News and notes from the San Antonio food scene
Sound the trumpets, Ruta Maya Riverwalk, 107 E. Martin, is finally going to celebrate its grand opening. The four-day pachanga launches at 9 p.m. Thursday, March 30, with alternating spoken-word and DJ sets, and continues throughout the weekend with live music acts Bombasta, Sexto Sol, and Girl in a Coma. Got the late-night munchies? Ruta Maya’s kitchen is open during all hours of operation (’til 2 a.m. Saturday) and offers a menu of breakfast fare, sandwiches, and salads to complement its organic Fair Trade coffee. Cover charge: $3-5. Info: 223-MAYA.
Remember the part in Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving special when Woodstock, a canary, sits down to a turkey dinner with Snoopy? One wonders if the inmates of the San Antonio Zoo will turn a furry cheek as attendees of the annual Feast with the Beasts, 6:30-9 p.m. Friday, April 7, sample foods from more than 30 restaurants and vendors, including Blue Cactus Café, Orderup, and The Lodge. Entertainment includes face painting, games, and behind-the-scenes tours, as well as the very lovely, very fuzzy gray goslings, hatched this month by the zoo’s black swans. Tickets are $8 children, $20 adults. Info: 734-7184.
It’s time again for the Texas Home & Garden Show, April 7-9, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, where attendees can not only pick up tips on how to keep the mulch moist, the dust bunnies tamed, and the dog groomed, but also the belly happy. Headlining the show’s gourmet cooking stage are Diana Barrios Trevino of Los Barrios Restaurant and Bill Varney of the Fredericksburg Herb Farm, who will demonstrate recipes using fresh herbs and edible flowers. At each demonstration, guests will have the opportunity to sample dishes and take home recipes. Tickets are $7.50. Info and schedule: Texashomeandgarden.com
In the news, Italia Ristorante closed on March 28. Owner Dale Wood is putting the restaurant’s equipment and supplies in storage until further notice. Wood is embroiled in litigation with Curtis Gunn Jr., and Casino Club, Ltd., who own the space Italia occupied on the River Walk, for breach of the leasing agreement. Wood is also involved in a separate lawsuit with Landry’s Restaurant, which is currently negotiating to open a Saltgrass Steakhouse in Italia’s former space. Wood believes those negotiations “created a hostile relationship” between himself and Gunn. “To me this is like losing a child,” Wood said in a prepared statement. “I’ve seen the River Walk mature, and I’ve nurtured my business along the way. Now, the 57 people who work with me at Italia and I are being forced out ... As demanding as this business is, I’m really going to miss it.”