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SA Cocktail Conference Presents $100K To Children’s Causes


BohananchefMark Bohanan—owner and executive chef of Bohanan’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, and creator of San Antonio Cocktail Conference—presented a check for $100,000 to HeartGift San Antonio and ChildSafe on Wednesday at the Sheraton Gunther downtown.

Both of these organizations are focused on saving the lives of children. The San Antonio Cocktail Conference 2014, a four-day event was held here from Jan. 16-19 and offered education and celebration of craft cocktails and spirits.

SACC Logo“The third annual San Antonio Cocktail Conference proved to be even more successful than we could have anticipated,” said Bohanan.

“It’s incredible to see the generous support of our community partners and friends. The contributions of everyone, including our presenters and attendees, are the true backbone of this event and we simply could not have come this far without their continued support. This donation is especially meaningful as it allows two organizations to provide their services to children in need, a cause that is so near and dear to my heart. It is with great joy that we present this check today.”

Bohanan was joined by Charlie Deacon, chairman of the board of HeartGift San Antonio; and Kim Abernethy, president and CEO of ChildSafe.

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Raise a Toast: San Antonio Cocktail Conference Returns Jan. 16-19


The San Antonio Cocktail Conference returns for a third year, Jan. 16-19.

The Business  2 ounces Hendrick's Gin 3/4 ounce honey syrup 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice  Place all of the ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Shake until cold and pour into a cocktail class. Garnish with a slice of lime or cucumber, if desired.

The Business 2 ounces Hendrick’s Gin 3/4 ounce honey syrup 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice Place all of the ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Shake until cold and pour into a cocktail class. Garnish with a slice of lime or cucumber, if desired.

This is a chance for cocktail experts, sponsors, aficionados and newcomers to drink and dine together while enjoying tastings, competitions, evening parties and interactive workshops.

And for the third year in a row, all proceeds will benefit charity work on behalf of children in need. This year’s beneficiaries are HeartGift San Antonio and ChildSafe. HeartGift San Antonio is a nonprofit organization that provides life-saving heart surgeries to children from countries where necessary care is unavailable to them. Over the past two years, the Cocktail Conference has raised more than $75,000 for the nonprofit.

As creator of the Cocktail Conference and owner/executive chef of Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, Mark Bohanan is proud to announce this year’s added support of ChildSafe San Antonio — a child advocacy center that specializes in providing services to children who have been abused or neglected. “It’s been a blessing to see this event blossom,” Bohanan says. “Over the past two years, we’ve been able to provide incredible support for HeartGift children who need our help. But this year is extra special because we’ll now be able to donate funds locally to ChildSafe as well.”

The festivities begin Thursday, Jan. 16, with music and cocktails at the beautiful Majestic Theatre. Bartenders traveling from all around the country will mix specialty cocktails crafted from select spirit brands.

Friday, Jan. 17, will play host to a full day of parties and seminars that appeal to cocktail beginners and experts. In the evening, Rio San Antonio Cruises will transport guests to an “All Texas Spirits Night” at Pearl that evening to showcase San Antonio bars in conjunction with all Texas spirits and music from The Rick Cavender Band.

The fun continues Saturday, Jan. 18, with even more seminars for novices and experts alike. Join Bohanan’s and Lüke for a mouthwatering experience at the Stroll on Houston Street soiree where both restaurants will serve up dishes and cocktails. And what’s better than rounding out the day with an after party hosted by The 86 Co. at Empire Theatre with special music by The Spazmatics? Saturday evening will be an extravaganza The 86 Co. won’t let you forget. Come for an exciting night with great flavors and lively music at San Antonio’s premier performing arts facility.

San Antonio Cocktail Conference returns Jan. 16.

San Antonio Cocktail Conference returns Jan. 16.

Wind down the cocktail weekend with a Sunday morning Bloody Mary Brunch hosted by Deep Eddy Vodka at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel with tastings of their three famous spirits, including their fan favorite sweet tea vodka. The final day of Cocktail Conference will also include an exciting cocktail competition plus a closing evening party at The Brooklynite.

Prices vary per event with a couple of Saturday being free. Visit www.sanantoniococktailconference.com for information on the various seminars, the times and the prices.

Events Schedule

Thursday, Jan. 16

  • 7 – 11 p.m. – Opening Gala at the Majestic Theater

Friday, Jan. 17

  • 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Seminars at Sheraton Gunter Hotel
  • 4 – 6 p.m. – Happy Hour and Sherry Slam co-hosted by The Monterey and Virtuoso Selections
  • 6 p.m. – Weston Centre Rio San Antonio Cruises to Pearl
  • 7 – 11 p.m. – Pearl Stable Soiree An “All Texas Spirits Night” with musical guest The Rick Cavender Band
Seminars, tastings and parties fill the San Antonio Cocktail Conference.

Seminars, tastings and parties fill the San Antonio Cocktail Conference.

Saturday, Jan. 18

  • 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Seminars and tasting rooms at Sheraton Gunter and other participating venues
  • 6 – 10 p.m. – Stroll on Houston Street Bohanan’s and Lüke partner to create an evening menu.
  • 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. – Empire Theatre After Party The 86 Co. hosts spirit-filled party with musical guest The Spazmatics.

Sunday, Jan. 19

  • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Bloody Mary Brunch hosted by Deep Eddy Vodka at Sheraton Gunter Hotel
  • 2 p.m. – Movie Screening of “Hey Bartender” at Aztec Theatre
  • 5 – 8 p.m. – Original Cocktail Competition sponsored by William Grant & Sons at Aztec Theatre
  • 8 p.m. – A Tribute to Tequila sponsored by La Margarita
  • 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. – Closing Party: The Brooklynite will throw a closing party

Drive safely.

 

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Classic Cocktails: Have Your Whiskey Sour Two Ways


For years, the whiskey sour was a simple confection made of fresh lemon juice, syrup, an egg white and, of course, whiskey.

A whiskey sour without the egg white, with a cherry.

A whiskey sour without the egg white, with a cherry.

But when the cocktail fell out of vogue in the late 1960s, processed mixes began appearing as a way of simplifying matters for people too busy to squeeze a lemon. No matter that most of the sweet-and-sour concoctions on the market tasted only of sweet — with a strident chemical aftertaste.

Salmonella fears surrounding eggs led to the elimination of egg whites in cocktails and not just in the whiskey sour.

Soon, a century of tradition disappeared. And with it went once-popular drinks, such as the Ramos gin fizz, the round robin and the bourbon flip.

But the rise in popularity of hand-crafted cocktails has brought back the whiskey sour of the 1870s. There’s now a National Whiskey Sour Day, which was observed Aug. 25. But expectations are greater than ever.

People want a high-quality whiskey, no matter if you want a bourbon, an Irish whiskey or a rye, depending on your tastes.

Jake Corney, head bartender at Bohanan’s, 219 E. Houston St., prefers to use a bourbon that’s been aged in heavily charred barrels, such as Woodford Reserve Double Oaked. “You want a good, solid, spicy bourbon. Nothing too sweet,” he says.

Jeret Peña of the Brooklynite, 516 Brooklyn Ave., prefers rye, and you’ll see a vast assortment of them in his bar.

The Brooklynite's whiskey sour, made with an egg white.

The Brooklynite’s whiskey sour, made with an egg white.

“It’s like everything else I love, it’s misunderstood,” he says. “I love the spice element that is associated with rye.  The proper rye can cut through certain flavor profiles.”

Some still avoid the egg white but will squeeze the lemon fresh. The choice is yours.

“I am all about simplicity when making cocktails at home,” Peña says, adding that if you want to use egg whites and are leery about it, you could buy a carton of pasteurized egg whites. (Read the label first to make sure you’re only getting egg whites and no preservatives.)

Here are two variations on the whiskey sour. The first is the classic recipe, the second a playful variation on the original that adds more fruit juice but eliminates the egg white., which adds texture to the drink, Corney says.

It also helps to know your audience before you make the drink. Dale DeGroff, also known as “King Cocktail,” points out in “The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks,” that the British want their whiskey sours to be sour while Americans want a sweeter drink, which may explain why many added maraschino cherries to the mix. You may want to start with less syrup and build it up to suit your taste.

Classic Whiskey Sour

This is the traditional way a whiskey sour was made before the advent of sweet-and-sour mixes and artificial lemon, Corney says.

2 ounces bourbon
3/4 ounce simple syrup
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 egg white
Bitters, your choice

In a dry shaker (without ice), add bourbon, syrup, lime juice and egg white and shake vigorously. Then add ice and continue to shake vigorously until chilled. Pour into a cocktail glass. Top with 3-4 drops (not dashes) of bitters and make a swirl effect on the egg foam, if desired; otherwise, use a heavy single dash of the bitters of your choice. Carney prefers Angosturra for this drink. Serve.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From Jake Corney, Bohanan’s

Kilbeggan Secret Sour

Kilbeggan Secret Sour

Kilbeggan Secret Sour

This variation on the classic, from Joaquin Simo, head mixologist at Pouring Ribbons in New York, uses a touch of grapefruit juice and a dash of orange bitters to add to the sour tang of the drink.

1 ½ parts Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey
1 ½ parts club soda
¾ part dry vermouth
¾ part simple syrup
½ part fresh lemon juice
½ part fresh grapefruit juice
1 dash orange bitters
Lemon peel, for garnish

Combine whiskey, club soda, vermouth, syrup, lemon juice, grapefruit juice and orange bitters in a mixing glass over ice and shake. Strain into a Collins glass with ice. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From Joaquin Simo, Pouring Ribbon/Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey

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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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Light the Torches! It’s Tiki Time at Bohanan’s


It’s hot. You know it, but what are you going to do about it?

One solution would be to cool off at Bohanan’s Bar, 221 E. Houston St., from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday where the folks are throwing a tiki party on the patio.

Fu Manchu at Bohanan’s

The torches will be lit for Tropical Classics in the Courtyard at Bohanan’s, where folks will able to sip the likes of a modern Mai Tai, a take on the fun Fu Manchu and such playful creations as Gee Punch, La Florida and Joe’s Volcano.

Tiki drinks, iced down in ceramic mugs with tropical cuttings, conjure an image of a simpler time, when the rec room was decorated in a Polynesian masks and prints, luau music played on the stereo, and dreams of island life floated over the pu pu platter on the snack table. Is it any wonder these kitschy cocktails are making a comeback?

Think of the paper umbrellas, the generous fresh fruit garnishes, orchids, ornate citrus peel twists and more than a little ice, all adding cooling splashes to the party. You’ll find them at all Sunday at Bohanan’s, where the party is the final event of Texas Tiki Week, sponsored by the Austin chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild.

Jake Corney, head bartender at Bohanan’s Bar, created the cocktail list after being introduced to the wonders of the rum-laced libations while on a urban tiki expedition in New York. It was led by Brian Miller, who hosts Tiki Mondays at Lani Kai there.

“The whole thing about tiki is that it should be fun,” Corney said, adding that while the drinks are certainly eye pleasing, the fresh flavors are what will captivate drinkers.

Jake Corney mixes a cocktail for a customer at Bohanan’s Bar.

There’s no reason you can’t throw your own tiki party at home, too. Corney has provided the recipes for his latest creations. He also offered a few tips on what to do to throw a memorable cocktail party. He’s a firm believer in using freshly squeezed juices to maximum effect. If you don’t have time to squeeze your own, try the fresh juices available at specialty stores like Central Market, he said. Top quality ingredients across the board, from the liquor you use to the ice, make a noticeable difference in your cocktails.

So do little touches, such as the grating of nutmeg over the top of the Mai Tai or the dash of bitters to finish off a drink.

While doing his research on tiki drinks, Corney also discovered the world of rums, which come in a variety of styles. An analogy could be made to tequilas in that white rum and silver tequila are great for blending because of their simpler profiles. Yet aged rums, as well as añejo tequila, add a welcome complexity to cocktails.

They’re great to play with during the summer, Corney said, and you should be able to pick up a couple or more to sample side by side. “Rum is one of the cheaper spirits on the market,” he said.

Corney learned about bartending from internationally renowned mixologist Sasha Petraske  and has worked behind the bar at Bohanan’s for the last two years.  He’s put the information he’s gathered in that time not just for his customers but also in the planning of the first San Antonio Cocktail Conference, which the Houston Street restaurant and bar spearheaded. Plans are afoot for a second conference, which will be held in January and which Corney promised will be greater than the first.

But for now, it’s tiki time at Bohanan’s. If you can’t make the party on Sunday, you can still sample the drinks the next time you visit the bar. For more information, call (210) 472-2600.

 

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Respect Your Father! Take Him Out for a Great Father’s Day Meal


Paloma Blanca is giving dads a special queso for Father's Day.

You treated Mom to a special meal on Mother’s Day. Now, it’s time to give Dad his due. Here are a list of places that are open Sunday, June 17. Many have specials just for Dad.

Most don’t require reservations. Tax and tip are not included in the prices listed.

Antlers, Hyatt Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, (210) 520-4001 — Dinner on Father’s Day is from 5:30 to 10 p.m. with items on the menu to include pan-roasted black tiger shrimp, USDA prime Nieman Ranch New York strip, Broken Arrow Ranch antelope tenderloin and pecan-crusted venison chops.

Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 255-0722 — Father’s Day hours are 5:30-10 p.m. and will feature a series of meat-and-potato favorites: Griddled 16-ounce beef ribeye with baked potato mashers and tobacco onions; Mustard Crusted Australian Lamb Rack with cheesy grits, Rebecca Creek goat cheese and mushroom jus; and grilled 10-ounce beef tenderloin with corn pudding, poblano chimichurri and guajillo demi glaze. Add a jalapeño martini or try a bottle of wine; on Father’s Day, wines over $50 will be discounted 25 percent.

Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, 219 E. Houston St., (210) 472-2600 — The restaurant will be featuring its full menu on Father’s Day starting at 5 p.m. In addition, all dads will receive a sleeve of golf balls.

The County Line, 10101 I-10 W., (210) 641-1998 — Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with the full slate of barbecue favorites, including beef ribs, baby back ribs, pulled pork, smoked turkey, brisket and chicken-fried steak.

Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, (210) 821-5454 — Brunch will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Start with an appetizer, such as puff pastry with wine mushroom sauce, the Scottish smoked salmon or the mousse truffle pâté. Then, for your entrée, choose from specials such as shrimp salad on avocado, eggs Benedict, chicken breast with champagne sauce, veal scaloppini with mushroom cognac sauce, fresh rainbow trout almondine, tenderloin of beef with green peppercorn sauce, or shrimp lyonnaise over wild rice blend. The popular Trilogy menu will also be available, featuring tenderloin of beef, lobster tail and rack of lamb Provençal. Prices vary per dish.

Feast, 1024 S. Alamo St., (210) 354-1024 — Father’s Day brunch will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with items from the regular menu.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, 255 E. Basse Road, (210) 824-9463 (WINE) — The restaurant will open at 11:30 a.m.for a special Father’s Day brunch priced at $34.95, starting with choice of appetizer, followed by choice of Filet Mignon Benedict, New Orleans-style French Toast, Fleming’s Frittata, Steakhouse Filet Mignon Cobb and Prime Rib of Beef. Choice of dessert concludes the meal.

Frederick’s Bistro, 14439 N.W. Military Hwy., (210) 888-1500 — The restaurant will be open for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. with the regular menu.

Kirby’s Prime Steakhouse, 123 N. Loop 1604 E., (210) 404-2221 — Sunday hours are 5 to 9 p.m., including prime steaks, Australian rack of lamb, grilled redfish with jumbo lump crab, cedar plank salmon and seared ahi tuna.

Las Canarias, Omni-La Mansion de Rio, 112 College St., (210) 518-1063 — On Father’s Day, the restaurant is offering extended hours for the Champagne Brunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On the buffet: Applewood Smoked Bacon, Country Breakfast Sausage, Chilaquiles, Poached Cage Free Egg Benedict, Vanilla Malt Pancakes and Waffles, Chef-Prepared Omelets, European Charcuterie, Prime Rib of Beef, Smoked Texas Beef Sausage, Suckling Pig, Venison and Blueberry Sausages, Kobe Beef Hot Dogs, Waygu Beef Sliders, and Guajillo Grilled Shrimp. Cooked to order: Black Angus Beef Tenderloin, Waygu Beef Bavette Steaks,New York Strip Steaks, Lobster Tails on the Half Shell and Number One Ahi Tuna.  The cost is $58.95 for adults and $24.95 for children ages 6-12; tax and tip not included. In addition, the regular à la carte dining at Las Canarias will resume at 6 p.m. Reservations required.

Lüke, 125 E. Houston St., 210-227-5853 — Open from 10 a.m. till 11 p.m. on Father’s Day, Lüke will offer a special of bone-in Texas Waygu Ribeye served with new potatoes and local vegetables for $30. The full menu featuring Buttermilk Fried Quail, the Lüke Burger, the Croque Monsieur and Brendan’s Bread Pudding will also be available. Enjoy a jazz brunch from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. and treat Dad to a beer from Lüke’s selection of craft brews. lukesanantonio.com.

Max’s Wine Dive, 340 E. Basse Road, (210) 444-9547 —  Father’s Day specials include Max’s Clambake, clams and house-made chorizo in a wine broth ($15), Ultimate Steak ‘n’ Eggs ($25) and Texas Ranger Peach Pie ($8).

Mike’s in the Village, 2355-3 Bulverde Road, Bulverde, (830) 438-2747 — The Father’s Day brunch will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and will feature omelets, barbecue ribs, Herb Roasted Chicken, French Toast and Salmon, plus, fresh sides like Loaded Mashed Potatoes, Corn on the Cob, Garden Salad, Shrimp Pasta Salad and Tropical Fruit Salad. For dessert, enjoy White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce or our New York Style Cheesecake.  Cost is $39.95 for adults, $15.50 for children under 12.

Morton’s the Steakhouse, 300 E Crockett St., (210) 228-0700 — Father’s Day hours are 5 to 10 p.m. with the regular menu of steaks and seafood. There will also be a $59 special that includes a choice of salad (Morton’s Salad, Caesar Salad or Sliced Beefsteak Salad), a choice of entree (Double-Cut Prime Pork Chop, Center-Cut Filet Mignon, Braised Beef Short Rib, Chicken Bianco or Honey-Chile Glazed Salmon Fillet), a choice of a vegetable or potato and a choice of dessert (Double Chocolate Mousse, Key Lime Pie or Individual Soufflé).

Myron's Prime Steakhouse knows how to treat Dad.

Myron’s Prime Steakhouse, 10003 N.W. Military Hwy., (210) 493-3031 — The bar opens at 4 p.m. and dinner begins at 5 p.m.. In addition to prime steaks, the restaurant serves rack of lamb, salmon, Australian lobster tail and double-cut pork chops.

Ostra, Mokara Hotel and Spa, 212 W. Crockett St., (210) 396-5817 — The regular à la carte menu will be available during breakfast and lunch hours on Father’s Day. Featured specials will be offered during dinner service only beginning at 5:30 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended.

Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine, 5800 Broadway, (210) 822-6151 — The restaurant is offering a free appetizer for all dads from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dads will receive Queso a la Dimas (white queso dip with chunks of beef and poblano pepper) when they dine in-house only. www.palomablanca.net

Perry’s Steakhouse, the Shops at La Cantera, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 558-6161 — Sunday hours are 4 to 9 p.m. The regular menu features prime steaks, a one-pound pork chop, pecan-crusted red snapper and chicken Oscar.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House, 1170 E. Commerce St., (210) 227-8847; 7720 Jones Maltsberger Road, (210) 821-5051 — Hours are 4:30 to 10 p.m. Signature steaks cover a range of favorites from a Cowboy Ribeye to a porterhouse for two, while other entree options include lamb chops, barbecued shrimp and even a vegetarian option.

Sea Island Shrimp House, six locations — All Sea Island Shrimp House locations are open Father’s Day and will feature a Ribeye special—a choice cut 10-ounce ribeye steak with two sides and a freshly baked baguette for $12.99. The ribeye special will be available June 15–17. www.shrimphouse.com.

Tejas Steakhouse and Saloon, 401 Obst Road, (830) 980-2205 — The restaurant is offering Dad a discount. Get 25 percent off all entrees for dads on Father’s Day. The restaurant is serving brunch, lunch and dinner 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Texas de Brazil, 313 E. Houston St., (210) 229-1600 — The restaurant is opening at 11 a.m. on Father’s Day. Regular prices will be in effect, but Dad gets to eat free with the purchase of another regular dinner. The offer is limited to one dad per table. Reservations recommended.

Two Step Restaurant, 9840 N. Texas 1604 Loop W., (210) 688-2686 — The regular menu will be available 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. plus the following special: prime rib slow smoked overnight with horseradish mashed potatoes.

Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill, the Shops at la Cantera, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 690-3334 — Father’s Day hours will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with brunch until 3 p.m. So treat your dad early to his favorite from the build-your-own Bloody Mary bar or later in the day to the likes of green chile barbacoa enchiladas, chorizo-stuffed pork tenderloin or Five-Cheese Macaroni and Achiote Chicken.

Restaurateurs, if you would like to add your restaurant to this list, email walker@savorsa.com or griffin@savorsa.com.

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Cocktail Conference Raises $57,000 for HeartGift


Mark Bohanan (right) presents proceeds from the first San Antonio Cocktail Conference to members of HeartGift. (Shane Kyle/CE Group)

Mark Bohanan, owner of Bohanan’s Restaurant and Bar and creator of the first San Antonio Cocktail Conference, recently presented a check for $57,000 to HeartGift San Antonio to support two lifesaving surgeries for children from disadvantaged countries seeking heart surgeries at Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital.

Other businesses who helped sponsor the conference included SoHo Wine & Martini Bar, Ocho Lounge at Hotel Havana, The Esquire Tavern and Rio San Antonio Cruises.

HeartGift is a San Antonio-based charity that provides life-saving heart surgery to children from countries with unavailable or inaccessible health care. Every child chosen receives state of the art pediatric surgery from doctors Dr. John Calhoon and Dr. Adil Husain and their medical staff free of charge.

During the celebration, attendees celebrated HeartGift surgery recipient’s Wang Nan’s fourth birthday, a birthday she may not have seen had it not been for the funds raised through the first-annual cocktail conference, a four-day educational event about spirits that was held in downtown San Antonio in January.

Wang Nan lives in a remote Chinese village in the Gansu Province. Her family lives in a five-room mud house on two acres of land. Although they farm their land, Wang Nan’s father must go to the Xinjiang Province to do construction work for eight months each year to send home money for the family. Wang Nan suffers from Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect. She was operated on Feb. 3 and she returned home with her mother and their San Antonio host family on Feb. 7.

“The inaugural San Antonio Cocktail Conference was a bigger success than any of us could have imagined,” said Bohanan, whose restaurant is at 219 E Houston St. “This donation simply would not have been possible without the countless number of supporters, partners, presenters and attendees that made this a reality. We are thrilled to provide such a significant contribution to HeartGift on behalf of the conference, knowing that it will save the lives of two children in need.”

Boschetto pizza coming to Gallo

Starting Thursday, Gallo Pizzeria, 164 Castroville Road, will be making pizzas with boschetto, white truffles and portobello mushrooms blended with cheese. According to the pizzeria’s Facebook page, “It’s great for Lent.”

The cost is $19.99 for a large and $15.99 for a medium. Supplies are limited. Pre-orders are accepted.

Call (210) 264-0077 or click here.

Sip a sample of the Veneto at Luce

Luce Ristorante e Enoteca, 11255 Huebner Road, is showcasing the wines of the Veneto at a special dinner set for 5 p.m. March 10.

Executive chef Joe Buonincontri and Italian wine expert Jeremy Parzen are teaming up for the multi-course meal.

The cost is $50 a person. For reservations, call  (210) 561-9700.

Hoist a beer on Texas Independence Day

High Velocity, one of the dining areas at the JW Marriott resort, 23808 Resort Parkway, is having a  Saint Arnold beer dinner on Texas Independence Day, March 2.

The four-course meal will feature matching beers.

For price, time and reservations, call (210) 276-2500, ext. 5835.

Maggiano’s is giving away dinner for 20

Want to win dinner for 20 of your nearest and dearest?

Registration is now open for the Maggiano’s Little Italy “Who’s In Your 20?” sweepstakes. This is a chance for someone to land a private, Italian-style dinner party with 19 of his or her closest family, friends and co-workers. A dinner will be given out at each of the chain’s 44 restaurants.

Anyone who registers will also receive a coupon for a free flatbread at the restaurant. Registration is open through April 1.

To enter, click here. The San Antonio Maggiano’s is at the Rim, 17603 I-10 W. Call 210-451-6000.

 

 

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Cocktail Conference Shakes It Up for a Good Cause


Rob Gourley of San Antonio makes a Philly Smash with rye, lime, Averna, simple syrup, berries and mezcal at the Esquire Tavern.

By the time the last drop of vodka had been poured, the last cube of ice chipped and the last mint garnish bruised, the inaugural San Antonio Cocktail Conference could be classified a success.

Adrian Sarabia of San Antonio uses Ranger Creek White in his White and Red.

The four-day event, which included everything from what could affectionately be dubbed “booze cruises” along the river to Sunday brunch, attracted hundreds. Several of the seminars, on topic ranging from ice to making cocktails at home, sold out, all offering the promise of a great future for the event.

The best news of all was the event, planned as a fundraiser for the San Antonio charity HeartGift, raised enough money to pay for the costs associated with the heart surgeries of two children from countries where the proper treatment is either unavailable or inaccessible. The surgical fees are donated by the doctors, but there are costs associated with flying the children in and taking care for them during their recuperation.

Houston Eaves of Austin makes a 3-Piece Suit with Fernet, Campari and Punt e Mes.

Saturday brought a cocktail competition in which more than 30 contestants had to prepare an original cocktail that was judged on taste, presentation and execution. The grand prize winner was John Lermayer from the Florida Room in Miami, followed by Jake Corney of Bohanan’s, which is where the contest was held, and Charles Shelton of Austin.

Lermayer named his winning cocktail Have a Heart and promised HeartGift executive director Cathy Siegel that he would be donating some of his winnings to the charity.

Saturday evening brought a crowd of cocktail lovers to the Esquire Tavern. Along the longest bar in Texas, mixologists whipped up specialty drinks that featured drinks such as Texas spirits, including Ranger Creek White and Tito’s Vodka as well as absinthe, mezcal, the Italian vermouth Punt e Mes, and digestifs such as Averna and Campari. Spray cans of bitters were also used by several to finish off their cocktails.

Wonderful flavors, all, and a great reason to raise a toast to a successful launch of the San Antonio Cocktail Conference.

 

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San Antonio Drinks In Its First Cocktail Conference


Corey Morris mixes cocktails at the launch of the first San Antonio Cocktail Conference.

Can you make a perfectly dry martini? Do you know how to make a margarita that achieves the right balance of natural sweetness and tartness? Do you know how to modify a classic cocktail when using the cucumber-flavored Hendrick’s Gin instead of a regular gin?

The Business 2 ounces Hendrick's Gin 3/4 ounce honey syrup 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice Place all of the ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Shake until cold and pour into a cocktail class. Garnish with a slice of lime or cucumber, if desired.

Anyone who loves a finely crafted cocktail knows that it takes plenty of studying to get the right mix.

But it also begs another question: Can you think of any studies that are more flavorful and more conducive to partying?

That’s the format of the first San Antonio Cocktail Conference, which kicked off Thursday night with, appropriately enough, a cocktail party.

Chef Mark Bohanan, a driving force behind the conference, opened the bar at his Houston Street place to more than 350 cocktail lovers. The crowd  went from the luxurious interior, where a jazz combo kept things lively, to the neighboring patio.

The balmy January evening was perfect for traveling among the various tables where patrons could drink cocktails made with the likes of tequila, vodka, gin, Cognac and Champagne as well as such flavorings as coconut, ginger, lime and honey.

The whole conference is a fund-raiser for HeartGift, a local charity that provides medical assistance to children from around the world in need of heart surgery.

The overflowing crowd put a big smile on Mark Bohanan’s face. It must also be gratifying to know that some of the seminars today and Saturday have sold out. (For a schedule of events, including river cruises, parties at SoHo, Ocho and the Esquire Tavern, and Sunday brunch at the Sheraton Gunter, click here.)

More than 350 fill Bohanan's for the inaugural event of the San Antonio Cocktail Conference.

Corey Morris, a bartender at Bohanan’s, offered a few tips for making a good cocktail at home:

  • Make sure your ingredients are good. You can taste it when they’re not.
  • Make sure you use good ice. Ice with an off flavor can affect your drink.
  • Don’t shake your drink too much. Ice that melts too soon can water down your drink.

That’s just a taste of what’s to come over the next few days, including sessions in  Forgotten Cocktails, the Wonderful World of Gin and the homegrown Lone Star Cocktails.

While working at Bohanan’s, Morris has studied under several master mixologists, including the internationally regarded Sasha Petraske of Milk & Honey. Petraske is just one of the people who will be leading seminars, which means that anyone with passion for making perfect cocktails can learn what bartenders know. Or you can just sit back and absorb the intoxicating atmosphere that’s marking the inaugural cocktail conference.

 

 

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