Tag Archive | "Tre Trattoria"

Chili’s and the Shriners Team Up to Help Children’s Hospital — Plus More Restaurant Notes

Chili’s and the Shriners join forces

Chili’s and the Shriners are teaming up for a pair of fundraisers to help the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

On Nov. 4, the restaurant will donate 10 percent of all sales to the hospital. All you have to do is mention the promotion when you go in for lunch or dinner. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and the event is taking placce at all Chili’s across the state, Oklahoma, Louisiana and beyond.

Shriners Hospitals for Children seek to provide expert medical care for children with no financial burden to the patients or their families. Shriners Hospitals for Children are focused on maximizing a child’s quality of life regardless of the family’s ability to pay. The Alzafar Shriners are made up of more than 2,200 Central and South Texas businessmen and community leaders who are dedicated to supporting 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The Shriners Hospital for Children provide services for children up to age 18 with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, in addition to cleft lip and palate reconstruction.

Visit for more information.

Nostra Supreme

Nostra Supreme

Cosa Nostra Pizza opens

Cosa Nostra Pizzeria has opened at 16607 Huebner Road.

The restaurant offers pizza, of course, as well as salads, calzones and submarine sandwiches.

Specialty pizzas include a Steak Pizza with tomatos, muchrooms and onions;  an Alfredo Pizza with chicken, bacon and  a creamy sauce; a Veggie with tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, onions, peppers, articholes, Parmesan cheese and garlic; and a Mexican Pizza with beef, bacon, onions and jalapeños. The Nostra Surpreme comes with Italian sausage, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, pepperoni and black olives.

Salads include a Caesar, a Greek, an Antipasto, a Super Steak, an Italian Chicken and a Cosa Nostra with lettuce, spinach, carrot, Mandarin oranges, almonds, tomato, feta, red onions and grilled chicken. Subs include a Steak Philly, a Chicken Green, a Chicken Ranch, a Peatball Parmesan, a Sausage with onions, and a club.

Call (210) 492-1141 or visit

Open Mic Night is back at  the County Line

Open Mic Night has returned to the County Line restaurant at 10101 I-10 West every Thursday night from 6 – 9 p.m.

Held on the restaurant’s outdoor patio, Open Mic Night features some of San Antonio’s local singers/songwriters/musicians, as well as drink/food specials.

This free event is hosted by local artists The Bexar Creek Boys; sign-up each Thursday is from 6 – 7 p.m.

Reservations are accepted. Call (210) 641-1998. In the case of inclement weather, the party will move inside to the restaurant’s large banquet room.


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Tre Trattoria Dishes Up Four Courses of Flavor During Restaurant Week

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

Tre Trattoria's Caesar Salad

Tre Trattoria’s Caesar Salad

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

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

Tagliatelli with oyster mushrooms

Tagliatelli with oyster mushrooms

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

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

Roasted Organic Chicken with Caponata and Charred Lemon

Roasted Organic Chicken with Caponata and Charred Lemon

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

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

Ricotta Cake with Mascarpone

Ricotta Cake with Mascarpone

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


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Dady Restaurants: Something Good is Cooking!

Dady Resto Cheese Plate


Tre Trattoria in Alamo Heights
Sunday Brunch 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Dinner until 9 p.m.
Weekly Happy Hour 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Tre Trattoria now has an exclusive Sunday Brunch menu to be enjoyed on the patio as you sip on Bellini’s and tantalize your palate with Eggs Benedict.   Brunch items include: Tre Favorites such as pulled-to-order mozzarella, Wagyu meatball with polenta, and pan-seared gnocchi, to name just a a few. New brunch items include Chicken Wings and Pork Scones, French Toast with Nutella, Strawberry and Maple, Veal Milanese “Benedict” with fried hen egg and saffron hollandaise, and Braised Beef Cheek “chilaquiles” with rapini pesto and oven-dried tomato. Then, save room for Tre’s famous homemade desserts — Nutella X3 will definitely be there! Also, for Bellini Carafes you can choose from peach, orange, strawberry or market flavors and Cherry Tomato Bloody Mary’s.  Gluten intolerant?  Tre is now making homemade gluten free pasta for its menu, so come in and enjoy: It’s the only of its kind in San Antonio.

DUK TruckThe DUK Truck

The DUK truck will be flying from place to place this summer, find the schedule online at Twitter @duktruck and facebook at If you really want to impress your guests at your next event have the DUK park in your driveway or parking lot. Call Liza today to schedule your catering event:  210-289-4955.

Tre Trattoria Downtown
Weekly: Saturday and Sunday brunches
Weekly:  Happy Hour 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Weekly:  Tuscan Tapas Special

Tre Trattoria Downtown will be continuing to feature their all-weekend brunches and weekly happy hour specials with the occasional extended Happy Hours on Downtown Tuesdays and Special Events. The restaurant will also feature a new weekly Tuscan Tapas menu. Grab your friends and come join the Downtown crew with some of the best Italian-meets-Spanish style eats. This includes: Margarita pie, Mini meatballs, Frito Misto with aioli, Mussels and Chorizo, Patatas Bravas, House Pulled Mozzarella and more to be added as the weeks go on. For more information (210)223-0401 or Find Tre on and follow on Twitter:@tretrattoria.

Two Bros BBQ BrisketTwo Bros BBQ
JULY 15-19: Texas Monthly BBQ Week
NEW:  Bocce ball  court
Weekend:  Live local bands

Two Bros. BBQ Market has been featured in Texas Monthly’s TOP 50 BBQ places in the entire state of Texas, and we all know how big Texas is.  Celebrate with Two Bros. for the entire week of July 15-19 devoted to BBQ. Two Bros will be featuring menu specials and a host of other events in partnership with Texas Monthly. Two Bros will be featuring a special on cherry-glazed BBQ baby back ribs as a special that week. Check out the state of the art bocce ball court and live outdoor music every Friday and Saturday.  For more information visit Twobrosbbq on facebook or Twitter @twobrosbbq.

BIN 555
Happy Hour 4-7 p.m.
Sunday Brunch: 10 a.m.-

BIN 555 will be hosting a $5 wine, $5 signature cocktail and $5 snack menu for their weekly happy hour from 4 -7 p.m. on weekdays. Weekends are filled with monthly special event dinners and brunch. BIN brunches are where mimosa carafes meet BIN Bacon Bloody Mary’s as well as seasonal menus to accompany your refreshments. Call (210) 496-0555 or  Find BIN on Facebookcom/bin555 and follow on Twitter: @bin555

555 W. Bitters Road at The Alley on Bitters.



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More Restaurants Adding Gluten-Free Options to Menus

The demand for gluten-free items on restaurant menus continues to grow.

Here are several restaurants to join the list:

Johnny Carino’s

Johnny Carino’s has expanded their gluten-free menu to 23 items, which includes items from their kid’s menu. The list of items includes gluten-free versions of best-selling dishes such as the Skilletini and Spicy Shrimp and Chicken.

Tre Trattoria's White Bean Salad is one of the gluten-free options on its menu

Tre Trattoria’s White Bean Salad is one of the gluten-free options on its menu

The Italian restaurant chain is partnering with Udi’s Gluten Free Foods to be able to provide certified gluten-free pizza crusts.

“In this exciting partnership with Johnny Carino’s, Udi’s will help provide delicious, high-quality gluten free meal options, so everyone can enjoy dining out without restriction,” said Denise Sirovatka, Udi’s Vice President of Marketing. “Since enjoying a restaurant meal with family and friends is all about bringing people together, we’re thrilled that no one will feel left out of the dining experience.”

There are three San Antonio locations of Johnny Carino’s: 3147 S.E. Military Drive, (210) 333-8495;  231 Loop 410 S.W., (210) 647-7705;  and 1301 N. FM 1604 W., (210) 493-9998.

Tre Trattoria Alamo Heights

Jason Dady’s Tre Trattoria in Alamo Heights, 4003 Broadway, has added several dishes to its menu made with house-made gluten-free tagliatelle. They include:

  • Wild Mushroom and Thyme
  • Bolognese
  • Butter and Cracked Pepper

Other gluten-free selections include:  Caprese, Risotto, White Beans, Beets, Asparagus, Radiccho Salad, Mix Greens Salad, Caesar Salad, White Bean Soup, Roasted Chicken, Tuscan Ribeye, Trout, Branzino, Mashers, Brussels Sprouts, Eggplant, Select Salumi, Nutella x 3 and Gelato.

The restaurant advises diners that gluten-free pasta may take longer to prepare because of the special care that must be taken. For more information, call (210) 805-0333.

Perry's Famous Pork Chop can be served gluten-free.

Perry’s Famous Pork Chop can be served gluten-free.

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille

Perry’s Steakhouse, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, has introduced a menu that highlights the many items it offers that are gluten-free.

Among the appetizers are the shrimp cocktail, oysters on the half shell and iced seafood tower as well as the beef carpaccio. Entree options: Perry’s Famous Pork Chop, a series of prime steaks including the bone-in Cowboy Rib-eye and the New York Strip, Double Cut Lamb Chops, Chicken Oscar and numerous seafood options, such as Pecan-Crusted Red Snapper and Hong Kong-Style Sea Bass.

For more information, call (210) 558-6161.



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Be Thankful a Day Early — Several Feasts Planned for Thanksgiving Eve

Several restaurants in town are celebrating Thanksgiving a day early with feasts set for Wednesday evening. The night before Thanksgiving is traditionally the biggest night for bar business across the city. It’s also a chance to avoid having to cook a big meal the night before the big meal. So enjoy any of the following offerings:

Bin 555 at the Alley on Bitters, 555 W. Bitters Road, (210) 496-0555 — The special is a three-course prix fixe for $25, or $40 with wine pairings. Menu items include a choice of Autumn Squash Chowder or Butterleaf Salad, followed by Pan-seared Salmon served with Pearl Farmers Market vegetable, Miso Buerre Blanc, Garlic Chip and Black Garlic Coulis; Holiday-spiced Porchetta with Sweet Potato Brussels Sprouts Hash and Orange Apple Chutney; or Vital Farms Chicken Breast with Apple Fennel Sage Sausage, Pecan, and Cornbread Dressing, Potato Galette. Dessert is either Jason Dady’s Nutella Trio or Cafe Bread Pudding.

Tost BistroBar, 14415 Blanco Road, (210) 408-2670  — Tost is offering a three-course special on Wednesday featuring a choice of Tost’s Signature Brussels Sprout Salad or Butternut Squash Bisque swirled with Maple Creme Fraiche, followed by a choice of Turkey Roulade with Cornbread Stuffing & Cranberry Gastrique or Lamb Shank with Baby Carrots, Mashed Potatoes, Horseradish Creme and Aus Jus. Dessert is Pumpkin Mousse topped with Candied Pecans. The cost of the meal is $35 plus tax and tip.

Tre Trattoria Alamo Heights, 4003 Broadway, (210) 805-0333 — The special dinner begins with antipasti served family style, followed by a choice of Slow-roasted Caprese, Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque or Snapper Crudo. Second course is Pumpkin Ale-braised Beef Short Rib Ragu, Roasted Local “Half” Chicken or Grilled Crispy Skin Rainbow Trout. Dessert is either Nutella x 3 or House-made Pumpkin Bread with pecan ice cream. The price is $34.50 per guest plus tax and 18 percent tip.

Tre Trattoria Downtown,401 S. Alamo St., (210) 223-0401 — The multi-course special includes choice of Frisse and Buffalo Burrata Salad or House-cured Salumi Plate, followed by choice of Pasta a la Amatriciana or Slow-roasted Cornish Hen. Dessert is either Nutella x 3 or house-made Walnut Torte with Pumpkin Chantilly. The price is $25 a person plus tax and 18 percent tip.

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Tre Trattoria Makes a Savory Case for Basil, Even in Sweets

Golden beets, farro and white bean salad

Whenever I visit Tre Trattoria, I find myself incapable of saying no to three of chef Jason Dady’s antipasti. One is a farro salad with the crunchy whole grain tossed with sautéed onion, celery and carrot and coated in a simple, effective vinaigrette. Another is his white bean salad, which gets a lift from parsley and lemon in a gremolata. The third is the golden beet salad with slender bites of orange adding a sweet-tart edge.

So, you can imagine how pleased I was to find the three dishes making up one option as the first course Tre Trattoria in Alamo Heights is offering during Culinaria’s Restaurant Week. It was a winning antipasti selection and a great way to start the evening. Also good was the roasted Caprese salad in which creamy fresh mozzarella was paired with a roasted tomato and plenty of a rich green basil sauce on the plate.

Tagliatelle with oyster mushrooms

My friend chose the house-made spaghetti with garlic, peperoncino  and salty ricotta salata strips but without the anchovies for her pasta course. The garlic was intense, just as she liked it, and it proved a nice partner with the Italian Merlot that we were sharing.

I preferred my rustic tagliatelle , which had fairly good noodles, but, even though they were made in house, they couldn’t hold a candle to the oyster mushrooms in a thyme-flavored sauce sauce that flavored the whole plate.

We both shared the same entrée, grilled ahi tuna over eggplant caponata. When the dish was served, we both were fearful that the fish had been cooked longer than the rare we had ordered it, but the center of both servings was beautifully red and the flavor richly satisfying. The eggplant was the perfect complement with robust flavors of garlic and basil.

Grilled tuna with eggplant caponata

Basil is a flavor we associate with Italian cuisine, but how many of us would have thought of using it in a dessert? Yet there was a chiffonade of basil sprinkled over the top of the ricotta cake. And it worked beautifully. When I first read of the dessert on the menu, I thought it might be cheesecake, but the waitress explained that it was more like a sponge cake. That wasn’t quite right either. Maybe more like a polenta cake, but then again not really. All that mattered is that it was good, especially with a dollop of mascarpone on top and more of those slender slivers of orange.

Ricotta cake with mascarpone

Also offered was Dady’s signature Nutella x 3, which has always been one of the most seductive treats in town, and Thursday’s sample was no exception. The consistency achieved in dishes such as that confection as well as the antipasti have always made Tre so comfortably reliable and rewarding.

Time is running out on Culinaria’s Restaurant Week. Special lunches are priced at $15, while multi-course dinners cost $35. For a list of participants, from Biga on the Banks to Ruth’s Chris Steak House, click on the Culinaria ad above.

Tre Trattoria
4003 Broadway
(210) 805-0333

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Summer Eats, Drinks at Bin 555 and More This Week

Check out the daily Summer Eats and Drinks offer at Bin 555. $5 Summer Eats and Summer Drinks; Happy hour from 4 – 7 p.m. daily. Call for more information: (210) 496-0555.  Bin 555 is at 555 W. Bitters Road.

More is on the schedule for Jason Dady Restaurants this month:

July 12 (Thursday)

Texas Beer Dinner: Tre Trattoria Alamo Heights, 4003 Broadway. Thursday, July 12. 6:30 p.m. reception; 7 p.m. Dinner. Five different beers with food courses. $35. For reservations call (210) 805-0333. Or

July 13 (Friday)

Summer Cocktail Dinner: Tre Trattoria Downtown, 401 S. Alamo St. at the Fairmount Hotel. Friday, July 13 6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. Four-Course Prix Fixe Dinner. $35. For reservations go to or call (210) 223-0401. Complimentary valet.

July 27

Tour of Italy Wine Dinner: Tre Trattoria Downtown, Friday, July 27.  6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. four-course prix fixe dinner, $35. For reservations go to or call (210) 223-0401.

July 31

Mad About Bubbles Wine Dinner: BIN 555 Restaurant & Wine Bar, Tuesday, July 31st, 6 p.m. reception; 6:30 p.m. four-course wine dinner. $55 per person. For reservations go to or call (210) 496-0555.

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It’s Easy to Eat Well When It’s for a Good Cause

The SA Chef Coalition included Il Sogno sommelier Gabe Howe (front left) and David Gilbert of Sustenio, while the back row features, from right, John Brand, Michael Sohocki, Steven McHugh, Jason Dady, Chad Carey, Andrew Weissman and Jesse Perez.

The founding members of the SA Chef Coalition want what every chef wants: They want people to have a good meal and come back for more.

Braised beef cheeks with garlic, tomatoes and kale.

But they want something more.

They want that meal to showcase the best produce and meats of the immediate region, and they want the food prepared in way that reflects the finest San Antonio has to offer.

To that end, the group of chefs got together for a family-style dinner under the loquat and oak trees that line the patio of Tre Trattoria on Broadway. Guests had to bring their own plates, silverware and wine glasses, while God provided perfect weather. The food, meanwhile, came from farms such as Oak Hills and My Father’s Farm.

The chefs lineup included John Brand of Las Canarias and Ostra, Chad Carey of the Monterrey, Jason Dady of Tre Trattoria and Bin 555 among other ventures, David Gilbert of Sustenio, Steven McHugh of Lüke, San Antonio native Jesse Perez, Michael Sohocki of Restaurant Gwendolyn and Andrew Weissman of Il Sogno and the Sandbar.

The evening began with Rebecca Creek whiskey sours and a series of appetizers that ranged from an array of charcuterie, a little bit of everything from oxtail terrine to calf’s liver sausage, to a carrot purée and grilled spring onions.

Salt and pepper breadsticks.

Two salads, one featuring fresh greens while the other boasted several types of beets, preceded a main course of chicken, braised beef cheeks and numerous side dishes, such as creamy polenta, grits and a farro dish. Dessert features strawberries and whipped cream with a colorful Pop Rocks-influenced topping.

The chefs are planning future events that will include more San Antonio chefs, Dady said.

Each of the dinners will benefit a local charity, with the proceeds from the first dinner going to help the culinary programs at three area high schools, Perez said.

For details on more Chef Coalition events, follow SAChefCoalition on Twitter.

Until then, “get off your asses and get out and eat,” Dady said.

(Photographs by John Griffin and Bonnie Walker.)

Patrons enjoy the perfect weather and a family-style feast of local food.

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Get Maximum Flavor from Your Grill

Have your plan ready before starting, Garrett Stephens advises.

Are you going to grill this weekend? You’re not alone. Folks across the country will be lighting up charcoal or warming their propane grills for cookouts featuring everything from steaks and hamburgers to veggie skewers and portobello mushrooms.

But as much as Americans love to grill, not everybody gets the best results. So, to help you out, we asked three grill masters in town to offer five tips for better grilling. The answers are mostly varied and the advice is certainly sound, but we must point out two tips that did come more than once and should be taken to heart:

Don’t over-season the meat; that is, if it’s the meat you want to taste. And practice a little patience: Let the meat rest a few minutes before you cut into it; it’ll be juicier and taste a whole lot better.

Garrett Stephens, pitmaster at the County Line Barbecue, 10101 I-10 W., offers the following tips for after you’ve dusted  off the grill:

  1. Have a game plan in order to wow your friends and family with the perfect outdoor feast. To start, take a quick inventory of what meats will be gracing your plate. You will need to set your grill up accordingly. For burgers, dogs, kabobs, fish, and thin cut steaks you will want to set your grill up for direct heat, and leaving 4-6 inches from your coals. For thicker cuts, such as roasts, whole chickens, ribs, and thick cut steaks you will want to have a part of your grill set up to accommodate an indirect method so that you wont end up charring your heartier cuts and leaving the middle underdone.
  2. Pat meat dry and wipe off excess marinades.

    Make sure you are adding the flavors that your grill was destined to create by adding rubs, marinades, and smoke. A proper marinade should consist of an acidic ingredient, such as vinegar, wine, or citrus juice; a little oil, such as olive; and various spices and herbs. Rubs generally consist of various spices, herbs, and even citrus zests ranging from sweet to savory. Rubs will not only tenderize cuts of beef, but will add deep, wonderful flavor. Rubs should be applied several hours prior to grilling and the meats left in a refrigerator.

  3. Be sure to thoroughly wipe off excess marinade before you grill in order to prevent flame from flaring up.
  4. While grilling, be sure to add wood chips to your coals just before you throw on your cuts. Experiment with different types of woods to obtain smoky flavors ranging from delicate to earthy, and aromatic to sweet.
  5. Finally, as you pull off your pieces of culinary genius, take a moment, 5- 10 minutes, to let your works rest. If you cut in too quickly, the juices will run out all over your plate instead of in your mouth, which is where they should be. If you let the meat, rest the juices will permeate the meat and the final product will be the perfect compliment to your Fourth of July picnic.

Select the right wine to go with the meat you're grilling, Troy Knapp says.

Troy Knapp, executive chef at the Hyatt Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, is also a certified sommelier. So naturally, pairing what you grill with the right drink is important:

  1. Quality — Purchase the best you can afford. All-natural beef is better for you and the environment. When it comes to meat, you generally get what you pay for. You are better of going with a smaller piece if you are looking to save. Think quality over quantity and you will be much more satisfied in the long run. Simple seasoning is the best way to enhance a great cut of meat. Use great quality olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
  2. Tempering — For an evenly cooked steak, allow your steak (or other protein) to acclimate to room temperature before putting it on the grill. This should take approximately one hour on your kitchen counter and be sure to cover.
  3. Resting — A crucial step that allows the juices to integrate properly and ultimately provide a juicier finished product. Once removed from the grill, simply let the steaks rest for approximately 7 to 8 minutes before cutting into them.
  4. Wine — Steaks with higher fat content such as a rib-eye or New York strip will benefit from a big wine with significant tannin such as a Syrah, Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon. Lean meats such as tenderloin pair much nicer with lower tannin reds such as Merlot or Pinot Noir. Don’t forget about dry rosé for grilled fish and chicken. Make sure you slightly chill the reds by placing in the refrigerator for a half hour to achieve a temperature of approximately 60 degrees.
  5. Sides — Refreshing sides are a nice accent to rich barbecued, grilled or smoked meats. Instead of creamy potato salad or coleslaw, go with a roasted potato salad with vinaigrette and herbs or a vinaigrette slaw. Add accompaniments such as chimichurri or pickled vegetables. Items with good acidity will add a light fresh component and will surely excite the palate.

Salt and pepper are all you need to season that steak, Jason Dady says.

Jason Dady, whose restaurants include the Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills, Bin 555 and Tre Trattoria and feature a grill or two, offers the following tips:

  1. The best results come from a hot grill. Too many people use coals that are too cool or a gas grill that has not gotten hot enough
  2. Don’t use too much oil. It aids in flames, which can cause the extra carbon bitterness in the food. Use the least amount of oil.
  3. Rub the grill with a lightly oiled rag prior to grilling while coals and grates are hot. It will act as a natural “non-stick.”
  4. Pat all meats dry prior to cooking. They should not be wet. It will help in allowing the caramelization of the meat to get a richer, darker flavor profile.
  5. Salt and pepper — it’s all you need. Kosher salt to season with and fresh cracked black pepper. Let your steak taste like your steak!


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Lines, Food, Spirits, Fun and More Lines

Barbara Hunt serves up a Mediterranean-style sandwich from Boardwalk Bistro.

Culinaria’s Grand Tasting is always an occasion for sampling excellent fare from the area’s best restaurants, fine wines and other spirits. But Saturday’s sold-out gathering was also a chance to mix and mingle with thousands of others while enjoying the evening.

Often that was while waiting in line for the likes of Jeff Balfour’s braised oxtail tostada from Citrus and John Brand’s combination of oysters from Ostra and pork belly from Las Canarias.

Guest chef Susana Trilling (right) from Oaxaca talks with Culinaria's director of development, Ginger McAnear.

It was the first time Ben Dorris had ever tried an oyster, but he braved a briny bivalve with friends Joe Carreon and Vanessa Jauer. He was not impressed with the texture, but his friends, who have had a little more oyster-eating experience, were.

The evening’s sponsor, Ambhar Tequila, offered samples of their silver, reposado and añejo tequilas as well as cocktails for those who wanted something in addition to the vast array of wines on hand. These ranged from the crisp Joseph Drouhin Puligny-Montrachet to the silky elegance of the Chalone Pinot Noir. Bottles of Belgian beer Stella Artois disappeared quickly during the balmy evening.

Diane Wiltz is one of the volunteers pouring wine at the Grand Tasting.

The long lines meant some restaurants had to stretch the food they brought, though each of the chefs and their restaurants brought enough for 1,500 servings. Barbara Hunt of Boardwalk Bistro started out serving a Mediterranean-style sandwich with lamb. When the lamb ran out, it became a vegetarian sandwich with a roasted tomato and some tzatziki sauce adding such bold flavors that no one really missed the meat.

Shea Ash of the Peach Cafe in Boerne handed out several treats, including a mini-muffuletta with olive salad from her business partner Nancy Fitch’s restaurant, the Pomegranate in Artisans Alley.

Guest chefs included Nordic chef Trine Hahnemann as well as Susana Trilling of Oaxaca, who hopes to have her new line of culinary products, including mole enhancers and salt from her region of Mexico, in area stores soon.

Chocolate truffles from Kirby’s and cake from Flour Power Cafe were among the choice desserts for those with a sweet tooth.

Long lines greet chef Jason Dady each year.

The longest lines were those waiting to sample the multi-course mini-meal prepared by Jason Dady’s restaurant group. As he has done in the past, Dady offered samples of dishes that represent his restaurants, which include the Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills, Bin 555, Tre Trattoria, Two Bros. BBQ and the DUKTruck.

Shredded flank steak with a molasses-Shiner Bock barbecue sauce and a bright coriander-based pickle on top, a Mediterranean tossed salad, smoked deviled eggs with crab meat and cheesecake were among the various treats he served.

It took 22 members of his staff to keep the plates moving and to offer guests a personal explanation of what each dish was.

Lines were so long at Dady’s booth that the chef stayed more than an hour after the event ended to make sure everyone still waiting in line got to taste what he had to offer. We ran into Dady at The Monterey shortly before midnight where he was treating his staff to a late meal for the hard work they’d done.

Photographs by Bonnie Walker.

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