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Passionate Cook Turns Hobby into ‘Taste Elevated’

Lori Krieger

Lori Krieger

Lori Krieger grew up in a busy family, helping her dad in his veterinarian clinic. Really, she says, she thought she’d become a vet herself, but the hours were long and midnight calls and occasional doses of porcupine quills were all in a day’s work.

Because both of her parents were busy, she always had to cook. “I had to do it, but I considered it a chore,” she says.

Along the way, however, she began watching the Food Network and chores suddenly transformed into creative challenges – then passion. “I just got this fever for cooking,” she said.

That fever turned into a business — but it happened over years, not overnight.

With her family at her side, Krieger launched Taste Elevated at the Emily Morgan Hotel’s Oro on Sept. 19.

As a crowd of well-wishers, friends, media, food professionals and associates picked up glasses of wine, they sampled  Krieger’s flavorful condiments with an array of hors d’oeuvres and charcuterie from Oro chef Chris Cook and his team.

This scene probably wasn’t anything Krieger anticipated after attending Texas A&M and receiving a political science degree — something her father, David Carter, was dubious about as far as her employment opportunities went. She  married Benny Krieger, lived for five years in Washington, D.C. and had three boys, now ages 1, 2 and 4.

But, her fervor for cooking had not relinquished its hold, and sent her on an unexpected path after she returned to Texas from Washington.

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Taste Elevated’s Fig Chutney

After working with the plentiful figs that grew on trees on her parents’ property, she came up with a chutney so good that it inspired her to think of producing it commercially.

“People tasted it and really loved it — I got a real high out of that,” she said.

Thus began the rigorous task of developing not just the fig chutney, but eventually a line of high-end condiments that would sell under the Taste Elevated label.

“I spent endless hours in the kitchen trying to make a business … and learned a lot of hard lessons along the way,” she said. This dose of reality is faced by all good cooks who decide to take the next step — dealing with the FDA and health departments, addressing shelf life and other technical details.

Taste Elevated condiments with cheese and charcuterie

Taste Elevated condiments on crostini at Oro.

The first six products are versatile, but especially suited to the spicy, salty flavors of prepared, often cured meat products called charcuterie. These include salamis and pate, terrines, sausages, soppressata, pepperoni, confit and more. Cheeses, artisan breads and fresh seafood, such as salmon and shrimp are also natural partners with Taste Elevated condiments.

Taste Elevated’s introductory line includes: Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper, with red bell pepper, pine nuts and spices; Fig Chutney, with raisins and spices; Sweet and Spicy Mustard Seeds; Caramelized Onion Spread, with balsamic vinegar and a touch of the spicy Sriracha sauce; Spicy Candied Oranges; and a buttery Pear and Fennel Compote.

The idea for the name was to suggest that each of their products can take any dish to that next culinary level.

The Sweet and Spicy Mustard Seeds are like tiny, crunchy pickles that adorn a hot dog as deliciously as they do a slice of Spanish chorizo or manchego cheese. The Caramelized Onion Spread has a little heat from Sriracha, as well as a touch of flavor from ginger and a little garlic. The Spicy Candied Oranges works as topping for a triple cream cheese, or roasted salmon.

The original condiment, her Fig Chutney, is good just spread on a biscuit, says Krieger, but really shines with pork or a chicken panino. A buttery Pear and Fennel Compote went well atop duck confit canapes. The Roasted Eggplant Spread, also touched with spice, is a warm red color from the bell peppers and, says Krieger, works as a condiment, a spread or even spread on a homemade crust for a “really, really good pizza sauce.”

Taste Elevated condiments are produced and packed by state’s top gourmet food producer, Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods, Inc.  Fisher & Wieser ordinarily would not have produced Taste Elevated products, as the company doesn’t produce private labels, according to company founder and chairman, Mark B. Wieser.

Wieser stood at the far side of the room at Oro, looking on as Krieger welcomed guests and delivered a short talk about Taste Elevated. His niece, Jenny Wieser, the company’s CEO, was Kreiger’s taste critic and eventually champion at Fisher & Wieser, he said.

After sampling Krieger’s condiments several times and sending her back to the kitchen, the products won Jenny Wieser over, and the work of turning kitchen creations to high-end product began.

Taste Elevated board

The Kriegers also make mesquite serving boards, large and small, to sell as companion products for Taste Elevated.

Krieger’s dad offered moral support as well as financial. And, she thanked him and her mother, especially, at the launch party. She will now be seeking locations to place the products, looking particularly for specialty and gourmet shops rather than grocery stores.

Taste Elevated Mark Wieser

Mark Wieser

“They are excellent and high quality, Wieser said. “With her enthusiasm, I think she can make a go of it.”

“The  launch was a wonderful start to what will be a phenomenal company started by two entrepreneurs that I love very much,” said her mom, Jan Carter. Her dad, also there to see Lori off to a good start said, “It was very gratifying to see the interest by the people that attended, it was a nice crowd. It was obvious that they were all foodies,” he said.

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Taste Elevated’s line of condiments, designed to be especially good with charcuterie

Taste Elevated products are (so far) carried at Das Peach Haus, Fredericksburg Winery and at Koch Ranch Gourmet Country Store. In San Antonio at Groomer’s Seafood and Bolner’s. The prices range from $8-$11. Look for Krieger and her Taste Elevated product tastings at stores in the near future, too. Visit her website by clicking here.


Taste Elevated party

Launch party at the Emily Morgan Hotel.




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What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Fast away the old year passes, the song tells us. But we’re not going to let it go without a big blowout. New Year’s Eve parties galore dot the city scene, and the following are a few restaurant options that are offering feasts to greet 2013.

Reservations are required. Tax and tip are not included in the prices shown.

Enjoy live music during Biga on the Banks’ New Year’s party.

Achiote at the Grand Hyatt,  600 E. Market St., (210) 451-6171 — New Year’s Eve dinner is from 5 p.m. to midnight. The buffet includes salads, such as an arrangement of greens and winter vegetables, Moroccan Cous Cous and Legumes, Jicama with Red Endive and Chili Lime Slaw, Thai-inspired Green Papaya, duo of poached pears, and Roasted Beet, Citrus and Feta;  Traditional Seafood Soup with Saffron Aioli and Seed Crusted Baguette; a Seafood and Ceviche display with Poached Shrimp, King Crab Legs, Red Snapper Ceviche, Pacific Ahi Poke’ and Taro Chips; Anti-Pasti and Cheese Specialties; Carved dishes, such as Achiote-Crusted Natural Beef Tenderloin, Roast Rack of Lamb, Parsley Marble Potatoes, and Mahi Mahi Steamed on Asian Greens with Coconut Green Curry Broth; and  Daniel’s Denim and Diamond Dessert Display. The cost is $60 for adults, $30 for children, ages 6-12. Tax and 18 percent tip will be added to each check. Does not include beverages.

Alamo Street Eat Bar, 609 S. Alamo St., (210) 227-2469 — Ring in the New Year with a variety of treats from various food trucks, including the DUK Truck, and plenty of cheer on tap.

Barriba Cantina, 111 W. Crockett St., (210) 228-9876 — The cantina will be open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day with free live music on both nights from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 225-2722 — The New Year’s Eve menu includes an amuse bouche of crab, cucumber and caviar, followed by appetizers that include Many Mushroom and Duck Confit Raviolo, Foie Grass Terrine, Chicken-Fried Oysters, Crab Spring Rolls,  Smoked Sturgeon Profiterole,  selection of artisan cheeses,  farm-raised American Transmontanous caviar ($85 supplement) or  Wild American Hackleback Caviar ($50 supplement). Soup and salad options:  Lobster Bisque,  Grapefruit and Avocado Salad (add butter-poached lobster $12),  Chardonnay Braised Leeks (add caviar $12),  Emile’s Hydroponic Greens with Rebecca Creek goat feta, Romaine Leaves with red pepper Caesar dressing (add 3 chicken-fried oysters $8) and Spinach Salad (add grilled quail $8). Entrees:  Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna,  Slow Braised Veal Osso Bucco,  South Texas Antelope and Bandera Quail,  Grilled Beef Tenderloin,  Australian Lamb Rack and additional fish options.  The dessert list has not been written yet. Price: $100 per person. Late seating includes live music and a glass of Champagne.

Bin 555, 555 W. Bitters, (210) 496-0555 — The New Year”s Eve menu comes with optional wine pairings. On the menu: Amuse: 2008 Argyle Brut with Bruschetta & Baba Ganoush and Ras El Hanout Chickpeas, Cilantro and Mint. Appetizer: 2008 Zaca Mesa Roussanne with choice of Roasted Butternut Lobster Bisque, Pan Roasted Pork Belly and Braised Beef Cheeks. Salad: 2010 Amici Sauvignon Blanc with choice of Butter Leaf Salad, Mixed Field Greens, or Autumn Squash Salad. Pasta: Iberico Pea Risotto with 2010 Feudi LaCryma Christi Bianco. Entrée choices: Wood Fired Halibut with 2009 Sequoia Grove Chardonnay; Local Texas Rabbit with 2009 Pierre Amadieu Vacqueyras La Grangeliere Grenache/Syrad; or Braised Lamb Shank with 2009 Pierre Amadieu Vacqueyras La Grangeliere Grenache/Syrah. Dessert: Taylor Fladgate 20-Year-Old Tawny Port with choice of Chef Dady’s Signature Nutella Torte, Raspberry, Hazelnut Nougat and Smoked Pistachio Anglaise, Panettone Pain Perdu, Cinnamon Mascarpone Chantilly, Raspberry and Sour Cranberry Compote, Apple & Pear Granola Crumble or Jim Bean Black Honey Bourbon and Crème Fraiche Ice Cream. Cost is $60 a person or $90 with wine pairing. Tax and 18 percent tip added.

Bliss, 926 S. Presa St., (210) 225-2547 — On New Year’s Eve, the restaurant will offer a 5-course menu for $100 a person.

Boardwalk Bistro, 4011 Broadway, (210) 824-0100 — The restaurant will be open 5 p.m.-1 a.m. with a five-course special that includes plenty of choices.    Start with a choice of appetizers such as Cold Water Seafood Risotto, Baked Eggplant Involtini, Grilled Lamb Kofta with Cinnamon Yogurt and Shrimp Casino in Puff Pastry. Soups:   Cold Water Lobster Asparagus Bisque, Winter Squash Soup with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Sweet Pea with Ham and Croutons and Heirloom Tomato Basil with White Cheddar Breadsticks. Salads:  Traditional Caesar Salad, Mesclun Greens with Fried Shallot and Stilton Bleu Cheese, and Spinach Salad with Corn Bread Croutons. Entrees: Prosciutto Wrapped Black Cod ($63),  Surf and Turf  (grilled lobster tail and filet mignon, $72), Panko-crusted Eggplant Napoleon ($52),  Applewood-smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin ($65), and Grilled Lamb T-Chop ($68). Desserts: Duo of Crème Brulee, New York Cheesecake with Berries,  Chocolate Pecan Caramel Torte with Frangelico Anglaise,  and Tiramisù with Frangelico Anglaise filled Chocolate Truffle.  An optional flight of wines can  accompany each course for an additional $20.

Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, 219 E. Houston St., (210) 472-2600 —The restaurant will be open New Year’s Eve for those celebrating along Houston St. The regular menu with steaks, including Akaushi Beef,

Laurent’s Modern Cuisine

Boiler House Texas Grill and Wine Garden, 312 Pearl Parkway, (210) 354-4644 — Chef Jesse Perez of the upcoming Arcade Midtown Kitchen joins Boiler House chef James Moore to create a special six-course New Year’s menu that includes:  Chilled Smoked Sturgeon, Caviar Creme Fraiche;  Moroccan Quail Medallions, Pomegranate Molasses;  Confit Rabbit Terrine, Pickled Mustard Seed Aioli;  George’s Bank Diver Scallops, Smoked Oyster Stew;  Balsamic Braised Cabrito, Goat Cheese Farro Risotto;  and ‘Crispy & Salty’ Chocolate Bar. The price is $65 per person (food only); plus 6 half glasses of paired wines, $25 per person, or  six half glass of premium wine for $45. Balloon drop and champagne toast at midnight.  Live music 8 p.m.-1 a.m.

Bolo’s at the Omni San Antonio Hotel, 9821 Colonnade Blvd., (210) 699-5803 — New Year’s Eve seatings begin at 6 p.m. and continue until 10 p.m. The meal features a Spanish Tapas-style menu with dishes from different regions of that country. The price is $65 a person and includes a Champagne toast at midnight. The bar in the hotel will have a large-screen TV broadcasting the drop of the ball at midnight for those who want to watch.

The County Line, 10101 I-10 W., (210) 641-1998 — The restaurant will be open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations will be taken.

The County Line Riverwalk, 111 W. Crockett St., (210) — The River Walk location is open New Year’s Eve from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and New Year’s Day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. No reservations accepted.

Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, (210) 821-5454 — On New Year’s Eve, chef Francois Maeder will be serving appetizers such as artichokes stuffed with goat cheese and almonds or Nova Scotia smoked salmon with cream cheese. Guests can experience Crumpets Trilogy, a special main course featuring a lobster tail with lemon butter, rack of lamb Provencal, and tenderloin of beef with Rossini sauce. Other entrées offered are chicken, shrimp, Rainbow trout, veal and beef. All include an appetizer, cup of soup, house salad and dessert.

Fig Tree Restaurant, 515 Villita St., (210) 225-2111 — There will be two seatings on New Year’s Eve: 6-9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.-midnight. The special menu starts with an optional connoisseur caviar course (30 g of osetra) for a $150 supplement. The dinner includes Caramelized Onion Tart with Figs, Chevre and Arugula Pistou; Peking Quail with Persimmon Chutney; Bok Choy and Pear Salad; Lobster Cannoli Chanterelles and White Truffles, Mascarpone Béchamel; Chateaubriand for Two with Béarnaise and Chateau Potatoes. Dessert choices: Dark Chocolaté Pavé, Milk Chocolate Mousse or Wild Morello Cherry Crème Brulee. The price is $98 a person plus tax and 18 percent tip.

Celebrate the arrival of 2013 at your favorite restaurant.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 255 E. Basse Road, (210) 824-WINE (9463) — Fleming’s will celebrate Dec. 28-31 with a special menu that includes a complimentary Gulf shrimp and grits appetizer, followed by a choice of Delmonico Steak with Blue Crab & Gruyere Glaçage ($74.95), Filet Mignon and Lobster Brioche Bread Pudding ($69.95), and Lobster Tail with Macaroni and Cheese ($79.95). Chocolate Budino ($9.95) is the special dessert. Magnums of Gloria Ferrar Sonoma Brut will be poured at $12 a glass or $100 for the 1.5-liter bottle. The regular menu will also be offered.

Frederick’s Restaurant, 7701 Broadway, (210) 828-9050; Frederick’s Bistro,  14439 N.W. Military Highway, (210) 888-1500 — Both restaurants will ring in the new year with the following special menu. First course is a choice of Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops with Leeks Ragout and Caviar Beurre Blanc, Seared Veal Carpaccio with Herbed Cheese, Stuffed Quail and Foie Gras Terrine Platter or Assorted Seafood Delicacy. Second course: Frederick’s Salad and Goat Cheese with Champagne, Hazelnut Vinaigrette. Main course choices: Orange Ginger Glazed Duck Breast Over a bed of Wild Rice Risotto, Beef Tournedo “Rossini” with Foie Gras and Perigourdine Sauce, Sea Bass and Crab Meat Napoleon or Grilled Maine Lobster. Fourth course is choice of dessert. Cost is $85 a person.

Gallo Pizzeria, 164 Castroville Road, (210) 264-0077 — The pizzeria is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. New Year’s Eve.

The Granary ‘Cue and Brew, 602 Avenue A, (210) 228-0124 — A five-course tasting menu will include oyster on the half shell, root beer-glazed scallop, TG Texas Toast and ‘Cue Butter, Smoked Bison and Baked Alaska. The cost is $68 a person. Add $20 for beer pairings.

Hyatt Hill Country Resort, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, (210) 767-7999 — Two packages are available for New Year’s. The Sea World package includes full breakfast buffet for two adults and two children (under 12) each day, tickets to  SeaWorld’s Twilight New Year’s Eve Party from noon – 9 p.m.,  and transportation to and from the resort. Some of SeaWorld’s New Year’s features: fireworks spectacular, A Dolphin Christmas,  Elmo’s Christmas Wish,  Shamu Christmas,  A Sesame Street Christmas,  and Clyde & Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas. Antlers Lodge New Year’s Eve dinner package includes overnight accommodations, four-course dinner for two, live entertainment, party favors, Champagne toast at midnight and breakfast buffet for two on Jan. 1. Call for prices.

JW Marriott,23808 Resort Parkway, (210) 483-6622 — The resort is offering a variety of activities and events to celebrate the New Year. Raise a toast and dance the night away in Crooked Branch or High Velocity after enjoying dinner either 18 Oaks and Cibolo Moon, both of which feature special New Year’s Eve menus. A complete New Year’s Eve package is available for $239, which includes a guest room and a $50 resort credit that can be applied to golf, spa or dining. 18 Oaks will feature a selection of special a la carte dishes on New Year’s Eve, including Cast Iron Baked Fontina for $16 and a 16-ounce Ribeye for $48. Cibolo Moon is offering a New Year’s Eve buffet dinner for $28 featuring king and stone crab, oysters, aged cheeses, smoked meats, prime rib, Shiner-brined turkey and much more. A Kids’ Zone dinner buffet is also available for $14.

Kirby’s Prime Steakhouse, 123 N. Loop 1604 E., (210) 404-2221 — Chef Daniel Nemec is preparing a special menu priced at $89 a person. Start with a choice of Texas Sterling Lamb Wellington,  Cedar Plank Diver Sea Scallops With Grilled Applewood Smoked Bacon and a Chive Beurre Blanc,  House-made Crisp Gnocchi With Garlic Sautéed Wild Mushrooms and Sauce Carbonara,  Broiled Veal Marrow and Kirby’s Signature Maryland Style Crab Cake. Second course choices:  Oven Roasted Grape Tomatoes with Baby Mozzarella, Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette in a Parmesan Tuile;  House Caesar;  Baby Arugala and Fire Kissed Strawberry Salad; or Lobster Bisque. Third course choices:  Grilled 7- or 10-ounce Blue Ribbon Filet; Grilled 16-ounce Ribeye; 7- or 10-ounce Filet Oscar; Grilled Cobia Fillet; Oven-Baked Cold Water Western Australian Lobster Tail with Alaskan King Crab Dressing; Texas Sterling Lamb Shank Osso Buco; 16-ounce Prime New York Strip.  Served with side and choice of dessert. Melina Narezo Band will perform.

Las Canarias at Omni La Mansion del Rio, 112 College St., (210) 518-1177 — On New Year’s Eve, the restaurant will offer a special five-course pre-fixe menu for $100, with reservations available from 5:30 to 11:00 p.m. Menu items include a chilled white asparagus velouté, Pacific sturgeon and Strube Ranch wagyu beef bavette. Á la carte dining will also be available at featured menu prices. A live band with dancing and party favors will perform from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. and a complimentary champagne toast will be offered at midnight to bring in the New Year. Complimentary parking will also be available on a first come, first serve basis. On New Year’s Day, the brunch will be from 6:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. The cost is $25 for adults, $15 for children ages 6-12 and free for those 5 and under. The buffet menu consists of eggs and omelets made to order, Texas cut cinnamon raisin French toast, fried eggs Benedict with crispy pork belly and a selection of breads and cereals, among other options. The buffet also includes complimentary parking, juice and coffee; all other beverages are non-inclusive. Las Canarias’ à la carte dining will be available from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Laurent’s Modern Cuisine,4230 McCullough Ave., (210) 822-6644 — The New Year’s Eve menu will include a five-course meal with the chance of adding a cheese course to the lineup. Some of the items on the menu include appetizer choices of Diver Sea Scallop with sweetbread strudel, candied orange, blood orange gastric; Ahi Tuna Tartar, caramelized sea urchin, fried quail egg; Foie gras crème brûlée, mini ginger bread and torchon sandwich; or Three cheeses Profiteroles, Brie, Humblefog and Gruyere, Yellow pepper coulis.  Salad course: -Petite Mache salade, baby Heirloom, shaved asparagus, frisee, champagne vinaigrette.  Main course choices:  Norwegian Halibut (or Sea Bass), Fresh Peas and Horseradish puree, Miso beurre blanc; Farm raised Capon, baby vegetables, Parsnips puree, Red plum-chicken jus; Beef Tenderloin, Crispy Pig Feet, Sauce Perigourdine, Truffled dauphines potatoes; or Half roasted Maine lobster, curried crab meat, Roasted corn Hach, Sauce Americaine. The price is $75 a person while the cheese course is an optional $10 more.

Little Rhein Steak House, 231 S. Alamo St., (210) 225-2111 — New Year’s Eve sittings are 5-6:30 p.m., 7-9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.-midnight. The early dinner special includes choice of Shrimp Cocktail or Bacon Wrapped Quail Legs, followed by Beef Steak Tomatoes with Blue Cheese or Field Greens with Cranberries, Walnuts, Goat Cheese and Basil Vinaigrette. Main course choices:  Prime Rib, Prime Strip Loin,  Center Cut Filet Mignon, Bay of Fundy Salmon Fillet or Center Cut Filet and Lobster. Entrees served with Au Gratin Potatoes, Sautéed Wild Mushrooms and Buttered Asparagus. Dessert is either Sticky Toffee Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream or  New York Cheesecake with Strawberries.  A glass of Champagne included. Price is $70 a person plus tax and 18 percent tip. Later seatings add lobster bisque to the menu. Price is $79 a person plus tax and 18 percent tip.

Ring in the new year with Morton’s Legendary Chocolate Cake.

Mike’s in the Village, 2355-3 Bulverde Road, Bulverde, (830) 438-2747 — The regular menu will be served all New Year’s Eve.

Morton’s The Steakhouse, 300 E. Crockett St., (210) 228-0700 — The restaurant will be celebrating during dinner on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Oro at the Emily Morgan Hotel, 705 E. Houston St., (210) 224-0146 — New Year’s Eve seating starts at 5:30 p.m.  Begin with a Belvedere Martini, followed by Bluebonnet Farms Petite Lettuces or Charleston She Crab Soup. The main course is a choice of grilled ribeye with sherried lobster mushrooms or pan-roasted halibut with hickory smoked oyster sweet potato hash. Dessert is a choice of espresso tiramisu or caramelized pear and apple beignets. The cost is $79.95 a person and includes the martini, a glass of Moet et Chandon Brut Champagne and complimentary valet parking.

Ostra at the Mokara Hotel, 212 W. Crockett St., (210) 396-5817 — Reservations can be made from 6:30 to 11 p.m. with bar beverage service continuing until 2 a.m. Party favors and champagne toasts part of the celebration.

Paloma Blanca, 5800 Broadway, (210) 822-6151 — The restaurant will be open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. New Year’s Eve.

Perry’s Steakhouse,15900 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 558-6161 — Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille is offering a three-course menu followed by a champagne toast at midnight. For each course, guests can choose from a selection of Perry’s signature items, such as the lobster bisque, Perry’s Famous Pork Chop and Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy Bar dessert. For those dining at 5:30 p.m. or earlier, the cost is $54.95 per person plus tax and tip; it is $74.95 per person plus tax and tip for 6 p.m. or later.

Say Happy New Year with fireworks!

Q on the Riverwalk at the Downtown Hyatt, 123 Losoya, (210) 362.6325 — The New Year’s Eve celebration will feature dining from 6 to 10 p.m. The meal includes choice of the following main courses: house-smoked standing rib roast, fire-grilled fillet of salmon or roasted breast of chicken. Side dishes include roasted butternut squash risotto, baked mashed potatoes, au gratin potatoes, and grilled seasonal vegetables. There will also be a build-your-own salad bar as well as desserts that include vanilla bean creme brulee, mini-strawberry cheesecake, chocolate mousse shooters and cappuccino tarts. The cost is $50 a person.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Concord Plaza, 7720 Jones Maltsberger Road (210) 821-5051; Sunset Station, 1170 E. Commerce St. (210) 227-8847 — The specially priced menu consists of Ruth’s Chris steaks and other signature favorites for $99 per person and includes a Champagne toast as well as view of fireworks from the balcony of the Sunset station location.

Silo, 1133 Austin Hwy., (210) 824-8686; 434 N. Loop 1604 W., (210) 483-8989 — The New Year’s Eve special menu begins with a choice of lobster bisque, chicken-fried oysters, ricotta gnocchi, tuna carpaccio or five-spice Texas quail. Second course choices: Hydroponic mixed greens, baby wedge salad, Caesar salad, or roasted beet and watercress salad. Third course options: Roasted duck breast and confit leg, grilled beef tenderloin, prosciutto-wrapped sea bass, grilled Australian rack of lamb, or whole butter-poached lobster. Fourth course choices: Toasted coconut mousse pie or Callebaut dark chocolate truffle tart. A glass of Piper Heidsieck Brut is the finale. Price is $85 a person.

Sustenio at Eilan Hotel Resort & Spa, 17103 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 598-2950 — There will be two seatings on New Year’s Eve. The first is at 7 p.m. and features a three-course dinner priced at $75 a person.  The second is at 9 p.m.  and features a five-course dinner with dancing at iDance City and a Champagne toast, all for $125.

The Terrace Grill at Riven Rock Ranch, 390 Hermann Sons Road, Comfort, (830) 995-4045 —The New Year’s Eve party begins at 8 p.m. and runs until 12:30 a.m. The meal includes passed appetizers, soup or salad, a choice of Beef Tenderloin with red onion and Singing Water red wine marmalade, sweet cream whipped potatoes and Texas caviar or seasonal fresh fish topped with blue crab and pecan brown butter sauce with wild rice pilaf and Texas caviar. Cost is $99.95, which includes party favors and a complimentary glass of Champagne at midnight.

Texas de Brazil, 313 E. Houston St., (210) 299-1600 — The restaurant will be open early and late, offering diners skewers of meat as well as its extensive salad bar.

Thai Dee, 5307 Blanco Road, (210) 342-3622 — Thai Dee Restaurant will be open on New Year’s Day serving your favorite Thai dishes.

Tre Trattoria in Alamo Heights, 4003 Broadway, (210) 805-0333 — All parties receive family-style antipasti on New Year’s Eve, followed by the following menu. First course choices: Slow Roasted Caprese with House Pulled Mozzarella and Basil; Pear and Apple Panzanella with Rye, Arugula, Shaved Fennel, Spiced Walnuts and Lemon; or Salt Cod and Yukon Gold Fritters, Roasted Cauliflower Salad and Caper Aioli. Second course choices: Roasted Pumpkin Bisque with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds and Caramel Crema or Mussels and Chickpea with Saffron, Italian Sausage, Caramelized Fennel and Greek Yogurt. Third course options: Pan Seared Diver Scallop with Pecan Ice; Butter Poached Cold Water Oysters with Creamy Orzo, Chiles and Bottarga; or Tagliatelli with Smoked Local Cabrito, Calbrese Peppers, Pecorino and Rosemary. Fourth course choices: Pan Seared Ahi Tuna with Beluga Lentils; Wild Boar Ragu and Creamy Polenta; Grilled Tuscan Ribeye and Smashed Red Potatoes with Fontina; or Crispy Skin Duck Confit with Grilled Chicories. Fifth course options: Nutella x 3; Butterscotch “Blondie” with Thyme Chantilly and Praline “Crumble”; or Olive Oil Cake with Citrus and Mint. Price is $69.95 a person. Price does not include tax and 18 percent tip.

Tre Trattoria Downtown at The Fairmount Hotel, 401 S. Alamo St., (210) 223-0401 — The special New Year’s menu begins with an optional apertif of Cinco Vodka, Cava and Hibiscus flower syrup with Pomegranate Juice and Lime ($12 supplement). It is followed by a choice of House-made Mozzarella Caprese Salad, Caesar Salad or Lobster Bisque. Second course is Pearl Farmers Market Bruschetta served family style. Third course is a choice of Tuscan Farro Salad, Black Eyed Pea and House Sausage, or Israeli Cous Cous with Crab ($7 supplement for the latter). Fourth course choices: House-Made Pan Seared Potato Gnocchi; House-Made Tagliatelle with Wild Mushrooms, Thyme and Parmigiano Reggiano; or House-cut Fettuccini with Roasted garlic, Wilted Spinach, Basil and Parmigiano Brodo. Fifth course choices: Seared Diver Sea Scallops: Pan Seared Salmon with Marinated Purple Cabbage; Grilled Tuscan Marinated Ribeye ($15 Supplement); or Cornish Game Hen. Dessert choices: Nutella x 3, Vanilla Gelato, or Fresh Fruit and Local Honey Parfait. Price is $90 a person plus tax and tip or $120 with wine pairings.

The Westin La Cantera Resort, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 558-2253 — Dinner on New Year’s Eve will be in Francesca’s at Sunset and will include an Alice in Wonderland theme. Chef Stephen Gonzalez and sommelier Steven Krueger are planning a five-course meal with matching Champagnes. The price is $125 a person.



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Are Reservations for Dinner on Your Christmas List?

Bohanan’s is decorated for Christmas guests.

Christmas is coming, and that means it’s time for yet another list. This one isn’t for Santa, it’s of places where you can dine out for the holiday, either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Also included are a few special lunches. Reservations are required at most places, and prices do not include tax and tip. Call first and enjoy your holiday meal.

Achiote at the Grand Hyatt, 600 E. Market St., (210) 451-6171 — Christmas Eve brings a special buffet dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. with salads, pickled beets, creamed herring, Shrimp and Smoked Corn Chowder, Pork Posole, Carved Hardwood Smoked Prime Rib, St.Louis Style Pork Ribs, Hill Country Wild Boar Sausage, Asian Braised Beef Short Ribs, Fresh Market Select Fish Lightly Finished, Roasted Winter Vegetable Ragout and Daniel’s Festive Dessert Celebration. The cost is $45 for adults, $30 for children ages 6-12. Tax and 18 percent tip will be added to each check. The Christmas Day buffet is from noon to 9 p.m with salads, Tortilla Soup San Antonio, Natural Beef Rib-eye “Paralliada,” Seared Crusted Rack of Berkshire Pork, Pan Jus, Baked Mahi Mahi Barigoule, Rosemary Scented Chicken with Winter Mushrooms, Local Harvest Vegetable Medley, Holiday Cookies and Traditional Treats. The cost is $45 for adults, $30 for children 6-12. Tax and 18 percent tip will be added to each check.

Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 225-0722 — Biga is open Christmas Eve from 5 to 8 p.m. with a menu that includes the following:  Crab, glass noodle and wood ear mushroom spring rolls with mint and shiso dipping sauces;  slow braised veal Osso Buco, soft parmesan rosemary polenta, broccolini, Meyer lemon olive gremolata, natural jus;  and Double Chocolate Bouche de Noel, tiny meringue mushrooms, cherry sauce.  Seasonal jazzy music from Katchie Cartwright and Richard Oppenheimer.

Bin 555, 555 W. Bitters Road, (210) 496-0555 — The Christmas Eve special is a five-course prix fixe for $45. the menu includes Pan Seared Diver Scallops with Fennel, Sugar Pumpkin Puree, Apple and Cranberry as the entree and Signature Nutella Torte with Hazelnut Nougat.

Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, 219 E. Houston St., (210) 472-2600 —  Bohanan’s will be open Christmas Eve offering its regular menu of prime aged corn-fed beef, seafood, and tableside desserts flambé.

Bolo’s at the Omni San Antonio Hotel, 9821 Colonnade Blvd., (210) 699-5803 — The Christmas Day Champagne Brunch is from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Items from the buffet include  Apple wood Smoked Bacon, Country House Pork Sausage Links, Eggs Benedicts with Serrano Ham and Chorizo Hollandaise Sauce, Rotisserie Roasted Yukon Hash, Apple and Cheese Crepes, an  Omelet Station, Seasonal Fruit, Warm Butter Croissants & Fruit Danish, muffins,  Prepared Salads & Cheese,  Tamale Station, Pulled Pork with Green Chile, Achiote Chicken, Beef and Cilantro, Pupusa Station, Braised Pork Shoulder and Mexican Slaw, Paella Station, Pozole Station, Butter Poached Cod with Yukon Potatoes, Marinated Chicken Breast with Tomato Jam, Beef Medallions with Chimichurri,  Oven Roasted Prime Rib of Beef, Bone-in Ham, Seafood Display and desserts. Prices are $39.95 for adults, $35.95 for seniors, and $16.95 for children ages 5-11.

Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, (210) 821-5454 — The restaurant will be open 5:30-10 p.m. Christmas Eve. Chef Francois Maeder will be serving holiday cheer in the form of appetizers such as artichokes stuffed with goat cheese and almonds or Nova Scotia smoked salmon with cream cheese. Guests can experience Crumpets Trilogy, a special main course featuring a lobster tail with lemon butter, rack of lamb Provencal, and tenderloin of beef with Rossini sauce. Other entrées offered are chicken, shrimp, Rainbow trout, veal and beef. All include an appetizer, cup of soup, house salad and dessert.

Las Canarias will host an elaborate Christmas Day buffet.

Frederick’s Restaurant, 7701 Broadway, (210) 828-9050; Frederick’s Bistro,  14439 N.W. Military Highway, (210) 888-1500 — Both restaurants will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Night for dinner. A few items from the special menu: New England Clams & Crab Chowder ($8),  Fried Calamari with Spicy Thai Barbecue Sauce ($11),  Escargot Bordelaise Sauce and Mushroom ($11),  Frederick’s Crab Cake & Spicy Tartar Sauce ($12), Frederick’s Traditional Turkey Served with all the trimmings  ($27),  Apple Cider & Maple Syrup Glazed Christmas Ham ($24),  Beef Tenderloin ($38),  Norwegian Salmon with Champagne Caviar Mousseline ($29),  and Veal Strip Loin with Shiitake Mushroom Port Wine Sauce ($32).

Gallo Pizzeria, 164 Castroville Road, (210) 264-0077 — The pizzeria is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Hyatt Hill Country Resort, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, (210) 767-7999 — While the resort is undergoing a $35 million renovation, the Christmas activities include s’mores by the fire on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The movie in the ballroom will be “Charlie Brown Christmas” and “A Christmas Carol” on Dec. 24 and “Arthur Christmas” on Dec. 25. Santa will appear at the resort from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Christmas Day.

Las Canarias at Omni La Mansion del Rio, 112 College St., (210) 518-1177 — The Christmas Day brunch runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It includes classic breakfast items, such as omelets made to order, Country Breakfast Sausage, Blueberry Sage Sausage Patties, Belgian Waffles, Classic Mushroom and Gruyére Quiche, Soft Poached Eggs on Serrano Ham, and Strawberry and Mascarpone Cheese Blintzes. Starters: Rio Grande Valley Fresh Fruit Salad, Charcuteriere, artisian cheeses, Chef Prepared Salads, Roasted Chestnut and Butternut Squash Bisque, Penne Pasta Salad, Seared Portobello Mushrooms, Hearts of Romaine Lettuce, Spinach and Smoked Duck Salad, Cobb Salad, Smoked Trout, Chilled Jumbo Prawns, Louisiana Gulf Oysters, Redfish Ceviche and Cocktail Crab Claws. Chef-carved items include Smoked Prime Rib of Beef, Guinness and Honey Roasted Turkey Breast, Roasted Leg of Lamb, and Cider Cured Pork Loin “Ham.” A few of the desserts: Eggnog and Vanilla Panna Cotta, Grasshopper Brownies, Christmas Sugar Cookies, Raspberry Marshmallows, Minted Blueberry Cheesecake, Spiced Brown Sugar Coffeecake and Carrot Cupcakes with Pistachio Cream Cheese Mousse. Cost is $72 per adult or $36 for children ages 6-12. The regular menu will be offered starting at 6 p.m.

Laurent’s Modern Cuisine, 4230 McCullough Ave., (210) 822-6644 — Christmas Eve will feature the regular 5-course prix fixe dinner with several specials including lobster and possibly fresh dover sole.

Little Gretel, 518 River Road Boerne, (830) 331-1368 — Little Gretel will be open Christmas Eve for dinner with the regular menu being offered.

Little Rhein Steak House,231 S. Alamo St., (210) 225-2111 — The Christmas Eve menu includes a multi-course dinner beginning with a Holiday Bread Basket, followed by Lobster Bisque. A Field Greens Salad with Cranberries, Walnuts, Goat Cheese and Basil Vinaigrette precedes a choice of Prime Rib with Au Jus and Horseradish Cream, Asparagus and Au Gratin Potatoes and Yorkshire Pudding or Bay of Fundy Salmon Fillet with Lemon Dill Sauce and Roasted Fall Vegetables. Dessert is a choice of Sticky Toffee Pudding or Apple Pie with Cinnamon Ice Cream. Cost is $49 per person.

Luce Ristorante e Enoteca, 11255 Huebner Road, (210) 561-9700 — The restaurant will be open from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Christmas Eve with a Chilean sea bass special in addition to the regular menu.

Lüke San Antonio, 126 E. Houston St., (210) 227-5853 — The restaurant will be open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Christmas Day. The multi-course menu includes appetizers, salad, soup, an entree of roasted prime aged beef rib with sides, followed by a pre-dessert and dessert. The price is $55 per adult and $22 per child.

Oro at the Emily Morgan Hotel, 705 E. Houston St., (210) 224-0146 — Oro is offering a family-style multi-course wine dinner from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Christmas Eve. The meal begins with a salad of Bluebonnet Farms Petite Lettuces and local goat cheese. The main course is a mixed grill with Peeler Farms half-roasted young chicken, Akaushi Flat-Iron Steak, Mesquite Smoked Beef Ribeye and assorted sausages. Sweets include an assortment of house-made favorites: Lime Chevre Cheesecake, Dark Chocolate Espresso Cake and Strawberry Creme Brulee . The meal is priced at $59.95 per couple or $119.95 for four persons and includes a selection of Berringer Founders Collection Wines and complimentary valet parking.

Dine from Ostra’s regular menu on Christmas Day.

Ostra at the Mokara Hotel, 212 W. Crockett St., (210) 396-5817 — Ostra will have its regular à la carte menu available all day. Featured themed specials are available during dinner service, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Paloma Blanca, 5800 Broadway, (210) 822-6151 — The restaurant will be open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Perry’s Steakhouse, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 558-6161 — Perry’s will be open until 11 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Q on the Riverwalk at the Downtown Hyatt, 123 Losoya, (210) 362.6325 — The Christmas Day brunch buffet will be from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The buffet includes shrimp and crab claw shooters, charcuterie, seasonal produce including winter greens and fingerling potato salad, roasted butternut squash bisque and breads. Carved to order: peppercorn-encrusted prime rib and Calvados-glazed bone-in ham. The Wall of Fire will feature bourbon-braised beef short ribs, crab-encrusted rainbow trout, spiced rum and maple-glazed pork, chicken roulade, bruleed sweet potatoes, and grilled asparagus and baby carrots. Desserts: warm apple strudel, pumpkin rolls, chocolate pot de creme, maple creme brulee, glazed tangerine tarts, chocolate bread pudding and boubon banana crepe station. Cost: $44 for adults, $22 for children. Price includes champagne and parking in the Hyatt garage across the street.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House— The restaurant is offering Christmas lunches Monday-Friday at both locations. Lunches are available now through Dec. 21 at Concord Plaza, 7720 Jones Maltsberger Road, (210) 821-5051, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Lunches at the Sunset Station location, 1170 E. Commercce St., (210) 227-8847, are Dec. 17-21 from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. The meal costs $50 a person and includes starter, choice of entrée, accompaniment and dessert.

Silo,1133 Austin Hwy., (210) 824-8686; 434 N. Loop 1604 W., (210) 483-8989 — The special Christmas Eve menu includes a choice of salad, followed by choice of veal chip with wild mushroom risotto (add jumbo lump crab for $6 extra), gulf flounder with lemon pepper basmati, or lamb loin with red skin smashed potatoes. Dessert choices are toasted coconut pie or dark chocolate truffle mousse. The price is $42 a person. The regular dinner menu will be available.

Simi’s Indian Cuisine, 4535 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 737-3166 — The restaurant is open from 3 to 8 p.m. Christmas Day.

Sustenio at Eilan Hotel Resort & Spa, 17103 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 598-2950 — Sustenio will offer dinner Christmas Eve from 5 to 10 p.m. with dinner from the regular house menu. Christmas Brunch will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with traditional holiday fare served family style. The cost is $42 for adults and $14 for children 12 and under.

The Terrace Grill at Riven Rock Ranch, 390 Hermann Sons Road, Comfort, (830) 995-4045 — Christmas Day dinner is served from 2:30 to 5 p.m. A salad station with five options and a dessert station featuring Pumpkin Layer Cake, Cranberry & Blueberry Cobbler and Double Chocolate French Silk Pie be offered. The main course comes with plenty of sides and the choice of two of the following carved meats: Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, Herbs De Provence & Sea Salt Crusted Pork Loin or Texas ranchers registry certified Angus Prime Rib. The cost is $54.95 for adults, $34.95 for children under 10, no charge for infants.

Thai Dee, 5307 Blanco Road, (210) 342-3622 — Thai Dee Restaurant will be open on Christmas Day serving your favorite Thai dishes.

Tre Trattoria in Alamo Heights, 4003 Broadway, (210) 805-0333 — The Christmas Eve special is a four-course prix fixe with complimentary antipasti for $45. The menu includes Rosemary Porchetta with House Made Spaghetti and San Marzano and Egg Nog Gelato with Italian Cookies.

Tre Trattoria Downtown at The Fairmount Hotel, 401 S. Alamo St., (210) 223-0401 — The Christmas Eve special includes a four-course prix fixe for $35 a person. On the menu is a  Cast Iron New York Strip with House Made Gnocchi with Natural Jus as well as Nutella X3 Signature Dessert.

The Westin La Cantera Resort, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 558-6500 — Dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be in Brannon’s Cafe.

Restaurateurs, if your place is not on our list, please email and we’ll add you.


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Restaurants and Reservations, an Easy, Delicious Combination for Thanksgiving Dinner

Turkey, it’s what’s for dinner at Thanksgiving. But it’s not all that restaurants are offering.

This is the 2012 listing.

Why stress making Thanksgiving dinner when you can have the big meal served to you at a restaurant — and no dishes to wash afterward. There are plenty of options in San Antonio to meet all prices and tastes, including the following list. Reservations are required at all places, unless otherwise noted. Tax and tip are not included in the prices listed.

Achiote River Cafe & Bar at the Grand Hyatt, 600 E. Market St., (210) 451-6171 — Thanksgiving dinner will be served noon-10 p.m. The buffet starts with Forest Mushroom and Chestnut Bisque and salads: Organic Mixed Winter Greens, Waldorf, fresh fruits and compotes, whole grains and dried fruits, and select seafood. Specialties include Roast Pepper Crusted Tom Turkey and Pan Gravy, Smoked Rack of Pork with Chutneys and Relishes, Stuffed Planked Scottish Salmon, Corn Bread Stuffing with Grilled Poblanos, Crushed Garlic Scented Yukon Potatoes, Cauliflower au Gratin, Coconut Honey Sweet Potatoes, Ratatouille, and Mussels a la Cubana. Pastries and breads round out the array. Cost: $45 for adults, $22.50 for children 6-12. Menu price does not include an 18 percent tip, tax or alcoholic beverages.

Auden’s Kitchen, 700 E. Sonterra Blvd., (210) 494-0070 —Thanksgiving service will be 11 a.m.-6 p.m. The meal will be buffet style including your choice of one entrée. Appetizers and salads include antipasti, veg wrap pinwheels, stuffed mushrooms, roasted beet salad, Bibb salad with red wine vinaigrette, green lentil and marinated veg salad and Caesar salad. Entree options:  Sage roasted turkey, cornbread and Tasso ham stuffing;  Cinnamon and Harrisa roasted turkey, sweet potato hash, brussel sprouts with Spanish chorizo;  Ribeye with bacon and onion stuffed potato; and Salmon with lemon risotto and sautéed fennel.  The dessert table includes apple butter pumpkin pie bars, sweet potato bundt cake with marshmallows, peanut butter crunch chocolate bars, bourbon pecan pie, apple crumble pie bars, assortment of cookies. The price: $38.95 for adults or $18.95 for kids 12 and under.

Biga on the Banks,203 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 225-0700 — Thanksgiving dinner hours are 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The Thanksgiving dinner includes a selection of appetizers and salads, plus a choice of of the following entrées: Herb Roasted Organic Turkey, sourdough sage and apple smoked bacon dressing, green beans; Jerk-rubbed Organic Turkey, Jamaican rice and peas, plantains; Pepper Roasted Beef Ribeye, grilled Idaho with fixings; braised pork with green chiles and white beans, mustard greens, fried egg;  Organic Nutty Brown Farms Eggs Benedict, English muffin, grilled baby romaine, Canadian bacon; Texas Brioche Toast, three berry compote, crunchy bacon, maple syrup; Crab and shrimp croquettes, basil aioli, frisee, marinated olives and beans; Guajillo-cranberry glazed Red American Snapper, butternut squash pepita risotto cake;  and a vegetarian dish. For a $5 supplement, get baked potato au gratin, Green beans with crunchy onions, garlic mashers, sourdough dressing, country potatoes, scrambled eggs, and pork braised beans. A children’s menu and a dessert station also offered. Cost is $58 for adults and $27 for children 12 and under.

Thanksgiving dinner at Antlers is one of three dining options people have at the Hyatt Hill Country this year.

Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, (210) 821-5600 — Thanksgiving dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Chef and owner François Maeder is preparing traditional Thanksgiving dishes with his own taste of Europe. Guests can look forward to a menu with roasted turkey  and baked ham with all the trimmings ($28.50), as well as Maeder’s Veal Scaloppini with mushroom cognac sauce ($33.50) and other restaurant favorites. All entrees are served with fresh bread, salad, appetizer and dessert. A children’s menu is also available.

Earl Abel’s, 1201 Austin Hwy., (210) 822-3358 — The Thanksgiving menu will be served 11 a.m.-9 p.m., with breakfast starting at 6:30 a.m. Reservations are not accepted.  Appetizer specials include pumpkin soup, Earl’s Cream of Chicken soup and deviled eggs. Entree options: Roasted Turkey with handmade cornbread dressing, giblet gravy and cranberry relish; fried chicken with mashed potatoes; Thanksgiving pot roast with mashed potatoes and carrots; fried shrimp served with a baked potato; and a repeat of last year’s Venison Sausage from Broken Arrow Ranch in Ingram and served with German Potato Salad and Red Cabbage. Pies that day will include pumpkin pie, sweet potato pecan pie with Chantilly cream, chocolate ice box pie, pecan pie, strawberry shortcake, and chocolate and butter crème cakes. There will also be a children’s menu.

Frederick’s Restaurant, 7701 Broadway, (210) 828-9050; Frederick’s Bistro,  14439 N.W. Military Highway, (210) 888-1500 — Thanksgiving hours are from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and from 5-9 p.m. A few items from the lunch menu: Butternut Squash Pumpkin Soup ($6);  Lobster Bisque ($7);  Crab Cake with Spicy Remoulade ($9.5);  Roquefort Walnut Salad ($7);    Avocado, Jumbo Lump Crab Meat Salad ($25); Frederick’s Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey served with Home-style Stuffing, Fresh Cranberries and Seasonal Vegetables ($19); Jumbo Sea Scallops with Capers and Lemon and Butter, Caper Sauce ($20); and Black Angus New York Strip with Grilled Shrimp & Béarnaise ($29). Highlights from the holiday dinner menu include Frederick’s Spring Rolls ($9);  Crispy Calamari with Spicy Marinara Sauce ($9);  Oyster Casino ($9);  Escargot Bordelaise with Mushrooms and Garlic Butter ($10);  Frederick’s Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey served with Home-style Stuffing, Fresh Cranberries & Seasonal Vegetables ($25); Norwegian Salmon with Whole Grain Mustard White Wine Sauce ($27);  Black Angus Beef Tenderloin with Grilled Shrimp & Béarnaise ($34) and Parmesan Crusted Rainbow Trout with Avocado Relish ($28). Children’s menu available at both meals.

Green Vegetarian Downtown location only; 1017 N. Flores;  210-320-5865, $15 per person. Prix Fixe menu: Roast Turkey; Glazed Wham; Sausage and Apple Stuffing; Glazed Yams; Green Bean Casserole; Mashed Potatoes; Cranberry Salad; Tea. Please RSVP to

Hilton Palacio del Rio, 200 S. Alamo St., (210) 224-3357 — Seating times are at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. The lavish buffet includes fresh salads, bread display, an omelet station, entrées, traditional turkey and dressing, and a delicious dessert display. Price: Adults $34.95, Seniors/Military $31.95, Children 6-10 $16.95, Free for children 5 and under. Includes complimentary valet parking.

Hyatt Hill Country Resort,9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, (210) 767-7999 — The resort is offering two dining options for all tastes:

  • The Hill Country Ballroom will be offering a brunch from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Features include a rustic soup station with butternut squash soup, onion soup with Gruyère crouton, roasted tomato soup with smoked cheddar crostini, chicken tomatillo soup, and posole with cilantro and diced onion. The salad bar includes a selection of local greens, composed salads, and a specialty apple and pear tasting accompanied by warm mulled cider, Seafood: jumbo shrimp and cascabel chile cocktail sauce, hand-shucked oysters with jalapeño mignonette, smoked salmon with traditional garnish and mini bagels, smoked garlic mussels. Cheese kiosk and artisan breads will include locally made cheeses and crusty breads, warm, smoked-cheddar green chile biscuits with agave butter, Leaning Oaks Vineyard wine conserves and chipotle-pomegranate jam, and a marinated vegetable and olive bar. On the Butcher Block: citrus-coriander basted tom turkey with house-made gravy, maple-glazed honey baked ham with spicy mustard, and roasted beef steamship with horseradish. There will also be a Cranberry Bar, Pasta and specialties, including sweet potato with marshmallow gratin, corn bread stuffing, mashed garlic potatoes, baked “fresh catch” with lime butter cream sauce, roasted acorn squash with sherry and chestnuts, haricot vert and pancetta. Breakfast items, pastries and a children’s buffet also included. Cost: $49.95 for adults, $39.95 for seniors, and $23 for children 5-12 years.
  • Thanksgiving dinner in Antlers will be served 3-9 p.m. The special menu begins with soup and salad: Spanish Chorizo and Kale Soup with Leeks, Carrots, Celery, and Potato plus Chopped Salad with Romaine and Radicchio, Apple Bacon, Bleu Cheese, Pecans and Maple Vinaigrette. Main Dishes and Accompaniments include Sage Butter Roasted Turkey and Kettle Gravy, Lavender Honey-Glazed Ham, Wild Mushroom and Chorizo Stuffing, Tequila-Jalapeño and Traditional Cranberry Sauce, Smoked Cheddar Whipped Potatoes, Autumn Vegetable Hash, Parmesan Broccolini with Smoked Paprika, and fresh baked breads and butter. Dessert is your choice of Caramelized Pumpkin Tart with White Chocolate Whipped Cream, Roasted Apple-Cranberry Cobbler or Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie. Sommelier-recommended specialty wines available. Cost: $53 adults, $42 seniors, and $22 children 6-12.
  • The Springhouse Café will serve dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. The meal will include the traditional Thanksgiving favorites with a carving station for turkey and ham. Cost: $23 for adults, $11.50 for children 6-12. Reservations are not required.

JW Marriott, 23808 Resort Parkway, (210) 483-6622 — The Grand Oaks Ballroom will be the scene of a Thanksgiving buffet from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Options start with breakfast items, including Omelet Station, Fresh Fruit and Berries, Warm Breakfast Pastries, House Smoked Salmon, Mini Bagels, Farm Fresh Scrambled Eggs, Applewood Smoked Bacon and Elgin Hot Links Sausage. Salads, breads, sides and soups will be served along with seafood: Shrimp, Snow Crab Claws, Clams, and Oysters. At the carving station: Maple Brined Tom Turkey, Peach and Cranberry Relish, Prime Rib, Natural Pan Jus, Potato Sea Salt Rolls, and Bourbon Glazed Smoked Pork Loin. A dessert buffet and a children’s buffet are also included. Price: $54.95 for adults, $46.95 for seniors, and $25.95 for children 4 and older.

Las Canarias at La Mansion del Rio, 112 College St., (210) 518-1177 —The Thanksgiving buffet is served from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The buffet includes complimentary parking and choice of champagne, mimosas and Bloody Mary. The cost is $72 for adults, $36 for children 6-12 and free for children 5 and younger. Regular a la carte dinner service with featured themed specials will resume at 6 p.m.

Las Ramblas, Hotel Contessa, 306 W. Market St., (210) 298-3040 — Seatings are at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. The meal will include two carving stations at the main buffet, a waffle and omelet station, a chilled seafood display, a pastry chef’s table and a children’s buffet. Price: Adults, $41 (with bottomless mimosas and sangria, add $9); children 7-16, $16.

Expect to find all sorts of pies among the dessert offerings.

Luce Ristorante e Enoteca, 11255 Huebner Road, (210) 561-9700 — The restaurant will be open noon-4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. A traditional turkey dinner will be served for $21.95 per person. The a la carte dinner menu will also be served.

Lüke, 125 E. Houston St.,  (210) 227-5853 — The Thanksgiving dinner will be served 11 a.m.-11 p.m. The five-course family-style Thanksgiving feast will be served to all, including service men and women from Fort Sam Houston, who will be honored guests that day. Starters include Crab Deviled Eggs, Southern Caviar and Cornmeal Pancakes, Hogs Head Cheese and Grilled Bread, and Boudin Balls, followed by Shrimp Maison, Braune Farms Beet Salad, Young Spinach Salad, Creole Seafood Gumbo, Turducken, Dirty Rice, Texas Yam Souffle, Mirliton and Shrimp Stuffing and more. Dessert is a choice of Mascarpone and Pumpkin Pie with White Chocolate Croustillant, Wild Turkey Pecan Pie with Vanilla Pot de Creme, Walnut and Apple Strudel with Creole Cream Cheese Ice Cream, or Brendan’s Bread Pudding, Candied Pecans, Vanilla Ice Cream. The cost is $45 for adults, $20 for children, plus tax and gratuity. A limited a la carte menu will be available as well.

Mike’s in the Village, 2355-3 Bulverde Road, Bulverde, (830) 438-2747— Thanksgiving dinner with will be served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Start with a choice of Butternut Squash Soup, Chicken & Sausage Gumbo, Caesar Salad or Mixed Greens with Raspberry Vinegrette, followed by an entree of Cranberry Glazed Carrots; Green Beans & Mushroom Casserole; Creamy Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes; Roasted Turkey Breast with Chorizo, Andouille, Walnut & Cornbread Stuffing; Giblet Gravy and Whole Fruit Cranberry Relish. Dessert is a choice of Pecan Pie with White and Dark Chocolate Sauce, Pumpkin Pie with Fresh Whipped Cream or White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce. The cost is $24.95 for adults, $9.99 for children under 10.

The Omni San Antonio at the Colonnade, 9821 Colonnade Blvd., (210) 691-8888 — The Thanksgiving brunch buffet will be from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a turkey bar featuring several types of turkey, from Cajun and rotisserie to roasted and smoked, and a stuffing/dressing bar with fixings that include shrimp, chicken, chorizo, oysters, prosciutto, dried fruit and nuts. Rosemary steamship of beef and herb-crusted pork loin will also be offered in addition to soups, salads, desserts and breakfast items. The price is $39.95 per adult plus tax and a 21 percent service charge. Children ages 6-11 cost $16.95. You can also sponsor a wounded warrior to a Thanksgiving dinner when you make your reservation.

Candied yams are a seasonal favorite.

Oro at the Emily Morgan Hotel, 705 E. Houston St., (210) 224-0146 — Thanksgiving dinner will be served 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The seafood selection includes a variety of East Coast Oysters, Ahi Tuna, Gulf Redfish, Gulf Shrimp Ceviche, Gulf Cocktail Shrimp with Pickled Onion and Cilantro Cocktail and Littleneck Clams.  Chilled items include Bluebonnet Farms Heirloom Tomato and Roasted Mushrooms, local lettuces and salads, and assorted seasonal fruit and cheeses. Vegetables include Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Steamed Wild Rice with Cranberries and Huckleberries, Roasted Cherry and Butternut Squash Puree, and Sweet Potato and Braised Cabbage Hash. Hot favorites: Carved Rosemary and Cardamon Scented Turkey, with Classic Dressing, Alamo Beer and Citrus Braised Berkshire Pork Shank, Mesquite Smoked Garlic Studded Beef Sirloin and Natural Jus, and Pan Seared Mahi Mahi with Passion Fruit Butter and Charred Bell Peppers. Dessert options: Petit Fours, Classic Seasonal Berry Cheesecake, Caramelized Texas Pecan Pie with Chantilly Cream, and Decadent Pumpkin Pie with Golden Raisin Caramel. Cost: $39.95 plus tax and tip; $19.95 for kids 12 and under. Complimentary Valet Parking.

Ostra at the Mokara Hotel, 212 W. Crockett St., (210) 396-5817 — Ostra will have its regular à la carte menu available all day. Featured themed specials are available during dinner service, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Q on the Riverwalk at the Downtown Hyatt, 123 Losoya St., (210) 222-1234 — Thanksgiving dinner will be served 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Start with shrimp and crab claw shooters, prosciutto, capicola, Genoa salami, mortadella, marinated vegetables and Brazos Valley cheeses, season produce and salads, breads and soup as well as herb-roasted turkey breast or molasses-glazed bone-in ham, both carved to order. The Wall of Fire includes pistachio-encrusted salmon, brussels sprouts with bacon and caramelized onions, Brazos Valley White Cheddar mashed potatoes, Haricot Vert Casserole, and Bruleed Sweet Potatoes. Desserts include pumpkin cheesecake, bourbon pecan pie, Calvados apple cobbler, maple creme brulee, clementine fruit tarts, banana pudding cones and cinnamon roll French toast. Cost is $44 for adults or $22 for children. Price includes a glass of champagne and parking in the garage across the street.

Sustenio at Eilan Hotel Resort and Spa, 17103 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 598-2950 — On Thanksgiving Day, Sustenio is hosting a 3-course family style Thanksgiving Day meal from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Start with a choice of two of the following: Apple and Pear Salad, Pumpkin Soup, Truffle Chantilly, Traditional San Antonio Smoked Pork Tamales, Caesar Salad, Double Diamond Texas Quail, Smoked Chicken Deviled Eggs, Crab Salad and Goat Cheese Dip ($5 per person for an additional appetizer.) Choose two entrée selections: Wood Grilled Beef with Wild Mushroom Ragout; Heritage Turkey Breast; Texas Oak-Wood Smoked Ham; Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin; Leg of Lamb; Pan Seared Stripe Bass; Pressed Confit Duck; and Vegetarian Pasta ($7 per person for additional entrée). Choose three side dishes: Grandma’s Corn Bread, Sautéed Green Beans, Savory Pumpkin-Anise Bread Pudding, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Caramelized Root Vegetables, Smoky-Cheddar Stone Ground Grits, White Bean and Grilled Vegetable Salad, Braised Red Cabbage, Honey Glazed Carrots, Sweet Potato Soufflé and Yukon Gold Potato Puree ($4 per Person for an additional side.) Choose two desserts: Peppermint Cheesecake, Spiced Orange-Cranberry Cake, Pumpkin Panna Cotta, Pecan Whiskey Tart, Fruit Tart and Apple Cobbler ($5 per person for additional dessert.)  The cost is $42 for adults, $16 for children.

Many restaurants will serve Thanksgiving favorites family-style.

The Terrace Grill at Riven Rock Ranch, 390 Hermann Sons Road, Comfort, (830) 995-4045 — Chef Brantley is serving Thanksgiving dinner from noon to 5 p.m. The cost will be $49.95 for adults and $29.95 for children under 10, plus beverage, tax and tip.  A salad precedes the meal featuring the following sides: Fresh baked sweet corn muffins with whipped butter; Four Cheese Broccoli Casserole-with Romano, Fontina, Provolone and mozzarella cheese, topped with toasted bread crumbs; Orange Scented Haricots Verts with sun dried cranberries and toasted almonds; Sweet Corn, Water Chestnut and Texas Mushroom Cornbread Stuffing; and Agave Syrup Infused Sweet Potatoes and Spiced Apples with a Whiskey Glaze. You can choose two of the three meats from the carving station: Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, Center Cut Pork Loin and Amaretto, Pecan & Peach Glazed Smoked Ham. Dessert choices: Warm Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate-served with Chantilly whipped cream, grated chocolate and marshmallows; Caramel Jonagold Apple Cheesecake Bars with ginger snap cookie crust and streusel topping; and Traditional Pumpkin Pie-creamy custard based pumpkin pie sprinkled with candied pecans and spiced whipped cream.

Texas de Brazil, 313 E. Houston St., (210) 299-1600 — The Brazilian steakhouse opens at noon  Thanksgiving Day with a few traditional items, such as roast turkey, sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce in addition to the regular array of meats.

Vegeria Vegan Restaurant, 8407 Broadway, (210) 826-4223 — Vegeria’s Thanksgiving buffet will be 100 percent vegan and gluten free. It will also be completely local and organic.  The cost is $20 and includes drinks and dessert, but not tax or tip.  Seating choices are Slot A: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; Slot B: 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.; Slot C: 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. On the menu: Corn Cheddar Bread Pudding, Quinoa and Corn Bread Stuffing, Harvest Kale Salad with Candied Pecans and Walnuts, House Salad, Green Bean Casserole, Herbed Mashed Potatoes, Pumpkin and Butter Nut Squash Curry, Fresh Cranberry Sauce, Baked Herb Tofu with Creamy Portabella Gravy, fresh vegetables with homemade vegan cheese, Fresh Corn Bread and Jalepeño Cheddar Corn Bread, Pumpkin Spice Tamales, Spinach and Cream Cheese Tamales, Thanksgiving Stuffed Tamales, Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake, Raw Pecan Pie, Apple Spice Cupcakes, and Pumpkin Spice with Bavarian Cream Cupcakes. The raw menu includes raw savory pumpkin seed loaf with cranberry sauce, raw marinated kale and mushrooms, raw apple and sweet potato casserole, house salad, Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake and Raw Pecan Pie.

The Westin La Cantera, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 558-2439 — The Thanksgiving meal will be offered during seatings that run ever half hour from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  The brunch will include soup, salads, and carving stations with roast tom turkey, pineapple-glazed ham and prime rib au jus. Entrees include tomato-mozzarella stuffed chicken roulade, Provençal-style salt cod, and chile-rubbed pork loin. Breakfast specials, an array of side dishes and desserts, and a children’s menu are all offered.  Cost is $49 for adults, $25 for children.

If you would like to add another restaurant to the list, email or



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Special Dinners Celebrate Whiskey, Chocolate and Wine

Three special dinners in the area are putting the spotlight on whiskey, chocolate and wine, respectively.

Myron’s is hosting a whiskey dinner.

Myron’s Prime Steakhouse,  10003 N.W. Military Hwy., is hosting a whiskey tasting dinner at 7 p.m. Oct. 17 with  Adam Harris, distillery specialist for Beam Global Spirits as the guest speaker.

The Whiskeys of the World Dinner menu begins with  Canadian Club Manhattan, followed by Maple Glazed Cedar Planked Salmon over Butternut Squash Puree with Haricot Verts and a Blood Orange Reduction served with Kentucky’s Maker’s Mark 46. Irish Lamb Stew with Potatoes, Carrots, Onions and Cabbage over traditional soda bread is presented with Kilbeggan of Westmeath, Ireland. Jerked Pork Chops over Coconut and Mango Rice with Sautéed Brussels Sprout Leaves is partnered with Knob Creek Rye of Kentucky. Finally, Cold Smoked Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Butter over Parmesan Crusted Potatoes and White Asparagus is served with Laphroaig from the Isle of Islay, Scotland.

The cost of dinner is $74.95 plus tax and tip. For reservations, call (210) 493-3031.

Little Gretel is going chocolate crazy.

Little Gretel, 518 River Road, Boerne, is having a chocolate dinner as part of the second annual Dine & Wine BoerneFest. It begins at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 19.

The menu, presented with the Chocolate & Wine Festival of Texas, includes Coquilles St. Jacques with a Chocolate and Cranberry Sauce, Chocolate Soup a la Goethe’s Mum, Arugula-Strawberry Salad with Chocolate-Balsamic Vinaigrette, Pepper-crusted Beef Tenderloin or Chicken Breast with Chocolate-Port Sauce and Black Forest Kirsch Cake.

The price is $69 a person plus tax and tip. Call (830) 331-1368 for reservations.

Oro is pairing wine with a special dinner.

Oro at the Emily Morgan Hotel, 705 E. Houston St., is hosting a Halloween party and Deutsch Family Estate portfolio wine dinner with guest speaker Brian Windham. It begins at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 19.

Diners are encouraged to dress in costume for the dinner with the winner of the best costume winning a complimentary dinner and a room for a night.

Chef Chris Cook’s menu begins with Ghostly Smoked Chicken Wonton with Girard Chardonnay 2000. Beaten and Blackened Hawaiian Opah with Sweet Potato and Pear Hash will be paired with The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc 2011, followed by Horrific Canadian Lobster Mac and Cheese with Swiss Chard and Cranberries paired with Baron Fini Pinot Grigio 2011. Spooky Citrus Pan Seared Pork Tenderloin and Ramon Bilbao Albariño Rias Biaxes 2010 preceded To Die For Anise Scented Braised Short Rib with Girard Petite Sirah 2009. Dessert will be the chef’s devilish choice.

The price is $69.95 a person plus tax and tip. Call (210) 225-5100 for reservations.

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Oro to Showcase California Wines

Oro at the Emily Morgan Hotel, 705 E. Houston St., is hosting a wine dinner featuring special selections from Raymond, Buena Vista and Deloach. It is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Chris Cook’s menu, with some fall seasonal accents, begins with Lightly Grilled Jumbo Gulf Shrimp with Tarragon Cream Cheese and Guava Mango BBQ paired with Raymond Sauvignon Blanc 2011. Pulled Vanilla Scented Duck Confit with Butter Lettuce and Grilled Pear is served with Raymond Chardonnay 2010.

Green Peppercorn-studded Grilled Petite Filet with Cinnamon Cauliflower is presented with Buena Vista Pinot Noir 2009, while Slow Roasted Young Pheasant with Smoked Mushroom and Long Bean Blackberry Jus is paired with Buena Vista The Count 2009. Dessert is Rhubarb Gelatto Coca-Cola Float and Anise Biscotti Crumble with Deloach Russian River Pinot Noir 2010.

The price is $65.95 plus tax and tip. Valet parking is complimentary and reduced room rates are available.

For reservations, call (210) 225-5100.


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Wente Wine Dinner Planned for Oro at the Emily Morgan

Chris Cook and the team at Oro in the Emily Morgan Hotel, 705 E. Houston St., will showcase the wines of Wente Vineyards on Friday, Aug. 24.

The Califnoria winery is known for its Chardonnay clone as well as its lush reds. Winery spokesman Tom Campese will be on hand to discuss the wines.

The menu begins with pear, mango, pineapple and pico de gallo with a crisp tortilla and the 2000 Morning Fog Chardonnay, followed by Anise-scented Grilled Prime Filet with pickled beet and roasted corn plus the 2010 Livermore Valley The Spur.

A Pan-seared Diver Scallop with South Texas Kimchee and the 2011 Livermore Valley The Whip will be served before Coffee- and Clove-scented Australian Lamb Loin and the 2009 Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon. Dinner closes with Tahitian Vanilla Bean Streusel Apple and 2010 Riva Ranch Chardonnay.

The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. with a reception and the meal at 7 p.m. The price is $69.95 a person plus tax and tip. Complimentary valet parking and discounted room rates available. Call (210) 225-5100 for reservations.

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A Hankering for Roast Chicken That Gets Under the Skin

Give me some skin!

You can separate some people by their politics, their sports team allegiances, their taste in music or even their drink of choice.

I’m a chicken person. I ask people what their favorite type of chicken is.

Fried chicken? If you’ve had the best, such as a crackling bird from Tommy Moore’s or Mr. and Mrs. G’s, that’s practically greaseless yet loaded with flavor from first bite, then I know I can respect your opinion when it comes to most food. I’ll also start to drift off on memories of some crunchy thigh or drumstick that had just the right blend of salt and pepper in the flour mix and seasoned each mouthful. If fast food is all you have time for, and Popeye’s is near the top of the list, I’ll nod in agreement.

Although I grew up in Kentucky, I hate to admit it, but I can’t find much to agree with when people start singing the praises of KFC. Soggy, supermarket fried chicken is even more of a let-down, even when served cold, picnic style.

Things get a little rockier when rotissere chicken comes up. Are these people talking about those all-too-often mealy creatures you grab  at the supermarket when you just don’t have time to cook that night? Those are more an act of desperation than a real delicacy, and my opinion has slid just a touch.

If someone mentions boneless, skinless chicken breast by itself, I generally stop listening. It’s like listening to someone praise store-bought white bread, although I think the bread often has more flavor. Chicken breast is what I gladly give to others or what I save for chicken salad, when mayonnaise, sour cream and a few more seasonings are there to add flavor.

Herb-Roasted Chicken

Mention roast chicken, however, and I definitely see friend material. It means you know the joys of tearing off a piece of glistening skin and having it crackle in your mouth. Suddenly, your senses take over as you take in the texture and the sound as well as the aroma and the flavor. There is a reason this succulent taste of heaven is an international classic.

But getting that perfect bird isn’t always easy. I’ve tried numerous recipes in the past. I even bought a wonderful cookbook called “Roast Chicken and Other Stories,” though I have to admit that the chicken recipe may be my least favorite of all that I’ve tried. I even bought a special chicken roaster. And I’ve loved experimenting with the various cooking  techniques people swear by, from cooking the bird at a low temperature for a long time or starting the temperature really hot to get the skin crispy and then lowering it while the rest of the bird cooks.

What is driving me is a taste memory of the best roast chicken I’ve ever had, which was about 13 years ago at the Old Chatham Shepherding Farm in upstate New York. Chef Melissa Kelly stuffed slivers of truffle under the skin and used just enough butter to get practically lacquer the skin. The meat underneath was moist, as if the butter basted the meat while the truffle perfumed it. Never again, however. I haven’t seen the likes of it on her menu at her subsequent restaurant, Primo in upstate Maine.

My desire to find the best roast chicken recipe led me to two area chefs, Chris Cook from Oro in the Emily Morgan Hotel and Zach Lutton from Zedric’s Healthy Gourmet to Go. Both started from the same point: Use a really good chicken, preferably one raised responsibly in the area from a ranch such as Peeler Farms or Vital Farms. Then they went off in opposite directions, yet both produced the crispy skin  and juicy meat I crave. (If you’re wondering about my obsession with the skin, then you don’t get roast chicken at all. Let me just say that I’ll roast an entire chicken for dinner. Then I’ll sit down and eat the skin. If I’m still hungry after that, I’ll have a thigh.)

Young Chicken Confit

Cook prepares his confit style in duck fat the day before serving. Then he roasts it the last step of the way in an oven that allows the skin to reach that perfect crackling stage. The end result is dizzying with the achiote carrots and the rest of the vegetables you can serve with it. It does take a good deal of preparation, so you might want to leave the cooking up to Cook and enjoy this dish at Oro in the Emily Morgan, 705 E. Houston St., where locals can enjoy 20 percent off their meal.

Lutton’s recipe starts out on a high temperature and stays there, which made me slightly nervous. He uses olive oil under the skin instead of butter, though a combination of the two might also work. My fears were groundless. The skin came out a rich brown that bypassed the usual golden color and yet carried a load of flavor. It was also so easy that I’ve made it twice, just to be sure — and to get a little more of that skin.

I realize my roast chicken fixation is arbitrary, but I can’t help. I can only feed the addiction. Now, it’s your turn. What’s your favorite way to prepare chicken? Or what’s the best chicken you’ve ever had?

In the meantime, try Cook’s and Lutton’s recipes. Both are excellent methods of preparing this classic dish.


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Young Chicken Confit from Chris Cook of Oro

Young Chicken Confit

Chris Cook, executive chef at Oro in the Emily Morgan, gets crackling good skin on his chicken by cooking it the day before in duck fat and then crisping it up just before serving. The end result is ideal if you want to do a dinner for two ahead of time.

The chicken is on the menu at Oro, which offers San Antonio residents a 20-percent discount off their meals. So, if you don’t have the duck fat on hand to make this succulent treat, you can at least taste it at the downtown restaurant, 705 E. Houston St.

The trappings can change with the season, so you can adapt this recipe to suit what is in season, whether it’s butternut squash, oven-roasted beets or English peas. The recipe that follows is Cook’s summer presentation.

Young Chicken Confit

1 (3-pound) chicken confit
6 ounces achiote carrot purée
2 tomatillos, cut in half and grilled until soft
4 ounces green beans, blanched, sautéed, and seasoned with salt and white pepper
2 ounces pomegranate syrup, drizzled around chicken for presentation

Chicken Confit:
1 (3-pound) chicken, cut in half
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup chili powder
½ cup bay leaves
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
8 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup garlic powder
1/2 cup  onion powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons coarse ground black peppercorns
2.5 quarts duck fat or a 90/10 vegetable oil/olive oil blend

Achiote Carrot Purée:
5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ounces achiote paste, chopped fine
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon honey
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground white pepper, to taste

For the chicken: Generously season chicken with salt, chili powder, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, garlic cloves, garlic powder and onion powder inside cavity and out. Cover and cure for one full day.  Once cured, place half chickens in heavy gauge pot and cover with duck fat. Cook over low, low, low heat for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  Remove and store in fat in refrigerator until time to serve. When ready to serve, remove chicken from fat and place in 425 degree oven until nice and golden brown and warmed through.

For the carrot purée: Blanch carrots in boiling salted water until really soft and almost falling apart. In food processor, add achiote paste, cream, butter and honey, and purée until very smooth.  Season with salt and white pepper. Consistency should be that of potato purée.

Makes 2 servings.

From Chris Cook, Oro Restaurant at the Emily Morgan


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Mom Wants a Day Off: You Can Make the Reservations

Mother’s Day is coming, and one way to tell her how much you love her is to treat her to a brunch, lunch or dinner that she doesn’t have to cook or clean up after. Here are some of the options available in a broad array of food styles and price ranges.

Reservations are required, so plan ahead. Prices do not include tax and tip.

Achiote at the Grand Hyatt,600 E. Market St., (210) 451-6171 — The Mother’s Day Buffet is 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost is $42 a person. It features a sushi station; a salad station with Shrimp Salpicon, Chile Jicama and Cucumber Salad, Caprese Salad and Seasonal Fruit Salad; Chef Carved Meats including Herb and Mustard Crusted Strip Loin and House Smoked Berkshire Pork Loin; Wild Mushroom Bisque; Lomo Salteado; Pollo Verde with Charred Tomatillo Sauce; Margarita Pan-Seared Red Fish; Arroz Con Gandules; Roasted Garlic-Ginger Mashed Potatoes; Seasonal Baby Vegetables; Sesame Asparagus; a Custom Egg Station and Seasonal Pastries and Cakes Prepared by Chef Daniel.

Aldaco’s, 20079 Stone Oak Pkwy., (210) 494-0561 — The restaurant will open at 10 a.m. May 13 and is accepting reservations for its brunch, which features everything from breakfast chile rellenos to a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar.

Aldaco’s at Sunset Station, 100 Hoefgen St., (210) 222-0561 — The Mom’s Saturday Brunch is May 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Items on the Specialty Spring Brunch Menu: Eggs Benedict ($11.50) with homemade hollandaise, grilled ham, grilled asparagus; fresh fruit or home fries; custom waffle or shortstack pancakes ($9.50) with your choice of plain, blueberry, chocolate chip, banana or bacon; Custom Omelet ($8.50) with your choice of fillings: onions, bell peppers, roasted vegetables, ham, tomatoes, bacon and cheese; Big Country Breakfast ($10.50) with split biscuit with cream gravy, two eggs any style, bacon, sausage and home fries; Roasted Vegetable Fritatta ($10.50); Big bowl of oatmeal ($6.50) with your choice of Cinnamon Apple n’ Raisin with Brown Sugar or Mixed Berries and Cream; and the following kids choices ($5): Bowl of cereal and fresh fruit or silver dollar pancakes or waffles.

Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 225-0722 — Easter brunch hours will be 10 a.m.-4 p.m.The buffet will include appetizers, salads and desserts, while one entree is chosen from the menu. Entree options include: Maine Lobster omelet, Organic egg Benedict with Serrano ham and chive hollandaise, cocoa nib waffles with caramelized bananas, seared natural scallops with chilled carrot and crème fraiche dill vichyssoise, fine herb baked red American snapper, roasted leg of lamb, pepper roasted rib-eye of beef with blue cheese mashers, and jasmine tea smoked duck.. The selection of desserts: Carrot cake, cream cheese icing and candied carrots; Fresh blueberry baby tarts; Eclairs, Tiramisu, Texmati rice pudding; Torta Divina; and Sparkling strawberry fruit soup. There will also be kids’ desserts. The prices are $54 for adults and $27.50 for children under 12.

Bin  555, 555 W. Bitters, (210) 496-0555 — Brunch hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Start with a choice of appetizer: Caesar Salad with Romaine Hearts, Grilled Red Onion and Parmigiano Reggiano; Creamy Lobster Bisque with Smoked Butternut Squash and Chives; Poached Egg with Summer Squash, Crispy Pancetta and Sweet Onions; or “Toast, Ham, Jam and Fruit.” Entree choices: Baked Crepe with Wild Mushroom Cream, Caramelized Onion and Spring Asparagus; Scrambled Eggs, Heirloom Tomatoes, Crispy Pork Belly and Arugula; Pan Roasted Salmon with Smoked Potato, English Peas, Radish and Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc; or Sous Vide of Beef Tenderloin Petite Filet with Spring Vegetable Friscasse and Guinness Bordelaise ($5 Supplement). After Wood Oven Baked Brie with Spanish Torta, Dried Cherry Jam and Celery Hearts, choose a dessert: Nutella and Dark Chocolate “Soufflé” Cake with Raspberry, Smoked Pistachio and Hazelnut; Banana Pudding with Peanut Butter Mousse, Mascarpone Chantilly, Caramel and Nilla Nougat; or “Berries and Cream.” Cost is $29.95 a Person. An $11 children’s menu is available. An 18 percent tip will be added to all checks. Dinner hours with the regular menu begin at 4 p.m.

The Bright Shawl, 819 Augusta St., (210) 225-6366 — Mother’s Day hours are 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. On the menu: Fresh Fruit Salad, Vanilla Yogurt, Granola, Oatmeal, Brown Sugar, Raisins, Milk; Assorted Bread, Muffins, Croissants, Butter & Cream Cheese Spread; Assorted Cheese Display,  Crudités, Ceviche, Deviled Eggs, Chilled Shrimp and Orzo Salad, Crabmeat Salad, House and Caesar Salad. Eggs Benedict, Sausage, Bacon, Breakfast Potatoes, Biscuits & Gravy, Seasonal Quiche; Selections of Seasonal Poultry, Fish/Crab Cakes, Vegetables and Wild Rice, Selection of Pasta, Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions, Meatball Marinara, Garlic Bread. Other brunch features are an omelet station with traditional fillings, a waffle station with assorted toppings. Also, Beef Roast, Au Jus, Horseradish Cream. Children can order their own personal Chicken Tenders with French Fries. For dessert: Assorted Cakes, Brownies, Fruit Pies, Bread Pudding with Jack Daniel Sauce, Chocolate Mousse. Visit the website. Prices are $28.95 for adults, $19.95 for seniors (age 65 and up), $12.95 for children ages 6-12, $7.95 for children ages 3-5, and free for children 2 and under. Coffee, teas, orange juice, a glass of champagne or a mimosa are included in the buffet price.

The County Line, 10101 I-10 W., (210) 641-1998 — Mother’s Day is being celebrated May 11-13 with a few words of advice for the barbecue lover: “We’ll do all the work. You take all the credit.”

Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach, (210) 821-5600 — Crumpets is offering three special menus for Mother’s Day. The first is on Saturday, May 12 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. On May 13, the brunch is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the following specials: Appetizers: Puff Pastry with White Wine Mushroom Sauce, Scottish Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese and Mousse Truffle Pate. Entrées: Eggs Benedict ($29.50), Chicken Breast With Champagne Sauce ($29.50), Shrimp Salad On Avocado ($29.50), Veal Scaloppini with Mushroom Cognac Sauce ($36.50), Fresh Rainbow Trout Amandine ($36.50), Tenderloin of Beef With Bordeaux Mushroom Sauce ($36.50), Shrimp Lyonnaise Over Wild Rice Blend ($36.50) and Trilogy of Tenderloin of Beef with Rossini Sauce, Lobster Tail with Lemon Butter and Rack of Lamb Provençal ($49.50). Children’s menu for kids under 10 is Ricotta Tortellini or Chicken Breast ($10.50). A special menu for dinner will be 5:30-11 p.m. May 12 and 5-9 p.m. May 13. For the full menus, click here.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 255 E. Basse Road, (210) 824-9463 — Mother’s Day brunch is 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and includes a special three-course menu with the following entiree choices: Filet Mignon Benedict, New Orleans Style French Toast, Fleming’s Frittata, Steakhouse Filet Mignon Cobb or Prime Rib. Cost is $34.95 for adults. The children’s brunch menu costs $16.95. Each mother will receive a $25 gift card for a future visit to Fleming’s.

Frederick’s Restaurant, 7701 Broadway, (210) 828-9050; Frederick’s Bistro,  14439 N.W. Military Highway, (210) 888-1500 — Mother’s Day lunch is 11 a.m.-3 p.m.  Appetizer options include: Cold Avocado and Roasted Poblano Soup  ($8), Shrimp Cocktail and Crab Meat , ($10), Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Mini Bagel  ($9), Escargots with Spanish Chorizo, Garlic Butter Shiitake Mushrooms  ($10) and Crab Cake and Spring Mixed with a Remoulade Sauce ($11). Main courses:  Parmesan Crusted Rainbow Trout with Avocado Relish ($18), Pan Seared Norwegian Salmon with Whole Grain Mustard Sauce ($22), Veal Piccatta with Mushroom Marsala Wine Sauce  ($23), Lamb Chops with Garlic Fresh Thyme White Wine Sauce ($25), Sea Scallops and Shrimp Provenςale Sauce  ($21), Beef Tenderloin with Grilled Shrimps and Bearnaise Sauce ($31), Pork Chop with Apple and Calvados Brandy Sauce ($20), and Fresh Alaskan Halibut Veronique Sauce ($26). A children’s menu is also available.

Hyatt Hill Country Resort,9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, (210) 767-7999: Brunch in the Hill Country Ballroom will be 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Brisket hash with poached egg, rosemary brown sugar bacon, country sausage links, cheese blintz with orange marmalade, personalized omelets, pancakes and waffles, fresh shucked oysters, oak-smoked mussels and bay scallops, iced shrimp and roasted chili cocktail, oak-smoked salmon with cucumber dill sauce, molasses-brined pork loin, chimichurri grilled flank steak, house-smoked turkey with dried fruit chutney, orzo “mac n cheese” and build-your-own pasta and gnocchi, salads, desserts, and a kids’ corner fill out the buffets. Prices: Adults, $49.95; Seniors, $39.95; children ages 5-12, $23; and children 4 and under, free.

Kirby’s Prime Steakhouse, 123 N. Loop 1604 E., (210) 404-2221 — Special Mother’s Day hours will be 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. with the full menu plus special lunch and dinner plates.

Las Canarias at La Mansion del Rio, 112 College St. is offering extended hours for the Champagne Brunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 13. Some of the items on the buffet include: Farm Fresh Eggs and Omelet’s Made to Order, Cider Cured Bacon and Sausages, Skillet Potatoes, Bananas Foster over Pearl Sugar Belgian Style Waffles, Nutella Stuffed Texas French Toast with Local Orchard Spiced Syrups, Rosemary Buttermilk Biscuits with House Made Country Gravy, Quiche, Savory Tart of Vodka Cured Salmon, Eggs Benedict with Crabmeat, Chilaquiles, Colossal Chilled Shrimp, Cocktail Crab Claws and Lobster Tails, Mini Lobster Rolls, Color Burst Farm Heirloom Tomato Salad, Hearts of Romaine Caesar Salad, La Chinata Smoked Paprika Deviled Eggs, Togorashi Seared Tuna, European Cured and Sliced Meats, Artisan Farmer and International Cheeses, Blackened Texas Red Fish, Berkshire Pork Loin Stuffed With House Chorizo, Ricotta Tortellini with Wild Mushrooms, Chef Carved Smoked Prime Rib of Beef, Guajillo and Garlic Grilled Shrimp, Halibut Paillard and an array of desserts: Red Velvet Cake, Classic Carrot Cake, Chocolate Opera Torte with Hazelnuts and Coffee Buttercream, Mini Cookies, French Macaroons, Truffles and Pralines, Blueberry White Chocolate Panna Cotta, Raspberry Mousse Bombes, Triple Chocolate Mousse Tarts, Lemonberry Swiss Roll, Strawberry Shortcake, Key Lime Pie, Coconut Macaroons and Espresso Cream Puffs. The cost is $69.95 per person and $29.95 for children, 6 – 12 years of age. In addition, the regular à la carte dining at Las Canarias will resume at 6 p.m. Reservations required.For more information or to make a reservation, call Las Canarias at 210-518-1063.

The Lion and Rose, various locations — The brunch will include such options as Eggs Benedict, Irish Hash and Eggs, Wimbledon French Toast, a Breakfast Burger and more. The Westlakes location will feature bagpipe players at 1 p.m.

Luce Ristorante e Enoteca, 11255 Huebner Road, (210) 561-9700 — Luce has a special menu for Mother’s Day and an a la carte menu. Hours are noon-4 p.m. The special menu features three courses for $29.95. Start with choice of Zuppa di Aragosta (Lobster Bisque), Caesar Salad or Caprese (Tomato Slices and Fresh Mozzarella di Latte, Basil and Olive Oil). Main course choices: Ravioli di Aragosta (Lobster filled Ravioli, Tomato Basil Cream Sauce, Maine Lobster Meat), Agnello Scottadito (Parsley and Garlic Brined Australian Lamb Chops, Gorgonzola Gnocchi, Toasted Garlic Vegetables, Texas “Pesto”) or Pesce alla Luce (Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass, Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto, Toasted Garlic, Vegetables). Dessert choices: Spumoni, Tiramisu, Crème Brûlée or Chocolate Lava Torta with Vanilla Gelato.

Lüke, 125 E. Houston St., 210-227-5853 – A three-course prix-fixe menu will be offered with seatings at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Lüke’s upstairs private dining space overlooking the River Walk. Menu includes heirloom tomato salad, local lamb shoulder and leg and cornbread pudding. Cost is $45 per person and includes a glass of Champagne for all adults and a rose for mom. Children may order from Lüke’s children’s menu. The lamb special will also be available in Lüke’s main dining room. Visit for more information.

Max’s Wine Dive, 340 East Basse Rd., Suite 101, 210-444-9547 — Max’s Mother’s Day brunch is 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with the regular menu and the following specials: Chef’s Devilish Angel Eggs ($8), Potato Encased Salmon Filet ($19), Madame Le Trois Sando (triple layered New World Bakery sourdough bread with ham, brie & mustard aioli, bacon, white cheddar, garlic aioli, Farm Sunny eggs, Gruyere, and truffle aioli ($15) and Homemade Cinnamon Rolls ($8).

The Melting Pot, 14855 Blanco Road, #110, (210)-479-6358 — The special Mother’s Day four-course menu begins with a choice of: Bacon and Jalapeno Swiss, Gruyere and Emmenthaler Swiss cheeses, blended with jalapeno, and Nueske’s Bacon pieces or Loaded Baked Potato Cheese Fondue, followed by Southwestern Cobb Salad. The third course can be cooked in any of our four cooking styles and includes Filet Mignon, Peppercorn NY Strip, Key West Shrimp, Honey Dijon Chicken, Blackened Mahi Mahi, and Chicken and Vegetable Pot Stickers. Dessert is chocolate fondue. Cost is $40 a person. There is also a Little Angels Plate for children under 12 for $16.

Mike’s in the Village,2355-3 Bulverde Road, Bulverde, (830) 438-2747 — Mothers Day Brunch will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Prices: adults $39.50; kids age 5-12, $15.50. Features include an omelet station, carved to order Creole Seasoned Rib Eye, Herbed Roasted Turkey Breast, Roasted Salmon with Lemon Butter Sauce, Spinach and Smoked Bacon Quiche, Rosemary and Garlic New Potatoes, Orzo Pasta, Glazed Baby Carrots, Smothered Green Beans, Garden Salad, Tropical Fruit Salad and White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce. Moms can have a complimentary glass of wine or mimosa. Freshly ground coffee, hot teas, iced tea, apple or orange juice and sodas are included. Mimosas: $2.50.

Morton’s the Steakhouse, 849 E. Commerce St., (210) 228-0700 —The Mother’s Day special is a multi-course meal for $59 a person. Start with a choice of Lobster Bisque, Ahi Tuna Tower, Jumbo Shrimp Alexander, Caesar Salad, Morton’s Salad or Chopped Spinach Salad. Follow that with choice of 6 oz. Center-Cut Filet Mignon served with Steamed Asparagus Spears,Honey-Chili Glazed Salmon Fillet with Vegetable Relish or Chicken Bianco with Artichokes, Capers & White Wine Sauce. Dessert choices are Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee, Double Chocolate Mousse or Individual Souffle. The regular menu is also available.

Myron’s Prime Steakhouse, 10003 N.W. Military Hwy., (210) 493-3031; 136 N. Castell, New Braunfels, (830) 624-1024 — Mother’s Day hours are noon-8 p.m. with the full menu available at both locations.

Oro at the Emily Morgan, 705 E. Houston St., (210) 225-5100 — Brunch hours on Mother’s Day are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Breakfast items: omelets made to order, Texas blueberry pancakes, applewood smoked bacon and Frenso pepper and aged cheddar biscuits. Main dishes: Achiote honey rubbed pit-style ham, hickory smoked prime rib, herb-seared Scottish salmon, coriander mustard smeared pork loin. Salads, vegetables and desserts are also featured. Prices: $39.95 for adults, $19.95 for children.

Ostra, 212 W. Crockett St. regular à la carte menu will be available during breakfast and lunch hours on Sunday, May 13. Featured specials will be offered during dinner service only beginning at 5:30 pm. Reservations are highly recommended. Call Ostra at 210-396-5817.

Paloma Blanca, 5800 Broadway, (210) 822-6151 — Chefs Dimas Reyes and Adelfa de la Rosa are offering a buffet with two live stations from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost: adults, $19.95; children ages 5-12, $9.95. There will be a quesadill and tlacoyos state and a taqueria station plus the following bullet items: Tostadas Coyocan, ceviche, Chilaquiles Verdes with Pollo, Miniature Moyetes, Pan Dulce del Dia (sweet bread), Scrambled Eggs, Papitas Fritas, Black Refried Beans, Isabella’s Pancakes (for children only), fruit cocktail, pork ribs,   Tilapia Yolanda,  Chile Relleno a la Crema, Pollo en Mole Negro, tamales and desserts.   Aguas frescas and iced tea included.   A flower for all mothers.

Q on the Riverwalk, 123 Losoya St., (210) 362-6325 — The Mother’s Day buffet will be from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Features include a grand salad display; hand-carved roasted meats including prime rib, apricot-glazed pork loin and tamarind-glazed salmon; breakfast items including made-to-order omelets, pancakes, poached eggs, brisket hash, bacon, sausage and breakfast potatoes; and a dessert display. Cost is $42 a person. Champagne and parking included.

Roaring Fork, 1806 N. Loop 1604 W., (210) 479-9700 — Roaring Fork will feature a special Mother’s Day Brunch from executive chef Matt Inouye from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Romo’s Cafe, 7627 Culebra Road, (210) 521-7666 — Romo’s will be offering brunch on Saturday and Sunday, May 12-13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with its regular menu plus blackboard specials on Saturday. The chef promises a selection of handcrafted and unique recipes for the occasion as well as a variety of mimosas and a three-course prix fixe option with a complimentary rose for Mom.

Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, 25195 Mathis Road, Elmendorf, (210) 621-0044 — Treat Mom to lunch Saturday, May 12, in the beauty of the olive trees at Sandy Oaks. A free tour is at 11 a.m. followed by lunch from noon to 3 p.m. On the menu: Bone-in chicken breast stuffed with Boursin and spinach with olive pan jus and whipped potatoes ($10) or, for the kids, a mini-cheeseburger with Sandy Oaks home fries and sweet pickles ($8). Dessert is Sandy Oaks’ Famous Olive Oil Pound Cake with Macerated Texas Peaches and Chantilly Cream ($4).

Tejas Steakhouse and Saloon, 401 Obst Road, (830) 980-2205 — On Mother’s Day, the restaurant will be open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. The brunch options will include Eggs Benedict (traditional or Southwestern style) ($9), Biscuits and Gravy with sausage ($8), One Eyed Cowboy (fried egg over chicken-fried steak) ($11), and Lost Bread (Tejas homemade French toast) ($8). Add eggs, scrambled or fried, for $1.75.

Texas de Brazil, 313 E. Houston St., (210) 299-1600 — The restaurant will open at 11 a.m. on Mother’s Day with its full array of meats brought to the table. Complimentary dessert and non-alcoholic drinks for Mom, plus she gets a chance to enter a drawing for a $200 spa gift card.

Texas  Roadhouse, various locations — Texas Roadhouse is celebrating Mother’s Day May 10-13 by collecting entries from moms for a two-night stay at the Ritz-Carlton in Dove Mountain, Ariz.

Tost BistroBar, 14415 Blanco Road, (210) 408-2670 — Service is 11 a.m.-4 p.m. with a three-course special. Starter choices: Pork Belly and Waffle (Maple Glazed Pork Belly on bacon waffle with maple citrus crème fraiche and fresh apples), grilled frisee and crab salad; or Chilled Corn and Chile Soup with avocado creme fraiche. Entree choices: Pan-seared Snapper with peas and carrot hash, cauliflowers puree and caramelized leek tapenade; Pan-roasted Filet with parsnip masher, asparagus and blue cheese béarnaise; or Crawfish Benedict poached egg on top of a crawfish cake served with asparagus, corn and potato hash with blue cheese béarnaise. Dessert choices: watermelon sherbet or Fresh Strawberry Shortbread with Cracked pepper and strawberry balsamic glaze. Cost is $29 a person.

Tre Trattoria, 4003 Broadway, (210) 805-0333 — A five-course special will be offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Begin with antipasti, followed by your choice of appetizer: Mixed Field Greens with Shaved Sweet Onion, Goat Cheese and Champagne Vinaigrette; Slow Roasted “Caprese Salad” with House pulled Mozzarella and Basil Two Ways; “Minestrone”; or Warm Butter Poached Shrimp with Pickled Spring “Escabeche,” Israeli Cous Cous and Saffron Aioli. Entrees include Lump Crab Crespelle with Espellete Cream and Crispy Parsnips; Grilled Rainbow Trout with Salsa Verde and Brussels Sprout Hash; Petite Tuscan Marinated Ribeye with Rosemary Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Heirloom Tomato Relish ($7 supplement); House Spaghetti with Bolognese; or Slow Braised Chicken Thighs with Polenta, San Marzano and Gaeta Olives. After a cheese course, choose from the following desserts: Nutella x 3 or Ricotta Cake with Orange and Mint. Cost is $35.95 a person. An $11 children’s menu is available. An 18 percent tip will be added to all checks. Regular dinner menu available after 4 p.m.

Tre Trattoria, Fairmount Hotel, 401 S. Alamo St., (210) 223-0401 — Brunch hours will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. After antipasti, choose from the following appetizers: Mixed Field Greens with Goat Cheese, Pistachios and Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette; Slow Roasted “Caprese Salad” with House Pulled Mozzarella and Basil Two Ways; Chilled English Pea Bisque with Crispy Prosciutto and Charred Spring Onion; or Steamed Farm Fresh Egg with Asparagus, Radish, Tarragon, Toasted English Muffin. Entree choices: Duck Confit and Sweet Corn Crespelle with Parmesan Crema and Garlic Breadcrumbs; Pan Roasted Salmon, Braised Cannellini Bean Ragu, Rhubarb Agrodolce; Petite Tuscan Marinated Ribeye with Rosemary Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Smoky Salsa Rossa ($7 Supplement); House Tagliatelle, Roasted Oyster Mushrooms, Thyme and Pecorino; or Slow Braised Chicken Thighs with San Marzano Pepperonata and Gnocci Sardi. After a cheese course, choose from Nutella x 3 or Ricotta Cake with Orange and Mint. Cost is $37.95 a person. An $11 children’s menu is available. An 18 percent tip will be added to all checks. Regular dinner menu available after 4 p.m.

Two Step Restaurant and Cantina, 9840 W. Loop 1604 N., (210) 688-2686 — On Mother’s Day, the restaurant will open an hour early – at 10 a.m. – to serve up such dishes as home-style pancakes, house-cured bacon, and made from scratch muffins.

Wildfish Seafood Grille, 1834 N. Loop 1604 W., celebrates the Mother’s Day holiday with a special meal from executive chef Eddie Djilali. Hours are 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.  The menu will be served a la carte with selections including: Crispy Cashew Calamari served with fine cut vegetables, red chile, ginger and soy; Tartare of Pacific Ahi with Sliced Avocado, Citrus Fruits, and Sesame Lavoche; Lemon Sole in a Parmesan Crust sautéed with Plum Tomato-Herb Salad and Lemon-Garlic Butter Sauce; Filet of Atlantic Salmon lightly Smoked with Bok Choy, and Chinese Vinaigrette;Georges Bank Scallops sautéed with Citrus Fruit, Roasted Macadamias, and Brown Butter; 8 ounce Center Cut Filet Mignon. For reservations for Mother’s Day at Wildfish Seafood Grille please call 210-493-1600 or visit the website.
Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, Suite 25100, (210) 690-3334 – Mother’s Day brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. New brunch items include Stuffed French Toast with raspberry cream cheese and the Good Morning Torta prepared with ham, poblano rajas, griddled eggs and Jack cheese. Z’s Weekend Fun Bar featuring build-your-own Bloody Marys and Mimosas for $4 will also be available. During brunch, Z’Tejas staff will take and print complimentary keepsake photos, and all moms will receive a free dessert. For more information, visit

John Griffin contributed to this report.

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