Tag Archive | "Andrew Weissman"

Tiger Pop Korean Roll n Go Coming Soon

Kim pop rolls coming

The sign at 3830 N. Loop 1604 E. near the intersection of Bulverde Road says Tiger Pop Korean Roll n Go is coming  soon.

But what is it?

What was your favorite treat from 2011? A burger like this from Cullum's Attaboy?

According to a posting, “We are a completely new concept on Korean-inspired food. Our core items are Kim Pop, which are Korean-style rice rolls. Kim Pop rolls have never contained any type of raw proteins like Japanese style sushi, and we have blended them to include many iconic western ingredients. Our menu also includes Korean marinated steak tacos, sandwiches, rice bowls, salads and more! Only the highest quality non-processed ingredients are used, all prepared fresh daily for the fast-paced customer.”

The plan apparently was to have the eatery open over the holiday season, but work is still progressing.

The Luxury progresses

Work is also progressing on the Luxury, Andrew Weissman’s trailer park of mobile eateries. He hadn’t expected it to, because he told his contractors he’d be otherwise engaged with new baby Moishe Andres, but that seems to have spurred more work.

The Luxury, Mark Bliss’ Bliss and Stephan Pyles are among the eagerly awaited new dining venues for 2012.

Palenque Grill opens

Palenque Grill has opened at 389 N. Loop 1604 W. with an array of Mexican favorites. This is not related to Taco Palenque on Loop 410.

Foodie openings

  • Boerne Epicure Gourmet Market, 210 S. Main St., Boerne, has opened. It promises “delicious surprises from around the world.” Call: 830-331-9355.
  • Spec’s Wine Spirits and Finer Foods has opened at 1305 Sidney Baker St., Kerrville. Call: 830-895-8757.

The best of 2011

What were your favorite dining experiences of 2011? Was it a burger from Cullum’s Attaboy with bacon, egg and cheddar piled high on top? A trip to one of the Brazilian steakhouse? Maybe it was a meal on a barge floating down the San Antonio River. Or a favorite meal at the Lodge before its doors close. Or was it a meal you prepared at home? Share with us a few of your favorite food moments of 2011.

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Chefs and Cellars Pair Up the Best Food and Wine in Town

Johnny Hernandez's deconstructed chile en nogada featured aspic versions of the pomegranate seeds, the walnut sauce and the poblano, the three colors of the Mexican flag.

Chef Jason Dady talks with his diners at Chefs and Cellars.

Pigeon stuffed with foie gras and bacon. New York strip and shrimp with a roasted pepper stuffed with fresh vegetables. Chocolate mousse with brandied cherries and red velvet crumbles. 1981 Chateau Margaux.

These were some of the many treats that diners were exposed to during Culinaria’s annual Chefs and Cellars dinners at the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio kitchens.

Five of the city’s best chefs — John Brand from Las Canarias and Ostra, Jason Dady from the Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills and others, Johnny Hernandez from La Gloria and True Flavors catering, Jesse Perez from Alamo Cafe, and Andrew Weissman from Il Sogno and the Sandbar — teamed up with wine collectors from the area to present a feast of flavors.

Jesse Perez prepares a course for his diners.

Guests were seated with an individual chef, who presented the multi-course meal as if it were a chef’s table at a private restaurant. Bonnie Walker and I were lucky enough to be seated with Johnny Hernandez, who created a spectacular array of dishes to match wines chosen by local wine authority and educator Woody De Luna.

The end result offered course after course of spectacular Mexican food, from a salmon salpicon to a fig-topped Cajeta Pound Cake soaked in cream, each of which was paired with German Rieslings; perhaps California’s most sought-after Chardonnay, Stony Hill; a Sauvigny-les-Beaunes Burgundy that found a grateful home with both surf and turf; and a pair of lively Champagnes.

The lesson here was simple and clear: Great wines can work with great food, no matter where in the world each is from. Hernandez may have offered street food in the form of black bean-filled corn tortilla topped with fresh guacamole or cochinita pibil, but the dish was elevated to gastronomic heights when partnered with a 2003 Gunderloch Riesling Rothenberg Grosses Gewachs from Germany. I know first-hand from my family that the Germans wouldn’t know what to make of Mexican food, from low to high, but their wines proved a perfect  partner.

Everyone we spoke with during and after the dinner sang the praises of his or her individual chef, who not only prepared the food with his staff but also explained the dishes and the approach each took.

Jason Dady served pigeons stuffed with foie gras and served with miso-corn and candied bacon.

There were some excellent wines from local cellars to match the dishes, including aged Sauternes, fine Bordeaux and Burgundies, and spectacular Chardonnays, both from California and France.

The interior of the stretch limousine from Lonestar Limousines, which helped us drink and (not) drive safely.

Because of the great amount of great wine poured, Bonnie and I engaged the services of Lonestar Limousine, a luxury service that made sure we enjoyed every last drop of wine poured without driving home irresponsibly in the blessed rain.


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Bring a Healthy Appetite: Chefs & Cellars Set for Sept. 18

Jesse Perez

Culinaria presents several of the city’s best chefs at the exclusive event, Chefs & Cellars, which is set for Sept. 18.

Five chefs will be featured this year — John Brand, Jason Dady, Johnny Hernandez, Jesse Perez and Andrew Weissman. Each will be cooking a multi-course meal for 12 guests. Each course will be paired with fine wines donated from local residents’ private cellars.

The meal will be presented at the Culinary Institute of America. Tickets cost $300 a person. So, get your tickets before they’re gone. this event always sells out, and for good reason. Call 210-822-9555.

The food, wine and spirits festival has scheduled its Hole in One Golf Classic for noon Oct. 18 at the Quarry Golf Club. The event begins with registration and lunch, followed by a shotgun start at 1:30 p.m. Fine wine and food will be featured at a reception afterwards.

The cost is $125 a person. Corporate foursomes cost $1,000 and come with team recognition and other perks.

The ever-popular Totally Tejas returns to Rio Cibolo Ranch from 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 30.

A salsa cook-off and salsa dancing has been added to the festival this year, and salsa dancing will also be featured. Texas vendors, plenty of food and wine will also be on hand as well as ranch activities, live music and more. The cost is $35 for adults, $10 for those ages 6-21, and free for thsoe ages 5 and under.

And here’s a last reminder that Culinaria is presenting Rambling Rosé this Saturday at Becker Vineyards. Seminars are 2 and 4 p.m. Dr. Richard Becker, Westin La Cantera sommelier Steven Krueger and SavorSA’s Bonnie Walker and John Griffin will be among those on the panel this year.

For more information on Culinaria events, click here.

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Restaurant Notes & Quotes: Lüke/Becker Dinner, Real Ale, Il Sogno, Viola Barrios

Lüke Wine Dinner to Feature Becker Wines

Steven McHugh, executive chef at Luke San Antonio.

Lüke San Antonio will team up with Becker Vineyards for a wine dinner next Wednesday.  The price will be $60 per person plus tax and tip. Luke is at 125 E. Houston St. To make reservations call 210-227-5853.

Becker wines on the menu are Fume Blanc, Texas 2010, Becker Prairie Roti, Texas Hill Country 2009; Reserve Chardonnay, Hidden House Vineyard 2010; Chenin Blanc Texas 2011; Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Canada Family Vineyard, 2009; and Clementine, Bingham Vineyard 2010 (late harvest viognier).

Menu items to include Louisiana Crawfish Bisque, Stuffed Crawfish Head and Tapioca, House-made Fromage Blanc Dumplings, Texas Rabbit Rouladen and Orange Basil Semifreddo.

Barrios Family Awards Scholarship in Viola’s Memory

Viola’s Huge Heart Foundation has selected its second scholarship recipient, Daniela Portillo, an incoming sophomore at Providence High School. This is the second such scholarship from the foundation. The first was awarded to Abigail Issarraras.

The Barrios family, owners of Los Barrios Mexican Restaurant and La Hacienda de los Barrios, established the the charity in memory of Viola Barrios. The scholarship supports young women who exhibit the kind of hardworking, generous characteristics of Viola, and who may not otherwise have an opportunity to pursue a high quality education.

Daniela Portillo and her family will be at Los Barrios, 4223 Blanco Road, at 5 p.m. today. They’ll meet with well-wishers and customers of the restaurant Viola Barrios founded, with the help of her daughters Diana Barrios Treviño and Dr. Teresa Barrios, and her son, Louis Barrios. The foundation also supports a Les Dames d’Escoffier scholarship in Viola’s name.

Il Sogno Celebrates Two Years at Pearl

Osteria Il Sogno, at the Pearl Brewery, will be celebrating its second anniversary this month, chef/owner Andrew Weissman said.

“We would like to thank our many loyal guests who repeatedly visited us and supported our concept,” said Weissman. He also noted that Il Sogno was listed as the No. 3 top “most delicious” restaurant in the recently published  “Fearless Critic,” while another of his restaurants, Sandbar, also at the Pearl Brewery, was given the No. 1 listing. Chris Carlson is executive chef at Sandbar.

Tost Weekend Specials

Tost Bistro Bar specials this weekend will be Fresh Atlantic Striped Bass and Fried Chicken Livers. Tost is open for lunch daily except Sundays and Mondays, and the Sunday Brunch is Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tost happy hour is from 4-7 p.m., $15 per person gets you drinks from a lineup of selected house spirits and beer. On Fridays and Saturdays, happy hours are 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. For more information call Tost at 210-408-2670.

Real Ale Beer Dinner at Westin La Cantera’s Palo Duro Pavilion

Check out the delicious possibilities when pairing a great beer with chef-prepared foods created to match. This will happen at the Real Ale Brewing Company dinner on July 22 at the Westin La Cantera Resort’s Palo Duro Pavilion. The reception begins at 7 p.m., with the four-course meal at 7:30 p.m.  Please make reservations at 210-558-2305.

Five different beers from Real Ale in Blanco will be poured and paired with a special menu by chefs Isaac Cantu and Henry Wesolowski.

Erick Ogershok, head brewmaster of Real Ale Brewing Company, will be the host. Click here for the ales and menu featured at the dinner.

Bright Shawl on Takes a Break for Renovations

The Bright Shawl, the restaurant and meeting space owned by the Junior League of San Antonio, Inc., is taking a break this summer to renovate its kitchen and refurbish its dining room.  The restaurant will be closed through July 27 while the work is being completed, and it should be reopened by early August. The Bright Shawl is at 819 Augusta St. The original facility housing The Bright Shawl was named a Texas landmark in 1973, and the restaurant there has been in continuous operation since 1925. For more information on The Bright Shawl, click here, or call 210-225-6366.





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‘Top Chef’ in Town, The Luxury Settling In, and So Is Lana Duke

Rumors and spot news are making the rounds on the San Antonio dining scene.

“Top Chef” here

First, the word is out that “Top Chef” is here filming for the new season. (Not the little guys that visited the Alon Market recently – the big-name chefs this time.)

Emeril Lagasse, Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi were at Biga on the Banks last night, according to Biga. No forewarning to the kitchen staff at Biga, but some in the group of 12 did head in to greet them after dinner, handshakes all around. Then, some of the chefs moved on over to the Esquire Tavern to close out the night, we hear.

So, where are they staying, where are they filming, dining out, etc.? Those in the know are being pretty tight-lipped at this point. But keep your eyes and ears open, and don’t forget to send chef sightings to us at SavorSA!

Lana Duke of Ruth’s Chris fame gets Vidorra condo here

Lana Duke, shown here at downtown Ruth's Chris, will have a residence in San Antonio.

Meanwhile, it’s good to hear that a great lady, Lana Duke of New Orleans, owner of the local Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses, will have a second residence in San Antonio. She and her son, David, will be part-time residents at Vidorra, a high-rise condominium complex on North Center Street.

The Luxury

Can we look forward to rotisserie and roasted meats going on the menu?

Andrew Weissman says The Luxury has made some significant progress, the containers are in, the landscaping soon to be started. He won’t commit to an opening date yet, but says it’s “pretty darn close.”

As always the Weissman creativity is running full blast. He is thinking of putting in a huge rotisserie in order to roast pork and goat to sell by the pound. That’s always a luxury for the tired, hungry, homeward-bound downtown worker.

He says his trailer dining concept will be unique — even among trailer dining concepts. Wine on tap is always nice, and the river location, across the the San Antonio Museum of Art will be a good draw. We’ll let you know, as soon as we do, the answer to that “when” question.

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Sandbar Announces New Hours, Reservation Policy

The Sandbar Fish House and Market announced that it will be modifying hour its hours. Beginning Tuesday, The Sandbar will close briefly  between lunch and dinner services. New hours of operation are: lunch 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.; and dinner 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday.

Also, the restaurant at the Pearl Brewery will be changing its strictly “walk-in” policy to accommodate guests on a reservation basis.

The most popular and requested dining times are between 6:30-8:00 p.m.  These reservation times have the highest demand and as such, get booked very quickly.  Owners Andrew and Maureen Weissman suggest that allowing at least a couple of days lead time to book during these premium times for weekdays and a week or so for Friday and Saturday evenings. For dinner reservations, call  210-212-2221.

Also, executive chef Chris Carlson will be taking advantage of salmon season now with upcoming specials focusing on this popular fish.

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First Look: Purist’s Dream Takes Shape at Gwendolyn

Chef/owner Michael Sohoki of Gwendolyn.

The restaurant Gwendolyn opened last week in the location vacated by Le Rêve, at 152 E. Pecan St.

Le Rêve was chef Andrew Weissman’s dream. It gained national renown and established his reputation before he closed it in October of 2009.

Now, chef/owner Mike Sohoki, who worked with Weissman at Le Rêve during its last months, and at Il Sogno, Weissman’s new restaurant at the Pearl, has returned to Pecan Street.  The Culinary Institute of America alum also was the chef for two years at The Cove, 606 W. Cypress St.

At 31, Sohoki exhibits a passion that is similar to that of his former boss, Weissman, but exacting on his own terms. The restaurant is focused on fresh, local and seasonal ingredients, and on making all of the food, like the sausages and breads, in house. But his “old school”  approach means he is not using the power tools of the modern kitchen: no machinery, nothing with a motor, says the chef. He doesn’t even have a freezer.

“See this kale,” said Sohoki, holding up a bowl full of chopped, dark greens. “It was picked fresh this morning.” Everything comes in fresh, says the chef, and all is sourced within a 150-mile radius of San Antonio.

Roast chicken breast on French lentils at Gwendolyn.

Sohoki had a smattering of customers when we stopped in at lunchtime Thursday — folks who had gotten the early word about Gwendolyn’s opening. He and his staff fussed over plates of seared chicken breast over a French lentil stew, garnished with sprigs of fresh thyme, and tended to sauces bubbling on the stove.

Gwendolyn is just open for lunches as this time. The dinner meals will be announced later. Lunches are casual; dinners will be fine dining.

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Restaurant Notes & Quotes: From Fried Chicken to Bouillabaisse

As we ramp up to spring celebrations, such as Fiesta San Antonio and Culinaria, San Antonio-area restaurants and eateries are dishing up everything from cooking classes to a crawfish party.

Dough to be on Food Network April 9

Guy Fieri will be showcasing Dough Pizzeria Napoletana, the popular San Antonio pizzeria at 9 p.m. April 9 on the Food Network. Part of the attraction of the Diners, Drive-ins and Dives host to the restaurant was the homemade burrata cheese bar.  Doug Horn and his wife, Lori, own the restaurant, at 6989 Blanco Road.

Want Earl Abel’s fried chicken now?

Photo courtesy Earl Abel's

Earl Abel’s introduces a new website that is “customer friendly and convenient,” says owner Roger Arias.  Customers can go to, select entrees, sides, desserts and more from the menu, indicate when it should be ready for pick up, pay online, then drive up to get their order.

“We are aware of how today’s busy lifestyle can lead to unhealthy eating habits and we want to make it easy for families to enjoy a nutritious meal in the comfort of their own homes,” says owner Roger Arias.

Right now, and for a limited time, orders placed online are discounted 10 percent.

Earl Abel’s is at 1201 Austin Highway in the Terrell Plaza Shopping Center. Kids eat free from 5-8 p.m., Monday-Thursday and all day on Tuesday. Visit the website above for more information.

Godai Sushi Bistro closed for remodeling

The restaurant at The Ridge on Loop 1604 is closed for remodeling, according to a Facebook post. The original at 11203 West Ave. is still open if you’re looking for some of the best sushi in town.

Bouillabaisse and more at Brasserie Pavil

A couple of items from Brasserie Pavil, 1818 N. Loop 1604 W.:

  • Prix-fixe lunches: Brasserie Pavil is celebrating Red, White and Brut Restaurant Week through Sunday. The brasserie is offering a special prix-fixe lunch menu for $17.95 per person, which includes a soup, main entrée and dessert course, as well as a glass of French wine.  The prix-fixe menu will rotate on a daily basis with a sampling of dishes including Chicken Chowder with Walnut Pesto, Roasted Root Vegetable Soup, Seafood Risotto with Asparagus, Lemon Zest and Red Pepper and a Pear Tart.  Complimentary wine choices include red, white and sparkling, while additional glasses of wine are available for $6 per glass.  For more information call 210-479-5000.
  • Bouillabaisse by Bajeux: Expand your French culinary knowledge through a “Bouillabaisse by Bajeux” cooking course hosted by Executive Chef Rene Bajeux.  The gathering will include a how-to session on preparing this traditional Provençal stew and with a tasting for guests.  Bajeux will also discuss the history of French pâtés, and then conclude the evening with a complimentary glass of signature Veuve Clicquot champagne and a sampling of fine cheeses.  Session begins at 6 p.m. at Brasserie Pavil and tickets are available for $22 per person. For more information call 210-479-5000.

Get ready for a crawfish boil in Waring.

Crawfish Funk in Waring

The party is scheduled for April 9 in Waring at the Waring General Store.  The crawfish boil costs $10, or $5 for the Crawfish Étouffée and $2.50 for beer. Kids 10 and under get in free. Entry is $5 and music will be by Ponty Bones and the Squeezetones, Greg Forest, and Brian Strange and the Strange Brothers.  The Waring General Store is at 544 Waring-Welfare Road. Take the exit of I-10 West before the Comfort exit. For more information call 830-995-4377.

Reservations at Il Sogno

Il Sogno at the Pearl Brewery, 200 E. Grayston St., is now accepting reservations. If you’ve waited long for a table, you know what a relief that can be. Call 210-223-3900.

Chef Andrew Weissman is now in charge of the kitchen at the Italian restaurant. But he hasn’t stopped working on other projects. The Luxury Trailer Park is still due to arrive this spring. And he’s also joined the Twitter scene. Follow him @AWRestGroup and receive news on upcoming events, wine tastings and other foodie activities.

John Griffin contributed to this report.

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It’s Fine Time for Fine Wine at Il Sogno

Study Italian wines at Il Sogno.

Il Sogno at the Pearl Brewery, 200 E. Grayson St., is raising a toast to wine.

Andrew Weissman’s Italian restaurant is now selling selections from its wine list on a retail basis, so if you find a new favorite at dinner, you can take a bottle or a case home with you.

Looking for more information on Italian wine?

Il Sogno’s sommelier, Gabriel Howe, is also getting ready to teach an introduction to Italian wine class, set for March 20. This is the first of a series of classes that the restaurant is offering. Howe is a certified sommelier who has studied Italy’s wine-growing regions and vintners. The cost is $30 per person and includes both wine and food pairings. For reservations and time, call 210-223-3900.

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Weissman Addresses CIA Graduation in New York

Chef Andrew Weissman addresses the graduating class of the CIA at Hyde Park, N.Y.

Andrew Weissman (right) poses with CIA president Tim Ryan.

Chef Andrew Weissman of Il Sogno and the Sandbar at the Pearl Brewery addressed the graduating class of the Culinary Institute of America’s main campus on Friday.

Giving the speech had special significance for the San Antonio native, who was graduated from the school in Hyde Park, N.Y., before starting his culinary career, which includes the lauded but now-closed Le Rêve. “It is very difficult for me not to sound like a paid sponsor for this school,” he said, “but the truth is the CIA has helped provide me and my family with an amazing quality of life.”

He offered the following advice to the graduates: “For those of you wondering what now, I challenge you to write the greatest story of yourself. You may stumble along the way, but it is all part of the journey. Go ahead and make mistakes. It is also part of your growth as an individual. The key is to not repeat them. … Check to see if things are impossible only after you are done.”

The CIA also has campuses in San Antonio and Greystone, Calif. A fourth campus in Singapore is being added this month.

(Photos courtesy CIA/Keith Farris)

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