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Culinaria’s Winter Restaurant Week Is Coming Up Quickly


If you made a New Year’s resolution to eat better in the new year, your chance is coming up.

Southerleigh is taking part in the upcoming Restaurant Week.

Southerleigh is taking part in the upcoming Restaurant Week.

Restaurant Week is only a few weeks away, and Culinaria is excited to continue their mission of celebrating, educating and collaborating with chefs, winemakers and bartenders supporting the Alamo City’s food and drink culture.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 18, and going through Saturday, Jan. 23, guests will be able to dine at participating restaurants and experience the quality, variety and hospitality that embody the San Antonio dining experience. This citywide event will highlight many of the best local chefs and restaurants, including both new additions to San Antonio’s culinary scene and beloved mainstays. All participating restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds to benefit Culinaria’s Urban Farm. With each meal ordered for San Antonio Restaurant Week, participating restaurants will donate $1 from each lunch menu and $2 from each dinner menu ordered.
 
Participating restaurants will offer an array of prix-fixe menus – encompassing three-course lunch and/or dinner menus within two different pricing tiers:

*Tier 1 establishments will offer a three-course menu and will cost $15 for lunch and $35 for dinner
*Tier 2 establishments will offer a three-course menu and will cost $10 for lunch and $25 for dinner

Check out Nectar Wine Bar and Ale House during Restaurant Week.

Check out Nectar Wine Bar and Ale House during Restaurant Week.

Reservations are encouraged, and you can contact each establishment directly. For an up-to-date list of participating restaurants, click here.
 
All proceeds of Restaurant Week will support The Culinaria Urban Farm:  Coming to life in Spring of 2016, the Urban Farm is a strategic extension of Culinaria in the form of education and the homegrown effort of many passionate chefs, food professionals, farmers, volunteers, sponsors and a very passionate staff.  The Urban Farm will become a place to learn where your food comes from, while chefs play a starring role in showing you how to create the best flavors from the food you can grow at home.

For more information, email info@culinariasa.org on how you can become a sponsor, volunteer or help build and work on the farm.

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Griffin to Go: Restaurant Week Brings a Welcome Mix of Old and New


Kirby's Angus New York strip

Kirby’s Angus New York strip

Culinaria’s Restaurant Week, which is actually two weeks this summer, offers the chance to see what some old friends are up to while introducing us to new places on the city’s dining scene.

Kirby's braised lamb shank

Kirby’s braised lamb shank

And so it was with visits to the new Alberico Fine Wine and the reliable Kirby’s Steakhouse on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Let’s start with Kirby’s, which has long gotten into the spirit of Restaurant Week by offering a varied menu and by being the first to extend the special an additional week.

This year’s special menu, available for $35, begins with an extra appetizer, available for $7 — and it’s worth every penny. It’s a chorizo-stuffed quail atop a bed of smoky jalapeno coleslaw, both of which are as fine as you can imagine. The spicy sausage offered a nice contrast to the moist fowl while the slaw had the right balance of heat and creaminess to make each of want more.

The menu begins with starters that included your choice of two bacon-wrapped scallops with spinach, fried artichokes or a baked Caprese, a kind of Napoleon of tomato slices topped with a Boursin-stuffed portobello mushroom. All disappeared quickly.

Kirby's baked Caprese

Kirby’s baked Caprese

Then arrived the real star of the evening: a rustic braised lamb shank in a meaty rosemary thyme au jus that was pure comfort food, tender perfection in every bite. A 10-ounce Angus New York strip lacked the velvety nature of prime, but the beef flavor won out. Glazed salmon topped with pecans was a little sweet for my tastes, but one of my friends enjoyed it as well as the red bell pepper risotto that came with it. There’s also a prosciutto-wrapped filet that might call us back for a second visit.

Dessert options included butterscotch chocoflan, which was a little on the dry side, and a strawberry mojito sundae that hit all the right buttons on a sweltering August evening, thanks to a lively combination of berries, whipped cream, mint and a touch of rum.

We forgot that Sunday was half-off wine night at Kirby’s, so imagine our surprise when we got the bill and noticed that our bottle of 2008 Ridge Lytton Springs was listed at $27.50, instead of the usual $55. It was just the right note to end the evening on.

Special mention must be made of the excellent service, which made the visit all the more special.

Alberico Fine Wine's tuna

Alberico Fine Wine’s tuna

We were looking forward to our first visit to Alberico Fine Wine, and we were impressed with the wine program as well as the help we received from the sommelier. The restaurant and wine bar, located in the Yard next to Olmos Perk, offers all of its wines by the glass and at a good price. Plus, you can enjoy it in your choice of environs: a light and cozy bar area; a cool, spacious dining area; or in the inviting wine room.

It’s too bad that the food largely failed to match the wine experience. Dad’s Salad was a single leaf of romaine lettuce topped with diced unripe tomato, a few paltry cubes of avocado and strands of red onion. The watermelon and feta salad with arugula was far better, in fact the refreshing combination was the best dish of the evening.

Duck medallions were served in a sauce that was far too sweet, throwing off the pleasantness of the dry Barolo we’d ordered. Just-seared tuna with grilled vegetables were good, but they were served atop a mound of risotto that was gummy and cold.

Alberico's watermelon and feta salad

Alberico’s watermelon and feta salad

A salt grilled peach struck the right note, but it was atop a nearly flavorless sorbet while a pair of creme brulees were a little too gritty when they should have been silken and creamy.

It didn’t help matters that our waiter was indifferent to his job duties and seemed to avoid our table, one of only three or four occupied in the place.

In the end, it was all a part of what makes Restaurant Week special. Here’s to more adventures in eating.

Kirby’s Steakhouse
123 N. Loop 1604 E.
(210) 404-2221
kirbyssteakhouse.com

Alberico Fine Wine
5221 McCullough Ave.
(210) 320-VINO (8466)
albericofinewine.com

 

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Is Your Appetite Ready for Restaurant Week?


Culinaria’s summer version of Restaurant Week begins Saturday, but unlike year’s past, this year’s celebration goes on for two weeks.

Bliss.

Bliss.

That’s good news because the list of participating restaurants is greater than ever. It comes in two tiers, the first features lunches for $15 and dinners for $35 while the second tier restaurants are presenting $10 lunches and $25 dinners.

If you buy the Restaurant Week special menu, a portion goes to benefit Culinaria’s urban garden, which will be breaking ground on Jan. 1, 2016, according to Suzanne Etheredge, Culinaria’s president and CEO.

Below are the restaurants participating this year, though more were being added as the beginning of the event approached.

TIER 1 RESTAURANTS:

Acenar
146 E Houston Street
210-222-2362
http://acenar.com/mexican/
Acenar Lunch Menu
Acenar Dinner Menu

Boiler House

Boiler House

Alberico Fine Wine
5221 McCullough Ave
210-320-8466
http://www.albericofinewine.com/
Alberico Lunch and Dinner Menu

Bella on the River
106 River Walk
210-404-2355
http://www.bellaontheriver.com/
Bella on the River Dinner Menu

Biga on the Banks
203 S. St. Mary’s St., Suite 100
210-225-0722
http://biga.com/

Bite
1012 S. Presa Street
(210) 532-2551
http://www.biterestaurantsa.com/
Bite Dinner Menu

Bliss
926 S. Presa Street
http://www.foodisbliss.com/

Biga on the Banks

Biga on the Banks

Boardwalk Bistro
4011 Broadway
210-824-0100
http://www.boardwalkbistro.net/

Bob’s Steak and Chop House
5851 Rim Pass Drive
210-222-2627
http://www.bobs-steakandchop.com
Bob’s Dinner Menu

Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden
312 Pearl Pkwy, Building 3
210-354-4644
www.boilerhousesa.com
Boiler House Lunch Menu
Boiler House Dinner Menu
Lunch: Mon-Fri only; Dinner: 5P to close

Boudro’s Texas Bistro
421 E. Commerce St.
210-224-8484
http://www.boudros.com/

Charlie Wants A Burger
223 Losoya Street
210-227-0864
http://charliewantsaburger.com/
Charlie Wants a Burger Menu

Chart House
739 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd
210-223-3101
http://www.chart-house.com/

Chez Vatel Bistro
218 E Olmos
210-828-3141
bistrovatel.com
Chez Vatel Bistro Dinner Menu

Cover 3
1806 North Loop 1604 W
210-479-9700
http://cover-3.com/
Cover 3 Lunch Menu
Cover 3 Dinner Menu

Sustenio

Sustenio

Cured at Pearl
306 Pearl Parkway, Suite 101
210-314-3929
https://curedatpearl.com/
Cured Lunch and Dinner Menu

Eilan Hotel – Sustenio
18603 La Cantera Terrace
210-598-2950
http://sustenio.restaurant/
Sustenio Lunch and Dinner

El Machito
7300 Jones Maltsberger
210-314-3971
http://chefjohnnyhernandez.com/elmachito/
El Machito Lunch and Dinner Menu

Esquire Tavern
155 E Commerce Street
210-222-2521
http://www.esquiretavern-sa.com/menu/
Esquire Tavern Dinner Only Menu

Fig Tree
515 Villita Street
210-224-1976
http://dine.figtreerestaurant.com/

Zocca on the River Walk

Zocca on the River Walk

Grey Moss Inn
19010 Scenic Loop Road
210-695-8301
http://www.grey-moss-inn.com
Dinner Menu

Hotel Contessa – Las Ramblas
306 W Market Street
210-298-8040
http://thehotelcontessa.com/
Las Ramblas Dinner Only Menu

Hotel Valenica – Citrus
150 E Houston Street
http://hotelvalencia-riverwalk.com/
Citrus Lunch Menu
Citrus Dinner Menu

Houlihans
938 North Loop 1604 W
http://houlihans.com/

Houlihans
14601 IH 35 N
210- 651-4744
http://houlihans.com/

Hyatt Hill Country Resort – Antlers Lodge
9800 Hyatt Resort Drive
210-520-4001
www.antlerslodgerestaurant.com
Antlers Lodge Dinner Menu

Kimura Ramen Shop
152 E Pecan Street, Suite 150
210-444-0702
KimuraSA.com

Kirby’s Steakhouse
123 N. Loop 1604 E.
210-404-2221
http://kirbyssteakhouse.com/locations/san-antonio/
Kirby’s Dinner Menu

La Cantera Resort – Primero
16641 La Cantera Parkway
210-558-6500
https://www.destinationhotels.com/la-cantera-resort-and-spa
Primero Lunch and Dinner Menu

La Cantera Resort – SweetFire
16641 La Cantera Parkway
https://www.destinationhotels.com/la-cantera-resort-and-spa
SweetFire Lunch and Dinner Menu

La Frite Belgian Bistro
728 S Alamo St
210-224-7555
http://www.lafritesa.com/

La Gloria's

La Gloria’s

La Gloria
100 E Grayson Street
210-267-9040
http://chefjohnnyhernandez.com/lagloria/
La Gloria Lunch and Dinner Menu

Landry’s Seafood
517 N Presa St
210-229-1010
http://www.landrysseafood.com/

Liberty Bar
1111 S Alamo
210-227-1187
http://liberty-bar.com/

Luke San Antonio
125 E. Houston Street
210-227-5853
http://www.lukesanantonio.com/
Luke Menu

Mariposa at Neiman Marcus
15900 La Cantera Parkway
210-694-3550
http://neimanmarcus.com/

Market on Houston – Sheraton Gunter
205 E Houston St
210-554-1721
http://www.marketonhouston.com/

Max’s Wine Dive
340 E Basse Road, Suite 101
210-444-9547
http://maxswinedive.com/
Lunch: 11A – 3P Mon-Fri only; Dinner: 4P – close, daily

Morton’s Steakhouse
300 E Crockett
210-228-0700
http://mortons.com/
Morton’s Dinner Only Menu

Nao

Nao

Nao at the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio
312 Pearl Parkway
210-554-6484
http://www.naorestaurant.com/
Nao Dinner Menu

Omni Colonnade – Bolo’s Rotisserie Grille
9821 Colonnade Blvd
210-699-5864
http://www.omnihotels.com/
Bolo’s Lunch Menu
Bolo’s Dinner Menu

Omni La Mansion del Rio – Las Canarias
112 College St.
210-518-1063
http://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/san-antonio-la-mansion-del-rio/dining/las-canarias
Las Canarias Lunch and Dinner Menu

Ostra at Mokara
212 W Crockett Street
210-396-5817
dining.html
Ostra Lunch and Dinner Menu

Paesanos Riverwalk
111 W Crockett St
210-227-2782
http://paesanosriverwalk.com/
Paesanos Lunch and Dinner Menu
Paesanos Riverwalk Location Only

Palm Restaurant
233 E Houston Street
210-226-7256
http://thepalm.com/san-antonio
Palm Restaurant Dinner Menu

Perry's

Perry’s

Perry’s Steak House
15900 La Cantera Pkwy #2200
210-558-6161
la-cantera
Perry’s Dinner Menu

Restaurant Gwendolyn
152 E Pecan Street, #100
210-222-1849
http://restaurantgwendolyn.com/

Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Jones Maltsberger
7720 Jones Maltsberger
210- 821-5051
http://ruthchris.com/
Ruth’s Chris Dinner Only Menu

Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Riverwalk
1170 East Commerce St
210 227-8847
http://www.ruthschris.com/
Ruth’s Chris Lunch Menu
Ruth’s Chris Dinner Menu

Shuck Shack

Shuck Shack

Shuck Shack
520 E. Grayson Street
210-236-7422

Southerleigh
136 E. Grayson, Suite 120
210-455-5701
http://southerleigh.com/

Stella Public House
1414 S Alamo Street #103
210-277-7047
www.stellapublichouse.com

Tacos and Tequila
1915 Broadway St
210-314-8226
http://tacos-and-tequila.com/
Tacos and Tequila Lunch and Dinner Menu

Texas de Brazil
313 E Houston
210-299-1600
http://www.texasdebrazil.com/
Dinner Menu

The Granary

The Granary

The Granary Cue & Brew
302 Avenue A
210-228-0124
http://thegranarysa.com/

The Hoppy Monk
1010 N Loop 1604 E
210-545-3330
http://www.thehoppymonk.com/
The Hoppy Monk Dinner Menu

Tiu Steppi’s Osteria
9910 W Loop 1604 N
210-688-9885
http://www.tiusteppis.com/
Tiu Steppis Lunch and Dinner Menu

Tre Enoteca
555 W Bitters Road
210-496-0555

Tre Trattoria
4003 Broadway
210-805-0333
http://tretrattoria.com/

Tribeca

Tribeca

Tribeca di Olmos
4331 McCullough Ave
210-320-0698
http://www.tribecadiolmos.com/

Two Step Restaurant & Cantina
9840 West Loop 1604 N
210-688-2686
http://www.twosteprestaurant.com/
Two Step Lunch and Dinner Menu

Werner’s Prime Steak & Seafood
16111 San Pedro Ave., Suite 119
210-490-2295
http://www.wernersprime.com/
Werner’s Dinner Menu

Westin Riverwalk – Zocca Cusine de Italia
420 W. Market St.
210-444-6070
http://www.zoccariverwalk.com/

WildFish Seafood Grille
1834 N. Loop 1604 W.
210-493-1600
https://www.wildfishseafoodgrille.com/

Zinc
207 N. Presa
210-224-2900
http://zincwine.com/

TIER 2 RESTAURANTS:

Bavarian Brauhaus
300 W. Bitters Road
210-396-7170
http://www.bavarianbrauhaus.com/
Bavarian Brauhaus Lunch and Dinner Menu

Thai Topaz

Thai Topaz

La Botanica
2911 N. St. Mary’s
http://vivalabotanica.com
La Botanica Dinner Only Menu

Orderup
999 E. Basse Road
210-824-9600
http://orderup-sa.com/

Paloma Blanca
5800 Broadway
210-822-6151
http://www.palomablanca.net/

Smoke: The Restaurant
700 E. Sonterra Blvd.
210-417-0175
http://smoketherestaurant.com/

Thai Topaz
2177 N.W. Military Hwy.
210-290-9833
http://thaitopaz-sat.com/

Urban Taco
290 E. Basse Road, Ste 105
210-332-5149
http://dinedsrg.com/ut/quarry.html
Urban Taco Lunch and Dinner Menu

 

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Restaurant Week Returns in January


Culinaria’s Restaurant Week has become so popular that it’s spawning a second week, which is set for Jan. 19-24.

Culinaria Restaurant Week 2013The plan didn’t originate with the non-profit, which promotes San Antonio as a food and wine destination. “The restaurants came to us with those dates,” says Suzanne Taranto Etheredge, Culinaria’s president and CEO.

There will be two tiers of prices during the January week. The first tier will include $15 lunches and $35 dinners, while the second tier features $10 lunches and $25 dinners.

Menus will be posted on culinariasa.org as we get closer to the event. “You should start looking about a month out,” Etheredge says. “I’ll be interested to see what the chefs come up with for winter: warm soups, warm everything.”

Restaurant Week has proven such a hit for Culinaria and for the participating restaurants that you can expect to see it expanded to two weeks this August, she says. And plans are in place for two weeks in January 2016 as well.

One dollar from each Restaurant Week plate sold goes to benefit Culinaria’s programs, which include scholarships and Chefs for Chefs, which raises money for kitchen workers and their families in need.

 

 

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Tiu Steppi’s Steps Up for Restaurant Week


Who doesn’t love a bowl of handmade noodles, all eggy and rich, covered with a sauce made out of mushrooms or plenty of cream and cheese?

tiu steppis

The patio at Tiu Steppi’s

Steve Warner knows their appeal. His Restaurant Week menu for Tiu Steppi’s Osteria features several entree options, which you can get served over handmade fettucine, if you like. Mashed Yukon gold potatoes is another option, if you prefer.

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

Those noodles were a welcome nest for Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Florentine. At the center of the chicken breast meat, kept moist by the prosciutto, was a scoop of warm sauteed spinach, all of which melted together over in a cheesy sauce made with Parmesan, asiago and mozzarella. But even better were the oven-dried tomatoes that added a bright touch that cut through all that velvety sauciness.

Yellow and green pasta were the base chosen for the 8-ounce beef tenderloin, which was topped with gorgonzola, garlic and chives. The meat could have used a little more marbling for flavor, but it worked well with the rest of the ingredients in the dish, including a porcini mushroom sauce. That sauce had full mushroom flavor, but we wondered if powdered porcini had been used to achieve that, because the slices in the sauce looked more like cremini or button cap.

If you’ve ever been to Tiu Steppi’s on a Saturday night, Restaurant Week notwithstanding, you likely have faced a wait. When my colleague Bonnie Walker and I arrived, we were informed that it would be 30 minutes before we got an inside seat, but we were also told that we could start our meal on the patio. Thanks to a giant fan that kept the air moving, sitting on the patio wasn’t unpleasant, but we actually got our table before our first course arrived.

Smoked Salmon Carpaccio

Smoked Salmon Carpaccio

So we settled down in the air conditioned comfort of the cozy dining room just as our order of smoked salmon carpaccio arrived with plenty of welcome, salty capers on top.  It disappeared so quickly that it might not seem possible for us to have noticed how carefully layered the flavors were, but we did enjoy the tang of the lemon dressing along with the peppery arugula and bitter radicchio.

Our other start was a lively Caesar salad with plenty of anchovy flavor — thanks go to our waitress for pointing that out — along with fresh garlic, tangy grape tomatoes and salty Parmesan cheese.

Dessert brought the lone misstep of the evening. A dish listed as Coffee and Doughnuts featured cappuccino semi-freddo and house-made doughnuts dusted in cinnamon sugar. It certainly looked impressive when it arrived, but the semi-freddo, which is supposed to be soft, had frozen rock hard, and that forced the texture off balance, leaving each bite slick and overly unctuous. The doughnuts may have been made in house, but they had also been made a long time before they were served and had partially dried out.

The dark chocolate torte was an unqualified success, silky and rich yet light enough after that filling dinner.

A fine meal, pleasant service and steady air conditioning, so bracing after a day of manual labor, certainly made for an enjoyable  evening. But the intimacy of Tiu Steppi’s carried our fun Saturday one step further. The people around us were really enjoying themselves. A family next to us were visiting for the first time, and they raved about their meat-laden pizza, while enjoying the looks of the dishes that arrived at ours. That easy-going give-and-take made us really feel at home.

Tiu Steppi’s Osteria
9910 West Loop 1604 North #123
210-688-9885
www.tiusteppis.com

Coffee and Doughnuts

Coffee and Doughnuts

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Culinaria’s Restaurant Week Steps Up Its Game!


Culinaria’s Restaurant Week is fast approaching, and this year’s event, Aug 16-23,  not only highlights many of the best local chefs and restaurants but now also food trucks. They’ll be offering their fare at a designated location at Travis Park on Aug. 19.

As an all-encompassing citywide event, all participating restaurants will donate partial proceeds to benefit Culinaria and its continued outreach initiatives.

Participating restaurants will offer an array of prix-fixe menus— encompassing both three-course lunch menus and four-course dinner menus within three different pricing tiers.

* Tier 1 establishments will offer $15 for a three-course lunch menu, and $35 for a four-course dinner menu.

* Tier 2 establishments will off $10 for a three-course lunch menu, and $25 for a four-course for dinner menu.

An island bar will be a first for Perry's.

The Island Bar at Perry’s Steakhouse, one of the participants in this year’s Restaurant Week.

Culinaria’s Restaurant Week benefits all of Culinaria’s community outreach programs, making each dining experience a charitable one.

This culinary adventure leads you to try new restaurants and also lets you support many of your local favorites.

With each meal ordered specifically for San Antonio Restaurant Week, participating restaurants will donate $1 from each lunch menu and $2 from each dinner menu ordered to benefit Culinaria.

San Antonio Restaurant Week highlights a wide array of dining establishments. Places such as Arcade Midtown Kitchen, Biga on The Banks, Bite, Bliss, Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden, Boudro’s, BRIO, The Esquire Tavern, La Gloria, The Fruteria, Liberty Bar, Luke San Antonio, MAX’s Wine Dive, NAO, Palm Restaurant, Stella Public House,  and many more. Reservations are encouraged and you can contact each establishment directly. See the complete list here!

Restaurant Week on the Move!

This year’s  Restaurant Week on The Move will showcase the city’s best food trucks and mobile kitchens with the special pricing of $8 for a lunch special and $15 for a dinner special. You can find them in Travis Park, at a designated location, on Aug. 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Culinaria is an independent, not-for-profit organization committed to promoting San Antonio as a premier wine and food destination while fostering community growth and enrichment. Read more about Culinaria here

 

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Tre Trattoria Dishes Up Four Courses of Flavor During Restaurant Week


As the extension of Culinaria’s Restaurant Week nears its end, wonderful flavors keep pouring forth from participating kitchens. On Thursday night, several friends and I settled in to Jason Dady’s Tre Trattoria Alamo Heights location for four courses of welcome rustic Italian dishes, priced at $35.

Tre Trattoria's Caesar Salad

Tre Trattoria’s Caesar Salad

We started with a pair of favorites, an old-fashioned Caesar with plenty of garlic and a punch of anchovy in the dressing, not to mention a fried Parmesan wafer perched on top, and a trio of antipasti that included silky golden beets, a refreshing white bean salad and the delightful crunch of farro salad.

As generous as these starters were, we were surprised at the size of the pasta dishes that followed. A heaping serving of handmade tagliatelli was tossed with earthy oyster mushrooms and pecorino to create a dish with an almost meaty intensity. Deftly made gnocchi seemed both light and substantial with a gorgonzola cream sauce adding a rich tang.

Tagliatelli with oyster mushrooms

Tagliatelli with oyster mushrooms

Our main course choices included a 5-ounce salmon fillet with orzo as well as a delicate rainbow trout with a parsley-caper salsa on top. One of my favorite dishes, roasted organic chicken, was served just the way I like it, with crisp skin and succulent meat down to the bone. A touch of chile rubbed into the skin made it even better, while the caponata on the side won raves all around. (A Tuscan ribeye for $20 extra is also available.)

For dessert, the popular choice was the signature Nutella x 3, with its airy mousse alongside a dense tart with ganache, all filled with that one-of-a-kind chocolate-hazelnut combination. But the other option, ricotta cake with mascarpone, was a welcome surprise to my friends, who had not tasted it last year on the same menu. The name might lead you to think of cheesecake, but it was more like a warm, rustic yellow cake (like a rum cake without the rum, as our server described it). A chiffonade of basil and slivers of orange on top worked together to create an equal to the mighty Nutella dish that left us all satisfied.

Roasted Organic Chicken with Caponata and Charred Lemon

Roasted Organic Chicken with Caponata and Charred Lemon

As good as the food was, special mention must be made of the service. One of my friends, who was using a cane, needed a little assistance navigating the restaurant and its environs. Dady’s staff went out of their way to accommodate her. It’s what any good restaurant should do, though not enough follow through.  That attention to a patron’s needs earns a lot of respect, Restaurant Week or not.

Culinaria’s Restaurant Week continues through Saturday at the following places:  Azuca, Biga on the Banks, Bin 555, Boardwalk Bistro, the Boiler House, Kirby’s Prime Steakhouse, Myron’s Prime Steakhouse, and both Tre Trattorias.

Ricotta Cake with Mascarpone

Ricotta Cake with Mascarpone

Tre Trattoria Alamo Heights
4003 Broadway
(210) 805-0333
Lunch or brunch and dinner daily.
www.tretrattoria.com

 

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Satisfaction Is on Boardwalk Bistro’s Restaurant Week Menu


My friend Gail had raved about Boardwalk Bistro’s Restaurant Week menu last year, so it landed near the top of my list for this year’s celebration. I couldn’t fit it into last week’s hectic schedule, which made me glad when I learned that it was one of the places that decided to extend their special menu another week.

Pimiento ricotta -- pure pleasure.

Pimiento ricotta — pure pleasure.

Gail and I headed out on Tuesday night and were almost immediately faced with a dilemma. There were six first-course options and, well, we wanted as many as we could get. Our server solved our problem by announcing that we could get an extra appetizer for $5 apiece, so we loaded up on four of the six choices and proceeded to fall into a state of comfort food bliss.

My first plate was the fancifully labeled “pimiento ricotta atop toasted baguette,” which we folks in Kentucky would call pimento cheese on toast. Mighty good it was, too. The addition of a fried herb and a balsamic drizzle made the dish a mash-up of Italy and the Old South, but it worked because it was all about presenting these favorite flavors in a way where they all complemented each other.

A seared scallop with grapefruit butter

A seared scallop with grapefruit butter

A velvety corn soup arrived with a crab beignet in the center and chunks of ham suspended in each spoonful, while a romaine salad featured a generous amount of duck confit, a touch of duck bacon and a light hazelnut dressing. Our final starter was a perfectly seared scallop crowned with slivers of nectarine and served with a dollop of grapefruit butter and a pistachio vinaigrette that was so nutty you wanted to dredge each voluptuous bite of that shellfish through it. (And we weren’t through with those irresistible pistachios.)

Because we were sharing a bottle of robust Bogle Phantom, made with Petite Sirah and Zinfandel, we opted for the two red meat entrée options. One was Lamb Wellington, with tender shank meat presented with a rustic apricot sauce and scallion mashers. It was a toothsome variation on the usual serving of meat and potatoes. The other was a Petite Filet Benedict, in which a 5-ounce cut of beef tenderloin had been wrapped in prosciutto and served with a poached quail egg and hollandaise. The beef arrived medium rare to order and practically melted in your mouth, with or without the unctuous sauce on top. Rosemary potatoes and asparagus spears rounded out the plate.

Petite Filet Benedict with a poached quail egg

Petite Filet Benedict with a poached quail egg

The final option on the Restaurant Week menu is Cornmeal Encrusted Red Fish.

From the dessert menu, we chose a nut-lover’s fantasy — pistachio cake with pistachio cream and pistachio ice cream — and a seductive chocolate torte with a bourbon caramel sauce. Both plates were cleaned before we left.

Most every dish offered as a fine reminder of the good food that comes out of Boardwalk Bistro’s kitchen on a regular basis.

Culinaria’s Restaurant Week continues through Saturday at Boardwalk Bistro as well as Azuca, Biga on the Banks, Bin 555, Boiler House, Myron’s Prime Steakhouse and both Tre Trattorias.

A chocolate torte with bourbon-caramel sauce

A chocolate torte with bourbon-caramel sauce

This Friday, you can hear Jim Cullum’s Band at Boardwalk Bistro while enjoying the Restaurant Week menu.

Boardwalk Bistro
4011 Broadway
(210) 824-0100
Lunch: Monday-Saturday; Dinner: Tuesday-Saturday
boardwalkbistro.net

 

 

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Kirby’s Leads the Way with an Extension of Restaurant Week


Which was more fun, having a chance to continue exploring Restaurant Week offerings with a dinner at Kirby’s Prime Steakhouse or being seated a table next to Tim Duncan?

Kirby's gnocchi with a shallot-prosciutto cream.

Kirby’s gnocchi with a shallot-prosciutto cream.

Actually, it was a tossup.

It’s hard not to like a restaurant that extends its special menu an extra week so people can get more tastes of what the city has to offer. And for four years now, Kirby’s has led the way in doing just that.

They also have developed quite a robust menu with plenty of variations, so that you can mold the meal to suit your appetite. Want the Filet Oscar but want a steak a little more substantial than the 5-ounce cut offered? For a little extra, you can have it in two larger sizes. Want an extra appetizer? Try the house-made gnocchi for an added $7.

We tried the latter and were rewarded with a bowl of fried puffs of potato with a ladleful of cream sauce boasting flavors of shallot and prosciutto. A few grinds of black pepper added a welcome touch of heat.

Australian rack of lamb

Australian rack of lamb

After we polished that plate off, we were ready for a serving of wild boar sausage with an Italian peppers and onion sauce, which was rustic and heartily robust, as well as a ramekin of escargots in a sun-dried tomato-garlic butter that begged to be sopped up with bits of the puff pastry sheet that arrived on top.

Entrées were a mixed lot. Australian rack of lamb featured four chops that had not been properly trimmed before cooking. So, while the flavor of the meat shone, especially with a touch of veal demi-glace on the plate and some shiitake mushrooms, too much effort was expended in cutting off a tough layer of fat on the outside that should have been removed before cooking. Pan-sautéed Veal Ladybird was cooked a perfect medium-rare, as ordered, with the fork-tender medallions gaining a lift from the tarragon and the cream in the Sauce Béarnaise that covered both it and some braised leeks.

Veal Ladybird with a Sauce Bearnaise

Veal Ladybird with a Sauce Béarnaise

Other entrée options included Parmesan-crusted Atlantic Salmon, Peppered Prime Sirloin and the aforementioned Filet Oscar with crabmeat, asparagus and more of that Sauce Béarnaise. Each table choosing the Restaurant Week menu also gets a plate of mushrooms, mashed potatoes and vegetables.

For dessert, my friend fought hard between key lime pie and Kirby’s signature Chocolate Spice Cake. The latter won out, and it proved to be a winner, with its touch of nutmeg and coffee in the warm, chocolate-rich cake and a scoop of refreshingly cool vanilla ice cream on top.

Meanwhile, the kitchen kindly obliged my request for a simple medley of berries topped with a drizzle of heavy cream. I know of no dessert so rewarding and am grateful to the staff for making the substitution.

Kirby's Chocolate Spice Cake

Kirby’s Chocolate Spice Cake

It was at some point during the entrée that my friend pointed out Tim Duncan sitting next to us. I guess I was too absorbed in my veal to notice. Or perhaps I just couldn’t see in what is one of the most dimly lit restaurants in town. Despite the lack of natural light, there were plenty of eyes in the place on him. I’m sure the Spurs star wanted to enjoy a quiet night out with friends, but the thrill of having him nearby was palpable. He also graciously posed for at least one picture with a young red-haired girl who will likely be the envy of her class when she returns to school this week and shares her version of their encounter.

Culinaria’s Restaurant Week continues at a number of places around town. In addition to Kirby’s, the list includes Azuca, Biga on the Banks, Bin 555, Boardwalk Bistro, the Boiler House, Myron’s Prime Steakhouse, and both Tre Trattorias.

Kirby’s Prime Steakhouse
123 N. Loop 1604 E.
(210) 404-2221
Dinner: Daily
kirbyssteakhouse.com

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Enjoy a Taste of Myron’s Prime Steak House During Restaurant Week


When I saw that Myron’s Prime Steak House was part of the lineup for this year’s Restaurant Week, I knew it would be one of the places I had to visit. Apparently, quite a few others had the same idea, too, because by the time we dined there on Tuesday, there were 11 in our party, all enjoying the three-course dinner special for $35. And we were not alone in the house.

Myron's pork chop with apple chutney.

Myron’s pork chop with apple chutney.

Each of the meals on the special menu begins with Myron’s signature wedge salad, which actually includes a few field greens in addition to the traditional iceberg lettuce. But it is the dressing that is the real star of the show. I’ve long been a fan of the restaurant’s house-made thousand island, which I’ve enjoyed at both of Myron’s locations, on Northwest Military Highway and in New Braunfels; so, I decided to branch out and try the blue cheese, which proved to be dense and chunky, yet covered the lettuce thoroughly in its rich excess. Others at our table enjoyed the gorgonzola and the balsamic vinaigrette, though the ranch was found to be a little thin.

The wedge salad with blue cheese dressing

The wedge salad with blue cheese dressing

Entree options included salmon with capers and a moist, bone-in chicken breast with a light touch of rosemary. Then there was an oversized pork chop topped with an apple chutney that satisfied many at the table because that rich pork flavor came through in every bite.

Because Myron’s is a steakhouse, the last option among the entrees was a prime filet, and it could prove to be the most controversial item on the prix fixe menu. It’s because the cut offered during Restaurant Week is  4 ounces, hardly what some would call sufficient in a city where a competing steakhouse offers a 32-ounce pork chop. It could be considered a bargain, however, when you compare the $35 price of the special menu with the prices of the full-sized steaks on the menu (I remember the T-bone being listed at $52). Such a petite filet admittedly appears small on the plate, even when accompanied by two spicy shrimp and vegetables. Yet it should also be mentioned that 4 ounces is the recommended daily portion of meat that we should be consuming. I know I eat more than that at most meals, but I ordered the steak anyway. And I was glad I did. The meat was served medium rare as ordered. Each cut gave way tenderly at the touch of the steak knife. And it caressed my tongue, filling my mouth with a juicy, earthy richness that a well-prepared steak offers. A swirl of 2010 Stackhouse Napa Cabernet Sauvignon made it go down in style. (I was satisfied with the portion size, but if you’re about quantity when you dine out, go for the pork chop.)

The 4-ounce filet with shrimp

The 4-ounce filet with shrimp

That particular wine came recommended by our attentive, helpful server, who made sure we had what we needed, from cocktails to warm bread. He also went out of his way with two members of the party who avoid gluten. Since they couldn’t have either the massive chocolate cake or the cheesecake with berries, the two dessert options on the Restaurant Week menu, he offered them a bowl of warm ganache, which was had been used to frost the cake.

The dense chocolate cake was large enough for two, and the velvety ganache was so dark and inviting that my fork kept darting back for another bite. But the best flavor of all was the mint leaf used as a garnish dredged in all that chocolate.

A final note on the bar: When I sat down early in the evening I had wanted a whiskey sour to take some of the edge off the heat of the day. I quickly found out that it would not be made the traditional way with an egg white to add texture, but I decided to go ahead and had it made with one of the ryes on the extensive menu. The tang of lemon juice in that drink, blended with the spicy rye, made it as much a delight as anything else served that evening.

Restaurant Week continues through Saturday. For details on participants, click here.

Myron’s Prime Steak House
10003 N.W. Military Hwy.
(210) 493-3031
www.myronsprime.com

 

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