Tuxes and Toddlers 

Tuxes and Toddlers

April brings fine dining and family festivals

Feast with the Beasts, the annual San Antonio Zoo extravaganza, will feature delicacies from local restaurants. In addition to the regular zoo fun, special entertainment, games, animal close-ups, and a silent auction, there will be a special behind-the-scenes tour. The feast will be held on Friday, April 2, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Admission is $20 adult, $8 child; members $17 adult, $6 child.

The 57th Annual Poteet Strawberry Festival will take place south of the city limits on Texas Highway 16 from Friday, April 2 to Sunday, April 4. The festival will feature the strawberries that put Poteet on the map; from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, April 4, a Taste of Texas food show pits local cooks against each other in a contest featuring pies, cakes, cookies, breads, and more. Festival grounds open at 6 p.m. Friday and at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free on Friday; on Saturday and Sunday the charge is $8 adult, free for military, and child under age 10. Information: 830-742-8144, 830-276-3323, or visit www.strawberryfestival. com.

Gini's Restaurant and Bakery will host the 7th Annual Tea Party & Poetry Fest on Thursday, April 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is $15, and the menu includes strawberry crèmes, cucumber and chicken sandwiches, homemade scones, Scottish shortbread, English brew, and poetry. For reservations, call 342-2768.

Ciao and Bistro Vatel are hosting a first-ever wine dinner and tasting. Both restaurants will close for the evening on Wednesday, April 7 to accommodate Italian and French buffets from 5:30 to 9 p.m. At Bistro Vatel, the menu will include paté, cheeses and saucisson, cured salmon, casoulet and confit, roasted leg of lamb, quail, and chocolate raspberry cake. At Ciao, the planned offerings are napolitan pizza, spinach salad, gnocchi with truffle, mini veal chop farci, sausage cannelloni, antipasto, and biscotti. Admission to both tastings is $35. Reservations can be made at 828-3141.

The Third Annual North Chamber Spring Epicurean will be held at The Club at Sonterra on Sunday, April 4 from 5:30 to 8:30pm. The evening of fine wine and food tasting - with goodies from more than 20 local restaurants - will be preceded by the Texas Public Radio's one hour "Slow Foodfest." Chef Jay McCarthy, an advocate of the anti-fast food Slow Food Movement, will create a menu consisting only of fresh foods from local farms, starting at 4:30 p.m. Admission is $50 for members and $55 for non-members for both events, $40 for the Epicurean alone. Tickets are available at 800-622-8977 and 344-4848, or visit www.northsachamber.com.

The Saveur Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival will hit Austin from April 1 through 4. More than 30 events are planned for the weekend, including a vineyard hayride with local chefs Mark Bliss, Mark Chapman, and Steve Paprocki. Other events of note include the Big Bad Barbecue-and-Beer Bus Bash, a skeet and barbeque lunch at the TDS Exotic Game Ranch featuring celebrity chef Bobby Flay, a fine wine charity auction, and the Saveur Wine & Food Fair. For a complete schedule, and ticket information, visit www.Saveur.com/Texas Festival or call 512-542-WINE.



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