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Tag Archive | "Ocho"

NAO Visits the Yucatan; Ocho Celebrates Hemingway’s Birthday


Ocho, Library Foundation to celebrate Hemingway’s birthday with food, drink

Ocho and the San Antonio Public Library Foundation’s First Edition Society will be celebrating the the birthday of beloved author, occasional Cuban resident and renowned cocktail enthusiast Ernest Hemingway with a special event on July 19, from 7-11:30 p.m.

PrintThe event is free to attend and will provide appropriately themed food and drink specials to celebrate the occasion along with live music from Tiburon.

VIP tickets are available for $30 with a portion of proceeds benefiting the SAPLF and San Antonio libraries. VIP guests will enjoy complimentary drinks and hors d’oeurves, and will be able to enjoy VIP terrace access.

Ocho is at the Hotel Havana, 1015 Navarro Street.

VIP tickets are $30 and can be purchased at SAPLF.org by clicking on the events calendar. VIP tickets may also be purchased by calling 210-225-4728, ext. 10.

Nao Presents:  A taste of the Yucatan now at Nao

SAN ANTONIO — Nao has begun its Yucatan menu, a part of the Culinary Institute of America San Antonio  restaurant’s exploration of Latin America cuisines.

Nao diners have explored the flavors of Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Oaxaca, Peru, Venezuela, and the Spanish Caribbean through the restaurant’s Celebration of Cuisines program, and they will now step deep into the heart of southern Mexico. This Yucatan-inspired menu offers three courses for $42 and will run until Monday, Sept. 8.

Chef Geronimo Lopez and the Culinary Institute of America San Antonio students will bring this region’s most celebrated flavors from the Yucatan, where spicy Mexican chiles meld with cool Caribbean flavors often ending in a celebration of Mexican cacao.

Many of Mexico’s most important dishes, techniques, and flavor combinations were born in the Yucatan, and Nao will commemorate this culinary hot-spot by transforming the restaurant through food and culture.

Geronimo Lopez

Geronimo Lopez

“This menu is truly representative of the Yucatan and you can taste the rich Mayan influence that remains intact in every dish,” says Lopez. “Our goal is to give you a glimpse of that beautiful ancestral heritage through this dining experience.”

The special Yucatan tasting menu features an appetizer, main course and dessert for $42. The dinner begins with a choice between venison “tzic,” a crispy corn tostada with pickled onions, radishes, cilantro, and avocado; or a traditional pickled salad of lima beans, chayote and pearl onion “escabeche.”

The menu continues with two main course options, the seafood “pibxcatic,” featuring stuffed chiles with crab meat, lobster knuckles, shrimp, tomato and “hojasanta” sauce; or roasted pork tenderloin served with black “recado” sauce, black bean relish, sweet plantain puree, goat cheese, and corn dumplings. For dessert, diners can enjoy a cacao nib “nicoatole,” a cacao-corn pudding served with sapote fruit ice cream and anise sauce.

Nao’s beverage manager, Tim Bryand, will craft a Yucatan-inspired cocktail, the Ix Chel, to accompany this menu. The cocktail is made with Blanco Tequila, Yucatan Tangerine Liqueur, lime, orange, and Xtabentun spray.

Nao is a restaurant and CIA classroom dedicated to the exploration, preservation and celebration of the authentic cuisines, cultures and bounty of Latin America. Nao is open for dinner on Tuesday to Thursday from 5-9 p.m.  and on Friday and Saturday from 5-10 p.m. Nao also offers a pop-up taco stand at the farmers’ market on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and happy hour on Tuesday to Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m, and on Friday and Saturday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Gaucho Gourmet offers can sugars — now with natural flavors

Gaucho Gourmet Flavored sugarsGaucho Gourmet announces its organic, fair-trade certified pure cane evaporated sugar — but with an added zing. These sugars have natural flavors added to bring out the best taste possible without adding anything extra.  Use these sugars for sprinkling, baking, on hot or cold drinks, and anywhere else you need a pop of flavor.

Get these bulk sugars that you can now buy in home-sized quantities, but also with bulk sizes and pricing to stay stocked! Some examples include Raspberry Cane Sugar, Coconut Cane Sugar and Lemon Cane Sugar.

Other suggestions now are caciocavallo, a stringy, semi-hard Italian cheese that’s great for sandwiches and more of the popular imported burrata DOP.

 

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Fiesta Specials Capture the Color, Flavor of SA’s Favorite Party


lilys fiesta1

Fiesta runs through April 27. Here are a few food and fun events happening that you can enjoy in between the parades, the Oyster Bake, NIOSA or whatever your favorite event is.

Lily’s Cookies Add Color to Your Fiesta

Lily’s Cookies, 2716 McCullough Ave., is getting into Fiesta in a huge way.

The bakery is offering all sorts of colorful cookies, from sombreros to colorful attire to flowers that you can enjoy throughout Fiesta.

For more information, call 210-832-0886.

Ocho Dishes Up the Fiesta Specials

The Hotel Havana and Ocho, 1015 Navarro St., have gotten into the Fiesta spirit. Guests receive a Fiesta wreath on their doors, while medal collectors can purchase the hotel’s third annual collectible.

Meanwhile, Ocho’s chef Toby Soto has created a special Fiesta menu that includes:

  • Pork and Golden Raisin Empanadas with Salsa Roja, $8
  • Pollo Verde Stuffed Piquillo Peppers with Mole Negro,$8
  • Albondigas de Res with a Smoked Tomato Broth, $8
  • Martinated Vegetable Skewers on a bed of Yellow Rice, $8
  • Mini Funnel Cakes, $8

Drink specials include:

  • Havana Margarita, $5
  • Cuban Breeze, $5
  • Sangria, $5
  • Sol, $4

Art and a Drink at a Great Price at Barriba Cantina

barriba1Barriba Cantina on the Riverwalk, 111 W. Crockett St., is ready to party in style.

Barriba is again featuring renowned local artist and designer H. Michael Karshis with his Countdown to Fiesta creation.

“Fiesta is the iconic San Antonio event that belongs to visitors and residents alike, so we are teaming with Dulce Vida tequila to offer anyone that brings in a Fiesta medal—old or new—our ‘Skinny Rita’ drink, one of our signature handcrafted drinks, for $3.25 (half off the happy hour price),” says Barriba Cantina general manager Gina Hartbarger. “We are limiting this offer to one discounted drink a day, during Fiesta only (through April 27), but the customer also gets a keeper glass with the recipe on it and a Fiesta-pink Barriba Koozie….what a deal! We will also post the medals on the Fiesta Wall near the Countdown to Fiesta artwork.”

“Fiesta is part Texas, part Mexico—just like Barriba Cantina,” says Karshis. “This installation has been up for a few months and I love it that customers are celebrating birthdays or anniversaries at Barriba and taking photos in front of the countdown.”

For information, call 210-228-9876

Earl Abel’’s Goes Global

Earl Abel’s, 1201 Austin Highway, is celebrating Fiesta with a new globally inspired dish every day through April 27. The special will be priced at $9 and will be available for both lunch and dinner.  Here are a few of the specials being offered:

  • 4/11: Greek cuisine featuring a Gyro Sandwich with Fries or Chips.
  • 4/12: Mexican cuisine featuring a Beef Taco, Cheese Enchiladas, Rice & Beans.
  • 4/13: German cuisine featuring Venison Sausage, Red Cabbage & German Potato Salad.
  • 4/14: Carribean cuisine featuring Fish Tacos with a Mango Salsa, Sweet Potato Fries or Chips
  • 4/15: Italian night featuring Spaghetti and Meatballs and a Dinner Salad.
  • 4/16: Texan theme with BBQ Beef Ribs, Baked Beans and Potato Salad.

Call 210-822-7333 for information.

 

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No Doubt About It, San Antonio Loves Fiesta


San Antonio native Kathleen Burke takes Fiesta seriously. She volunteers each year at Fiesta Oyster Bake and NIOSA, plus she gets in a number of parties with friends.

Kathleen Burke models her food truck hat.

Kathleen Burke models her food truck hat.

Kathleen Burke's Fiesta food truck hat.

Kathleen Burke’s Fiesta food truck hat.

One of her traditions is to make a hat each year reflecting some aspect of city life.

This year, her theme is the San Antonio food truck scene, and she’s decorated her hat with the likes of Where Y’At, Winner Winner Chicken Dinner, the Smoke Shack, Panini Street, Wheelie Gourmet and the DUK Truck among others.

She’s also paid homage to the Alamo Street Eat Bar by decorating an apron with the food truck park’s logo. Her secret for getting the images right? She printed out what images she could find on the trucks’ websites.

What are your favorite Fiesta events and traditions?

Celebrate Fiesta at Ocho with tequila juleps and pork empanadas

The folks at the Havana Hotel are in full Fiesta mode. In additional to decking the halls and selling medals, the hotel’s restaurant-bar, Ocho, is serving up a selection of special antojitos and cocktails. Executive chef Toby Soto’s lineup includes:

  • Sandia – vodka, fresh muddled watermelon, sugar, soda
  • Tequila Mint Julep – tequila, fresh muddled mint, sugar, soda
  • Havana Sweet Papa Picadillo – miniature sweet potato balls filled with seasoned ground beef, coated in bread crumbs and fried, served with salsa roja
  • Achiote Pork Empanadas – served with salsa verde
  • Tostones – twice fried plantains served with roasted tomato garlic aioli

For more details, click here.

In the meantime, here’s a recipe for the Tequila Mint Julep in case you want to get some Fiesta spirit at home.

Tequila Mint Julep

Tequila Mint Julep

Tequila Mint Julep

2-3 fresh mint leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila
1 ounce simple syrup
Club soda

Muddle 2-3 leaves of mint, to taste, in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add tequila, simple syrup and crushed ice. Shake until cold. Pour into a rocks glass. Top with club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From Toby Soto/Ocho at the Hotel Havana

Biga offers two ways of seeing the parade

Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., is offering two ways of enjoying Monday’s Texas Cavaliers River Parade.

The regular Biga dinner menu will be available to those who reserve a table in the main dining room. Between courses, guests can visit the balcony to get a bird’s eye view of the parade floating on the river below. No outdoor seating will be available for the river parade so all guests can get a view.

More casual is a new feature the restaurant is offering. It’s a Fiesta River Parade Reception, and it offers views of the parade as well as food stations to enjoy through the evening. On the menu are warm Maria’s Tortillas you can fill with ingredients such as picadillo chorizo, pulled chicken, guacamole and house roasted salsa. Molasses rubbed beef, carved to order and served with poblano and corn mashers and spicy slaw are at another station. Veggie and chicken fajitas, Spanish rice, borracho beans and house made pico de gallo, guacamole, salsas and more will also be offered as well as desserts including tres leches layered with citrus and berries, Kahlua chocolate mousse and cookies. A full bar will be on hand.

The cost for the reception is $57 for adults and $30 for children ages 12 and under. Twenty percent tip and tax will be added.

Reservations are a must for both options and a credit card will be needed to secure your reservation. Food, tax and tip will be billed in full to the credit card on file.

Call (210) 225-0722.

Bakery Lorraine's Fiesta margarita macarons.

Bakery Lorraine’s Fiesta margarita macarons.

Bakery Lorraine adds a splash of Fiesta color

Bakery Lorraine, 511 E. Grayson St., is known to many for its macarons, delectable French meringue treats in assorted flavors and pastel colors.

For Fiesta, the bakery has upped its game by making margarita macarons, which come in much brighter colors than usual.

Call (210) 862-5582 for more details.

 

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Pearl Throws a Party for Its Third Anniversary


Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard has been a long-time feature at the Pearl Farmers Market.

Cora Lamar helps a customer at her produce and flower booth.

As revitalization of the Pearl Brewery began several years ago, the owners of the property, Silver Ventures, knew that a farmers market would be a great way of bringing local people to the site while developing a greater sense of community. Three years ago this weekend, the Pearl Farmers Market began with vendors selling everything from fresh vegetables and meats to olive oil, baked goods, lavender products, and flowers.

The lineup of vendors has grown and changed somewhat in that time. Many of the vendors have become old friends over time — Beaune Farms, Biga on the Banks for their breads, Sandy Oaks Olive Orchards, Al’s Gourmet Nuts, Thunder Heart Bison and Peeler Farms chickens, to name a few — and new ones have been added, including Restaurant Gwendolyn, which offers handmade sausages and bacon. The market has also become more at home in its space at the back of the Pearl Brewery, with hundreds of people milling about and many a dog sniffing out the scene.

On Saturday, the spring harvest after the recent rains brought an abundance of items, including breakfast radishes, kale, arugula, cabbage, onions, spring garlic, fennel, green beans, herbs, leeks, brussels sprouts, new potatoes, beets, varieties of squashes, carrots, cucumbers, shallots, peppers, broccoli, mushrooms and more. Fredericksburg peaches were going quickly, as were blackberries and a few strawberries.

Chef John Brand serves marketgoers a savory treat.

Cora Lamar of Oak Hill Farm drew customers with the vivid lavender-colored artichoke blossoms that she had. She also had a few artichokes with her, but they sold quickly, she said.

Artichoke blossoms

For those who bought an artichoke blossom for the first time, she explained that they should not be placed in water or they’ll rot. Instead, the flowering plant, which is in the same family as the thistle, should be set up without water. As the plant begins to dry, the green leaves should turn brown, but the flower would retain its color, Lamar said.

The morning sun drew a line to the handcrafted ice cream booth, where flavors included Strawberry Basil, Salty Caramel, Orange Lavender, Blackberry Lemon and Peach Pecan Amaretto.

Fennel bulbs

The anniversary celebration also brought out some of the city’s chefs who provided samples of dishes that used ingredients you could find in the market.

.Fresh-picked carrots

Chad Carey of the Monterey was there with his new chef, Coleman Foster, to hand out chicken meatballs with a peach kimchi. John Brand of Las Canarias and Ostra offered braised lamb’s neck, while Ocho chef Jason Garcia served a quinoa salad with seasonal vegetables  and a tamarind vinaigrette.

It’s always fun to stop by Melissa Guerra’s Tienda de Cocina in the neighboring Full Goods building on the brewery campus. In addition to the great kitchen items that the store always features, Guerra was offering a hula hoop demonstration and she was spinning right along to the DJ’s funkadelic sounds.

Customers shop the market for the freshest produce.

 

 

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San Antonio Drinks In Its First Cocktail Conference


Corey Morris mixes cocktails at the launch of the first San Antonio Cocktail Conference.

Can you make a perfectly dry martini? Do you know how to make a margarita that achieves the right balance of natural sweetness and tartness? Do you know how to modify a classic cocktail when using the cucumber-flavored Hendrick’s Gin instead of a regular gin?

The Business 2 ounces Hendrick's Gin 3/4 ounce honey syrup 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice Place all of the ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Shake until cold and pour into a cocktail class. Garnish with a slice of lime or cucumber, if desired.

Anyone who loves a finely crafted cocktail knows that it takes plenty of studying to get the right mix.

But it also begs another question: Can you think of any studies that are more flavorful and more conducive to partying?

That’s the format of the first San Antonio Cocktail Conference, which kicked off Thursday night with, appropriately enough, a cocktail party.

Chef Mark Bohanan, a driving force behind the conference, opened the bar at his Houston Street place to more than 350 cocktail lovers. The crowd  went from the luxurious interior, where a jazz combo kept things lively, to the neighboring patio.

The balmy January evening was perfect for traveling among the various tables where patrons could drink cocktails made with the likes of tequila, vodka, gin, Cognac and Champagne as well as such flavorings as coconut, ginger, lime and honey.

The whole conference is a fund-raiser for HeartGift, a local charity that provides medical assistance to children from around the world in need of heart surgery.

The overflowing crowd put a big smile on Mark Bohanan’s face. It must also be gratifying to know that some of the seminars today and Saturday have sold out. (For a schedule of events, including river cruises, parties at SoHo, Ocho and the Esquire Tavern, and Sunday brunch at the Sheraton Gunter, click here.)

More than 350 fill Bohanan's for the inaugural event of the San Antonio Cocktail Conference.

Corey Morris, a bartender at Bohanan’s, offered a few tips for making a good cocktail at home:

  • Make sure your ingredients are good. You can taste it when they’re not.
  • Make sure you use good ice. Ice with an off flavor can affect your drink.
  • Don’t shake your drink too much. Ice that melts too soon can water down your drink.

That’s just a taste of what’s to come over the next few days, including sessions in  Forgotten Cocktails, the Wonderful World of Gin and the homegrown Lone Star Cocktails.

While working at Bohanan’s, Morris has studied under several master mixologists, including the internationally regarded Sasha Petraske of Milk & Honey. Petraske is just one of the people who will be leading seminars, which means that anyone with passion for making perfect cocktails can learn what bartenders know. Or you can just sit back and absorb the intoxicating atmosphere that’s marking the inaugural cocktail conference.

 

 

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Ready or Not, New Year’s Is Around the Corner


Happy New Year's!

San Antonians love to party on New Year’s Eve. Well, we love to party almost any day of the year, but New Year’s Eve is special. The following restaurants are offering special meals or special hours to ring out the old and ring in the new. Reservations are required at ease. Prices do not include tax and tip.

And Happy New Year’s!

Achiote at the Grand Hyatt, 600 E. Market St.,  210-224-1234 — The New Year’s Eve dining hours are 5 p.m.-midnight. The buffet will include the Achiote Salad Bar, a Seafood and Ceviche Raw Bar with fresh oysters, shrimp, crab claws and Peruvian Red Snapper Cilantro Ceviche,  Antipasto and Cheese Station with Lobster Bisque and Roasted Carrot Kabocha and Ginger Soup, and an  Assorted Dessert Bar. Entrees will be served tableside, and choices include:  Naturalwell New York Steak with Roasted Shallot Sauce, Miso Glazed Salmon with Char Sui Bar BBQ Sauce,   Stuffed Wild Rice Cornish Game with Cherry Port Sauce,  and Petite Filet and Chile Glazed Shrimp. All entrees served with local baby vegetables and choice of either Roasted Garlic Peruvian Mashers or Herb and Texas Blue Cheese Polenta.  Cost is $60 a person, plus tax and 18 percent tip.

Barriba Cantina, 111 Crockett St., 210-228-9876 — The restaurant and bar will be open regular hours, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. There will be live music with no cover charge. And reservations are not needed.

Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., 210-225-0722 — Biga has two options:

  • The New Year’s Eve early menu will be served 5:30-7:30 p.m.  The menu includes an amuse bouche of Duck rillete with cumberland sauce, followed by choice of appetizer: two Pork and Mushroom Spring Rolls with cilantro and ginger dipping sauces (add spring roll for $6 extra); Grilled Natural Scallop with lobster risotto and truffled butter; Hong Kong Crab Congee with scallion chile oil; Cuzco Ceviche, Gulf fish and shrimp, sweet potato, avocado, chile and crunchy corn; Chicken-Fried Oysters with squid ink linguini, Swiss chard, pancetta and mustard hollandaise; 10 ounces of Farm Raised American Transmontanous caviar ($85 supplement); or 10 ounces of Wild American Hackleback Caviar ($50 supplement). Soup and salad choices include  Hong Kong crab congee with scallion chile oil; Chardonnay Braised Leeks, smoked salmon, capers, organic egg, an dlemon dill vinaigrette (add caviar for extra $12 ); Grapefruit, Watercress and Endive Salad with hard cheese, toasted almonds, honey vinaigrette (add seared foie gras for extra $12);  romaine Leaves with red pepper Caesar dressing, tiny croutons and Parmesan tuile (add chicken-fried oysters for extra $8); Spinach salad with tart apples, brie, spiced pecans, bacon, trumpet royal mushrooms, gaufrettes and warm sherry garlic vinaigrette (add grilled quail for extra $8). Entree choices include two fishes of the day; Roasted Australian Lamb Rack with wild rice mushroom strudel, soft fennel, date chutney and balsamic mint sauce; Slow Cooked Veal Cheeks, pappardella pasta, asparagus, herbs and porcini jus; Grilled Beef Tenderloin, smashed purple potatoes, asparagus, portabella mushrooms, blue cheese béarnaise, and port veal demi glaze (add two shrimp for extra $7); and Beef Bourguignon in Puff Pastry, fingerling potatoes, broccolini, mushrooms, bacon, baby carrots, pearl onions.  Dessert options: Pistachio Dacquoise, with dark chocolate mousse, raspberry crush and orange dust; trio of panna cottas — strawberry, coffee and cajeta, and Dulce de Leche and Banana Crepe, coconut anglaise, dulce de leche ice cream and caramelized banana. Cost is $65 a person.
  • The later dinner will be served 8 p.m.-midnight. The menu includes an amuse bouche of Duck rillete with cumberland sauce, followed by choice of appetizer: foie gras terrine with cherry-Grand Marnier marmalade, two Pork and Mushroom Spring Rolls with cilantro and ginger dipping sauces (add spring roll for $6 extra); Grilled Natural Scallop with lobster risotto and truffled butter; Hong Kong Crab Congee with scallion chile oil; Cuzco Ceviche, Gulf fish and shrimp, sweet potato, avocado, chile and crunchy corn; Chicken- Fried Oysters with squid ink linguini, Swiss chard, pancetta and mustard hollandaise; 10 ounces of Farm Raised American Transmontanous caviar ($85 supplement); or 10 ounces of Wild American Hackleback Caviar ($50 supplement). Soup and salad choices include  Hong Kong crab congee with scallion chile oil; Chardonnay Braised Leeks, smoked salmon, capers, organic egg, an dlemon dill vinaigrette (add caviar for extra $12 ); Grapefruit, Watercress and Endive Salad with hard cheese, toasted almonds, honey vinaigrette (add seared foie gras for extra $12); Emile’s hydroponic greens, Rebecca Creek Goat feta and lemon maple vinaigrette;  romaine Leaves with red pepper Caesar dressing, tiny croutons and Parmesan tuile (add chicken-fried oysters for extra $8); Spinach salad with tart apples, brie, spiced pecans, bacon, trumpet royal mushrooms, gaufrettes and warm sherry garlic vinaigrette (add grilled quail for extra $8). Entree choices include three fishes of the day; Hill Country Axis Venison and Bandera Quail; Roasted Australian Lamb Rack with wild rice mushroom strudel, soft fennel, date chutney and balsamic mint sauce; Slow Cooked Veal Cheeks, pappardella pasta, asparagus, herbs and porcini jus; Grilled Beef Tenderloin, smashed purple potatoes, asparagus, portabella mushrooms, blue cheese béarnaise, and port veal demi glaze (add two shrimp for extra $7); and Beef Bourguignon in Puff Pastry, fingerling potatoes, broccolini, mushrooms, bacon, baby carrots, pearl onions.  Dessert options: Pistachio Dacquoise, with dark chocolate mousse, raspberry crush and orange dust; trio of panna cottas — strawberry, coffee and cajeta, and Dulce de Leche and Banana Crepe, coconut anglaise, dulce de leche ice cream and caramelized banana. Cost is $100 a person. Music by Bett Butler and Joel Dilley.

Boudro’s on the Riverwalk,  421 E. Commerce St., 210-224-8484 — Boudro’s will be open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day from 11 a.m. to midnight. The New Year’s Eve special will include a starter of Texas Blue Crabcake with Avocado Frisée Salad, Tangled Onion Rings and Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette. The Entrée will be a combination plate with Grilled Black Angus Tenderloin, Bordelaise and Potato Galette along with a Baby Lobster Tail Etoufee, Choron Sauce and Wild Mushroom Spinach Flan. Dessert will be a Frangipan and Apple Tart with Champagne, Vanilla Sabayon. The cost is $45 aperson, plus tax and gratuity, or $70 a person with wine pairings. Regular A La Carte Dinner Menu available. Credit card number required for reservations, call (210)-224-8484. www.boudros.com

Ring out the old at your favorite restaurant.

Fig Tree Restaurant, 515 Villita St., 210-225-2111 — The New Year’s Eve menu begins with a little something special: 30 grams of  Osetra caviar for a $150 supplement. The prix fixe includes Duck Terrine with Apple Cider Poached Quince, Mache Salad, Cider Vinaigrette;  Sunchokes Ravioli with Season’s First White Truffle and Truffle Scented Honey; Butter Poached Lobster with Saffron Risotto, English Peas, Pequillo Peppers, and Spanish Chorizo; Roasted Veal Tenderloin with Poached Veal Cheeks, Creamy Polenta and Chanterelles; and your choice of Pineapple Tatin with Almonds Crumble and Passion Fruit Sorbet or Chocolate Fondant with Fiore de Latte Gelato.  The cost is $98 a person plus tax and 18 percent top.

Las Ramblas at the Hotel Contessa, 306 W. Market St., 210-229-9222 — Enjoy a four-course wine-paired dinner with a midnight Champagne toast on the rooftop. Seating is at 10 p.m.  The menu includes Duck Bacon “BLT” amuse bouche with Volvetti Prosecco, followed by Carpaccio Melange with Shrimp, Lobster, Scallop and Octopus with 2009 White Haven Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Smoked Oyster and Salsify Soup with Foie Gras Torchon will be paired with 2009 La Crema Pinot Noir, followed by Certified Angus Beef with Honeycomb Potato, Cabrales, Pancetta and White Truffle Dust with 2008 Navarro Correas Malbec Gran Reserva. Dessert is Frozen Strawberry Terrine with Champagne Gelee, Dark Chocolate Torte, Marcona Almond Butter and Cookie Crumb iwth Neige Apple Ice Wine. The cost is $125 a person plus tax and tip.

Little Rhein Steak House, 231 S. Alamo St.,  210-225-2111 — Little Rhein has two New Year’s Eve options.

  • The early bird menu, served from 6 to 6:30 p.m., begins with a choice of Shrimp Cocktail or Quail Legs, followed by a choice of Beefsteak Tomatoes with Roquefort Cheese or Field Greens with Cranberries, Walnuts, Goat Cheese and Basil Vinaigrette.  Prime Rib-Eye,  Prime Strip Loin,  Filet Mignon, Wild Salmon or  Filet and Lobster are the entrée choices. Entrées served with Au Gratin Potatoes, Sautéed Wild Mushrooms and Buttered Asparagus. Dessert choices: Sticky Toffee Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream or  New York Cheesecake with Strawberries. A glass of Champagne is included. Cost:  $70 a person plus tax and 18 percent tip.
  • The later menu is offered at seastings set for 6:30-9 p.m. or 9 p.m.-midnight. The menu includes choice of Shrimp Cocktail  or Quail Legs, followed by Lobster Bisque. A choice of Field Greens with Cranberries, Walnuts, Goat Cheese and Basil Vinaigrette or Beefsteak Tomatoes with Roquefort Cheese precedes choice of Prime Rib-Eye, Prime Strip Loin, Filet Mignon, Wild Salmon or Filet and Lobster. Entrées served with Au Gratin Potatoes, Sautéed Wild Mushrooms and Buttered Asparagus. Dessert choices: Sticky Toffee Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream or  New York Cheesecake with Strawberries. A glass of Champagne is included. Cost is $79 a person plus tax and 18 percent tip.

Lüke, 125 E. Houston St., 210-227-5853 — A New Year’s Eve dining event featuring a prix fixe five-course dinner with wine pairings will be offered. Seating begins at 8 p.m. in Lüke’s upstairs private dining space overlooking the River Walk. Cost is $150 per couple, plus tax and tip. Prepaid reservations are required for event. Lüke will also offer its full menu from 11 a.m. until midnight on New Year’s Eve. lukesanantonio.com.

Mike’s in the Village, 2355-3 Bulverde Road, Bulverde, 830-438-2747 —  Mike’s will be serving its regular menu along with some specials from 5 to 9 p.m.

Ocho at the Havana Hotel, 1015 Navarro St., 210-222-2008 — New Year’s Eve at the Hotel Havana will include live music by Son y No Son from 9 p.m. to 12:30  a.m. Cost is $100 a person and includes wine, Champagne and passed hors d’oeuvres. The menu features Fried Quail and Waffle, Truffled Egg Rolls, Shishito Pepper Bites, Fried Avocado Lollipops with cilantro lime crema, Cornflake-crusted Shrimp and Tinga Tostadas. Special room rates may also be available over the holidays.

Oro at the Emily Morgan, 705 E. Houston St., 210-225-5100 —Oro is having a three-course Champagne dinner and fireworks showing from 5 to 11 p.m.  the evening begins with a chef’s offering to stimulate your palate, followed by your choice of smoked oyster and corn chowder with caviar crème fraiche; Oro mixed lettuce, marinated tomatoes, goat cheese and white balsamic vinaigrette; or sweet potato gnocchi, truffle, shaved Parmesan and veal jus. Main course choices are pan-seared filet, roasted pepper potato dauphinoise, asparagus and clove demi; natural grilled chicken, caramelized onion sweet potato puree, wilted spinach, and chile hollandaise; or herb-seared farm-raised trout, borracho black eyed peas, and tomato cucumber escabeche. Dessert choices:  Tahitian vanilla bean and cherry crème brûlée, snicker doodle cookie and seasonal berries; selection of Da Vinci sorbets — mango, lemon, or pomegranate; or Oro trifle, seasonal berries, crème anglaise and chantilly cream. A Champagne toast and fireworks showing on the rooftop included. Price is $65 a person.http://www.savorsa.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=31244&action=edit&message=10

It's party time, San Antonio.

Q on the Riverwalk, Hyatt, 123 Losoya St., 210-382-6325 —The New Year’s dinner will be served from 5 to 10 p.m. The menu includes house-smoked standing rib roast of Angus beef, fire-grilled Arctic char, fillet of salmon, Korabuta pork loin with grilled Korabuta pork chops and roasted breast chicken with fresh oregano. The salad display will feature winter greens tossed with spiced pecans, bay shrimp, marinated mushroms and amphissa olives. Selections from the dessert display include vanilla bean crème brulee, chocolate mousse shooters and cappuccino tarts.

Texas de Brazil, 313 E. Houston St., 210-299-1600 — The Brazilian steakhouse will be serving its regular menu of meats as well as the varied salad bar and desserts. Dining hours will be until late in the evening.

Tost Bistro & Bar, 14415 Blanco Road, 210-408-2670 — The New Year’s Eve menu begins with Lobster and Crab Croquette, blood orange béarnaise sauce and micro greens, followed by a choice of Wild Mushroom Bisque with herb crème fraiche and shiitake “bacon” or Arugula, Brie and Fig Salad with crispy prosciutto, shaved red onions and balsamic Dijon vinaigrette. The entree choices are Pan Roasted Sea Bass with butternut squash puree, grilled broccolini and Champagne beurre blanc; Braised Veal Osso Bucco with creamy Yukon goat cheese masher and tomato, onion and olive ragout; or Seared Beef Tenderloin with truffle hollandaise, bleu cheese mash potato and grilled asparagus. Dessert is the Tost Trio with Crème Anglaise. Cost: $55 per person or $90 with the midnight celebration. Tax and tip not included. An open bar will be from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The Westin La Cantera,16641 La Cantera Parkway, 210-558-2253 — If the Mayan calendar brings everything to an end in 2012, then it’s time to party down on New Year’s Eve at the Westin La Cantera where the last supper is the party theme of the evening. Wear your toga if you’d like and enjoy a Mayan-themed menu that includes Various Mayan Flavors, such as Blue Corn and Sikil Pak Cannelloni, Tamale Negro, Xni-Pek and Sour Cruda Xcatic Salsa. Whetstone Valley Goose with Black-Eyed Pea and Confit Hash, Pulverized Corn, Red Pipian, Salt-Brined Hen Yolkand Celery Root Puree will percede Ossabaw Pork Tenderloin, Brushed Anchiote, Sylvetta, Bacon, Mashed Plantain, Golden Corn Puree and Huitlacoche Coulis. Lobster with Avocado, Chanterelle Puree, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Sweet Corn Granola and Foie Gras Sauce will be served before  Chayote Mousse, Vanilla Cornbread, Cocoa Nib, Crunchy Beet, Horchata, “Gold,” and a Pine Nut Praline. Mayan cocktails, Pol Roger Champagne and more will be available. The cost is $125 a person.

Zinc Bistro and Wine Bar, 207 N. Presa St., 210-224-1313 — Celebrate the New Year in the wine cellar at Zinc with a five-course dinner that begins at 8 p.m. Matching wines and Champagnes will be paired with the dinner courses. The menu starts with appetizers of Oregon mushroom duxelle in a sour cream tartlet, gorgonzola and tobacco onions on lavosh squares and brandy-cured salmon on crisp flatbread with poblano cream cheese and daikon sprouts paired with Canals and Munne Rosé Cava. Shiitake mushroom and arugula consommé with shaved serrano ham will preced pomegranate marinated duck confit salad with spicy walnuts and orange vinaigrette and 2009 Louis Tete “Le Pot”,Beaujolais. After mango basil granite, there is a choice of filet of black Angus beef tenderloin with shallot-cabernet demi glace or poached halibut with shrimp, crawfish and clam stock. Both will be paired with 2007 Orogeny Pinot Noir. Zinc profiteroles and Moet et Chandon Imperial Epernay will close out the meal. A Champagne toast at midnight is included. Cost is $100 a person, plus tax and gratuity. All reservations must be prepaid.

Restaurateurs, if your restaurant is not on this list, please email details of your party to griffin@savorsa.com or walker@savorsa.com.

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A Few Tasty Bites from Around Town


Here are few highlights from some restaurant visits around town:

Pzole at Ocho.

Pozole at Ocho

The cooler temperatures we’ve had this week have brought thoughts of a nice, warm bowls of soup. What could be more comforting that a pork-based pozole with plenty of hominy in it. Jason Garcia at Ocho in the Hotel Havana, 1015 Navarro St., doesn’t stop there. He serves his with plenty of red cabbage, onions, cilantro and, of course, radishes on the side that you can garnish to suit your tastes. Plus, there’s a slice of lime to give this Southwestern favorite an extra tingle.

 

 

 

Tacos al Pastor at Paloma Blanca

Tacos al Pastor at Paloma Blanca

Mexican street food doesn’t get much better than these mini-tacos topped with marinated pork and slivers of grilled pineapple at Paloma Blanca, 5800 Broadway. On the side are onions, cilantro and lime to give it an extra kick. Plus, you have your choice of the roasted and the fresh salsas that come with your chips or the smoky Salsa de la Señora.

 

Moroccan Chicken at Candlelight Coffeehouse

Moroccan Chicken at Candlelight Coffeehouse

Chicken breast nowadays has become the dullest of meats, when left on its own. Not so in this dish at Candlelight Coffeehouse, 3011 N. St. Mary’s St. Strips of chicken breast are lightly cooked with vegetables, such as red bell pepper and zucchini in some spicy oil before being tossed with fettuccine and a light curry blend. What that has to do with Morocco is inconsequential. What matters is the taste, which is comforting. Have it with a pot of one of the house tea blends for a relaxing evening.

 

A few treats from Choicolate

Chocolates from Choicolate

What better way to conclude a meal than with a decadent morsel of chocolate? The beautiful and bold candies from Choicolate, 700 E. Sonterra Blvd., come in a variety of colors and flavors, including mango habanero, hazelnut latte, salted caramel and Earl Grey. At this independent shop, the candies are all crafted by hand using no preservatives.

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Ocho at Havana: Dia de Los Muertos — y Mas


Coming up are two events at Ocho, including a dinner by chef Lou Lambert. Ocho is at Hotel Havana, 1015 Navarro St. It is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Dia De Los Muertos Festivities at Hotel Havana

Oct. 27 to Nov. 2 — Hotel Havana and Ocho celebrate with an altar dedicated to Ernest Hemingway, a special menu of Dia De Los Muertos traditional antojitos, drink specials and live music. No cover charge.


Ocho Supper Club: Chef Lou Lambert

Join Ocho at the Havana for a special culinary evening with chef Lou Lambert as he recreates recipes from his new “Big Ranch, Big City” cookbook and beyond.  Lambert is known for bringing traditional ranch cooking to the forefront of haute cuisine, so don’t miss a chance to experience his unique Texas flavor in an intimate setting along the River Walk.

Cost is $250 per couple (four-course dinner and wine pairings, tax and tip not included). To make reservations call 210-222-2208.

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