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NAO at the CIA to Have Soft Opening May 23


Robert Fleming is opening a second Magnolia Pancake Haus this week.

NAO, the Latin restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America, will have its soft opening on May 23.

It will be in the Pearl Brewery, 200 E. Grayson St., and will feature dishes from throughout South America, Latin America and the islands.

NAO will be student-staffed and the menu will feature traditional dishes creatively reinterpreted for San Antonio diners.

Jesse Perez

In other Pearl Brewery news, chef Jesse Perez is opening his contemporary American restaurant, Arcade, this fall. It will be in the lab building near the stables on the property.

The streamlined industrial look of the space will be playful, Perez says.

We’re hoping the food will be as good as what we sampled from Perez during this year’s Culinaria.

In other restaurant news, Robert Fleming will be opening his second Magnolia Pancake Haus on Friday at 10333 Huebner Road.

Old favorites, such as the Apfelpfannekuchen and the pancakes as well as the house-made sausage and eggs to order, will be available. Call (210) 561-6117.

Robbie Nowlin, who left Jason Dady’s the Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills, to work at the prestigious French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., has returned to town. He will be working for Dady again, this time at Bin 555.

The Esquire Tavern

The Esquire Tavern, 155 E. Commerce St., has been named one of the top bars in America by Men’s Fitness magazine. The listing says that “Luckily despite its tourist-y location, this is a casual local favorite that just happens to boast the longest wooden bar in Texas. At 79 feet it’s the perfect spot to throw back a few Lone Stars (the “National Beer of Texas”), and hang with the locals. As for cocktails they’re fittingly big and boozy.”

The Grand Hyatt, 600 E. Market St., has a new executive chef. Lawrence Eells grew up moving around the world. As a young boy in a military family, he spent the majority of his childhood in places such as Okinawa, the Philippines, Shanghai, Hawaii, Albuquerque, San Diego, Minneapolis and Dallas.

After paying his way through college by working in the food industry, Eells took a job as chef de cuisine at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis in 1982. Since then, he has held a 30-year culinary career with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, working nearly every position in the kitchen at nine properties across the United States, opening four hotels and forging incredible, long-lasting relationships along the way. Most recently, Eells was the executive chef at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa in Hawaii, a position he held for the past six years.“I bring excitement and innovation with strong roots,” he said. “I hope to continue to use my background and experience to make myself valuable to Hyatt for years to come.”

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Two Top Chefs Returning to San Antonio and More Dining News


A Bliss-ful return

Mark Bliss is headed back to San Antonio.

The chef who started Silo on Austin Highway confirmed a rumor that he is looking for a place, but in his usual terse style, he offered little other information except to say it should happen in about nine months.

Imagine the appetite we’ll have worked up by then.

Jesse Perez

Perez is back, too

Jesse Perez is back in town, working as a consultant for Alamo Cafe. We can only hope that he’ll also find his own place at sometime in the future.

Perez was once at Francesca’s at Sunset before leaving for Atlanta and Los Angeles. He was also named Best Latino Chef in the U.S. at the Flavors of Passion Awards. He recently served up his own barbecue at Culinaria’s Burgers, BBQ and Beer.

Celebrate Alamo anniversary in savory style

Chef Iliana de la Vega from the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus is offering a unique way to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo.

She suggests making Asado de Bodas, a dish typically served at weddings and other special occasions in this region during the early 1800s.

“In English the dish is known as ‘Wedding Stew,'” says de la Vega. “Traditionally it is served with Mexican rice. Today it is also popular served with pasta.”

To watch a video of her preparing the dish, click here.

There's more to Texas de Brazil than meat, as this colorful array of peppers attests.

Rising meat prices and a great deal for customers

“Lamb prices? We’ve seen over a 100 percent price increase since the beginning of the year,” says Evandro Caraegnato, culinary director for Texas de Brazil, which has a San Antonio restaurant at 313 E. Houston St. Beef prices have also skyrocketed.

Yet, the all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse is offering customers a deal. Through the end of June, diners will get the meats, salads, side dishes and desserts for $39.99. For reservations, call 210-299-1600.

A second Magnolia

A second Magnolia Pancake Haus will open later this year, if all goes according to schedule, owner Robert Fleming says.

It will be located on Huebner Road, west of Interstate 10.

Magnolia will also be featured on an upcoming episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” though the air date has not been set yet.

When host Guy Fieri was in town, he filmed the restaurant’s signature Apfelpfannekuchen, or apple pancake, as well as its house-made corned beef hash and bacon waffles.

The original is located at 606 Embassy Oak. Click here for more information.

Freetail Brewing Co. is opening a second location in Houston.

Freetail is growing

Freetail Brewing Co. has announced it’s opening a second location. This one will be in downtown Houston.

According to a release, “On Nov. 2, 2010, Freetail founder and CEO Scott Metzger announced the company’s search for a second location. After extensive research and analysis, bolstered by a robust social media campaign by thirty Houstonians, Metzger ultimately decided on approximately 20,000 square feet in a historic building in downtown Houston. Out of respect to the developer, the exact location cannot be named at this time.”

In the meantime, you can enjoy Freetail’s fine brews at its San Antonio location, 4035 N. Loop 1604 W.

This week marks the first San Antonio Beer Week, and Freetail is one of the participants. For a full schedule of events, click here.

Myron’s showcases Navarro Correas

Myron’s Prime Steakhouse, 136 N. Castell Ave., New Braunfels, will feature the wines of Navarro Correas’s Privada collection at a dinner at 7 p.m. Friday.

The menu will include a salad with shrimp, rhubarb, persimmon, beef and dikon in a chimichurri vinaigrette with  Privda Chardonnay; a roasted pepper duo of crêpes with Privada Malbec & Alegoria Malbec Gran Reserva; a duo of quail with blackberry and serrano gravy with Privada Cabernet Sauvignon;  and chili-spiced steak with the Ultra Red.

The cost is  $69 a person, plus tax and tip. For reservations, call  830-624-1024.

Taste some Slovinian wine

From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, you can sample selections from Pullus, the oldest winery in Slovenia, at Deco Pizzeria, 1815 Fredericksburg Road.

How old is the winery? It was founded in  1239, more than 200 years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Wines in the collection include a Riesling, a Pinot Grigio, a Sauvignon Blanc and a pinot noir among others.

The tasting is free. Visit www.otracopa.co for more details regarding the wines of Slovenia.

If you have restaurant news, e-mail walker@savorsa.com or griffin@savorsa.com.

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