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Beer of the Week: Harp Lager


 

 

Beer of the Week is sponsored by the Lion & Rose. Each week, we introduce you to a wonderful brew that’s a little bit different and well worth seeking out.

 

 

 

Harp Lager

Let’s face it. You can’t just dye any beer green for St. Patrick’s Day. Anything but a light-colored beer will take on a rather unappetizing color that can interfere with your drinking enjoyment.

So, let me suggest that if dying your beer green is a high priority for you in the next week, then get yourself some Harp Lager.

First off, it’s Irish, with the harp on the label being the same as that on its parent, Guinness.

Second, it’s a fine lager with plenty to recommend in terms of flavor.

When you pour the beer from the bottle, you’ll notice its light straw color. A hefty foam rises quickly and settles down to a nice lacey rim around the edge.

The aroma is sweet and yeasty, with notes of bread, malt and a slight touch of floral hops.

The scents carry over into the taste, with flavors of grain and a pleasant hoppy bitterness dominating in a light yet sure way. There’s a clean finish that makes it all uncomplicated and so easy to love.

That simplicity makes this an easy beer to pair with all your Irish and Irish-American favorites. At Lion & Rose, you could start with Limerick Fries, deep-fried green beans, then move on to bangers and mash, corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips, and even a vegetarian combination of bubble and squeak, Guinness mac and cheese,  and those wonderful Parmesan-broiled tomatoes.

The combinations are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day — or any day, for that matter — whether you dye the Harp green or not.

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Beer of the Week: Real Ale Firemans #4 Blonde Ale


 

 

Beer of the Week is sponsored by the Lion & Rose. Each week, we introduce you to a wonderful brew that’s a little bit different and well worth seeking out.

 

 

 

Real Ale Firemans #4 Blonde Ale

OK, let’s get the bad out of the way first: This beer has the worst grammar of any I’ve seen on the market lately. What exactly is a “Firemans”? The plural of “fireman” is “firemen” and the possessive of “fireman” is “fireman’s,” which leaves us with no place for a poor “Firemans” to go, except in my belly.

Now that my inner copy editor had his say, it’s time to concentrate on what Real Ale in Blanco gets right with this brew, which is just about everything else.

The beer boasts a shimmering golden color with a slightly cloudy tinge that is reminiscent of lemons. A healthy head foams up, but after a few minutes, it settles into a nice lacing around the upper edge.

Lemons come to mind again on first sniff, because that bright citrus dominates the aroma, though a touch of yeast and malt is also present.

Citrus with a lively layer of hoppy bitterness dominate the flavors, and these get more pronounced the warmer the beer gets. But either cold or room temperature, it is refreshing, cutting through anything heavy you may be eating or complementing a touch of spice. It all ends in a dry, clean finish that makes you thirsty for more.

This beer is versatile when it comes to pairing it with food. At the Lion and Rose, you could match it with a bowl of Belgian mussels in a white wine mirepoix or snack through a basket of Bloke’s Mushrooms with ranch dressing. Or you could match it with a more substantial plate, such as Langostino Tilapia with its buttery sauce or the vegetarian Beggar’s Pouches, pasta filled with four types of cheese.

So, put the fire out with a Firemans #4 and leave the grammar to someone else to fix.

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Beer of the Week: Guinness Stout


 

 

Beer of the Week is sponsored by the Lion & Rose. Each week, we introduce you to a wonderful brew that’s a little bit different and well worth seeking out.

 

 

 

Guinness Stout

Thirsty yet?

Vintage Guinness ads.

Guinness Stout needs no introduction. This beer has been enjoyed by folks from Ireland and around the world for more than 250 years. More than 10 million glasses of Guinness beers are poured every day.

But here are some facts about Guinness that you might not have known:

  • The Guinness brewery was founded in 1759, when glasseArthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease on the property near St. James Game in Dublin. “It costs him an initial £100 (about $147 U.S. dollars) with an annual rent of £45 (about $66 U.S. dollars) — this includes crucial water rights,” the Guinness website says. “The brewery covers four acres and consists of a copper, a kieve, a mill, two malthouses, stabling for 12 horses and a loft to hold 200 tons of hay.” His first beers are porter and ale.
  • Irish people come by their love of Guinness seemingly naturally. In Ireland, new mothers were once given Guinness to drink in the hospital to aid lactation.
  • Guinness is not high in alcohol. Though the stout is hefty on the tongue, it’s not terribly loaded. Its alcohol level is 4.1 to 4.3 percent, which is in the average range of beers. A Busch beer, by example, has 5.11 percent alcohol, while Miller Genuine Draft has 5 percent and a Molson Golden has 6 percent. (For a list of alcohol levels of beers, click here.)
  • Strict vegetarians should not drink Guinness. You won’t find any beef floating in your beer, but the makers do you isinglass, which is made from dead fish. This is used in filtration, and some may end up in the find product.
  • Guinness in Ireland tastes differently from Guinness in America. Believe this all you want, but taste test after taste test shows that tasters cannot tell the difference in where the Guinness comes from. If you enjoyed it in Ireland more than here, it probably has more to do with the fact of where you were, who you were with or what you were eating with the beer. The Guinness website states it this way: “We always use pure, fresh water from natural local sources for the Guinness stout brewed outside Ireland. That said, in blind tests (with a bunch of highly cynical journalists) none of our sample could tell the difference between Irish-brewed Guinness and the locally produced variety. All the Guinness sold in the UK, Ireland and North America is brewed in Ireland.”

You can also cooked with Guinness. Here is a recipe for Irish Lamb Stew with Guinness Stout. (Use beef if you don’t have or like lamb, but don’t use any stout but Guinness.)

 

 

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Beer of the Week: Party Favorites for the Big Game


 

 

Beer of the Week is sponsored by the Lion & Rose. Each week, we introduce you to a wonderful brew that’s a little bit different and well worth seeking out.

 

 

 

There’s always a soccer game on one of the TVs at the Lion & Rose, and the football game of football games — the Super Bowl, that is — is fast approaching. So, I felt it would be a great time to talk about beer and sports pairing this week, in case you wanted some tips for getting ready for the next game.

Get some good beers together for the big game.

Downing a pint or two during a game has been a tradition ever since the Sumarians and the Egyptians developed something to drink after a long day of building pyramids or towers to the heavens.

The Sumarians, who eventually became the Babylonians and later the Iraqis, once had about 20 varieties of beer on tap in their repertoire. But what did they down on the weekends?

We’ll never know. But we do know a few rules that are good to follow.

One: Put away the ultra-fancy stuff. You don’t want to waste your best beers on an occasion like this. Why? Because your attention is going to be on the game. No focusing on bitter hops finishes or caramel tones allowed. It’s all about what goes down smooth, clean and nice.

Two: Don’t skimp. If you like your friends, get something better than a few 12-packs of canned water that passed through an idle horse. If you don’t have the money to buy decent beer in quantity, then ask people to bring a six-pack for a shared tasting. You’ll never know what you’ll end up with.

Three. Think fun. Crowd-pleasers we’ve written about in the past include:

  • Newcastle Brown Ale — The perfect beer for hot wings. Any questions?
  • Redbridge Beer — This gluten-free beer is great to keep on hand in case any of your guests is living with celiac. But it tastes good, regardless, and would be great
  • Red Stripe — The most popular Super Bowl food seems to be guacamole, which would be great with this light lager. But then again, so would chili, fried onion rings with ranch dressing, or chips with onion dip.
  • Smithwick’s — This Irish beauty is great if you’re serving up grilled sausages, bratwurst or bangers of any sort.

We’d also recommend a specialty drink or two, such as black and tan, which you can learn how to make by watching the following video:

 

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Beer of the Week: Lindemans Pomme Lambic


 

 

Beer of the Week is sponsored by the Lion & Rose. Each week, we introduce you to a wonderful brew that’s a little bit different and well worth seeking out.

 

 

 

Lindemans Pomme Lambic

Pomme is French for apple. So, guess what the flavor of this beer is? Yes, it is a beer, not a hard cider.

This is a Belgium lambic from the same company that makes the spectacular Framboise, or raspberry beer, that we wrote about a few months ago.

It’s also a beer that many won’t recognize at first sip as a beer. That’s because of the dominant apple flavor. But give a second sip and you’ll notice a touch of floral, bitter hops in the mix. Yup, it’s beer all right.

But first, take note of the summery golden yellow color as you pour it into a glass. A hefty foam builds up quickly, but dissipates almost as quickly into a thin strand around the edge. But as you pour it, your nose is greeted by a hefty dose of fresh, tart apple, such as the Granny Smith on the label or a Fuji.

The robust apple flavor carries over to the taste, but there’s more. The hops flavor I mentioned is there, as is a lively citrus tang, a bracing sweetness and even a touch of pear mixing with the caramel-tinged malt. Imagine an adult candy apple in liquid form.

The fizz of this medium-bodied treat is crisp and clean on the palate, leading to a pleasantly dry finish.

Because it’s such a sweet treat, the Lindemans Pomme would be best with a dessert. At the Lion and Rose, the best choice would be the Yank’s Apple Pie with a welcome touch of cinnamon and a scoop of Blue Bell Vanilla. The Pear William Cake with vanilla chiffon cake and Bavarian pear mousse would also be good, while the Sticky Toffee Pudding with its toffee sauce would also cozy up to it nicely.

Or just grab an apple and taste how it compares with the lambic. Enjoy.

 

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Beer of the Week: Boddington’s Pub Ale


 

 

Beer of the Week is sponsored by the Lion & Rose. Each week, we introduce you to a wonderful brew that’s a little bit different and well worth seeking out.

 

 

 

Boddington’s Pub Ale

If you ever wanted to get a beer mustache to rival those in the “got milk?” ads, then pour yourself a Boddington’s and dive right in. I don’t know what the carbonation causes all the foam that rises from this beauty when you pour it, either from the tap or the can (with its nitrogen ball inside), but expect a generous head, white, frothy and creamy on top.

The beer itself, a British brew that has been around for more than 200 years, displays a polished light golden glow. It is perfectly clear, luminous and enticing.

Subtle aromas of yeast and malt with a mild sweetness and a faint sense of hops emerge. The flavors enlarge the aromas. Suddenly, in your mouth, the yeast has become all bread-like, the malt more intense, the hops more pleasantly bitter and citrusy.

But it’s the mouthfeel that really grabs you. It’s full bodied and creamy, coating your tongue in a richness you didn’t quite expect. This is the real lure of Boddington’s, and it will stay with you, calling you back for another and another.

The finish is hoppy and bitter and altogether welcome.

A good acid level that manages to assert itself in all that unctuousness makes this a perfect beer to pair with something spicy. At the Lion and Rose, that would be the spicy Hackney Hot Wings, hands down, though Scotch eggs would also be a good match. Grilled Jerk Chicken would work well, too, for the contrast, while a side order of Bubble and Squeak or Guinness Mac and Cheese would offer succulent proof that rich food and rich drink can make for a great meal.

Just make sure you remember to wipe the foam off your upper lip every once in a while.

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Beer of the Week: Red Stripe


 

 

Beer of the Week is sponsored by the Lion & Rose. Each week, we introduce you to a wonderful brew that’s a little bit different and well worth seeking out.

 

 

 

Red Stripe Lager

I’ve been drinking Red Stripe for so long now that I forget not everybody knows — and loves — this Jamaican brew as much as I do.

But I found myself recommending it to someone who’d never tried it, so I decided to spread the gospel a little further in case there are more of you who haven’t given it a try.

This is a beer well suited to San Antonio, because it was meant for people who like to party and want something oh-so-easy to drink.

I think the makers of this brew go out of their way to make something enjoyable and as smooth as possible without being watered down for mass consumption. In other words, there’s more to Red Stripe than you’ll find in many American beers.

Pour it into a tall stein and you will get a decent layer of foam on top of a golden brew. The head dies down, but not too quickly.

The nose is faint and pleasant, no funky yeast aromas. Just a light, sea breeze call of sweetness and a faint, floral note of hops.

The hops carry over into the flavor, but not in a bitter way. They just sort of slide into a malty presence that tingles your taste buds. And the mellow flavors continue from front to back of the mouth.

In short, it’s beer — really good beer. The kind you can drink a six-pack of on a hot afternoon when you don’t have to go anywhere. Or the kind you stock for a party when you know you’ll have some finicky drinkers on hand.

It’s the kind of beer who sip while watching a soccer game on one of the TVs at Lion and Rose. Kick back with a basket of Bloke’s Mushrooms, beer-battered buttoncaps with ranch dressing, or share an order of the deep-fried Onion Petals. Lager goes great with just about everything, so have your fill of the rest of the menu, from the South Bank Spinach Salad to the Portsmouth Po’Boy filled with fried clam strips to the Vegetarian Pita with hummus.

And let the party begin.

Happy New Year and may your beer choices prosper in 2012.

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Beer of the Week: Stocking Stuffers


 

 

Beer of the Week is sponsored by the Lion & Rose. Each week, we introduce you to a wonderful brew that’s a little bit different and well worth seeking out.

 

 

 

Beer makes a great stocking stuffer because a bottle or can will fit perfectly in most any sock you’ve got hanging on the mantel. But what should you get for the beer lovers on your list? Think about what you usually see these people drink and then upgrade from there.

If they like Bud or Corona, try a bottle or two of Harp’s from Ireland. Or, if it’s a dark beer they’re after, give them Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout.

Here are five recommendations of beers that will please even the pickiest of drinkers:

Smithwick’s Superior Irish Ale is true example of color-coordinating a beer with the season. The label on this wonderful brew is green, while the ale itself is an attractive red. But it’s the smooth nature of this beer, with a light touch of caramel sweetness and malt, that people remember, making this a perennial favorite.

Go Texan and drink one of the local brews. Real Ale Full Moon Pale Rye Ale manages a robust balancing act of orange and coriander flavors with wheat, malt and rye for a

If you know of a beer drinker who is also a coffee fanatic, then try the St. Peter’s Cream Stout. Not only is the bottle beautiful, making each one seem like a more extravagant present, but the flavors inside are bold and brilliant as well, with swirls of chocolate and coffee in your mouth.

For those who turn their nose up at beer, try a Lindemans Framboise Lambic. The art nouveau-style label on the bottle, the festive red foil over the cap and the amazing raspberry aroma will lead them to think that this is not a beer at all. But the beauty of beer is how many styles there are, so that there really is a brew for every taste.

Bard’s Sorghum Malt Beer is perfect for anyone on your list dealing with celiac. This gluten-free brew is also lower in carbohydrates than other beers, but the real draw here is the twin draw that it tastes good and it tastes like beer.

And if still don’t trust your judgment, a Lion and Rose gift card will let the beer lovers in your life explore on their own.

 

 

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Beer of the Week: Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout


 

 

Beer of the Week is sponsored by the Lion & Rose. Each week, we introduce you to a wonderful brew that’s a little bit different and well worth seeking out.

 

 

 

Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout

You may be singing a chorus of “In the Bleak Midwinter” when you open a bottle of this English stout.

The color is black as pitch, thick and impenetrable as it sinks into the glass. Hold it to the light and you may see some sparkle off it, a touch of red maybe, but that could be the glass as much as the beer itself. You’ll not likely see much looking through it.

A nice head builds up but it dissipates to a lacy foam at the edges after a minute or so.

The aroma that greets you is one of sweet toffees and malts, a little dark chocolate, a touch of coffee grinds, and yes, a little oatmeal.

The Samuel Smith website tells us this brew was made with water from “the original well at the Old Brewery, sunk in 1758, (which) is still in use, with the hard well water being drawn from 85 feet underground.” Later, it was “fermented in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’ to create an almost opaque, wonderfully silky and smooth textured ale.”

You’ll notice just how smooth when you take your first sip. Though there is carbonation, it isn’t overwhelming. Instead, it adds richness and a subtle life that thrills as it goes down.

The flavors are similar to the aromas, with brown sugar-flavored oatmeal mixing nicely with cocoa powder, coffee and toasted malt. The finish moves from the sweet to the slightly bitter on the finish.

This isn’t a beer to chug like you would a pilsner on a hot day. Instead, let it warm up a little before you open it. This beer should be drink at about 55 degrees, which isn’t icy cold. The warmer temperatures will also release more flavors for you to enjoy.

Its natural complexity is one that you could sit and drink by itself all evening, contemplating all those dense flavors. But this oatmeal stout also goes well with food. The Samuel Smith site suggests pairing it with lobster with drawn butter or steak and kidney pie. I would add a few great partners off the Pub’s menu: Dockland’s Shrimp and Chips, Mushroom Ravioli and Mum’s Meatloaf.

If you’re looking for a little warmth this winter, give Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout a try.

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Have Visions of Honey-Glazed Hams and Christmas Treats Dancing in Your Heads


Book your reservations for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Christmas falls on a weekend this year, which means a great many restaurants will be closed on Dec. 25 and many are closing earlier than usual on Dec. 24. But the following will be open for special meals. Make sure you make reservations. Prices do not include tax and tip.

And have a merry Christmas.

Achiote at the Grand Hyatt, 600 E. Market St., 210-224-1234 —At Achiote, you’ll find:

  • A Christmas Eve buffet from 5 to 10 p.m. with a salad station, Carved Smoked Prime Rib with Yellow Tomato Chimichurri, Horseradish Sauce and Salsa Verde as well as Pollo Verde Tomatillo Salsa, Grilled Salmon with Ancho Ginger Jus, Roasted Rosemary Red Potatoes, Rice Pilaf/Black Bean and Corn, Pork Posole, Roasted Calabasas, Shrimp and Roasted Corn Chowder, Homemade Tortilla Chips and Queso. A bread display and assorted desserts are also available. Cost: $20 a person plus tax and 18-percent tip.
  • The Christmas Day buffet will be served noon-9 p.m. Highlights include: a salad station, Slow Roasted Strip Loin, Roasted Pork Loin, medley of roasted potatoes, wild rice pilaf, Roasted Carrot and Kabocha Soup, Togarashi Seared Mahi Mahi, Chimichurri Chicken Breast, roasted local harvest vegetables and Poblano-Garlic Creamed Corn. A bread display and assorted desserts are also available. Cost: $20 a person plus tax and 18-percent tip.

Auden’s Kitchen, 700 E. Sonterra Blvd., 210-494-0070 — Christmas Eve hours are 11 a.m.-8 p.m. with lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 3-8 p.m. The appetizer special will be  Crispy Lobster Wontons with a sweet chili dipping sauce. For  $36.95, a three-course prix-fixe will include choice of  Frisee and Apple Salad with cherries and walnuts or a cup of soup;  choice of Lamb Stroganoff with local mushrooms over peppered spaetzle  or  Cioppino with mahi mahi, shrimp, mussels, and scallops; and choice of  Beignets with three sauces: Mexican chocolate, caramel with pink sea salt and clementine marmalade. All specials will be available a la carte.  Closed Dec. 25-26.  www.audenskitchen.com.

Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., 210-225-0722 — Christmas Eve hours are 5-8 p.m. The special menu includes the following starters:   Shrimp Spring Rolls, Duck Dumpling with foie grass apples and braised cabbage, Steamed PEI Mussels with Spanish chorizo, Chicken-Fried Oysters, House Apple-Smoked Salmon Nachos, and Farmed-Raised American Transmontanous Caviar. Soups and salads include  Turkey Chowder, Pear and Tangerine Salad, Warm Spinach Salad, and Baby Iceberg Lettuce. Entrees include Seared Natural Scallops,  fresh catches for the day,  Close-to-Bouillabaisse,  Braised Veal Osso Buco, Grilled Beef Tenderloin,  Roasted Game Hen with Boudin sausage risotto,  11-Spiced Texas Sika Venison and Grilled Texas Quail, and Smoky Pork Loin Chops. Dessert options include  Christmas Pudding, Eggnog Creme Brulee with Santa’s favorite cookies, Chocolate Bouche de Noel, Chocolate Soufflé with candy cane anglaise, and Apple Pie with vanilla ice cream and walnuts.

Boudro’s on the River Walk, 421 E. Commerce St., 210-224-8484 — Boudro’s will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The holiday special includes a Christmas Salad with sour apples, spice almonds and smoked tomato piloncillo vinaigrette, black Angus rib-eye with Bordelaise, Yukon gold scalloped potato and Parmesan and cream spinach flan. Dessert is winter spiced molten chocolate cake with sugard raspberries. The cost is $38 a person. The regular dinner menu is also available. www.boudros.com

Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach, 210-821-5454 — On Christmas Eve, dinner will be served from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Chef François Maeder will be serving a holiday menu beginning with appetizer choices such as Mousse Truffle Pâté, Stuffed Artichoke or Nova Scotia Smoked Salmon and Cream of Mushroom or New England Clam Chowder soups. Entrée choices include Breast of Chicken with Montrachet Sauce, Fresh Rainbow Trout, Shrimp Lyonnaise with Wild Rice Blend, Tenderloin of Beef Savoy or Veal with Chanterelles Mushrooms and Cognac Sauce. Or try the Trilogy, which includes an appetizer, soup and house salad, Lobster Tail with Garlic Butter, Rack of Lamb and Tenderloin of Beef Rossini. www.crumpetsa.com.

Santa's helpers know what they want for dinner. Use our list to help make your plans.

Earl Abel’s, 1201 Austin Hwy., 210-822-3358 — Earl Abel’s has a busy holiday schedule:

  • Christmas Eve hours will be 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m. with Christmas wassail and a series of seasonal specials, including Christmas Ham Steak, traditional roasted turkey, Rosemary and Lemon Roasted Chicken, pot roast, fried chicken, fried shrimp and Niman Ranch Top Sirloin, plus a limited menu of regular favorites.
  • Earl Abel’s will be open on Christmas Day for the first time since 1965 and only the second time in its 78-year history. Hours are from 9 a.m. to noon for breakfast with the special menu served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Only the special menu will be served and will include the following entrées: Christmas Ham Steak, traditional roasted turkey, pot roast, fried chicken, fried shrimp and Niman Ranch Top Sirloin. The To Go window will be closed but to-go fried chicken orders can come into the main dining room with the cashier.
  • There is a takeout menu with your choice of an 11-pound Honey-Glazed Country Ham ($160) or 23-pound Oven-Roasted Turkey ($145) with cornbread dressing, giblet gravy, cranberry relish and dinner rolls for $145. Or get half a turkey with sides ($95) and just a turkey for $90.

Frederick’s Restaurant, 7701 Broadway, 210-828-9050, and Frederick’s Bistro, 14439 N.W. Military Hwy, 210-888-1500 — The restaurants will be open for dinner only on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The special Christmas menu will include, but will not be limited to, some of the following starters: Mussel and Crab Chowder, Cherry Wine Infused Beef Consomme, Duck Foie Gras Mousse and traditional escargot. Main course options include Frederick’s Traditional Turkey, Apple Cider and Maple Syrup Glazed Christmas Ham, Beef Tenderloin, Norwegian Salmon, Gratinated Fresh Maine Lobster Thermidor and Curried Lamb Chop.

Hyatt Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive — The resort has two options for Christmas Day:

  • Flavors of Christmas buffet in the Hill Country Ballroom will be offered Christmas Day from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Breakfast items will include  eggs Benedict, an omelet station, blintzes, pecan-smoked sausage, rosemary bacon and fresh Danish. The seafood bar will have pickling, spiced and chilled shrimp, hand-shucked oysters and smoked salmon and mussels. A rustic soup and salad station  will feature lobster bisque, chicken noodle, and French onion. On the butcher block:  oak-smoked prime rib, espresso and maple glazed ham and citrus coriander basted tom turkey. Pasta bar, tamales with green chile sauce, pecan crusted chicken, roasted pork loin and brown buttered apples, maple roasted sweet potatoes, butter whipped potatoes, green beans and pancetta, and wild rice with dried fruit are among the other dishes.  Desserts and drinks include  white hot chocolate, eggnog with fresh grated nutmeg, mulled apple cider, chocolate dipped strawberry trees, chocolate croissant, spiced poached pears, ice cream and gingerbread cake, spiced chocolate truffles, pecan chocolate pie, cranberry tarts and pumpkin pie. There will be a children’s buffet, and the Joe Posada band will play light jazz. Cost is $49.95 for adults, $39.95 for seniors over 60, and $23 for children ages 5-12. Call 210-767-7999 for reservations.
  • Christmas dinner in Antlers will be from 3 to 9 p.m. December 25th 3-9 p.m. The prix fixe dinner will begin with  Lobster Bisque and spinach and arugala salad with red onion, walnuts, locally sourced feta, warm green apple and jalapeño bacon vinaigrette, followed by your choice of two of the following: English cut, oak smoked prime rib, Roasted Turkey Roulade with a chorizo and dried fruit stuffing, grilled Texas quail with cornbread stuffing and pan seared seasonal catch with a locally sourced honey BBQ glaze. Sides include   herb roasted red potato, Hill Country grits casserole with Homestead Gristmill grits, smoked cheddar and chorizo and Roasted Brussels sprouts jalapeño bacon and roasted chestnuts. Dessert is baked “hot chocolate” with mint ice cream and Bailey’s cookie. Cost is $52 for adults, $40 for seniors over 60, and $20 for children ages 5-12. Call (210) 647-1234, ext. 51, for reservations.

Las Canarias at the Omni La Mansion del Rio, 112 College St., 210-518-1063 — The Christmas Day buffet will be served from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with omelets made to order, Applewood Smoked Bacon, country breakfast sausage,  Belgian Waffles, Classic Mushroom and Gruyere Quiche, Olive Oil Fried Egg on Smoked Salmon Benedict, blintzes, Roasted Chestnut and Butternut Squash Bisque, chilled jumbo prawns, Louisiana Gulf oysters and cocktail crab claws, Smoked Trout Salad, Seared No. 1  Tuna, carving board of French charcuteriere and cheeses, handmade tortillas and gorditas, tamales, prime rib, Guinness and Honey Roasted Turkey Breast, leg of lamb, Grilled Shrimp and Texas Sausages with Shiner Bock BBQ, artisan hearth-baked breads, Chocolate Sponge Cake, Cream Cheese Cake Brulee, Lemon Shortbread Tarts and more. The cost is $68.95 a person.

Las Ramblas at the Hotel Contessa, 306 W. Market St., 210-229-9222 — The Christmas Day buffet will be 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Carving stations will feature Fruita Mustarda Rotisserie Prime Rib, Whole Roasted Duck with Orange Cognac Glaze, Rosemary Peppercorn Leg of Lamb with Cranberry Pinot Reduction and Valencian Paella Station. The main buffet will include artisan cheeses and fruit, country breads, lobster bisque, couscous salad, organic greens, Waldorf Salad, Apricot Brie Stuffed Pork Loin with Butterscotch Glaze, Kalamata Olive Bread Pudding with Asiago, roasted broccoli, shallots and cauliflower, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, apple fennel crisp, candied yams, eggs, waffles and omelets, boiled shrimp, snow crab claws, oysters, crawfish, ceviche shooters, mussel salad, and salmon, and the Pastry Chef’s Table, There will be a children’s buffet, and Santa is supposed to make an appearance. Cost: Adults, $39.95; children ages 7-16, $17.95 and children 6 and under, free.

The Lion and Rose, various locations — The locations will be open on Christmas Day with the regular menu.

Lüke on the River Walk, 125 E. Houston St., (210) 227-LUKE (5853) — Lüke will be open Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The full menu and special à la carte holiday entrées will be available. lukesanantonio.com.

Morton’s the Steakhouse, 300 E. Crockett St., 210-228-0700 — Morton’s is open for lunch, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., on the following dates: Thursday, Friday and Dec. 20-22. There will be a limited menu plus a special prix fixe option with choice of soup or salad and entree for $35 per person. Christmas Eve hours are 5-10 p.m.

Oro at the Emily Morgan, 705 E. Houston St., 210-225-5100 — On Christmas Day, a family-style dinner will be served 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Salad will feature baby spinach with strawberries and goat cheese. The main course will be a family-style serving of chicken confit, buffalo sausage, and petite filet and sauces alongside seasonal vegetables and cranberry-studded wild rice with bacon and onions. The dessert assortment will include Tahitian vanilla bean creme brulee, bittersweet chocolate cake, tres leches with seasonal berries and cheesecake with chantilly cream. The cost is $44.95 per couple or $79.95 per four people.

Have yourself a merry Christmas dinner.

Q on the Riverwalk, Hyatt, 123 Losoya St., 210-382-6325 — At Q, two buffets are offered on Christmas Day:

  • From 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., the menu will include such options as roasted peppercorn strip loin, crusted white fish, prime rib and bone-in ham, an antipasti display, baby Yukon potato salad, and more in addition to mini-chocolate pot de cremes, muesle breads, winter spiced carrot cake and eggnog shooters.
  • From 5 to 10 p.m., the Christmas dinner menu will feature roasted peppercorn strip loin, crusted white fish, and achiote-roasted pork shoulder as well as antipasti display, baby Yukon potato salad, and more in addition to muesle breads, baguettes, Texas berry buckles, spiced carrot cake and eggnog shooters.

Scenic Loop Cafe, 25615 Boerne Stage Road, 210-687-1818 — Christmas Eve hours will be 11 a.m.-8 p.m. with a limited menu. Christmas Day brings a holiday buffet from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Westin La Cantera, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, 210-558-2439 — A host of holiday happenings are going on at the Westin. At 5 p.m. daily, guests are guided around the property by the storyteller, Bandera Cowboy Makin’ Dust, who sings and tells holiday stories while introducing the lores and legends of La Cantera. The program concludes with snow magically falling from the sky as the choir begins to sing a holiday song at the top of Plaza San Saba.  Santa’s Workshop, which runs through Dec. 24, is a place where guests can take a photo with Santa, make a holiday toy or decorate cookies with the elves. Some charges may apply.  Brannon’s Holiday Feast is served family style from 5 to 10 p.m. each evening. Lunch beginning at 11 a.m. will be added Dec. 17 and continue day and night through Dec. 25. Entrees include honey-glazed ham and grilled top sirloin with buttermilk biscuits, rosemary-roasted red bliss potatoes and sautéed green beans, plus warm chocolate molten cakes for dessert. Cost: $18 for adults; $12 for children. free for children 5 and younger. Minimum two people required.  For more on holidays at the resort, visit www.westinlacantera.com/holidays.html

Restaurateurs, if your restaurant is not included in this list, please email details to griffin@savorsa.com or walker@savorsa.com, and we will update the file as soon as we can.

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