Italy

Tag Archive | "Mi Tierra"

Fralo’s Plans to Add Microbrewery, Plus Eating Vegan and More


Artful pizzas at Fralo's that taste as good as they look.

Fralo’s Art of Pizza, 23651 I-10 W., is expanding at its Leon Springs location.

Owner Frank Hakspiel says he has purchased microbrewery equipment from Sea World and plans to open his own brewery on the property in the spring. The microbrewer from Sea World has agreed to help him get started once the equipment has been moved to the site.

He has already named one of the beers, Grant’s Pale Ale, for his infant son. Grant’s name is also on the caramelized pear and prosciutto pizza the restaurant offers.

Hakspiel is also talking about adding a second restaurant next door. It would offer high-end Italian food prepared by former Il Sogno chef Luca Della Casa, who has been working at the restaurant, making all of the revamped pasta dishes and providing specials each weekend. “He makes all of the pasta,” Hakspiel says.

Della Casa has also added a Torino pizza — Italian sausage, chicken, arugula, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella and provolone cheese with a spicy tomato sauce — that was named after his home region in Italy. Torino is also a possibility for the name of the new restaurant, Hakspiel says.

Isn't she a beauty? Fralo's is going to transform her into a catering truck.

As if all that weren’t enough, Hakspiel has plans for the 1940s-era fire truck he has on the property. He plans on adding an oven to the back of the truck and use it for catering. Kids of any age who have played with a miniature fire truck should love having the real thing at a party.

We learned this over a wonderful lunch at Fralo’s with vegan travel blogger Carolyn Scott-Hamilton, who produces and writes HealthyVoyager.com. She was able to get a vegan pizza that she declared one of the five  best she has ever had. In keeping with Fralo’s ongoing desire to please a multitude of tastes and diets, the restaurant also offers gluten-free and whole wheat crusts as well as an off-the-menu feature of a miniature pizza made on a portobello mushroom for those who are avoiding flour.

For more information about Fralo’s, call 210-698-6616 or click here.

 

Exploring more vegan options

Carolyn Scott-Hamilton and her husband, Dan Hamilton: Healthy Voyagers at Fralo's.

Other restaurants Scott-Hamilton and her husband, Dan Hamilton, also her cameraman, visited during their stay were Mi Tierra, the Cove and Adelante. She described the latter, with its riot of color and collection of whimsical Mexican folk art as looking “like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.”

The couple are from Los Angeles and were here on a Convention and Visitors Bureau trip for travel writers. A Boston blogger who writes about women traveling alone and an Orange County mom who writes about traveling with her kids were also invited. All three were part of teams that competed against each other in a series of events that ranged from feeding the lorikeets at the zoo to lassoing a statue of a cow. On Sunday, in the heat, the couple found themselves running from the Tower of the Americas to the Alamo, where they had to start a conga line and encourage as many participants as they could to join in.

If you’re wondering why Scott-Hamilton and her husband didn’t go to Green, Pavani Express or the city’s new vegan restaurant, Vegeria, which opened last week at 8407 Broadway, it’s because she likes to focus her trips on restaurants where vegans are welcome, even if the place is not entirely vegan.

At the Cove, she was able to get the Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger and a Vegan BLT along with a gluten-free beer before heading off to First Friday.

If you are looking for vegan food and are unsure if a restaurant can accommodate your tastes, give it a call first and ask. It’s as simple as that.

Wine Spectator honors area restaurants

Wine Spectator magazine has released its annual roundup of restaurants with excellent wine lists. New this year is Antlers Lodge at the Hyatt Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive.

Others to make the list are Bohanan’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, Biga on the Banks, Chama Gaúcha Brazilian Steakhouse, Coco Chocolate Lounge, Fleming’s, Fogo de Chão, Francesca’s at Sunset, Kirby’s, Las Ramblas, Morton’s the Steakhouse, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Silo, the Melting Pot, the Palm and Wildfish Seafood Grille.

The importance of the list has been debated, but despite any faults, it does bring in customers, which is why you’ll find a restaurant like Morton’s unveiling a new program, the Sommelier Selections of its wine list. This area includes boutique wines and rare gems that include Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mountain 2005) and Freemark Abbey Cabernet (Napa 2002), which are available only at Morton’s domestic locations.

Wine on tap

We always thought wine sales would go up if you could get a great glass without having to buy the full bottle. This is the secret behind the Boerne Wine Company, 302 S. Main St., Boerne, where you can try such top-shelf wines as PlumpJack and Palmaz by the glass from their dispenser systems that keep an open bottle fresher for longer period of time.

Now, Boston.com is reporting that a few wineries are selling their best by tap. “That’s right, sauvignon blanc and pinot noir from kegs, not bottles, dispensed from a tap like beer and ale,” the article says. “The approach promises to remake restaurant by-the-glass programs by lowering costs, dramatically reducing waste (wine in open bottles deteriorates rapidly), and making the whole process considerably greener. … But a switch won’t happen overnight.”

Costs, of course, are a factor. But if this catches on, it will be a revolution in wine and dining.

 

 

Posted in Featured, Restaurant Notes & QuotesComments Off on Fralo’s Plans to Add Microbrewery, Plus Eating Vegan and More

Welcome 2011 with Parties, Special Menus


New Year’s Eve parties abound in the Alamo City, with restaurants happy to help you raise a toast to 2011. Special menus, Champagne toasts and even fireworks are part of the plans available.

Reservations are necessary unless otherwise noted. And remember not to drink and drive.

Aldaco’s at Sunset Station, 100 E. Hoefgen St., 210-222-2561 — Ring in the new year with a three-course dinner beginning with caldo Tlalpeño with jumbo lump crab or  Tres Maria’s Wedge Salad, followed by your choice of lime-marinated grilled chicken breast over  angel hair pasta with roasted poblano alfredo or grilled rib-eye steak and papas bravas. Dinner concludes with Mexican bread pudding or Mexican hot chocolate with pan de polvo. The cost is $44.95 per person, including a Champagne toast and party favors. aldacos.net

Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., 210-225-0722 — New Year’s Eve seatings will be before  9 p.m. and after 9 p.m. The five-course menu includes some of the following options: lobster bisque, smoky duck breast salad, seared natural scallops, grilled beef tenderloin, rosemary-braised lamb shank, grass-fed veal chop and preserved lemon-roasted poussin. The cost is $100 a person plus tax and tip. The restaurant will be open New Year’s Day but will be closed Jan. 3-7.

Bin 555, Artisans Alley, 555 W. Bitters Road, 210-496-0555 — A five-course dinner is planned with seatings beginning at 6 p.m. Some of the items on the menu include sweet potato soup, Texas quail roulade, seared duck breast with foie gras-chestnut purée, and wood-oven roasted New York strip. Cost is $80 a person or $110 paired with wines. Tax and 18-percent tip not included. Full bar available. Open New Year’s Day.

Bohanan’s, 219 E. Houston St., 210-472-2600 — On New Year’s Eve, the bar will be open its regular hours of 11 a.m.-2 a.m. The restaurant upstairs will be open 5 p.m.-midnight with the regular dinner menu and holiday specials.

Brannon’s Cafe, Westin La Cantera, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, 210-558-6500 —  The New Year’s Eve special dinner, from 5 to 10 p.m., will feature four courses for $59 a person. The menu includes sweet potato gnocchi with cinnamon crème fraîche, followed by a Year’s End Salad with torched avocado, compressed English cucumber and petite lettuces with a serrano and mint vinaigrette. The main course is a choice of prime strip steak with Hoppin’ John Mashed Potatoes or pan-seared wreck fish with smoked okra and pancetta risotto. The finale is Before Your Resolution Chocolate Cake with dark chocolate genoise, mint cream and chocolate buttercream. The regular menu will also be available.

Coco Chocolate Lounge, 18402 U.S. 281 N., 210-557-9927 — Three different New Year’s Eve parties are planned for different areas with a Midnight in Vegas theme. One is a five-course dinner with a complimentary Champagne toast at midnight. Live music from Nic Dante and Stan Wayne Band. Cost: $75 a person. Coco XO will offer a video DJ and dancing all night. The cost per table starts at $500 and includes three bottles. The Coco Lounge Patio offers hip hop and an R&B DJ. The cost per table starts at $350 and includes two bottles. There is also a VIP party pass with access to all three parties.

The County Line, 111 W. Crockett St., 210-229-1941 — The River Walk restaurant will be open 11 a.m.-11  p.m or later depending on the crowds. Reservations are not accepted. Closed New Year’s Day.

The County Line, 10101 I-10 W., 210-631-1998 — The barbecue restaurant will be open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Reservations accepted.

Crumpets Restaurant & Bakery, 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, 210-821-5600  — New Year’s Eve seatings start at 5:30 p.m. Entrées are served with appetizer, cup of soup or salad as well as vegetable and dessert. Appetizers include mousse truffle pâté, stuffed artichoke and  Nova Scotia smoked salmon. Soups: New England clam chowder and cream of mushroom. Entrée options, at various prices, include chicken breast with Montrachet  sauce, rainbow trout, Shrimp  Lyonnaise, Beef Wellington, salmon, veal scalloppini, and a Trilogy of lobster tail, rack of lamb and beef tenderloin. (No coupons accepted.) www.crumpetsa.com

814 A Texas Bistro, 713 High St., Comfort, 830-995-4990 — Closed for lunch Dec. 31. There will be two seatings in the evening at 6 and 9 p.m. The four-course prix-fixe menu is offered for $65 a person. Closed Jan. 1-4. Regular hours resume Jan. 5.

Fogo de Chão, 849 E. Commerce St., 210-227-1700 — New Year’s Eve hours are 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. for lunch and 5-10:30 p.m. for dinner. New Year’s Day hours are 4:30-10:00 p.m. The cost is $24.50 for lunch, $42.50 for dinner and $19.50 for salad bar only.

Francesca’s at Sunset, Westin la Cantera, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, 210-558-2253 — Ring in the new year with a tribute to Andy Warhol by Dom Perignon. The evening includes a multi-course luxury Pop Art-inspired menu from chef Ernie Estrada plus a glass of Moët and Chandon Imperial and Dom Pérignon’s Cuvée Andy Warhol. Door prizes and other activities planned. Cost is $125 a person plus tax and tip.

Frederick’s Bistro, 14439 N.W. Military Hwy., 210-888-1500 — New Year’s Eve hours begin at 6 p.m. The special four-course dinner includes the following entrée options: pomegranate-glazed duck breast, beef tournedo Rossini, sea bass and jumbo lump crab meat Napoleon, and grilled Maine lobster on a nest of spicy linguini. The cost is $70 plus tax and tip. www.fredericksbistro.com

Frederick’s Restaurant, 7701 Broadway, 210-828-9050 — New Year’s Eve hours begin at 6 p.m. The special four-course dinner includes the following entrée options: pomegranate-glazed duck breast, beef tournedo Rossini, sea bass and jumbo lump crab meat Napoleon, and grilled Maine lobster on a nest of spicy linguini. The cost is $70 plus tax and tip. www.frederickssa.com

The Gazebo at Los Patios, 2015 N.E. Loop 410, 210-655-6171 — New Year’s Eve hours are 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. A holiday special is chicken breast stuffed with roasted bell peppers, spinach and ricotta cheese, served with rice pilaf and fresh vegetables for $9.95. There a different kids’ menu available for $6.95.  Closed New Year’s Day. www.lospatios.com

Godai Sushi Bistro, 4553 N. Loop 1604 W., 210-492-9262 — Dinner service is available 5-9:15 p.m. New Year’s Eve. The party begins at 10 p.m. with food, music and dancing. Included in the cost of $55 a person is a split of Champagne, party favors, an all-you-can-eat appetizer bar including sushi and a dance floor with music. There will also be specials running at the bar all night. E-mail yonggoro@yahoo.com.

Hotel Valencia, 150 E. Houston St., 210-227-9700, ext. 8412 — The party will be in the Vbar and Verona Ballroom. Vbar will feature a DJ while the band in the ballroom will play favorites from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. The dinner buffet will include an ice sculpture, sushi and carving stations and be served from 8 p.m. to midnight. The party continues until 2 a.m. Cost is $100 per adult age 21 or older and includes a Champagne welcome, two drinks, and access to all food stations. www.hotelvalencia-riverwalk.com

Hyatt Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, 210-647-1234 — The resort is offering a New Year’s package for a family of four. For $369, you get a smokehouse barbecue dinner for two adults and two children, a carnival, a family dance with live music, fireworks with synchronized music and a New Year’s Day breakfast buffet.  New Year’s Day events include a FunZone for kids.

Hyatt Regency, 123 Losoya St., 210-222-1234 — The New Year’s Eve celebration includes a part in the ballroom as well as a room for two. The menu includes standing prime rib of beef, Scottish salmon baked in puff pastry, braised veal loin, salads, artisan cheeses and desserts. The cost is $399 a couple.

JW Marriott, 23808 Resort Parkway, 210-225-0462 — The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the New Year’s celebration, which runs 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m. The evening will include cocktails, dinner, dancing, live entertainment and a Champagne toast at midnight. Cost is $150 a person if reservations are made before Dec. 17 or $175 if made after that date.

Las Canarias, La Mansión del Rio, 112 College St., 210-518-1063 — The restaurant will offer a 5-course and a 9-course prix fixe menu for New Year’s, available from 5:30 to 11 p.m. A live band with dancing and party favors will be available after 9 p.m. The cost of the 5-course menu is $100 a person while the 9-course menu costs $150 a person. Price includes a Champagne toast, but not tax, tip or other drinks.   On New Year’s Day, the restaurant will offer a buffet from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The price of the buffet is $26.95 ($13.50 for children, ages 5-12 years) and includes juice and coffee, but not tax, tip or alcoholic beverages. À la carte dining will be available from 1 to 10:30 p.m. Click here.

Limestone Grille, Ye Kendall Inn, 128 W. Blanco, Boerne, 830-249-2138 — The New Year’s Eve menu, served from 5 to 10 p.m., is a multi-course meal with appetizer, salad, and choice  of the following: herb-crusted Angus prime rib, prickly pear and herb-marinated duck breast, pistachio-crusted chicken, grilled mahi-mahi, prosciutto and provolone stuffed pepper-crusted veal chop, and surf and turf (the latter with a $9 surcharge). Dessert is a white and dark chocolate mousse tuxedo cup. Cost is $65 a person plus tax and tip. The hotel is hosting a separate New Year’s party. See details below. www.yekendallinn.com

The Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills, 1746 Lockhill Selma Road, 210-349-8466 —The Lodge will be celebrating its 10th New Year’s Eve with a six-course menu featuring a number of choices. Seatings begin at 5:30 p.m. A few of the dishes include seared diver sea scallop with celery heart-onion “salad” and “truffle syrup,” rabbit saddle with melted leeks, pan-seared Moroccan salmon, cast iron-seared beef tenderloin with smoked bone marrow pudding. Cost: $100 per person or $150 paired with wines. Tax and 20-percent tip not included. Full bar available. Open New Year’s Day.

Max’s Wine Dive, 340 E. Basse Road, Suite 101, 210-444-9547 — On New Year’s Eve, the restaurant is offering the following specials in addition to its regular menu: Fresh Bacon ‘n’ Beans ($15),  Potato Latke ($17),  Foie Gras Pain Perdu ($19), Max’s Ultimate Foie Gras Kobe Burger ($29),  Veal Osso Buco ($32), Filet Mignon ($38),  and Tres Leches Baked Alaska ($12).

Mike’s in the Village, 2355-3 Bulverde Road, Bulverde, 830-438-2747 — New Year’s Eve hours are 5-9 p.m. The special menu begins with Maine Lobster Bisque with Sherry, followed by a choice of  Pear Salad with Maytag Blue Cheese or House Salad with Craisins, Montrachet Goat Cheese and Roasted Almonds. The third course is a choice of  Dijon Mustard, Pecan and Herb Crusted Lamb Chops, Black Angus Filet au Poivre or Pan-seared Halibut. Dessert choices are  Pistachio-crusted Chocolate Truffles, White Chocolate Bread Pudding or Vanilla Bean Crème Brule with Raspberry Sauce. Live jazz from the Phil Grota Trio. Cost is $75 a person.

Mi Tierra Café y Panaderia, 218 Produce Row, 210-225-1262  — The restaurant is open 24 hours on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Reservations not accepted.

Ostra, Mokara Hotel and Spa, 212 W. Crockett St., 210-396-5817 — The restaurant will offer its regular menu from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Paesanos Riverwalk, 111 W. Crockett St., 210-227-2782 — New Year’s Eve seatings are at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. The multiple-course meal includes entrée choices of Shrimp Paesano, ahi tuna ceviche style, pan-seared sea bass in truffle butter, herb-crusted filet mignon, Parmesan-crusted chicken breast and cheese tortellini.  The cost of the 6 p.m. is $42.95 for adults or $24.95 for children ages 9 or younger. The cost for the 8 and 10 p.m. seatings is $58.95 per adult or $24.95 for children ages 9 or younger. Tax and 20-percent tip not included. www.prg-sa.com

Q on the Riverwalk, Hyatt Regency, 123 Losoya St., 210-222-1234 — The three-course New Year’s Eve menu is served 7-10 p.m. Choices include either am élange of fresh wintergreens tossed with spiced pecans, feta and pink grapefruit or fresh lobster bisque. Entrée options include standing rib roast of Angus beef, fire-grilled filet of salmon or roasted breast of chicken with chevre. Dessert is a New Year’s Eve chocolate trio. The cost is $100 per couple. Complimentary self‐parking available at the Central Parking garage located across from the hotel.

Restaurant Insignia, Fairmount Hotel, 4o1 S. Alamo St., 210-223-0401 — The restaurant is in perfect proximity for the New Year’s celebration at Hemisfair Park with seatings at 7 and 10 p.m. The New Year’s Eve dinner will feature a six-course menu with some of the following options: lobster bisque, king crab risotto, cast iron-seared beef tenderloin and seared duck breast. Cost is $90 per person and $30 extra with wine pairings. Tax and tip not included. (The 7 p.m. seating must be over by 9:45 p.m.) Full bar available until 2 a.m. Open New Year’s Day. restaurantinsignia.com

Ruth’s Chris Steak House, 1170 E. Commerce St., 210-227-8847; 7720 Jones Maltsberger Road, 210-821-5051 — The New Year’s Eve parties bring a multi-course meal starting with a choice of appetizer, followed by choice of soup or salad. Entrée choices include filet mignon, rib-eye, stuffed chicken breast or Hong Kong sea bass, each complemented by a 6-ounce lobster tail. Dessert choices close out the meal. Cost is $89 a person plus tax and tip.

Silo, 1133 Austin Hwy., 210-824-8686 — A three-course dinner for $55 a person is available for those who dine before 6:15 p.m. Four courses for $90 a person is available for dining after 6:45 p.m. Entrée options include grilled  and roasted duck breast with duck confit leg, grilled beef tenderloin, pistachio-crusted Gulf snapper, grilled Australian rack of lamb and whole Maine lobster carbonara.

Thai Dee, 5307 Blanco Road, 210-342-3622 — The restaurant will be open noon-9 p.m.  New Year’s Day. Reservations not needed.

Tre Trattoria, 4003 Broadway, 210-805-0333 — Tre Trattoria will host a six-course menu with seatings beginning at 6 p.m. A few of the options include foie gras pastrami with pear mostarda, pan-seared gnocchi with creamy gorgonzola and honeycrisp apples pangrattato, spaghetti amatriciana with house-cured guanciale, local cabrito with polenta, and seared ahi tuna with puttanesca. Cost is $60 a person, $90 paired with wines. Tax and 18-percent tip not included. Full bar available. Open New Year’s Day.

Watermark Grill, 18740 Stone Oak Parkway, 210-483-7600 — There will be two New Year’s Eve seatings at 6 and 9:30 p.m. for a four-course dinner. The first course includes a variety of choices such as a Mango Avocado Lobster Tower or a Jumbo Lump Crab Cake. Second course includes Heart of Romaine with Artisan Brie or Tarragon-crusted Caribbean Lobster Tail. Saffron Vanilla Maine Lobster is one of the entrée options served prior to a dessert course that includes Chocolate Indulgence Trio among the choices. At the first seating the cost is $75 for the meal. At the second, it costs $95 for the meal paired with Louis Roederer Champagne.

The Wine Cellar at Zinc Bistro, 207 N. Presa St., 210-224-1313 — Zinc provides an intimate setting to celebrate New Year’s Eve in style with a wine-paired five-course dinner beginning at 8 p.m., with the opening of a 2000 Roederer L’Ermitage sparkler from Anderson Valley, Calif., offered with Oregon mushroom duxelles in sour cream tartlets and other appetizers.  At 8:30 p.m., the starters will be followed by a pot pie filled with cold water lobster and wild mushrooms in a sherry and lobster bisque and offered with a Montaudon Rosé Champagne NV from Reims, France.  A 2008 Melville Estate Pinot Noir accompanies the pomegranate and horseradish-glazed quail salad with arugula, frisee and a tangerine vinaigrette. The main course is a choice of Niman Ranch herb-crusted rack of lamb with a chipotle Bordelaise or a center-cut strip sirloin with Portobello compound butter. The wine is a 2006 Cenay Blue Tooth Vineyard Cabernet from the Napa Valley.  A glass of Grahams 10-Year-Old Tawny Port will accompany dessert, a winter-spiced molten chocolate cake with sugared raspberries and Sabyon sauce. Tthere will Champagne at midnight. Limited reservations. Cost: $100 per person.

Ye Kendall Inn, 128 W. Blanco, Boerne, 830-249-2138 — The New Year’s Party begins at 7:30 p.m. with an hors d’oeuvres and dinner buffet, bottle of wine (per couple), live entertainment with the Mo-Dels, dancing, party favors, Champagne toast, black-eyed peas and cornbread. The cost is $79 a person plus tax and tip.  www.yekendallinn.com

Z’Tejas, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, 210-690-3334 — The restaurant is offering a three-course special Dec. 31-Jan. 2. The first course is Baja Shrimp Cocktail, followed by a choice of Z Salad, tortilla soup, soup of the day or Southwestern Caesar Salad. The third course is a choice of prime rib ($34.99) or Fresh Chilean Sea Bass on Papillotte ($41.99).

Zuni Grill, 223 Losoya St., 210-227-0864 — New Year’s Eve seatings are at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. The multiple-course meal includes entrée choices of Shrimp Paesano, pan-seared salmon, prime sirloin chimichurri, grilled chicken Tuscany pasta and grilled vegetable fajitas. The children’s menu  includes a burger or chicken tenders, both with fries. The cost for the 6 p.m. seating is $39.95 per adult or $19.95 per child ages 9 or younger. Cost for the 8 and 10 p.m. seatings is $49.95 per adult or $19.95 for children ages 9 or younger. Tax and 20-percent tip not included. www.prg-sa.com

Restaurateurs, if you are not included on this list e-mail info@savorsa.com and we will update the list.

Posted in FeaturedComments Off on Welcome 2011 with Parties, Special Menus

Make Reservations: Delicacies Aplenty on Christmas Menus


Christmas is fast approaching. It’s time to make reservations for dinner either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Here are some suggestions of dinners around town. Reservations are required unless otherwise noted.

Achiote River Cafe, Grand Hyatt, 600 E. Market St., 210-224-1234 — The Christmas Eve buffet will be 5-10 p.m. with the following: pan Latino mixed salads, composed Latin salads and salad bar, carved apricot glazed bone-in ham, stewed chicken in green tomatillo sauce, roast strip loin, pan-seared salmon with mango-papaya salsa, roasted pumpkin soup and holiday desserts. The Christmas Day buffet is noon–9 p.m. and will include pan Latino mixed salads, carved slow roast prime rib, chipotle-apple cider glazed pork loin, roasted salmon with grain mustard cream sauce, roasted achiote crusted turkey with giblet gravy, roasted pumpkin soup and assorted holiday desserts. The cost for both is $30 a person including tax and tip. No reservations.

Antlers Lodge, Hyatt Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, 210-520-4001 — Christmas Eve dinner is from 3 to 9 p.m. The multi-course family-style dinner includes lobster bisque and endive salad for starters, followed by a choice of two of the following:  oak-smoked prime rib, rosemary maple braised pork belly, grilled Texas quail with cornbread stuffing and bourbon barbecue shrimp. Sides include fingerling potato confit, creamy polenta and wilted brussels sprout slaw with pancetta. Baked “hot chocolate” with mint ice cream and Bailey’s cookie close out the meal.  The cost is $49 for adults, $40 for seniors, and $20 for children ages 5-12.

Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., 210-225-0722 — Seatings on Christmas Eve will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The special menu includes dishes such as Close-to-Bouillabaisse, applewood-smoked beef tenderloin, bone-on pork chop rack and grilled lamb T-bones. Dessert options include Bruce’s Christmas pudding soufflé, chocolate bûche de Noël, and apple, cranberry and walnut pie. Closed Christmas Day.

Bin 555, Artisans Alley, 555 W. Bitters Road, 210-496-0555 — On Christmas Eve, specials include the following winter cocktails for $7: Winter Sour, Caramel Cider and Vin Chaud. The entrée special is house bacon-wrapped pheasant roulade with Swiss chard, wild huckleberries and pickled chantrelles for $15. The dessert special is warm juniper pudding with holiday grape sorbet. Closed Dec. 25-27.

Brennan’s Cafe, the Westin La Cantera, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, 210-558-6500 — The holiday dinner special will be available Dec. 18-26. It is available as a three-course dinner for $39 a person or a la carte. The first course is a choice of sweet potato soup, “Pork and Beans” (crisp pork belly with red brick beans) or Winter Texas Salad. Entrée options are soft smoked prime rib, pan-roasted mahi mahi with shrimp and poblano hash and grilled ham. Dessert is a choice of yule log, warm toffee pudding, and holiday milk and cookies.

The County Line, 111 W. Crockett St., 210-229-1941; 10101 I-10 W., 210-631-1998 — Both locations will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Crumpets Restaurant & Bakery, 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, 210-821-5600 — Christmas Eve lunch will be from the regular menu while dinner hours with a special menu are 5:30-10 p.m.  Entrées are served with appetizer, cup of soup or salad as well as vegetable and dessert. Appetizers include mousse truffle pâté, stuffed artichoke and  Nova Scotia smoked salmon. Soups: New England clam chowder and cream of mushroom. Entrée options, at various prices, include chicken breast with Montrachet  sauce, rainbow trout, Shrimp  Lyonnaise, veal  with chanterelle mushrooms, Tenderloin  of  Beef  Savoy, and a Trilogy of lobster tail, rack of lamb and beef tenderloin. (No coupons accepted.) www.crumpetsa.com

814 A Texas Bistro, 713 High St., Comfort, 830-995-4990 — The restaurant will be open Dec. 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and 6 to 9 p.m. for dinner. The restaurant will be closed Dec. 25-28 and will resume regular hours Dec. 29.

Fogo de Chão, 849 E. Commerce St., 210-227-1700 — Christmas Eve hours are 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. for lunch and 5-10:30 p.m. for dinner. Christmas Day hours are 4:30-10:00 p.m. The cost is $24.50 for lunch, $42.50 for dinner and $19.50 for salad bar only.

Frederick’s Bistro, 14439 N.W. Military Hwy., 210-888-1500 — Christmas Eve hours are 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. The special menu includes beef tenderloin,  Norwegian salmon,  fresh Maine Lobster Thermidor, Chilean sea bass, rainbow trout and baby shrimp with lemon butter sauce, and  veal tenderloin with shiitake mushrooms.

Frederick’s Restaurant, 7701 Broadway, 210-828-9050 — The special Christmas Eve menu will be available 6-9:30 p.m. Some of the entrée options are Frederick’s traditional turkey, apple cider and maple syrup-glazed Christmas ham, beef tenderloin,  Norwegian salmon,  fresh Maine Lobster Thermidor, and Chilean sea bass. www.frederickssa.com

The Gazebo at Los Patios, 2015 N.E. Loop 410, 210-655-6171 — A Christmas lunch special is offered from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays through Dec. 31: Chicken breast stuffed with roasted bell peppers, spinach and ricotta cheese, served with rice pilaf and fresh vegetables is available for $9.95. There a different kids’ menu available for $6.95.  A special brunch is available 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sundays. The restaurant is closed on Christmas Day, but to-go orders are available; they must be picked up by noon Dec. 24. www.lospatios.com

Hyatt Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, 210-767-7999 — The Hill Country Ballroom will have a buffet from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Christmas Day. Breakfast items  include a Benedict and omelet station, cheese blintz with stewed cherries, pecan-smoked sausage, rosemary bacon and fresh Danish. The seafood bar will have pickled, spiced and chilled shrimp, hand-shucked oysters, and smoked salmon and mussels. A rustic soup and salad station will include tomato fennel and white bean soup, roasted acorn squash soup, chicken noodle and lobster bisque.  The butcher block will have oak-smoked prime rib and espresso and maple glazed ham.  Salads, a pasta bar, tamales, pecan-crusted chicken, roasted pork loin and an array of desserts round out the meal.  Cost is $45 for adults, $35 for seniors, and $23 for children ages 5-12. A more limited array of foods will be available for the same hours in the Hyatt Springhouse. The cost for that buffet is $36.95 for adults, $33 for seniors and $19.95 for children ages 5-12. Reservations are required for the ballroom but are not taken for the Springhouse Cafe.

Las Canarias, La Mansión del Rio, 112 College St., 210-518-1063 — A Christmas Day buffet is 10 a.m.-4 p.m. It will feature numerous stations offering meat carvings including leg of lamb, prime rib and turkey as well as composed salads, local Texas and imported cheeses with seasonal sliced fruits and berries, omelets and Belgium waffles. The buffet includes unlimited Mumm sparkling wine; all other alcoholic beverages are non-inclusive. The cost is $65 per person, $30 for children ages 6-12 and free for children ages 5 or younger. Regular à la carte dinner service will resume at 6:30 p.m. Click here.

Limestone Grille, Ye Kendall Inn, 128 W. Blanco, Boerne, 830-249-2138 — The Christmas Day luncheon will be served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Choose from soup or salad options, followed by one of these entrées: slow-roasted herbed turkey, glazed pit-smoked ham, braised and slow-smoked beef short rib, grilled wild Coho salmon. Dessert is white chocolate cherry cordial mousse. Cost is $25.95 for adults, $23.95 for seniors  (ages 55 and older), and $12.95 for children ages 10 and younger. www.yekendallinn.com

The Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills, 1746 Lockhill Selma Road, 210-349-8466 — The Lodge will have regular hours on Christmas Eve, with lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner beginning at 6 p.m. A special six-course dinner is available, featuring such options as local rabbit roulade, pan-seared Moroccan salmon with preserved lemon couscous, cast iron-seared beef tenderloin with duck fat potato confit and Maple Leaf Farms duck confit.  Cost is $50 a  person, plus $20 with wine pairings.

Luce Ristorante y Enoteca, 11255 Huebner Road, 210-561-7900 — Christmas Eve dinner will be served 5-10 p.m. The regular menu is available as well as the following three-course special:  antipasti choice of  Zuppa di Pesce (a seafood soup with shrimp, scallops, lobster, mussels and clams) or Insalata di Mare (a cold salad with shrimp, calamari, diver scallops, garlic and celery); main course of Pesce alla Luce (pan-seared Chilean sea bass); and dessert choice of cannoli or tiramisú. Cost: $39 a person.

Maggiano’s Little Italy at the Rim, 17603 I-10 W., 210-451-6000 — The restaurant will close at 10 p.m. Dec. 24, an hour earlier than usual. The regular menu will be offered. Closed Christmas Day.

Mi Tierra Café y Panaderia, 218 Produce Row, 210-225-1262  – The restaurant ever decorated for the holiday will be open 24 hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Reservations not accepted.

Ostra, Mokara Hotel and Spa, 212 W. Crockett St., 210-396-5817 — The à la carte menu available all day on Christmas. Featured specials are available during dinner service beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Paesanos, 555 E. Basse Road, 210-828-5191 — Christmas Eve hours begin 4 p.m. and will continue late into the evening.

Paesanos 1604, 3622 Paesanos Parkway, 210-493-1604 — Christmas Eve hours begin 4 p.m. and will continue late into the evening.

Paesanos Riverwalk, 111 W. Crockett St.,210-227-2782 — Christmas Eve hours are 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Q on the Riverwalk, Hyatt Regency, 123 Losoya St., 210-222-1234 — On Christmas Day, the buffet will be served 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. The buffet includes Churassco Sirloin with Red Chili Horse Radish and Chimichurri Verde, Roasted Breast of Tom Turkey, Smoked Maple Pork Loin with Black Currant and Herb Jam, Roasted Turkey Thighs with Sage au Jus, Fresh Grilled Whitefish Filets with Smoky Remoulade Sauce and Roasted Tomato, and Crispy Tempura Battered Quails and Pomegranate Molasses as well as vegetables, breads and desserts. The cost is $40 for adults, $36 for seniors, and $20 for children ages 5‐12. Complimentary self‐parking available at the Central Parking garage located across from the hotel.

Restaurant Insignia, Fairmount Hotel, 4o1 S. Alamo St., 210-223-0401 — Christmas Eve brings a four-course prix-fixe menu includes options such as lump crab and sweet corn fritters, pan-roasted chicken breast with white bean ragú, cast iron-seared beef tenderloin and pan-seared salmon. Cost is $30 a person plus tax and tip. Reservations are not required. The restaurant is closed Christmas Day but open for brunch on Dec. 26. restaurantinsignia.com

Ruth’s Chris Steak House, 1170 E. Commerce St., 210-227-8847; 7720 Jones Maltsberger Road, 210-821-5051 — Lunch hours through Dec. 24 are 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. weekdays. Complimentary shuttle service from downtown businesses to the Commerce Street location available. Complimentary valet parking at both sites. www.RuthsChrisSA.com

Scenic Loop Cafe, 25615 Boerne Stage Road, 210-687-1818 — Christmas Eve hours are 11 a.m.-8 p.m.  with the regular menu available. On Christmas Day, a buffet with prime rib, turkey and salmon will be offered 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Cost: $19.95 a person.

Thai Dee, 5307 Blanco Road, 210-342-3622 — The restaurant will be open noon-9 p.m.  Christmas Day. Reservations not needed.

Tre Trattoria, 4003 Broadway, 210-805-0333 — Christmas Eve specials include house-made eggnog for $6 or $9 with alcohol, Cioppino for $7, Foie Gras Pastrama with cranberry mostarda for $8.50 and Arancini and Bolognese for $8.50. Pan-seared Diver Scallops with truffled orzo costs $25. Complimentary Italian cookies. Closed Dec. 25-27.

Watermark Grill, 18740 Stone Oak Parkway, 210-483-7600 — The Christmas Eve dinner will feature a three-course prix fixe menu for $75 a person. The menu starts with choice of Harvest Salad, White Asparagus-seared Nantucket Sea Scallops, Foie Gras Torchon or Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Velouté. Entrée options: Arctic Chard Glacé, Rotisserie Capon with chestnut stuffing or Wood Fire-grilled Cowboy Steak. Dessert is red velvet yule log with dolce de leche butter cream.

Restaurateurs, if you are not included on this list e-mail info@savorsa.com and we will update the list.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Make Reservations: Delicacies Aplenty on Christmas Menus

Ask a Foodie: Restaurant Recommendations, We Have Some


Rosario's Shrimp Nachos are good for an appetizer or a meal.

Q. I’m visiting from out of town and am a real foodie. I’m interested in places near the Convention Center that I can either walk to or take a short cab ride.  Thanks.  — C.Z.

A. The famous local food, as you probably know, is Tex-Mex, but San Antonio other good things to offer in or near downtown. On the River Walk, we recommend Biga on the Banks (high end, not Tex-Mex), or for contemporary, leaning to French, try Fig Tree with its edenic patio cascading down to the water.  Also on the river is Ácenar, with its mod ambience and authentic Mexican dishes. Las Canarias at the Mansion del Rio  (contemporary American) is good, as is Boudro’s for a taste of Texas with a Southwestern touch.

Another high-end steak place to try might be Bohanan’s. On Houston Street, a bit of a walk, or short cab ride.

A smaller restaurant that has been near downtown a long time and is very popular, you’d want a cab for. That’s El Mirador. A little further in a cab in that general direction is a colorful place we like to take out of town guests,  Rosario’s Cafe y Cantina. If you like margaritas, definitely try one here. In the same neighborhood is La Frite, a Belgian bistro, and Azuca with its pan-Latin dishes.

Restaurant Insignia, in the Fairmount Hotel across the street from the convention center, is great for lunch or dinner, if you’re looking for something as fun as a brisket burger with garlic fries or the San Antonio pizza.

At Market Square downtown, where you can buy lots of Mexican crafts and souvenirs and so forth, is Mi Tierra, a huge Mexican restaurant with decent food and a big, showy bakery full of Mexican sweets and breads. Mariachis stroll the aisles and it’s fun. It’s also open 24/7.

There are many more good restaurants to walk to, so don’t hesitate to contact SavorSA again if you want more ideas, when you get here.

Posted in Ask A FoodieComments Off on Ask a Foodie: Restaurant Recommendations, We Have Some

‘Today’ Takes a Taste of San Antonio


todayshow2Wednesday morning came early for Blanca Aldaco.

The restaurateur got up at 3:30 a.m. so she’d be bright-eyed and ready to shake up some of her signature cocktails. That may seem an odd hour to start drinking, even one of her zesty margaritas with its vitamin C kick.

But Aldaco was appearing on NBC’s “Today” show, which was in town for a live broadcast from the Arneson Theatre on the River Walk as part of its ” ‘Today’ Takes a Vacation” series.

The owner of Aldaco’s Stone Oak poured a series of drinks for hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb over the course of the broadcast, showing them what patrons of her restaurant already know: If you want a great margarita or a cool cucumber martini with your Mexican food, Aldaco’s is the place.

Aldaco wasn’t the only restaurateur to squeeze into the crowded theater for a few minutes of air time.

Chef Jason Dady was on hand to demonstrate how he makes his cherry-glazed baby back ribs at Two Bros. BBQ Market on West Avenue.

He was glad the morning was cool. Well, at least cooler than it was during Tuesday afternoon’s rehearsal. “Yesterday was brutal,” he said. “It was so hot out here.”

todayshow8Plus, he was demonstrating a cooking technique that required a sizzling hot smoker, which added to the heat wave.

Yet the impact of a national television appearance far outweighed any complaints about the heat. “You almost never know the true impact of an appearance,” he said. Some people who see the show may not visit San Antonio for months, but they may show up at Two Bros. because of the Wednesday appearance.

Dady, who also owns the Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills, Bin 555 and Tre Trattoria, said there “was definitely some irony” in his appearance on the show for his barbecue as opposed to the French- and Italian-influenced fare at his other places.

Yet “barbecue is a way of reaching a mass audience,” he said.

It certainly hit the right note with the show’s hosts. “Stop it,” Gifford said about taking her first bite. “I want this for breakfast every day.”

The two women continued eating their ribs into the next segment, a live performance by country sensation Lee Ann Womak.

todayshow7Segments on San Antonio and the surrounding area were interspersed with the day’s headlines, largely about Michael Jackson’s doctor, and regular features, such as the health alert.

While the national part of the program aired, Gifford and Kotb, in cowboy hats and Texas garb, flashed their mega-watt personalities for the packed house. They also mingled with many, posing for photos and signing autographs.

“They’re coming to us at 4 in the morning with margaritas – now’s that’s a health alert,” Gifford told the crowd in her signature deadpan.

The food took up plenty of room in the Arneson, which also featured mariachis, dancers, barges full of soldiers from Fort Sam and tourists alike.

That’s as it should be. As Dady said during his segment, “We’re very passionate about our food here.”

todayshow6So, Aldaco was scheduled to talk about her celebrated tres leches cake, while caterer Don Strange was there to show off his Grilled White Wings, pieces of chicken breast with jalapeño and Monterey Jack cheese wrapped in applewood-smoked bacon. And Michael Cortez had a basket of Mi Tierra’s candies, a colorful mixture of pralines, leche quemada and coconut flags, that looked and smelled great.

Many in the crowd brought their own food and drinks, books and chairs to keep comfortable during the long morning. No one seemed to mind “going crazy,” as one crew member called it, whenever the spotlight was on them.

It was why some arrived as early as 5 a.m.

“I wanted good seats, so why not?” said Theresa Rodriguez.

“This is so cool,” said Kori Posey. “I never have done one of these things before.”

todayshow5todayshow3

todayshow1todayshow4

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (4)