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Burgers, Children’s Plates, Fine Spirits and More on the Menu


Culinaria’s fourth annual Restaurant Week has begun and many of us are getting our appetites into overdrive.

This year’s line still includes multi-course lunches for $15 and dinners for $35 at restaurants around town. But there’s also a food truck event on Aug. 20.

For a full list of participants, click here.

But that’s not the only restaurant news in town.

Fattboy expands

Fattboy Burgers is opening a second location.

Fattboy Burgers is opening a second location.

Fattboy Burgers, 2345 Vance Jackson Road, is expanding.

The burger joint is opening a second location in a few weeks. It will be at 11224 Huebner Road, just off I-10, in the same space that Fat Burger — not to mention a number of other restaurants — once occupied.

Don’t confuse the two.

Fattboy offers a juicy burger with your choice from an extensive array of toppings, including mushrooms, grilled onions, grilled jalapeños and grilled bell pepper. Hebrew National hot dogs, fried pickles, onion rings, fried mushrooms and freshly cut fries fill out the menu.

Fat Burger offered an uncooked malnourished burger with unremarkable fries, which was one explanation as to why it went out of business quickly.

Fattboy should be open in early September if all goes according to schedule.

Beat Street introduces a new menu

Beat Street Coffee Co. and Bistro, 2512 N. Main Ave., has changed up a few items on its menu.

New dishes include a small plate of shrimp a la plancha with caponata and large plates of Mussels/Migas and Olive-Crusted Tuna.

Plus, the hangar steak is now being served with caramelized cauliflower, sherry raisins, olives and salsa verde.

Call (210) 320-2099.

News from NAO

NAO, the restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus, has two new projects in the works.

On Saturdays, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., they are staging a pop-up taco stand at the fire pit at the center of the Pearl campus. The stand is offering the likes of suckling pig and roasted pork tacos as well as aguas frescas for customers to enjoy while they go to the Pearl Farmers Market.

Plus, the restaurant is now offering a Fire & Ice happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays featuring $3 small plates as well as specials on beer, wine, sangria and aguas frescas.

NAO is at 312 Pearl Parkway. Call (210) 554-6484.

Myron’s hosts Patrón dinner

patronMyron’s Prime Steakhouse, 10003 N.W. Military Hwy., is hosting a Patrón Family Spirits dinner at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 22.

The first course pairs a salad of cold water lobster, jumbo lump crab, golden dorado and shrimp with a Pyrat Rum Mojito. It is followed by  Inside Out Lettuce Wraps with seared Kansas City strip, mango pico, and watermelon with an Ultimat Vodka Mule.

A filet slider with chimichurri, cilantro, pickled onions and queso fresco with Patrón Añejo & Grand Platinum. Closing out the evening is a  chocolate caramel shooter with a Patrón Cocoa Martini.

The cost of the dinner is  $85.95 plus tax and tip. Call (210) 493-3031 for reservations.

Luce adds children’s menu

Luce Ristorante e Enoteca, 11255 Huebner Road, has added a children’s menu.

The dishes include Linguine and Meatball, Cheese Ravioli, Fettuccine Alfredo, and Chicken Tenders and Fries. Each plate comes with a soft drink. The price of each is $4.99.

For information, call (210) 561-9700.

Vacation time

  • Rossini Italian Bistro, 2195 N.W. Military Hwy., has reopened after a brief vacation. Call (210) 615-7270 for information.
  • Saveurs 209, 209 Broadway, will be closed Aug. 20-Sept. 3, so that the owners, the Nykiels, can take a vacation. Call (210) 639-3165.
Ruth's Chris's Filet Mignon

Ruth’s Chris’s Filet Mignon

Ruth’s Chris job fair

Ruth’s Chris Steak House, which is moving to the Grand Hyatt, 600 E. Market St., is having a job fair Aug. 19-22 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. The location is the its now-closed Sunset Station location,  1170 E. Commerce St.

If you have restaurant news, email walker@savorsa.com or griffin@savorsa.com.

 

Posted in Restaurant Notes & QuotesComments Off on Burgers, Children’s Plates, Fine Spirits and More on the Menu

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 griffin@savorsa.com and we’ll add you.

 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Exploring more vegan options

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wine Spectator honors area restaurants

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

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

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

Wine on tap

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

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

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

 

 

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‘Top Chef’ in Town, The Luxury Settling In, and So Is Lana Duke


Rumors and spot news are making the rounds on the San Antonio dining scene.

“Top Chef” here

First, the word is out that “Top Chef” is here filming for the new season. (Not the little guys that visited the Alon Market recently – the big-name chefs this time.)

Emeril Lagasse, Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi were at Biga on the Banks last night, according to Biga. No forewarning to the kitchen staff at Biga, but some in the group of 12 did head in to greet them after dinner, handshakes all around. Then, some of the chefs moved on over to the Esquire Tavern to close out the night, we hear.

So, where are they staying, where are they filming, dining out, etc.? Those in the know are being pretty tight-lipped at this point. But keep your eyes and ears open, and don’t forget to send chef sightings to us at SavorSA!

Lana Duke of Ruth’s Chris fame gets Vidorra condo here

Lana Duke, shown here at downtown Ruth's Chris, will have a residence in San Antonio.

Meanwhile, it’s good to hear that a great lady, Lana Duke of New Orleans, owner of the local Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses, will have a second residence in San Antonio. She and her son, David, will be part-time residents at Vidorra, a high-rise condominium complex on North Center Street.

The Luxury

Can we look forward to rotisserie and roasted meats going on the menu?

Andrew Weissman says The Luxury has made some significant progress, the containers are in, the landscaping soon to be started. He won’t commit to an opening date yet, but says it’s “pretty darn close.”

As always the Weissman creativity is running full blast. He is thinking of putting in a huge rotisserie in order to roast pork and goat to sell by the pound. That’s always a luxury for the tired, hungry, homeward-bound downtown worker.

He says his trailer dining concept will be unique — even among trailer dining concepts. Wine on tap is always nice, and the river location, across the the San Antonio Museum of Art will be a good draw. We’ll let you know, as soon as we do, the answer to that “when” question.

If you have restaurant news, email walker@savorsa.com or griffin@savorsa.com.

 

 

 

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Welcome 2011 with Parties, Special Menus


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Restaurant Notes & Quotes: New Watermark Chef, Winter Tost Menu, Ruth’s Chris Treats Kids, and More


New chef at Watermark Grill

Philippe Pinon has been named executive  chef of Watermark Grill, 18740 Stone Oak Parkway.

The  French-born chef with more than 20 years experience was most recently at the Four Diamond Award-winning Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove.

“We are thrilled to have a chef with Philippe’s depth and breadth of experience join us,” said Patrick J. Kennedy, owner of the Watermark. “We want to give him the opportunity to put his own personal stamp on the restaurant and look forward to unveiling the new menus on Dec. 15. We are excited and we think our guests are going to be as well.”

The restaurant will close temporarily while Pinon works with the staff to prepare the new menus. It will reopen Dec. 15 with new hours as well as a new menu. Watermark Grill will be open for lunch and dinner 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Saturday.  The restaurant will be open for brunch and dinner 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Sunday.

Visit www.watermarkgrill.com or call 210-483-7600 for more information.

New winter menu at Tost Cafe Français

The braised short rib at Tost.

Seasonal items abound in the new winter menu at Tost Cafe Français,  14415 Blanco Road.

A few samplings include Wild Mushroom Soup, Grilled Caesar Salad, Homemade Country Pâté, Acadian Peppered Shrimp in a Fried Onion Cup, Crispy Skin Salmon served on wilted spinach leaves, a large order of fried mussels (Moules Frites) served with french fries and aioli, Pernod Flambéed Shrimp with sautéed fall vegetables, Shiner Beer Braised Short Ribs, Steak Frites with Beurre  Maitre d’Hotel, and Wild Mushroom Risotto.

For reservations call 210-408-2670.

Ruth’s Chris treats kids to Thanksgiving dinner

The Spurs Coyote and Roy Maas resident Leah get acquainted at the Ruth's Chris Thanksgiving dinner.

It wasn’t just dinner at a restaurant — it was Thanksgiving dinner, Nov. 21,  with all the trimmings at Ruth’s Chris Steak House for residents at Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives. Supporters and even the Spurs mascot, the Coyote, came to dine with the kids on food prepared by chef Chris Brooks and his team.

Lana Duke, who owns both San Antonio locations of Ruth’s Chris as well as restaurants in two other cities, was on hand to enjoy the festivities.

Emcee Sonny Melendez, left, chef Chris Brooks and Ruth's Chris owner Lana Duke host a Thanksgiving meal for residents of Roy Maas' Youth Alternatives.

This marks the sixth year that former foster child Duke has opened the doors of the Concord Plaza location of her San Antonio restaurant to the children of Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives, and prepared a Thanksgiving feast that they will not soon forget.

The San Antonio steakhouse is the only Ruth’s Chris location to undertake this elaborate endeavor. “For many of these children it is the highlight of their year,” says Duke.

Orange Leaf Yogurt’s 12 Days of Christmas

Nothing says holidays like the rich taste of gingerbread or the creamy smoothness of eggnog. Now Orange Leaf Yogurt is offering you a chance to enjoy those flavors without all the calories.

It’s all part of Orange Leaf Yogurt’s “12 Days of Christmas” contest. For every Gingerbread or Eggnog yogurt you purchase from Dec. 1 until Dec. 24, you can enter your name in the “12 Days of Christmas” drawing for a chance to win one of several terrific prizes.

Orange Leaf Yogurt is at 1207 N. Loop 1604 W., Suite, 103, in The Vineyards Shopping Center.  It is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.  Call 210-492-LEAF (5323) or visit www.orangeleafyogurt.com.

Sunday Fun Days at McNay

The McNay Art Museum, 6000 N. New Braunfels Ave., is offering Sunday Fun Days throughout the holiday season.

Families and friends can get together from noon to 5 p.m. each Sunday to view the art collection, shop the gift shop and sample food from Wheelie Gourmet, a new food truck in town.

Neil Hajji, co-owner of Wheelie Gourmet, jumped at the chance to be a part of the Sunday Fun Days. “It seemed like a natural fit since we love to promote the arts and we like to think our food is a an art form in itself, being Moroccan-inspired sandwiches,” he says.

Wheelie Gourmet’s food truck is easy to spot because of a mural created by Eric Fonseca of Cofa Productions. There’s also an environmental green aspect to this foodmobile.  “Our truck runs on bio-fuel that we make ourselves.  No kidding! We collect the vegetable oils that we (and other restaurateurs) cook with and turn it into fuel,” Hajji says.

For more information and locations for Wheelie Gourmet, visit www.wheeliegourmet.com.

Grounds and gift shop visitation are free; museum entry-fees apply.  Visit www.mcnayart.org for additional hours and fees. Click here for more information on Wheelie Gourmet.

Golden Arches up north

A new McDonald’s has opened at 3806 N. Loop 1604 E. at Bulverde Road. Call 210-497-4600.

First Saturday buffet at Tommy Moore’s

Tommy Moore’s Café and Deli, 915 S. Hackberry St., is hosting its monthly First Saturday all-you-can-eat buffet from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. this week.

The holiday buffet will include turkey, ham, oyster cornbread dressing and more.

The cost is $10.95 for adults and $6.95 for children ages 6-12. Call 210-531-9800.

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This Week: Texas Gold, Enchiladas and More


Green3RuthsChrisKids2Enchiladas1

This past week, SavorSA has treated you to a host of stories ranging from the new liquid gold pouring forth in Texas, olive oil, to news ways to prepare red and green enchiladas.

Here’s a quick look at what was posted. Click on the headline to read a story you may have missed.

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Kids Get a Taste of Life in the Kitchen


Fernando Guevara of Roy Maas' Youth Alternatives learns the ins and outs of the restaurant business through a program at Ruth's Chris Steak House.

Fernando Guevara of Roy Maas' Youth Alternatives learns the ins and outs of the restaurant business through a program at Ruth's Chris Steak House.

Story and photos by Jenny Martinez
Special to SavorSA

There was more than cooking going on in the kitchen of Ruth’s Chris Steak House this summer.

Starting in July, former foster child and local Ruth’s Chris owner Lana Duke opened her restaurant’s kitchen doors to the kids of Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives and offered some hands-on, real-world culinary training. This summer’s culinary program was the latest addition in Duke’s ongoing efforts to help the children of Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.

The children who showed an interest in the culinary arts were selected to train at the restaurant at 7720 Jones Maltsberger Road under the supervision of executive chef Chris Brooks, who is also a former resident of Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives.

“I’m happy to give back,” said Brooks. “They (kids) are doing an awesome job!”

The participants went through an intensive 10-day training program where they learned the ins and outs of the restaurant business, including food handling and sanitation, food preparation, baking, short orders, meat preparation and front-of-house service.

“We wanted to basically show them what the day-to-day operation is like in a real kitchen. They are going through the same training process as a real Ruth’s Chris employee would go through,” he said.

Even though the trainees learned that working in a real restaurant is no easy task, they didn’t shy away from considering careers in the culinary field.

Chris Brooks, executive chef of the Ruth's Chris Steak House at 7720 Jones Maltsberger Road, helps teens in Roy Maas' Youth Alternatives learn about life in a professional kitchen.

Chris Brooks, executive chef of the Ruth's Chris Steak House at 7720 Jones Maltsberger Road, helps teens in Roy Maas' Youth Alternatives learn about life in a professional kitchen.

Participant Jose S.  expected the training to be a challenge but is still excited about pursuing a career in the restaurant industry.

“The kids were really excited about the opportunity,” said Rebecca Durand, senior program director of transitional services at Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives. “Jose was going around telling everybody, ‘I’m going to get a job at Ruth’s Chris.’ I told him keep that positive attitude.”

It wasn’t all work and no play for the curious culinary students. Part of being a chef is making sure the food tastes good. So, it’s no wonder Joe E.  said that “getting to eat” was his favorite part of his training.

When their training was complete, the graduates sat down with Brooks and general manager Steve Clemens and were treated to a delicious meal for a job well done.

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