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Drink and Eat Your Fill at a Walk Through Mexico


Agave plants growing in Mexico. (Photo: David Suro)

Agave plants growing in Mexico. (Photo: David Suro)

The San Antonio Cocktail Conference is offering you the change to talk a Walk Through Mexico on Sept. 26.

Walk Through Mexico cover imageThe lineup includes mezcal and tequila paired with authentic Mexican street food with a highlight on the regions of Jalisco, Michoacan and Oaxaca. Participating restaurants include The Monterey, Toro Taco Bar, El Mirador, Hot Joy, Los Barrios and Mixtli.

The mezcal and tequila will be poured by the people who grow the plants and produce the spirits. Featured spirits will include Tequila Ocho, Siembra Valles, Tequila Fortaleza, Tequila Artenom, Del Maguey Mezcal, Don Amado Mezcal, De terra Collection Sotol (Texas), Rey Camero Mezcal, Milagro, Mezcal Vago, Real Minero Mezcal and Tequila Cabeza.

The fun is 6:30 to 9 p.m. Sept. 26 and will take place at 1119 S. St. Mary’s, behind the Monterey.

The price is $68 a person. Sign up online at www.saccevents.org. Tickets cost $68 per person. All proceeds of this event will benefit Houston Street Charities, which supports children’s charities.

Tequiladores at work. (Photo: David Suro)

Tequiladores at work. (Photo: David Suro)

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NAO Celebrates Modern Cuisine in Mexico


Nao goes in search of Modern Mexico

Nao in the Pearl continues its series of celebrating cuisines with the launch of the Modern Mexico.

From now through May 2, diners can order the special tasting menu, which features three courses for $42.

The dinner begins with a choice between Modernist Aguachile created with texturized chia, torched scallops, crispy corn, serrano chile, lime and cucumber or Crema de Poblano featuring poblano chile emulsion, queso fresco sphere, chicharrón powder and roasted choclo.

Nao

Nao

The main course is a choice between Mole de la Casa, a roasted chicken breast over silky homemade mole, sunchoke puree, roasted zucchini and tomatillo, or Escolar en Tajada, a sweet plantain wrapped escolar over mole verde, toasted pepita rice, and heart of palm salad.

The menu ends on a sweet note with Maya Mousse made with cacao nicoatole, cashew and vanilla “nieve,” and Ixabentum creme anglaise.

Hand-crafted by Nao’s beverage manager Tim Bryand, Nao will feature a special Modern Mexico cocktail, Heros de Chapultepec, made with blanco tequila, mezcal, hibiscus, lime, sugar, and ginger beer.

The restaurant at 312 Pearl Parkway will also feature a special five-course dinner created by chef Sergio Remolina, who was instrumental in the development of this Celebration of Cuisines installment. It’s set for 6 p.m. March 19. Tickets are $65 apiece. Reservations can be made by calling 210-383-8952.

Whataburger PancakeBring Whataburger pancakes into your home

Whataburger’s Original Pancake Mix is now available at H-E-B stores. Located in the breakfast aisle, the mix can also be used for other dishes, including waffles and jalapeño corn and cheddar muffins. Just look for the recipes on the box.

The 32-ounce pancake mix uses the same ingredients and recipe used in Whataburger restaurants. Customers simply combine the mix with water and follow the instructions on the label to make the pancakes. Each package makes approximately 32 pancakes.

“Since 1950, nothing has made us more proud than to put a smile on the faces of neighbors and friends that we serve around the clock,” said Mike Sobel, vice president of retail. “We’ve had a lot of success selling our pancake mix online, so it was only natural to add them to retail shelves with our great partners at H-E-B.”

The Monterey sign featuredNew hours at the Monterey

The Monterey, 1127 S. St. Mary’s St., has new hours.

The restaurant and its ever-changing menus is now open Tuesday-Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m., and Friday-Saturday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m..

Little Fox will continue to pop up Sunday and Monday evenings from 6 to 10 p.m.

Call 210-745-2581.

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The Monterey Is Ready for Its Closeup


Fans of The Monterey, 1127 S. St. Mary’s St., will be happy to know that their favorite King William eatery and bar has gone Hollywood — sort of. The establishment features prominently as the improvised Monterey Coffee Bar in “The One I Wrote for You,” a new movie starring Cheyenne Jackson, Kevin Pollak, Christine Woods and Christopher Lloyd.

Cheyenne Jackson (right) and Rushi Kota appear in a scene filmed at the Monterey.

Cheyenne Jackson (right) and Rushi Kota appear in a scene filmed at the Monterey.

The film’s main character, Ben Cantor, portrayed by Jackson, makes his living as a barista to support his family after walking away from a promising career as a songwriter. Unbeknownst to him, however, his 10-year-old daughter enters him in a songwriting reality TV show. The movie follows his journey as he gets caught up in the fast-paced world of television entertainment while struggling to maintain his integrity and family values.

“The One I Wrote for You” was shot in the Alamo City last year, and Monterey partner Erick Schlather said he was happy to have the cast and crew take over his restaurant for a few days to shoot day and night scenes. “It’s great to see films of this caliber shot in the Southtown, and I hope they do more because this area lends itself to some great visual surroundings,” he said. “There was no disruption of services at all because they filmed on days that we were closed.”

The film, which is rated PG, will have its red carpet premiere at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 at Santikos Palladium IMAX and open Dec. 5 in 13 Texas cities and Los Angeles for its limited theatrical release. For more information, visit www.theoneiwroteforyou.com.

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Monterey, Umai-Mi Good Tastes Coming Up!


The Monterey sign featured
New chef at The Monterey
Luis Segovia, The Monterey’s chef de cuisine, is a taco-loving, Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park grad who previously worked at San Antonio’s The Sandbar Fish House & Market and Il Sogno. Luis makes some pretty killer Beef Tongue Tacos with pickled bell peppers and cotija cheese. They’re on the menu now, along with the likes of Szechuan Queso Dip, a French Fry Po-Boy and a Smoked Sausage Corn Dog.
And because its summer in Texas, the Monty is serving three takes on mariscos: Charred Squid (jicama, mango, lime vinaigrette, green curry, crispy onions), Grilled Shrimp Aguachiles (lime, jalapeño, cucumber, avocados, red onion) and Campechana El Monty (shrimp, bay scallops, fish collar pickled onions avocado). In true El Monty fashion, this new menu is not one that stays within the lines.
The Monterey is located at 1127 S St. Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX 78210, in the King William neighborhood. The restaurant is open Tues-Thurs: 6pm-11pm, Fri and Sat: 6pm-12am, and Sun: 10am-2pm. For further information please visit www.themontereysa.com.

 

Chef Rebecca MassonChef Rebecca Masson teams up with Jason Dady at Umai Mi

Chef Rebecca Masson, acclaimed chef at Houston’s Fluff Bake Bar, will join Jason Dady at Umai Mi – Modern Asian Restaurant & Bar on July 15 at 6:30 p.m.

This is part of a guest chef series, and a chance for you to get some tastes from a Houston chef without making the drive!

This six-course meal is limited seating and you’ll want to make reservations soon at 210-496-0555. Umai Mi is at 555 W. Bitters at The Alley on Bitters.

The cost is $60 per guest, plus tax and gratuity; $30 beverage pairing available;  You can also donate $25 to Rebecca’s Charity Lucky Dog Rescue in exchange for a free high five and a fluffernutter

 

 

 

 

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Restaurant Notes: Starfish Opens this Month: Monterey’s Wild Beast


Executive chef and veteran San Antonio restaurateur, Rene Fernandez, of Azuca Nuevo Latino, is joining forces with his son and chef, Diego Fernandez.

Starfish 03 cropThe two partners will open their new restaurant, Starfish, which is located in the historic building next to Azuca’s bar in the Southtown-King William area. Starfish will open its doors to the public on Wednesday, June 25.  The address is 709, S. Alamo St.

Diego Fernandez will be working front and center behind what he’s calling a “cooking bar,” that runs along the side of the entire restaurant. Guests seated at the bar will be able to watch as the younger Fernandez and his team, which includes his wife and pastry chef, Marita Fernandez and sous chef, Michael Evan Martinez, do what they do best, and that’s create stunning cuisine from fresh, often locally-sourced ingredients.

Diego grew up in the food industry. “When I was seven years old we lived in Aruba. My first memory in the kitchen is of seeing my Dad fabricating a 6-foot-long marlin. It drew me in because I had never seen anything like that before,” says Diego.

At 16-years-old, Diego Fernandez began his career as a busboy at Azuca. He worked his way up the ranks, learning to be a server, a bartender, a cook and even a manager. “What started as a job became a trade, then a hobby and eventually a passion,” explains Diego.

After graduating in the first class at the CIA in San Antonio in 2007, Diego left Texas to complete his studies at the CIA in Hyde Park, New York, then took a position at the Ritz Cartlon Hotel in Orlando, Florida. After three year honing his skills, he got a call from his dad, who wanted to know if he was ready to return to San Antonio and transform the building he’d been mainly using for storage.

“It was about time we did something with this beautiful space,” says Rene Fernandez. The “boundless cuisine” of Starfish will focus on seasonal fresh ingredients with a heavy attention to seafood and ingredients unique to Texas. The point being, at Starfish, the cuisine has no limits. The restaurant will also feature unique craft cocktails and specialty brews .

The Monterey and San Antonio Museum of Art Partner for Pop-Up Restaurant

Matisse horse artThe team behind the Monterey announces the opening of Wild Beast, a pop-up restaurant in collaboration with the San Antonio Museum of Art. It will operate in conjunction with the upcoming exhibition, Matisse: Life in Color, on display at the San Antonio Museum of Art from June 17 through Sept. 7.

The name of the restaurant comes from a short time in the life of the artist, Henri Matisse, when he was part of Les Fauves, which in English means “wild beast'”

Chad Carey, with the group that owns the Monterey, says their restaurant philosophy could well resemble the art of that period, as it is “exuberant, exaggerated and a little bit wild.” The Monterey is located at 1127 South St. Mary’s St.

The counter service cafe menu will be ever-changing; the cafe will be located in the Hops Building at the San Antonio Museum of Art at 200 W. Jones Avenue. It will be open for breakfast and lunch daily, with dinner served on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The hours coincide with those of the museum’s.

Mark Bohanan, owner of Bohanan's Prime Steaks and Seafood.

Mark Bohanan, owner of Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood.

Bohanan’s recognized as one of country’s top steakhouses in USA Today

Praise of the national kind comes from USA Today about Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood on Houston Street in San Antonio. Here it is: “Exuding a self-proclaimed blend of “Texas spirit and old world charm,” Executive Chef and owner Mark Bohanan cooks up culinary memories and at his eponymous steakhouse, pleasing guests time and again with prime aged center cuts of Midwestern corn-fed beef, along with Japanese Akaushi steaks and freshly prepared seafood dishes as well. Craft cocktails, an award-winning wine list and live jazz also add to the restaurant’s classically charming atmosphere.”

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Hot Joy Opening Thursday


Hot Joy, the restaurant, from chef Quealy Watson and the Empty Stomach restaurant group, will open its doors to the public Thursday (April 3).

After nine months of serving patrons on Sundays and Mondays at The Monterey, where Watson was also executive chef, the Hot Joy team is excited to debut a new space with a full menu and cocktail program.

When Watson and Empty Stomach partner Chad Carey saw the multiplying crowds at the weekly pop-up, the pair decided they needed to find a way to bring Hot Joy to the people, every day. Watson came on as the official executive chef/partner in Hot Joy and he and Carey began the search for a space Hot Joy could call a permanent home. The result is a 120-seat space restaurant in the historic King William neighborhood of San Antonio that will be open for lunch, dinner and late night.

Hot Joy logo

Hot Joy is located at 1014 S. Alamo Street, the restaurant will be open Thursday-Monday for lunch, dinner and late night (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays). Lunch: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 5 p.m. -11 p.m. Late Night Menu: 11 p.m. -2 a.m.

The new location’s expansive menu encompasses favorites from previous pop-up dinners, as well as some new creations. Undeniably Pan-Asian, the menu not only includes Japanese, Thai and Chinese cuisine but also Indian and Malaysian flavors. The most unique dishes are influenced by Hot Joy’s Texas location, including a Frito Pie made with Szechuan beef and a Dirty Fried Rice made with Cajun dirty rice topped with jalapeño, shrimp, Mongolian spice and egg.

As with The Monterey, and Empty Stomach’s second venture, Barbaro, Hot Joy will have a focus on quality drinks to accompany the food. Hot Joy’s bar will be helmed by James Beard nominated Jeret Pena, as well as last year’s Texas Speed Rack winner Karah Carmack. Hot Joy also aims to have the coolest Riesling list in Texas – because what pairs better with some spicy Asian kick?

For further information, visit www.hotjoysa.com. ‘Like’ on Facebook at Facebook.com/HotJoySanAntonio. Follow on Twitter at @HotJoySA and on Instagram at instagram.com/hotjoysa. For information on Empty Stomach’s sister restaurants please visit www.themontereysa.com and www.barbarosanantonio.com.

 

 

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Donut Palooza? Bakery Lorraine vs. The Monterey Throwdown Sunday


doughnuts2 It’s as contest of a different sport – that would be a head-to-head doughnut throwdown Sunday (Feb. 17), between two popular local venues among San Antonio foodists — The Monterey and Bakery Lorraine.

We are not quite sure how the rules go, but they are asking that you come and support your favorite team. It’s just a guess, but there might be some doughnuts on offer sometime during the morning.

Local Coffee (naturally) will act as referee for what is being billed as a “donut fight” from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at The Monterey, 1127 S. St. Marys St. Be there, have a doughnut — or a donut — and check it out.

May the best doughnuts win.

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Food Revolutions Popping Up In, Around SA


Sandy Winokur (from left), Susan Jaime, Mike Behrend and Troy Knapp are part of the food revolutions occurring in SA.

On  Tuesday, a group of SA food innovators got together to discuss the ongoing growth and changes going on in the San Antonio area when it comes to what is going on our plates. Farmers, ranchers, food merchants and chefs joined for 5-Minute Food Revolutions.

The forum, with about 100 in attendance, was presented at Aldaco’s Sunset Station. The panel was selected for their unconventional and/or pioneering approach to food, be it growing gardens or crops, raising chickens and hogs or running a restaurant.

Tim McDiarmid, of Tim the Girl Catering and Special Projects Social, describes her approach to food and her pop-up dinners.

Mike Behrend, for example, was a dedicated meat eater until about seven years ago. The chef and owner of Green Vegetarian Cuisine described his changeover in restaurant terms: “What I used to think of as a pain-in-the-ass customer? I became that customer.” Green is the top go-to restaurant for vegetarians and popular with many who don’t want to eat meat at every meal, too.

Kelley Escobedo, who with her husband Mark, founded South Texas Heritage Pork, described how her farm “lets the animals have a life” while they strive to reduce their carbon footprint and move from feeding their heritage hogs peanuts instead of corn. “This is not an easy life. We do it because we have passion,” said Escobedo.

To watch a video of the 90-minute presentation, click here.

Participants included Chad Carey of The Monterey, Marianna Peeler of Peeler Farms, Sameer Siddiqui of Rickshaw Stop, Saundra Winokur of Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, Mike Behrend of Green Vegetarian Cuisine, Susan Jaime of Ferra Coffee, Tim McDiarmid of Tim the Girl/Special Projects Social pop-up events, Blair Condon of Green Spaces Alliance, Kelley Escobedo of South Texas Heritage Pork and Troy Knapp of the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort.

The event was co-sponsored by SavorSA, Plaza de Armas and NOWCastSA, who videotaped it.

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Welcome to the Summer of Riesling


Summer is upon us, in case you hadn’t noticed. And that means it’s time for the fifth annual Summer of Riesling celebration.

Never heard of the Summer of Riesling?

We hadn’t either. But we’re always in the mood for a good Riesling. And that’s what this global campaign is about, making sure as many people as possible know the magic — and the endless fun — of a fine Riesling.

Locally, the folks at Godai Sushi Bar, 11203 West Ave., and the Monterey, 1127 S. St. Mary’s St., are taking part by offering Rieslings by the glass to go with their food. If you don’t know how good that is, just taste sushi with Riesling. The combination is outrageously good, as is pairing a bold Riesling with Benton’s Country Ham and pimento cheese at the Monterey.

Throughout the month of July, the focus is on German Rieslings, noted for their great complexity, bright acidity, and a wealth of flavors. Wine merchant Woody de Luna, considered to be one of the foremost Riesling experts in the world, is promoting German Rieslings through his shop, Vintages 2.0, 8603 Crownhill Blvd.

A couple of the wines he’s offering, accompanied by his descriptions:

  • 2008 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett — Classic Mosel delicacy (8% alcohol) with that sorbet tension between fruit and acidity. From the “Sun Dial” vineyard (Sonnenuhr) that is a continuation from Wehlen’s side of this the greatest Mosel vineyard.
  • 2009 Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett Halbtrocken — From “Heaven’s Kingdom” vineyard (so called because the vineyard is above the village church) this dryish, fresh wine filled with heirloom apple scents and dry Asian spice. Try with grilled scallops.

These are only two of the many Rieslings Vintages 2.0 carries. The shop is open is open Monday-Friday. For information, call (210) 410-0296.

Riesling is a grape that flourishes around the world producing wines that express their terroir in varied and wonderful ways. It grows in Germany, of course, but also in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, California, New York and Texas.. Some are dry and steely, some are fruity with great acid, and some are sweet. All show how versatile the grape can be.

For more information on the Summer of Riesling, click here.

 

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5-Minute Food Revolutions: Redefining What’s On Our Plates


Troy Knapp

SavorSA is teaming up with Plaza de Armas and NOWcastSA to help put you in touch with some of the people in San Antonio and the area who are redefining where our food comes from.

On July 24, we’re joining together for 5-Minute Food Revolutions, a forum which will feature nine people from the food scene across the San Antonio area. Each will speak for five minutes. Learn what they are doing that is out-of-the-ordinary, be it healthy restaurant fare or running a successful food truck to producing olive oil or farm-raised chicken and fresh eggs.

Stars of the event include:

  • Chad Carey of The Monterey
  • Marianna Peeler of Peeler Farms
  • Sameer Siddiqui of Rickshaw Stop
  • Troy Knapp of Hyatt Hill Country Resort
  • Saundra Winokur of Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard
  • Mike Behrend of Green Vegetarian Cuisine
  • Susan Jaime of Ferra Coffee
  • Tim McDiarmid, aka Tim the Girl, who caters and handles social pop-up events
  • Blair Condon of Green Spaces Alliance

The event is set for Aldaco’s at Sunset Station, 100 E. Hoefgen St. Doors open at 6 p.m. for snacks provided by Aldaco’s and drinks at the cash bar. Presentations begin at 6:30.

After the presentations, the presenters will take questions from the audience, so come hungry and curious.

NOWCastSA will document the event.

If you have any questions, please email griffin@savorsa.com or walker@savorsa.com.

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