Italy

Tag Archive | "Central Market Cooking School"

Italy Cooks: Tastes and Flavors of Abruzzo


Photos and story by Emily Reynolds

Domenica Marchetti cooks at Central Market Cooking School

Domenica Marchetti cooks at Central Market Cooking School

The long strands of pasta hung like fresh white sheets of linen drying in the spring wind. There was a waft of sweetness in the air, the kind that only a fine Italian pasta sauce could create. Who knew traveling to Italy would be so easy?

Now through Thursday, Central Market has become “Centro Italia,” offering a wide variety of imported foods and cooking classes that focused on the art and soul of Italian cooking. The classes have ranged from making seafood to making pizza and everything in-between. Yes, there is something for everyone, from the experienced cook to the curious newbie.

Last week, the well-known cookbook author and food journalist Domenica Marchetti visited from the Washington, D.C., area to demonstrate how cooking appears, as seen through a lens from the Italian region of Abruzzo.

Marchetti has written five acclaimed cookbooks on traditional and contemporary Italian home-cooking. Although she claims her greatest teacher is her mother, who was born and raised in Chieti, Italy, she pulled out all the steps and stops in making an Italian inspired home-cooked meal.

She brought her passion for hand-stretched pasta dough and a wide array of knowledge of classically Italian cooked vegetables and stews to San Antonio’s Central Market kitchen. Although cooking and wine tasting were the main part of the class, Marchetti told lovely tales of Abruzzo between the courses.

Abruzzo is a region in central Italy with three national parks, a plethora of mountains and beaches on the Adriatic sea. It’s known for having “mountainous cuisine” with a heavy influence of lamb and a large amount of seafood dishes from tiny beach villages. Thus, it’s gained the reputation of being the “land that has everything,” according to Marchetti.

Marchetti started the evening by layering a sizzling pot of sunflower oil with batter-coated zucchini sticks and sage leaves. The sizzle of the pan and the smell of crisp vegetables were inspired by Marchetti’s book, “The Glorious Vegetables of Italy.” This being a typical dish of the Adriatic area, it is something one might make after a trip to the farmers market, as a light appetizer or snack before a larger meal. Marchetti recommended using sparkling water instead of still in the batter to add softness. She also recommended not crowding the pan. You can substitute zucchini with baby artichokes, if you please.

'Chitarra' means 'guitar,' and in this case it's an instrument for making pasta.

‘Chitarra’ means ‘guitar,’ and in this case it’s an instrument for making pasta.

The next part of the class was about making homemade pasta and classic sauces. Marchetti demonstrated the use of the chitarra (guitar) — a unique instrument meant for making pasta not music. The outcome is a thicker noodle, and the fun is rolling the dough over the strings. This old-fashioned style is unique to the Abruzzo region. She also mentioned that a time-saving tip to the often-grueling task of homemade pasta making is using a food processor.

What is a good pasta without a wonderful sauce to complement? The gorgeous sheets of pasta were complemented with a rich and textured “ragu,” which led to the naming of the dish: Maccheroni alla Chitarra with Ragu’ Abruzzese. The sauce was rich with flavor, as the tenderness of the meats within the sauce were cooked for three hours. Although there was beef chuck, pork shoulder and lamb shoulder all used within the sauce, there can be variations.

“I always think recipes are just guidelines, and should be tailored to your particular tastes,” Marchetti says.

Our third course was a hearty lamb and potato stew adopted by Marchetti’s book, “The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy.”

“The culture of Abruzzo is strongly linked to pastoral farming traditions. In the mountaintop villages and into he countryside, sheep’s milk cheese and dishes made with lamb (and mutton) abound. This stew is just one example, perfect for a chilly evening in the spring,” she said.

Handmade pasta with a hearty ragu, typical of Abruzzo, Italy.

Handmade pasta with a hearty ragu, typical of Abruzzo, Italy.

Although a “chilly evening in the spring” is rare in Texas, there is always a good reason to have a stew on the stove. A timeless comfort food, this recipe captures the soul of the mountains by using lamb as the meat of choice. Served with some of Marchetti’s sweet and sour peppers with oil-cured olives, which use a bit of white wine vinegar plus a pinch of sugar to sweeten the bite, the savory sensations of the stew are complemented with a divine pop of sweetness.

The evening closed with a beautifully airy and light Lemon-Ricotta Costata. “A lovely dessert to welcome spring, this rustic crostata would be made with sheep’s milk in Abruzzo, the region where my family is from,” Marchetti explains in her book. The not overly sweet crostata was complemented by mascarpone cheese to add a silky cream-like texture layered between the airy crust. Marchetti warned the class to be sure to have all your ingredients at the same temperature or the filling may curdle. Another trick is to pass the ricotta through a sieve to add additional light and creaminess to the center of this dish.

Traveling to Italy came to an end on a high note played by a chitarra and accompanied by a well-versed composer. Marchetti pulled out all the stops for her students, and we can only hope that she will come back to San Antonio soon to take us to Italy for another evening. In the meantime, you can find one of her five cookbooks on Amazon or read her blog at www.domenicacooks.com. She is also taking a few lucky travelers with her to Abruzzo this summer and fall; check out her website for more details.

 

Fried Zucchini Blossoms and Sage Leaves

Ragu’ all’Abruzzese (Abruzzese-style meat sauce)

 

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Fried Zucchini Blossoms and Sage Leaves


Story and photos by Emily Reynolds

 

A perfect starter for an Italian meal, these morsels of fresh, summery flavor will please all of your guests.

 

Dominica Marchessi Sageand Artichoke leaves croppedFried Zucchini Blossoms and Sage Leaves

2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups of sparkling spring water
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
24 zucchini blossoms, with stems, rinsed and patted dry ( substitute, zucchini sticks cut into 3-inch stems)
Vegetable oil for frying or substitute sunflower oil
1 or 2 lemons cut into wedges for serving
Coarse sea salt for serving

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, water, eggs and fine sea salt to make a smooth batter about the consistency of heavy cream. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

Carefully rinse the zucchini blossoms, checking to make sure there are no little bugs hiding inside. Gently pat them dry, Rinse with sage leaves and gently pat them dry.

Pour enough oil into a medium skillet to reach a depth of 1/2 to 3/4 inches. Place over medium high heat and heat to 375 degrees on a deep frying thermometer. To test the oil temperature, drop a small amount of batter into the hot oil. It should sizzle and float to the surface immediately, and quickly turn golden.

Have ready a paper towel-lined baking sheet or plate for draining.

Dip the zucchini blossoms in the batter and transfer them immediately to the hot oil. Fry them in batches, a few at a time, taking care not to crowd the skillet, for 2 minutes;use a fork to turn and fry another 2 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. With a slotted spoon, transfer the blossoms to the prepared baking sheet or plate. Fry the sage leaves in the same way, turning them once as they cook.

Transfer the fried blossoms and sage leaves to a decorative serving platter and sprinkle a little coarse salt over them. Arrange the lemon wedges on the platter and serve.

From Domenica Marchetti

 

 

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Ragu’ all’Abruzzese (Abruzzese-style Meat Sauce)


Handmade pasta with a hearty ragu, typical of Abruzzo, Italy.

Handmade pasta with a hearty ragu, typical of Abruzzo, Italy.

A ragu with three flavorful cuts of meat and an abundance flavor.

 

Ragu’ all’Abruzzese (Abruzzese-style meat sauce)

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
6 ounces boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 3 or 4 large pieces
6 ounces of boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3 or 4 large pieces
6 ounces boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 3 or 4 large pieces
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds chopped canned tomatoes, with their juice (about 7  1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped — you can also add a few garlic cloves finely chopped

Warm the vegetable oil in a large dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot, place over medium heat. Season the pieces of meat with a little salt and pepper and add them to the pot. Brown for 3 to 4 minutes, then turn the pieces to brown the other side, another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pieces to a deep plate or bowl.

Pass the tomatoes through a food mill fitted with disk with the smallest holes. Discard the solids. Set milled tomatoes aside. (In summer season, you can grate the fresh tomatoes with a box grater.)

Return the Dutch oven to medium heat and add the extra virgin olive oil. Stir in the onion, reduce the heat to medium-low, and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is shiny and beginning to soften. Pour the tomatoes, raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Return the meat to the pot and reduce the heat to medium low or low to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover partially and let the sauce cook, stirring it from time to time, for about 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender and the sauce is thickened. Add a splash or two of the water if the sauce thickens too much before the meat is done. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if you like.

Turn off the heat. Remove the meat from the pot before using the sauce. Serve the meat as a second course, or shred it and return it to the sauce.

Note: The ragu may be store in a tightly lidded container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Makes about 1  1/2 quarts

From “The Glorious Pasta of Italy” by Domenica Marchetti

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Ideas With a Difference for Your Valentine


Take your valentine out — or stay in — with one of these entertaining options that offer options to restaurants.

Creative Chocolates Strawberry Heart BoxChoose a chocolate dessert-making class at Central Market, order a stay-at-home gourmet meal from GauchoGourmet or stop in for a tequila tasting at La Fogata. Or, bring in a made-to-order Valentine’s breakfast, complete with card and flower, from Crumpets.

GauchoGourmet’s Valentine’s Take-Home Dinners

You can order three- or four-course meals for a romantic Valentine’s Day at home from GauchoGourmet.

This is a perfect option for all food lovers who are thinking about avoiding the crowds but still enjoying a quiet and romantic dinner at home. The dinners will also feature wines from Alexander Vineyard’s to go along with your dinner – Champagne Grand Cru Brut & Rose, Bordeaux St. Emilion, Bordeaux Graves Red & White as well as a Sauternes dessert wine! You can pick them up at the the GauchoGourmet warehouse on Feb. 14 along with your meal and GauchoGourmet will also have them available to pre-order on their website in the next few days so you can make sure they’ll be ready for pickup.

Dinners for two

ravioli genericDuck à la’Orange — Fresh Duck Rillettes by award-winning producer Hudson Valley, Candied Oranges, Crostini (or upgrade to) fresh Hudson Valley Foie Gras Torchon; Ravioli for the Gourmet –Maryland Blue Claw Crab Ravioli, Italian Sundried Tomato Butter, with semidried Cherry Tomatoes, Parmigiano Reggiano, East Coast Baguette (or upgrade to) Native Maine Lobster Ravioli; Sweet Seductions: Fine Spanish Chocolate Truffles, House made Cheesecake with Amarena Cherries, Soft Italian Nougat (or upgrade to) Fine Filled Chocolate Truffles, House made Cheesecake with Amarena Cherries, Soft Italian Nougat & Ferra Organic Coffee.

The three-course dinner for 2 is $59.95. Upgraded, the dinner for two is $79.95.

For the four-course Dinner for Two, add the following course: Charcuterie Platter: Meats: Artisanal Finocchietta Salami, Prosciutto San Daniele; Cheeses: Irish Ardagh Cheddar, Camembert; plus Olive Medley, Spicy Calabrian Peppers, Balsamic Cipollini Onions. Or, upgrade to Upgrade to Artisanal Salami con Porcini, Culatello, Cacio di Bosco Black Truffle Cheese, La Grein Wine Cheese.

The four-course dinner for two is $79.95; the upgraded four-course dinner for two is $99.95.

Please order by order by 5 p.m., Wednesday Feb. 12th; pickup on Feb. 14 or 15. Gaucho Gourmet is at 935 Isom Road. Phone number is 210-277-7930. To order online go click on the weblink here.

Free Tequila Tasting

Make Valentine’s Day reservations at La Fogata, then toast your sweetheart with one of La Fogata’s award-winning margaritas served with one of the restaurant’s  signature orchids nestled at the top of the glass. The restaurant’s concoctions are so popular that their bar crafts more than 300 gallons of margaritas each week.

Partida Margarita -1aLa Fogata features monthly tequila tastings to allow its guests to explore different tequila flavors and enjoy special cocktails crafted by La Fogata’s experienced bar staff to highlight the featured tequila.

February’s featured tequila is Camerena Tequila. Enjoy Valentine’s dinner at La Fogata Friday, Feb. 14, and before you head to your table stop by the free tasting table that will feature Camarena served both straight up and mixed in margaritas.

The free tasting table will be open on La Fogata’s main patio from 6-8 p.m. La Fogata is at  2427 Vance Jackson Road. (210) 340-1337.

Crumpet’s Gourmet Breakfast Delivered

For $28.50 per person, plus tax and tip, you can have a Valentine’s Day breakfast delivered to your door. The delivery of a gourmet breakfast is something Crumpets always offers, but they’ll add a romantic touch if you order for this romantic day on Feb. 14.

The breakfast is delivered in a basket tray with a flower and a card, and there is a delivery fee. Call Crumpet’s at 210-821-5600.

Breakfast includes: Eggs Benedict; freshly squeezed orange juice, fruit fruit, croissants and European breakfast pastries, and condiments.

Pastry Chef Offers Chocolate Class at Central Market

This class has all the sweetness you’d want, lots of chocolate dessert ideas and instruction from an expert. French pastry chef Jean Francois Bonnet, pastry chef and owner of Tumbador Chocolates, will show you some of the secrets of the pros as he demonstrates how to make and garnish Chocolate Souffle; Chocolate Pot de Creme; Chocolate Cremeux and Milk Chocolate-Hazelnut Dacquoise.

The class is $50 and is from 1-3 p.m. on Feb 9. The class is recommended for those who are 13 years and older. Call Central Market Cooking School at 210-368-8617.

chocolate cocoa

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Getting to the Meat of the Matter: It’s All About Bacon


Bacon. Any questions?

Yes, quite a few, actually.

Marie Rama knows her bacon.

Marie Rama knows her bacon.

They came from all sides of the bacon-loving audience that gathered at Central Market recently for Marie Rama’s cooking class — and Rama, who co-wrote “Bacon Nation” (Workman Publishing, $14.95) with Peter Kaminsky, was happy to oblige.

She started with the pig as a whole. “All parts of the pig are joyous — and edible,” she said, before launching into a series of dishes from appetizer to dessert that used bacon as a key ingredient.

A Bacon Crumble-Topped Muffin

A Bacon Crumble-Topped Muffin

For her first recipe, she turned bacon into a jam loaded with ginger and bourbon. It would make a great starter or snack with cheese and crackers. Or you could spread it on a hamburger or pork. Or you could just dip a spoon in the jar and enjoy it’s sweet, salty, fruity and hot flavors.

The type of bacon that you use in recipes like this one matters, Rama said. For a jam, you’d want a bacon that’s been smoked with applewood or cherrywood to give it a fruit flavor.

For her Bacon Crumble-Topped Bran Muffins, a thick-cut bacon is preferred for both the muffin base and the topping. But a thin-cut or regular-cut slice would work better for the Bacon Swizzle Stick that’s perfect for your next Bloody Mary.

Marie Rama shows how easy it is to make bacon-flavored toffee.

Marie Rama shows how easy it is to make bacon-flavored toffee.

It also helps to know what you’re buying, she said. Some bacons have water added to pump up the volume and add weight. You might not learn that by reading the label, but you’ll know the first time you try to cook it, she said. So, if it happens to you, remember the label and don’t be fooled again.

Rama likes to examine the bacon for a good proportion of fat to meat. She prefers hers to be about 50/50, but she added quickly that “I don’t have a horse in this race.” She used artisan bacon and commercial bacon alike in creating and testing the recipes for “Bacon Nation.” But she did say that was impressed with the bacon selection she found at Central Market. “Whenever I go into a new city, I always go to the meat market and check out the bacon,” she said. “You’ve got great stuff here.”

Throughout her class, Rama stressed the importance of reserving the bacon grease for using again. Your recipe may call for a tablespoon or two; or you could use those drippings to great effect in any of the following ideas from “Bacon Nation:”

  • Pop popcorn in bacon fat.
  • Make a Caesar salad dressing using bacon drippings instead of olive oil.
  • Fry chicken using four parts peanut oil and one part bacon fat.
  • Use bacon fat to cook refried beans and sunny-side-up eggs.
  • Add bacon fat when boiling water to cook or blanch green beans.

The litany goes on to such an extent that you wish Rama were inviting you over for dinner on a regular basis, just to see what she’s got cooking.

Chocolate-Peanut-Bacon Toffee

Chocolate-Peanut-Bacon Toffee

Her menu for the cooking class also included a rustic Bacon and Butternut Squash Galette, an open pie that’s easy. “You don’t have to fuss with it too much,” she said.

The pastry crust didn’t call for bacon grease, but Rama did say you could use it in quick breads, corn breads and muffins among other dough recipes, which is why her cookbook includes the likes of Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Biscuits, Bacon and Rosemary Shortbread, and Oyster and Corn Bread Stuffing with Bacon.

Thin- or regular-cut bacon was preferred for Rama’s main course, a Crusted Salmon with Avocado and Red Onion Green Salad. This recipe was a variation on a dish that celebrity chef Daniel Boulud once created for President Bill Clinton, presumably before he turned vegan. His called for tuna wrapped in pancetta, while Kaminsky and Rama’s uses strips of bacon wrapped around salmon.

The cooking process here take two steps. First, you have to brown the bacon thoroughly in a pan before placing it in the oven. The first step gets the bacon dark and crispy, while the oven cooks the salmon at the center. For this dish, Rama likes to use a cast-iron skillet “for getting a good sear on the bacon,” she said.

Crusted Salmon with Avocado and Red Onion Salad

Crusted Salmon with Avocado and Red Onion Salad

OK, Rama’s menu was loaded with bacon from start to finish, because that’s what her cookbook is all about. She wouldn’t suggest a whole bacon dinner at home, however. “It’s a little too much,” she said.

When it comes to health matters, bacon really isn’t as bad as some have made it out to be, she said, explaining that only about half of the fat is saturated.

If you needed further proof, consider this: The svelte Rama said she didn’t gain a pound while doing the research and recipe writing for the cookbook.

To close out her class, Rama made a Chocolate-Peanut-Bacon Toffee that elicited more than a few contented sighs from people in the classroom. Think of a more buttery peanut brittle with chocolate and bacon added.

You need to use a candy thermometer for this recipe because the caramel holding the peanuts together (yes, it’s made with bacon drippings) needs to reach about 300 degrees but no more. “Caramelizing is literally bringing it to a burnt state, but you don’t want to go over it or it will burn,” she said.

Welcome to Marie Rama's "Bacon Nation."

Welcome to Marie Rama’s “Bacon Nation.”

Of all the recipes that evening, the bacon in this one was the least pronounced. It seemed to lend more of a salt flavor to the complement the peanuts, while the dark chocolate just carried everything over the top.

But if there’s not enough bacon in it for you, that’s easily remedied.

“You want it with more bacon? Throw some more bacon on it,” Rama said.

It was a philosophy her students were ready to take home and put into action.

Ready to add bacon into more of your dishes? Here are links to Rama’s recipes

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‘Cowgirl Chef’: Fish Tacos with Mango-Avocado Salsa


The book “Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent” by Ellise Pierce (Running Press, $25) explores the cooking adventures of a Texan, transplanted to Paris, only to find herself cut off from the boyfriend for whom she’d moved. Forced to find a way to make a living out of her small, subterranean 16th arrondisement apartment, she turned to her love of food and cooking. That is, catering and teaching cooking classes built around the Tex-Mex favorites she’d grown up with.

As she explains in “Cowgirl Chef,” Pierce’s new home wrought some adaptations to her dishes. Not surprisingly, some of these were dictated by the tastes of her audience as well as the availability of ingredients. Her Tacos Carnitas are served with a slaw made of purple cabbage and Roquefort. Or her Tex-Mex Tart, which has a cornmeal crust and is filled with refried beans, chicken and melted cheese, could be compared to “a big nacho,” says the author.

“Paris is big on fish of all sorts,” she writes. So, fish tacos — perhaps not the most Tex-Mex of dishes — nevertheless translated well to the fish-loving French. This recipe calls for techniques she learned from her mom, including the buttermilk and cornmeal breading. It calls for medium-firm white fish, such as halibut or cod.

Pierce has made her way to San Antonio a couple of times this summer already, and she will return to teach a class at Central Market, 4821 Broadway St., from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. July 27. The price is $65. (Call the Central Market Cooking School for class availability: (210) 368-8617.)

Fish Tacos with Mango-Avocado Salsa

1 mango, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
2 tablespoons of finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
Small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Pinches of sea salt, divided use
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound medium-firm white fish
1/4 cup buttermilk
Corn oil, for frying
10-12 corn tortillas (heated)
3-4 limes, sliced into wedges, for serving

Gently toss together mango, avocado, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice. Taste and add a pinch or two of salt.

Whisk together the cornmeal, cayenne and a big pinch of sea salt. Pour the buttermilk in a bowl. Dip your fish in the buttermilk, and then roll the pieces around in the cornmeal and shake off the excess. Add just enough corn oil to the bottom of a large skillet to coat it and turn the heat to medium-high. When it’s hot, add your fish, turning them when one side is brown. The whole process will only take a couple of minutes, since fish cooks quickly. Immediately top the hot, fresh corn tortillas with a few pieces of fish and pass the mango-avocado salsa and lime wedges.

Makes 10-12 tacos.

From “Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent” by Ellise Pierce

 

 

 

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Chefs’ Corner: Fig-Olive Tapenade Is Easy, Exceptional


Lamb Sausage with Fig-Olive Tapenade at Mac and Ernie's Roadside Eatery.

The best recipes don’t have to be the complicated. Take this Fig-Olive Tapenade, which Naylene Dillingham-Stolzer serves at Mac and Ernie’s Roadside Eatery in Tarpley. The name says all you need to know about what’s in it. But what the title does not tell is you just how rich the flavor is that comes from combining the two ingredients.

At Mac and Ernie’s, Dillingham-Stolzer serves this tapenade with lamb sausage patties. If you don’t have any at hand, try pork sausage patties. Both meats love the touch of sweetness that comes from the dried figs. You might also want to try it on white fish.

The flavor was so good that I whipped up a batch the very next day and had it with pita chips.

You can dice all of figs and olives by hand, but this is where a food processor works wonders. Just be careful with the olives. I bought some that were advertised as “pitted,” yet more than half of them had pits in them. So you may want to slice the olives in half before throwing them into the food processor. You can also play around with the proportion of the ingredients until you get a blend that works best for you.

Dillingham-Stolzer is a favorite guest instructor at Central Market Cooking School and will be teaching a class in such easy, elegant fare at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 27. Call 210-368-8617 or click here for information.

Mac and Ernie’s Roadside Eatery is at 11804 FM 470, Tarpley. Call 830-562-3727 or click here for information.

Fig-Olive Tapenade

Fig-Olive Tapenade

1 cup dried Calimyrna figs, stems removed and quartered
1 cup Kalamata olives, pits removed

Places figs and olives in a food processor and pulse 9 or 10 times until incorporated but not a paste.

Let set at least 1 hour before serving.

Makes 2 cups tapenade or enough for 6-8 side servings.

From Naylene Dillingham-Stolzer/Mac and Ernie’s Roadside Eatery

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Weekend Calendar: Celebrations, Specials and Fine Eats


“Somewhere lives a bad Cajun cook, just as somewhere must live one last ivory-billed woodpecker. For me, I don’t expect ever to encounter either one.”                           — William Least Heat Moon, Blue Highways

Tost BistroBar, Ladie’s ‘Only’ Night Out, Thursdays

A night out for women at Tost BistroBar tonight, 6 p.m. to late night. Enjoy drink specials all evening on Thursdays,  $4 martinis, shots, wine and Champagne cocktails. DJ entertainment by Seven. Pampering by Folawn Day Spa from 6:30-8:30 p.m.  Shades of Love, 10 p.m. – midnight. Tost BistroBar is at 14415 Blanco Road, one block south of Bitters Road. (210) 408-2670.

Summer wine tasting series in Gruene

Every Thursday through July 15, 5-8 p.m., enjoy wine tastings in the garden at The Grapevine in Gruene. Tonight, sample wines from Three Dudes Winery, then head over to Gruene Hall for a free show by Jason Eady, until 11 p.m.  www.grapevineingruene.com

Crumpets celebrates 30th anniversary with prix fixe dinner

Crumpets, at 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, invites you to come and celebrate their 30th year in San Antonio.  A special prix fixe meal will include an appetizer, house salad, main course with vegetables and dessert. The entrée choices are a Grilled Veal Chop, Rack of Lamb Provençal, Fresh Tuna Steak with Lemon Butter, Beef Tenderloin or Fresh, Wild-caught Salmon, charbroiled. 30$ per person plus tax. No coupons or discounts may apply. For reservations call (210) 821-5600.

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