The North Side is flush with new dining and drinking options coming via the folks who brought you China Garden. Owner Adrian Martinez opened Smoke The Restaurant inside the former home of Auden's Kitchen at 700 E. Sonterra with chef Brian West promising fab urban barbecue in a swanky setting. West, most recently helmed the kitchen at Tribeca 212. The menu includes guava-glazed crispy pig tails, braised pork belly dressed with apple butter and Acadian dusted fried chicken livers with jalapeño orange marmalade, a brisket sloppy joe, a Thanksgiving sandwich and something called "sexy barbecue meatloaf" with brisket, bratwurst, mashed potatoes and pickled okra. The eatery is open 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday-Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Sunday brunch. Martinez has also tapped Matt Dulaney (formerly with Blue Box) to open Hidden Dragon, adjacent to his China Garden location on Blanco Road with Asian-inspired hand-crafted cocktails. Hidden Dragon is open daily from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. at 14355 Blanco Road.
Chef Rebel Mariposa is reaching out to the community to help fund La Botanica, an all-vegan eatery slated for a summer opening. Mariposa has launched a Kickstarter campaign, trying to raise $10,000 to help pay for kitchen renovations and a garden. Pledges start at $10 and go up to $5,000, with gifts ranging from appetizer vouchers to having a menu item named after a big-time donor. As of press time, the campaign has raised $2,380 and has through June 7 to reach its goal.
The Fox & Hound (12651 Vance Jackson Road, Suite 110, (210) 696-1356) will host an Autism Treatment Center fundraiser on Thursday, April 30, from 6 to 9 p.m. Guests can sample complimentary signature dishes and enjoy $4 signature cocktails and $2 draft beer. Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated to the organization, which helps provide educational, residential and therapeutic services for children and adults with autism.
San Antonians who are fans of the horse-race scene can hit up Sustenio's Derby Day celebration inside Eilan (18603 La Cantera Terrace, (210) 598-2950). Stop in for a lavender mint julep, participate in the best hat contest and enjoy free apps (for all ladies with hats).
And in case you weren't one of the many burger fanatics to hit up the second location of In-N-Out in the area, you can get in line at their newest location in Windcrest at 8202 N. IH-35.