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News and notes from the San Antonio food scene

Things are hopping at the North Star Mall, where, much to the chagrin of young cocoa-lovers, the Easter Bunny is handing out rabbit ears instead of the traditional hollow chocolate bunny. The big hare will occupy his tulip throne in the Dillard’s wing 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday through April 15.

Turquoise Turkish Grill, 11220 Perrin Beitel, is sticking with tradition and serving lamb on Easter Sunday. The restaurant’s Easter specials will include Islim Kebab, tender lamb shank wrapped with eggplant and topped with a red sauce (Islim means “steamed”). Info: 946-3070.

Now that the days are longer, the Las Leyendas rooftop patio, 245 E. Commerce, is a swell place to enjoy the fading late-afternoon light and an after-work cocktail. Even more so now that Chef Jonathan Parker has added tapas to the menu. The traditional Spanish small plates are available from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and reservations are not necessary. Info: 277-1910.

Silo, 1133 Austin Highway, is also providing the after-work crowd with something lovely to look at ... Though sometimes mildly cave-like, the bar will be illuminated by the works of Elizabeth Elequin, Mike Suarez, Stephanie Spears, and Teri Wright from April 13 to July 13. An artist reception opens the show, 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, April 13. Info: 824-8688.

Speaking of the Silo, a little birdy — let us say a héron garde-boeufs -mentioned in passing that Mark Bliss does indeed plan to return to the restaurant in the near, yet unspecified, future.

Openings: Café Mariposa, 18322 Sonterra Place, suite 103, offering the cuisine of Spain, Mexico, South America, and Cuba, opened March 31, and is now serving from 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Sundays for brunch, 10:30-2:30 p.m. `See AYCE, March 1-7, 2006`. Kansas-based franchise Freddy’s Frozen Custard has opened at 8379 Agora Parkway, Selma, Texas, and is offering California-style steak burgers and Chicago-style hot dogs. What next, San Antonio-style tacos?

And chef Damien Watel will soft open his latest venture, La Frite, 728 South Alamo, on Friday, April 7. The Belgian bistro, specializing in mussels and fries, was inspired by his childhood in Lille, France. Every spring the town holds a braderie. “They close the downtown for a giant flea market, bring your stuff on the sidewalks, and also a mussels cooking contest, so everybody cooks mussels,” says Vatel. “And the waiters throw the shells from the front of the restaurant, and the one with the biggest pile of mussels wins.”

Compiled by Susan Pagani

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