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Weekend Calendar: Burger Festival and More


“You can find your way across this country using burger joints the way a navigator uses stars.”
~ Charles Kuralt

Cheese or chili?  Jalapeños or plain?  How do you like your burger?  Check out Fatty’s Burger Festival. Or, if burgers aren’t your thing, enjoy some of the other great weekend activities.

“A Taste of Provence” Tasting Menu
Through July 31, $48 plus tax and gratuity, $12 additional for wine pairings
Fig Tree Restaurant

515 Villita
This French inspired meal starts with your choice of Zucchini Blossom Beignets or Terrine de Légumes.  Next, select either Blue Prawns Provençal or Grilled Mediterranean Sea Bass.  The main course options are Pan-seared Herb-marinated Lamb Tenderloin or Grilled Lamb Chops with Roasted Garlic Créme.  Dessert choices are Hill Country Peach Croustade or Poached Fruit of the Day a la mode.  The optional wine pairing includes Chateau Routas, Rosé Var 2008; Mas de la Dame, Rose du Mas 2009; and Mas de la Dame, Rouge 2006.  For reservations, call 210-224-1976.

“Farm to Table” Prix Fixe
Through Saturday, July 17, $25, $10 additional for Becker Vineyards wine pairings, all plus tax and gratuity
Bin 555
555 W. Bitters Road (Artisans Alley)
Start with Bluebonnet Hydroponic Farm’s Arugula Salad with Sherry Braised Sweet Onions, “Smoked” Watermelon and Chevre.  Gulf Shrimp with Lamb’s Stone Ground Grits, Pickled Gypsy Peppers and Saffron Braised Fennel will be followed by Roulade of Texas Quail with Sweet Corn Puree, Summer Squash, and Honey Jus. Dessert is “Peaches and Cream” – Fredricksburg Peach “Panna Cotta” with Liquid Nitrogen Vanilla Chantilly, Pecan Nougat and House Brandied Peaches.  Call 210-496-0555 for reservations.

“A Tasting of Halibut” Prix Fixe
Through Saturday, July 17, $29 plus tax and gratuity
Restaurant Insignia

401 S. Alamo
The four course meal includes a glass of wine and starts with Halibut “Tar Tare” with Spicy Globe Basil, Red Pepper, and Tomato Coulis.  Halibut “Bouliabase” with Summer Vegetables, Saffron Broth, and Ciabatta Crostini will be followed by Pan Seared Halibut with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Asparagus, Pearl Onion, and Parsnip Puree. Dessert is Chef Jason Dady’s Chocolate Nutella Soufflé with Nutella Mousse.  For reservations, call 210-223-0401 and indicate that you want this menu.

New Summer Tastings Prix Fixe
Through Saturday, July 17, $35 plus tax and gratuity
The Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills
1746 Lockhill Selma
The five course dinner starts with All Day Braised Snake River Farms Pork Belly with “Fresh Corn Polenta,”Sofrito “Marmalade,” Cayenne Syrup, and Micro Cilantro.  The next course is Hearts of Palm and Baby Beet Salad with Marcona Almonds, Baby Arugula, Texas Grapefruit, and Ruby Red “Gel”.  Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon with Tomato-Garlic Ragout, Preserved Lemon, Baby Turnips, and Sauce “Gribiche” will be followed by Cast Iron Seared Beef Tenderloin with Brussels Sprouts, Onion Petals, Potato-Pepper Brunoise, and Sauce “Blanquette”.  Dessert is Crème Fraiche Cheesecake with Pine Nut Praline, Strawberry “Consommé,” and Micro Cilantro.  For reservations, call 210-349-8466 and reference this dinner.  Please note, The Lodge will be closed on Monday, July 12.

Cooking Demonstrations at the Pearl
Pearl Farmers Market
200 East Grayson
In addition to fresh produce, cooking demonstrations and musical entertainment are on the agenda at the Pearl Farmers Market.  Chef Luca Della Casa of Il Sogno will offer a cooking demonstration at 9:30 a.m.; the market’s general hours are 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.   The market also features a changing chef’s table lunch menu by chef Johnny Hernandez, “representing what is seasonal and regional in our cuisine.” Hernandez serves the meal family-style and discusses each vendor and their seasonal ingredients. For information or reservations, go to www.mesalegre.com.

Artisan Baking Class
Saturday, July 10, 1 – 4:30 p.m., $65
4050 Fischer Store Road
Wimberley, TX 78676
Learn how to make rustic bread starting with a biga, or poolish.  Debra Auden of Biga will teach this hands-on class; participants will take home their own sourdough starter.  Class size is limited to eight students.  To register, e-mail debra@biga.com with the subject, Bread Class.  The class will also be held July 17.

Children’s Cooking Class
Saturday, July 10, $45
Becker Vineyards
464 Becker Farms Road
Stonewall, Texas 78671
Chef Lori Hinze will teach this class in the Lavender Haus Kitchen.  Call 281-917-1721 for information and registration.

All American Burger Festival
Saturday, July 10, free admission
Fatty’s Burgers
1624 E. Commerce St.
Watch others overindulge at burger-eating contests and enjoy a few on your own.  Two outdoor stages will host 10 regional and local bands.  Chris Madrid and Katherine Shields will be honored for their San Antonio hamburger experience.  The event will help raise funds for scholarships for District 2 high school graduates and St. Philips College students.  www.saburgerfest.com

Winery U: Your Nose Knows! An Introduction to Tasting Wines
Saturday, July 10, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., $30 ($25 if registered for all 4 classes)
Dry Comal Creek Vineyards and Winery
1741 Herbelin Road, New Braunfels
Learn the basics of being a sommelier — how to swirl, sniff, and taste wine.  Participants will receive course materials, additional informational materials, a Winery U diploma, and possible surprises.  Preregistration is required and the class is limited to 30 participants.  www.drycomalcreek.com

McNay Art Brunch at Auden’s Kitchen
Sunday, July 11, 11 a.m., $30 adults, $15 children
Auden’s Kitchen
700 E. Sonterra Blvd.
Start off with brunch at Auden’s Kitchen and then take a chartered bus to the McNay to see the exhibit, Neither Model Nor Muse: Women as Artists. Participants will also have the opportunity to join the public tour, McNay Architecture. The event is limited to 36 people. For reservations, call 210-494-0700.

Maine Lobster Sunday Dinner
Sunday, July 11, 6 p.m., $50, $20 additional for wine pairings, all plus tax and gratuity
The Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills

1746 Lockhill Selma
This five-course dinner welcomes you with a selection of assorted hors d’œuvres and chef Jason Dady’s Summer Cocktail Mixology.  The first course is Deconstructed Lobster Salad with “Claw” and Garden Inspirations, followed by Thai-inspired Lobster “Bisque” with Coconut Milk, Basil and Avocado.  The third course, “Bahn Mi” of Lobster with French Butter Roll, Carrot-Daikon Slaw and Ginger Aioli, will be served before Butter-poached Lobster Tail with Celery Root Ravioli, Beurre Rouge, Black Garlic and Yukon Coins.  Dessert is “Peaches and Cream.”  Seating is limited; for reservations, call 210-349-8466 and mention this dinner.

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Weekend Calendar: Folklife, Wine Dinners, Classes and More


“Red meat is not bad for you.  Now blue-green meat, that’s bad for you!”
~Tommy Smothers

Spectacular dinners, creative cooking classes, and snacking on more than 40 cuisines can be penciled into your weekend calendar.

A Night Inspired by the Passion of Chef José Andrés
Thursday, June 10, 6:30 p.m., $65 plus tax and 18% gratuity
Bin 555
555 W. Bitters Road (Artisans Alley)
The first course is Bagels and Lox, a crispy bagel cone with salmon roe, mascarpone and chives. The next course is Guacamole with Hass avocado, tomato granité, tomato and lime segments, with house-made corn chips and cilantro. Third is Asparagus, Quail Eggs 63*C, Mushrooms and Frisée, followed by Deconstructed New England Clam Chowder. The next course is Lobster Americaine, butter-poached Maine lobster with a pipette of lobster bisque. Boneless Chicken Wing with Spanish Green Olive Purée will be followed by Beef Hangar Steak with Piquillo Pepper Confit. The meal concludes with Pineapple and Fennel Salad with Coconut and Chilled Pineapple Soup.   The price includes two selected glasses of wine.  Call 210-496-0555 for reservations.

Blackbird Wine Dinner
Thursday, June 10, 7 p.m., $150 plus tax and gratuity
Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood
219 E. Houston St.
Michael Polenski, the winery’s proprietor, will discuss the Merlot-based wine, which will be paired with this six -course meal prepared by chef Mark Bohanan.  The first course is Fredericksburg Peaches with Basil-infused Youngblood Honey, matched with 2009 Blackbird Arriviste Rosé; which will be followed by Butter-poached Cold Water Lobster and Cantaloupe Sashimi with Citrus Sea Salt, paired with 2009 Maisonary Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. The third course is Texas Rio Star Grapefruit Sorbet with Bruléed Grapefruit Supremes.   The next course is Manchester Farms Quail Stuffed with Spinach Chorizo on Haricots Verts finished with Berry Lacquer, complemented with 2004 and 2007 Blackbird Illustration Cabernet Sauvignon.  The fifth dish is Grilled and Roasted Prime Beef Tenderloin, Cippolini Onions, and Red and White Fingerling Potatoes, paired with 2006 and 2007 Blackbird Contrarion Cabernet Sauvignon.  Dessert is Chocolate Decadence Petits Fours, paired with 2007 Blackbird Arise Merlot.  Valet parking is available.  For reservations, call Jenny Rabb at 210-324-5645.

Texas Folklife Festival
Friday, June 11, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday, June 12, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday, June 13, 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.; Adults $15 ($10 in advance), Children ages 6 – 11 $5 ($5 in advance), Children 5 and under free
Institute of Texan Cultures
801 S. Bowie St.
More than 40 different cultures will gather celebrating their costumes, dance, and food.  Advance tickets are available at: H-E-B stores, Ft. Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, UTSA’s Fiscal Services offices, and the Institute of Texan Cultures Museum Store. www.texasfolklifefestival.org

Cooking Demonstrations at the Pearl
Saturday, June 12
Pearl Farmers Market
200 East Grayson
In addition to fresh produce, cooking demonstrations and musical entertainment are on the agenda at the Pearl Farmers Market, local chefs will be offering cooking demonstrations and sharing tips and recipes for using fresh seasonal produce. Chef Brian West of Las Ramblas will be performing this week’s demo.  Demonstrations start a 9:30 a.m.; the market’s general hours are 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.   The market also features a changing chef’s table lunch menu by chef Johnny Hernandez, “representing what is seasonal and regional in our cuisine.” Hernandez serves the meal family-style and discusses each vendor and their seasonal ingredients. For information or reservations, go to www.mesalegre.com.

“CIA Favorites
Saturday, June 12, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., $250
Culinary Institute of America (CIA) San Antonio
312 Pearl Parkway, Building 3 (In the Pearl Center)
Learn some of the CIA’s favorite recipes including appetizers, entrées, and desserts.  Participants will receive a CIA logo apron and a copy of “The Culinary Institute of America Cookbook”.

Raw Culinary Arts Cooking Class
Saturday, June 12, 2 – 4:30 p.m., $50 plus $15 food fee
8618 Brookhaven St.
The menu includes: Green Monster Smoothie; Nut Burgers without the Grease; Kale Chips; and Fajitas with Guacamole.  For reservations, call 210-710-4793 by June 10th.  http://cme-change.com/Classes.html

Second Saturday Art & Wine Galleries Tour
Saturday, June 12, 4 – 8 p.m.
Boerne, Texas
Galleries and wine shops will exhibit art and have wine samples.  At Boerne WineSeller, 412 River Rd., there will be an artist reception for Janice Joplin from 2 – 8 p.m.  A free trolley will shuttle you between all of the events. 

Gospel Brunch with a Texas Twist
Sunday, June 13, 10:30 a.m. – noon, $25 adults, $12.50 children
Gruene Hall
Gruene Historic District
New Braunfels, TX
“A New Orleans style gospel brunch with a Texas twist.”  More information is at https://tickets.gruenehall.com/Event.asp?EventID=655.

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Daily Dish: Get Your Discount Tickets for New World Wine Festival


The discounted tickets for events at this year’s 10th anniversary New World Wine & Food Festival are going, going … almost gone.

Tuesday is the final day to purchase tickets for a wide range of events and get a 15-percent discount.  The festival is from Nov. 10-15.

For more information, check out the website, www.nwwff.org.  Note: the 15-percent discount does not apply to Chefs and Cellars, winemaker dinners or the Black Tie event.

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