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The Best Place in SA to Shop for Someone Who Loves to Cook


At Rodriguez Butcher Supply, you can find the chef's knife that's right for you.

At Rodriguez Butcher Supply, you can find the chef’s knife that’s right for you.

If the cooks on your gift list have been very nice this year, you may want to return the favor and get some really nice gifts to thank them.

rod philip fickelYou don’t have to break the bank, either.

Not if you travel to Rodriguez Butcher Supply on the west side. The store at 1715 W. Commerce St. has been around for decades now, as you can tell from some of the historic photos that grace the walls. But in the recent past, the family has added a kitchen supply business that has attracted some of the top chefs in town. (Check out the store’s Facebook page, and you’ll find a banner featuring Robbie Nowlin, Jason Dady and Stefan Bowers, “rock stars” of the city’s culinary scene, says Philip Fickel, whose family has run the store for several generations.)

Everyone who loves chefs knives will be attracted to the dazzling along one wall of the store. From Wusthof and Henckels to Nora and even blades from Austin and San Antonio, you’ll find what you’re looking for and at a prices that I couldn’t quite believe. Ask Fickel for help in deciding what’s best for beginners or trained professionals, what works best for cutting sashimi or vegetables as well as beef, pork and boning fowl. There’s even an oyster shucker for smaller New England bivalves; it comes with a beer bottle opener as part of the blade.

Handcrafted knifes for all purposes are on sale.

Handcrafted knifes for all purposes are on sale.

You can also sign up for knife sharpening classes and get the tools to keep your blades’ edges cutting efficiently.

Don’t just stop for knives, however.  Rodriguez has plenty of other kitchen items, such as pots and pans as well as butcher equipment, including meat slicers, tenderizers, hooks and saws. Plus, if you want to stuff your own sausage, no matter whether you’re using venison, lobster or pork, you’ll find seasonings and cures as well as casings and stuffers.

And if you want to start cooking sous vide, you’ll find what you need there as well.

Check out some of the inventory at homebutcher.com. But don’t just shop this local business online. Go over to the store and let Fickel, his family or any of the staff help you out. You never know what you’re going to find.

A few of the knives at Rodriguez.

A few of the knives at Rodriguez.

This oyster shucker also opens your beer bottle.

This oyster shucker also opens your beer bottle.

 

 

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Jason Dady Opens Shuck Shack


Oysters at Shuck Shack

Oysters at Shuck Shack

Jason Dady at Shuck Shack

Jason Dady at Shuck Shack

It’s oyster time at Shuck Shack, Jason Dady’s latest venture. The casual new seafood restaurant is at 520 E. Grayson St.

The menu features a half-dozen oysters from different spots along the Northeast coast, such as Cooks Cocktail and Cavendish Cup, both from Prince Edwards Island, Mallet from New Brunswick and Black Bear Point from Bagaduce River, Maine. Gulf oysters are also available. Or, if you prefer them cooked, you can order your orders in several styles: Texas, Casino and Rockefeller.

If you prefer soup, there’s Clam Chowder a la minute, Oyster “Chowdah” and Lobster Bisque. There are also fish and chips, salads, sandwiches and snacks you can share.

If you prefer something not from the sea, there’s a big burger, a bacon-wrapped hot dog and a “funky” grilled cheese with broccoli.

Cocktails are on the menu.

Cocktails are on the menu.

There’s also a full bar with playful drinks meant for the San Antonio summer, including a Limonaide made with Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka and a lime paleta, a caipirinha, a gin and tonic with a dash of rhubarb bitters, Trash Can Punch and a frozen Negroni pitcher.

The sign over the building is hand-painted on a piece of flotsam that Dady said washed up during the recent flood.

There’s a play area for kids and picnic tables for those who want to sit outside as well as air conditioned comfort for those who don’t.

Shuck Shack opened to the public on July 4, then took a few days off. From July 7 to 18, it will be open for dinner; thereafter, it’ll be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday-Saturday. Sunday brunch will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Call (210) 236-7422 for information.

Just shucked bivalves at Shuck Shack.

Just shucked bivalves at Shuck Shack.

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Jason Dady Opens Tre Enoteca in the Alley


Jason Dady has opened his latest restaurant venture: Tre Enoteca in the Alley at 555 W. Bitters.

Jason Dady

Jason Dady

The Italian restaurant is akin to the original Tre Trattoria on Broadway, but there are differences, Dady says.

Like the original, the pasta is made in-house, but at the new restaurant, there’s “a fancy extruder,” he says, and it allows the kitchen to use semolina flour to make a denser pasta.

Plus, there’s a wood-burning oven for the pizzas and large lounge that will feature a series of Old and New World wines as well as signature cocktails.

Tre Enoteca is only open for dinner at present, but more hours will be added soon.

Dady, who also owns Two Bros. BBQ Market, the Duk Truck and B&D Ice House, is always busy. So, though he has just opened Tre Enoteca, he’s hard at work on another project, the Shuck Shack, an oyster bar set for Grayson Street. That plan was to have the Shuck Shack opened by now, but work on the property and work with city officials have delayed that.

At Shuck Shack, expect at least three oysters from the Northeast and three more from the Pacific Northwest.

Dady got some shucking practice on Monday night. He served up oysters on the half shell during a special dinner at Feast that brought the chef and his team together with chef Stefan Bowers, who once worked for Dady.

 

 

 

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Tre Enoteca, Shuck Shack on the Horizon for Dady Group


From the Jason Dady Restaurant group come two new concepts geared towards families. Tre Enoteca and the Shuck Shack will be added to the Dady’s list of eateries this spring.

Tre Enoteca, a Tuscan ristorante that will be located at The Alley on Bitters Road, will feature house-made extruded dried pasta entrees, a mozzarella bar, as well as wood-fired pizzas and a bar program that features old- and new-world wines and signature craft cocktails.

Oysters on the half shell.

Oysters on the half shell.

The Shuck Shack, which will be close to downtown on Grayson Street, will offer oysters galore, as well as a great outdoor play area for the kids. With menu items like fish and chips, clam chowder a la minut, lobster rolls and oysters (both raw and baked) and a bar menu that will offer craft beers and carefully selected wines, guests can enjoy fresh, vibrant seafood with expertly paired drinks all in one location.

Both establishments will offer the fresh, creative cuisine the Dady Restaurant Group is known for, while keeping the atmospheres effortlessly balanced between elegant and family friendly.

Tre Enoteca

555 W. Bitters Road

Shuck Shack

520 E Grayson. St.

 

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Trader Joe’s Opens in Stone Oak


Trader Joes Logo croppedTrader Joe’s has opened its second San Antonio location. It’s at 403 N. Loop 1604 W., which is in the Stone Oak area.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

For more information, call 210-545-3123.

FOLC hosts wine tasting

FOLC Restaurant, 256 E. Olmos Drive, is hosting a wine tasting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The wines will be presented by sommelier Veronique Cecilia Barretto and Felicia Gonzales of Serendipity Wines.

The amuse-bouche pairings will be created by FOLC owner, chef Luis Colon.

The price is $20 a person. Seating is limited. Call (210) 822-0100 for reservations.

lockupguide1Herradura tasting at La Fogata

La Fogata, 2427 Vance Jackson Road, is featuring Herradura during its monthly free tequila tasting, which is set for 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 15.

After the tasting, you can make the evening even more flavorful by ordering a margarita made with Herradura alongisdde a Quesadilla de Flor de Calabaza, (otherwise known as pumpkin blossoms and white cheese on thick masa tortilla).

Call (210) 340-1337 for details.

Look for Tre Enoteca

Jason Dady is opening Tre Enoteca Tuscan Ristorante and Vino Bar at the Alley, 555 W. Bitters. It’s the space that once housed Bin 555 and, more recently, Umai Mi.

Umai Mi, meanwhile, is moving to a smaller space within the Alley.

Crumpets sets sights on Oregon

mouton noirCrumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach, will showcase wines from Oregon a special dinner set for 7 p.m. Nov. 14.

Highlights of the multi-course menu include smoked trout fillet with Willamette Valley Riesling; Vol au Vent with Scallops Montrachet with Silvan Ridge Viognier; and Duck Breast with Wild Mushroom Rossini Sauce paired with Mouton Noir O.P.P. Pinot Noir. (Mouton Noir is made by former San Antonian Andre Mack.)

The price is $75 a person. Call (210) 821-5600 for reservations.

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Feeding the Man at the Top: Jason Dady Cooks for the President


Organic carrots roast over a Caja China filled with a pig from South Texas Heritage Pork.

Organic carrots roast over a Caja China filled with a pig from South Texas Heritage Pork.

Chef Jason Dady of Umai Mi, Tre, Two Bros. BBQ Market and more SA restaurants got a rare chance to cook for the president of the United States Monday evening.

Jason Dady, his family and crew got to serve President Obama.

Jason Dady, his family and crew got to serve President Obama.

“Our catering company was humbled and honored to cook last night for the POTUS party at the Pemberton Castle owned by Robert Rodriguez,” he said in released statement. “It was such an amazing opportunity and I was so proud of our team for their hard work and dedication to making sure that the evening was a success.”

President Obama had been in Austin for meetings on the immigration issue and how it has affected Texas. After the meetings, the president and his staff were served Dady’s dinner. 

“We prepared South Texas Heritage Pork in La Caja China, pizzas from Tre Trattoria, Texas blue crab cakes, and an assortment of JBG (Johnson’s Backyard Garden) Organic vegetables,” Dady said. “We utilized only local, fresh and seasonal products to really showcase what South Texas has to offer: Charred Carrots with Miso, Mixed Melon and Mint Salad, Caponata and a Cherry Tomato-Texas Peach-Cucumber Salad. “

Needless to say, the chance to cook for the president was a thrill for the chef, who couldn’t say why he was chosen for the honor except to say that he has cooked for the Democratic National Committee before. “I’m simply thankful for the opportunity,”  he said. “It was a special night and I’m so thrilled that I got to share it with my wife, brother, mother and staff.”

 

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Culinaria Stages a Grand Tasting of Fine Foods, Wines and Spirits


A grand night for Culinaria's Grand Tasting.

A grand night for Culinaria’s Grand Tasting.

Culinaria’s luck with the weather held another day during its annual Festival Week. The Grand Tasting at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center Saturday evening was marked by a balmy evening in which to enjoy some of the city’s finest chefs offering their best food to have with fine wines and cocktails.

Jordan Mackey of Las Ramblas offered golden tomato gazpacho.

Jordan Mackey of Las Ramblas offered golden tomato gazpacho.

Michael Sohocki from Restaurant Gwendolyn served blood sausage over polenta, while the Culinaria Institute of America scooped up mashed plantains, which they topped with shredded pork. Kirby’s Prime Steakhouse offered a beefy salad. Paloma Blanca served chipotle chicken over rice.

A trio of Saucy Sweets.

A trio of Saucy Sweets.

Jordan Mackey from Las Ramblas offered a refreshing golden tomato gazpacho, while Jesse Perez of Arcade Midtown Kitchen added a little punch with his spicy shrimp salad.  Jason Dady of Umai Mi presented a creamy-spicy spread over shrimp rice crackers with fresh basil and other herbs on top. Jeff White from Boiler House topped shredded pork shoulder with a cashew slaw and avocado for a treat reserved for the VIP area, though he managed to sneak a couple of samples out to us.

Several restaurants presented multiple tastings. Stella Public House dished up Brussels sprouts and a skewer of Caprese salad alongside their panna cotta with a salted caramel topping. Cocina Heritage caterers presented a spicy shredded pork as well as a lively salad.

A few wines of note in an evening filled with fine wines included the Michelle Brut Rosé from Washington state, the bone dry Hugel Riesling from the Alsace, the Megahertz Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, and the Bending Branch Petite Sirah from Comfort.

Perhaps the most welcome feature of the evening was the fact that Culinaria limited the number of guests, which meant no waiting for a sample of Saucy Sweets’ alcohol-laced sorbets in flavors such as mint julep and piña colada or for an extra bit of fried kale from Lüke’s booth. There were no elbows to avoid in case you wanted to turn around, and plenty of most everything in case you wanted to sample something a second time.

Culinaria’s Festival Week concludes Sunday with Burgers, BBQ and Beer at the Pearl Brewery. For more information, click here.

Cocina Heritage caterers offered a salad and spicy shredded pork.

Cocina Heritage caterers offered a salad and spicy shredded pork.

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Dady, Wiseheart Team Up for Umai Mi Chinese Feast


Andrew Wiseheart, chef at Austin's Contigo.

Andrew Wiseheart, chef at Austin’s Contigo. Photo Courtesy Austin Food & Wine Festival.

Jason Dady, chef and owner of Umai Mi in San Antonio, and Andrew Wiseheart, co-owner and executive chef at Contigo restaurant in Austin, will be cooking together during this one-of-a-kind event here on March 18.

The two chefs were both inspired by their parents’ favorite Chinese dishes they were introduced to when they were young. They’ll be alternating courses of an Asian-inspired dinner called “My Parents’ Chinese” featuring items such as kung pao pickled shrimp and a version of orange chicken that includes blood orange, red-pepper jam, green onions and crisp duck skin.

The six-course menu, with wine, will be at Umai Mi – Modern Asian Fare at 555 W. Bitters Road (in back of The Alley shops on Bitters).

The reception begins at 6:30 p.m. with dinner beginning at 7. Dinner is $55 per person. For reservations call Umai Mi at 210-496-0555.

Chinese to-go box

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BBQ in Southtown and Specht’s Store; More Restaurant News


The Two Bros., Jason and Jake Dady, are teaming up with Steve Newman of the Friendly Spot Ice House and Alamo Street Eat Bar to open B&D Ice BBQ and Draft at 1004 S. Alamo St. The spot is across the street from the Friendly Spot in an old ice house that Bruno D’Zanski operated for decades.

Crowds line up for a beer at the Friendly Spot.

Friendly Spot’s Steve Newman, Dady brothers will open a BBQ, draft beer spot on South Alamo.

The B refers to Newman’s signature beard, while the D refers to Dady as well as barbecue and draft beer. (If you thought otherwise, burn your copy of “Fifty Shades of Gray” right now. Burn it, for good measure, in any case.)

According to the new spot’s website, the place is expected to open in the spring with plenty of Texas craft beer, Texas wine and Texas pit barbecue.

“We are super stoked to make it to Southtown,” Jason Dady says on the site. “Great Texas pit barbecue and the emerging Texas craft beer movement is a perfect fit. We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of such a great neighborhood and restaurant scene.”

Ready for a lobster omelet for brunch? Saveurs 209 has it.

Saveurs 209, 209 Broadway, will now be serving brunch on Sundays.

The menu includes omelets with your choice of sun-dried tomatoes, bacon, lobster, mushrooms and house-cured salmon as well as Croque Monsieur or Madame, duck leg confit with fingerling potatoes, charcuterie, and shrimp with coconut and curry rice.

Viennese pastries and croissants, desserts, coffees and wine cocktails are also available.

Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Saveurs 209 has changed its hours, too. It is now open for lunch Wednesday to Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner  Tuesday to Friday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. as well as Saturday from 6 to 9:30 p.m. For reservations, call (210) 223-0209.

pearl market vegetablesOrganic Farmers conference coming to SA

The Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association is having its 2015 conference in San Antonio. No dates or location have been announced yet, bt this is great news for lovers of organic food grown nearby.

Specht’s Store changes hands

Specht’s Store, 112 W. Specht Road, has a new owner, new hours and more music, according to Facebook. But the big news is that it is now offering Texas barbecue.

The new owners are Truman Love, who was once owner of the Water Street Oyster Bar in San Antonio, and Dave Dickson.

New hours are 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. Call (830) 438-1888 for information.

“We are serving the best in time honored: Barbecue, Bands, and Beer,” they posted. “We cook exclusively on post oak. We serve only Certified Angus Beef: Choice to Prime. We prepare everything on premises daily. We make our own sausage. Brisket, Spare Ribs, Sausage, Sides, Sauce and Dessert served daily. Specialty items of Turkey Breast, Brined Pork Chop, Prime Rib, Chicken and Salmon change daily.”

Hot Joy finds home

Expect Hot Joy to open in its own home some time after Valentine”s Day, chef Quealy Watson said during the recent San Antonio Cocktail Conference, where he was serving Tater Tot Chat to the throngs.

The restaurant, which had been a popup feature at the Monterey, will be in the spot that once housed China Latina, 1014 S. Alamo St. Look for more Asian fusion dishes filtered through Watson’s sense of fun.

SoHo gets into food

SoHo Wine & Martini Bar, 214 W. Crockett St., will soon be offering Akaushi beef sliders, duck fat fries, chicken and waffles, and more.

Brandon McKelvey of Say.She.Ate will be serving up his treats from a kitchen that’s being added to the bar known for its great cocktails and more.

Expect the kitchen to be open in the next few weeks.

Call (210) 444-1000.

 

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SACC Starts at Majestic with a Splash (or Two)


The throngs on the first floor of the Majestic Thursday.

The throngs on the first floor of the Majestic Thursday.

By John Griffin & Bonnie Walker

Here’s a great way to ring in the new year (in case you didn’t do it quite right a couple of weeks back.)

Dress up, go downtown, then join several hundred other people at a historic theater, wander from cocktail table to bar to a balcony to catch some fresh air.

Then, go back inside and do it again.

That was the scene Thursday night at the Majestic during the opener for the third annual San Antonio Cocktail Conference.

Hundreds of people wandered through the four floors of the theater, sampling everything from rum punches and French 75s while sampling bites from Feast, The Friendly Spot, the Monterey, GauchoGourmet, TasteElevated and Restaurant Gwendolyn. Jason Dady offered a sneak peak of his new restaurant, Umai Mi, by offering tamarind-glazed brisket with spicy peanuts and pickles. It’s supposed to open next week, Crystal Dady said.

Meanwhile, people were enjoying a host of cocktails, some elaborate and some simply delicious.

The Cointreau Rickey (recipe below) would be a perfect refresher on a hot summer’s day, and all you had to do to make one was mix the orange liqueur with fresh squeezed lime juice and soda. You could muddle your own additions to the drink, including cucumber, mint, raspberries, strawberries and basil leaves.

Treaty Oak Rum out of Austin mixed up a daiquiri, while Magellan’s Last Word was a voyage of sweet and tangy with its mix of Magellan’s Gin, Maraschino, lime juice and Chartreuse.

SACC 2014 Cigarmaker

Cigar-maker draws a crowd.

Out on the balcony a cigar-maker was flattening and cutting leaves of tobacco and fashioning smokes, trying to keep up with the audience of interested onlookers.

While munching on a cocktail cupcake from Gigi’s Cupcakes or snacks from the Art Institute, you could sip a Cutty Side Scuttle created by Benji Pocta of Chino Chinatown in Dallas. The winning drink featured Cutty Sark, lemon juice, simple syrup, ginger beer, Sandeman Port and Angostura Bitters.

Next to him, Ryan Sumner of Driftwood in Dallas was mixing up Judy Is a Punch cocktails complete with umbrellas and skewers of mint, lime and a marinated cherry. The drink featured Brugal Extra Dry Rum, lime, grenadine, Demerara, Allspice Dram and Herbsaint.

Of course, all of the fun was for a good cause. The San Antonio Cocktail Conference is a fundraiser for two children’s charities, HeartGift and ChildSafe San Antonio. Plenty of events remain from today through Sunday. For more information on the conference, click here.

For a Cointreau Rickey, use a siphon or club soda.

For a Cointreau Rickey, use a siphon or club soda.

Cointreau Rickey

2 ounces Cointreau
1 ounce fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
4 ounces club soda

Simply pour Cointreau and fresh lime juice into glass and fill with ice. Top off with club soda and stir.

Variation: For a Cucumber Mint Rickey, muddle 3 slices cucumber and 5 mint leaves in the bottom of your glass. Add the ingredients above .Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From Cointreau

Judy Is a Punch

Judy Is a Punch

 

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