepting reservations for Valentine’s evening, from 6-9:30 p.m. Courses featured include: Sashimi of Tuna, Roasted Red and Golden Beet Salad; Fois Gras Torchon with Green Apple Brulée; Braised Oxtails and Pan-Seared Scallops; True Black Bass with Chantrelle Mushrooms; Chocolate Bavarian.  $85 per person (tax and gratuity not included) Also, taste exceptional wines with your tasting for $50 per person supplement (tax and gratuity not included).

Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, 25195 Mathis Road, Elmendorf, (210) 621-0044 — Dining Under the Stars is the theme of this three-course dinner planned by chef Scott Grimmett for the day after Valentine’s Day, Feb. 15. At 7 p.m., you can expect a glass of sparkling wine in addition to live music from jazz pianist Luvine Elias, dancing, and a wine and beer bar. The price of the meal is $65 a person, plus tax and tip.

Sustenio at the Eilan Hotel, 17103 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 598-2950 — As part of San Antonio’s The City of Yellow Roses Valentine’s campaign, the restaurant is offering the following throughout February: White Asparagus Soup with Yellow Rose Aroma; Hand-Seared Lemon Sole with Celery Root Puree, Organic Vegetables and Rosé Bubbles; and Yellow Rose Creme Brulee’ with gingersnap cookies.

The Terrace Grill at Riven Rock Ranch, 390 Hermann Sons Road, Comfort, (830) 995-4045 — Kevin McCormick will perform live on Valentine’s evening. Menu had not been completed as of deadline, but tables were filling up.

Tre Trattoria in Alamo Heights, 4003 Broadway St. at the Boardwalk on Broadway. Make reservations at 210-805-0333 or Five-course Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu features Apple Cider Glazed Flank Steak with Yukon gold gratin, charred romaine and pine nut romesco; Pan-seared ahi tuna with grapefruit, argula, toasted pistachios and foie ‘butter.’ $60 per person; $30 additional with wine pairing.

Tre Trattoria Downtown, 401 S. Alamo St. at the Fairmount. Call for reservations at 210-223-0401 or Five-Course Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu will feature: Grilled Swordfish with roasted cauliflower, black garlic vinaigrette and watercress and Slow-Braised Duck Confit with crispy Brussels sprouts, peperonata and peach agro dolce. $60 per person. $25 additional with wine pairings.

Restaurateurs, if you would like to add another restaurant to the list, email or


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Balmy Breezes Greet 35th Annual Cowboy Breakfast

Balmy Breezes Greet 35th Annual Cowboy Breakfast

It takes plenty of effort and attention to cook up taco fillings.

It takes plenty of effort and attention to cook up taco fillings.

You never know what the weather is going to be like for the Cowboy Breakfast. Three years ago, for example, an icy rain slopped down on those darting about the parking lot of the Cowboys Dance Hall.

Measuring eggs for large amounts of tacos.

Measuring eggs for large amounts of tacos.

But, rain or dry, you can guarantee that crowds will show up in the wee hours of the morning to enjoy free tacos, tamales, biscuits and gravy, and an eye-opening cup of coffee or two.

Friday morning’s weather for the 35th annual breakfast, which serves as an unofficial kickoff to stock show and rodeo season, was practically perfect. Temperatures in the low 60s kept things cool and crowds large. Even by 5 a.m., lines had formed for the shuttle buses to carry folks from the nearby Rialto Cinema parking lot to the dance hall at the corner of I-35 and Loop 410.

A souvenir of Cowboy Breakfasts past.

A souvenir of Cowboy Breakfasts past.

But people of all ages weren’t there just for the food. Some waited to get their picture taken with Ronald McDonald or inside an old time jail cell. Live country music filled the air, and Pioneer Flour Mills handed out samples.

Lining up was the order of the morning, no matter what you wanted: a shuttle ride, a photograph, a cup of coffee or a sausage wrap. The extras, though, helped break up any wait. Still, while people were fed quickly, a few lines managed to stretch more than halfway across the parking lot.

The extensive volunteer crews, some of whom worked overnight to prepare the event, helped keep things rolling. Some sliced bacon, others warmed tortillas. Stations were set up for people to stuff sausage patties into biscuits or stuff tortillas with barbecue beef, all in the name of feeding people something good in a quick and efficient manner.

Biscuits and gravy are always welcome.

Biscuits and gravy are always welcome.

Will Thornton of the culinary school at St. Philip’s College was on hand, as he has been for the past 16 years. He brought with him more than 40 volunteers from among the student body, chefs in training who wanted the chance to gain some experience cooking and serving people as quickly as they could.

He was surprised with the turnout, since school has only been in session for one week now. But he sent out an email asking for help, and people just showed up. A few late sleepers (if you could call 5 a.m. late) were supposed to join in as soon they could get there.

All help is welcome at the event, because the event could not run without them, the event’s board of directors has said regularly.

The Cowboy Breakfast’s website ran the following chart of what was expected to be served:

  • Dishing up chorizo and egg tacos.

    Dishing up chorizo and egg tacos.

    10,000 Johnsonville Bratwurst sausage wraps

  • 10,000 Kiolbassa sausage and eggs tacos
  • 6,000 Kiolbassa chorizo and egg tacos
  • 2,500 servings of Pioneer Biscuits and Gravy
  • 8,000 Pioneer Biscuits and Kiolbassa Sausage
  • 2,000 Beef Taquitos and 2000 Chicken Taquitos by Garcia Foods
  • 4,000 Garcia Foods Barbacoa Tacos
  • 10,000 Rudy’s BBQ beef tacos
  • 10,000 Delicious tamales
  • 8,000 Mrs. Baird’s sweet rolls
  • 5,000 pints of Oak Farms milk and orange juice
  • 15,000 cups of McDonald’s special roast coffee
Stuffing sausage wraps.

Stuffing sausage wraps.


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