Flavor File: New café on West Side, fine wine at the Granary and zany gelato at Blue Star

More gelato on the way from A La Mode - COURTESY PHOTO
Courtesy photo
More gelato on the way from A La Mode

Chow down Belle Epoque-style with a pop-up dinner from a new chef collective. John Russ of Lüke San Antonio is joining forces with girlfriend Elise Broz (pastry chef at Biga on the Banks), Michael Sohocki (Restaurant Gwendolyn, Kimura), Pieter Sypesteyn (Where Y’at Food Truck) and the dudes from Mixtli to launch Alamo City Provisions. The group will host five gatherings this fall starting with a 1900s-themed, five-course dinner at The Josephine Theatre, 6 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, August 24. Other dates include September 21, October 19, November 16 and December 14 at The Inn at Craig Plate, Landa Gardens, Lambermont and High Wire Art Gallery, respectively. Purchase tickets through alamocityprovisions.com.

Café Tutti is out, and Deco Café is in. Opened by chef Jesse Camacho, the shop at 1933 Fredericksburg is open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday for breakfast, coffee and lunch. You’ll find daily specials of the café variety, including BLTs, cranberry almond chicken salad sandwiches and a honey ham and cheddar wrap.

A La Mode Gelato, a relative newcomer to the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market, will open a storefront this fall inside the Blue Star Arts Complex. The booth, operated by chef Josh Biffle and his family, currently carries a handful of rotating gelato flavors (which Biffle makes in the wee morning hours on market days) including gorgonzola and candied walnut, vanilla bean bourbon, salted caramel and white chocolate with pistachio salsa and dairy-free sorbettos for $4 to $6. Biffle hopes to carry a menu of panini and soups du jour at the shop.

Hotel Valencia’s got a new executive chef running its kitchens. Robbie Nowlin (formerly with The Lodge, Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry and most recently, Las Canarias) was hired to helm Valencia’s Citrus restaurant just under a month ago. Nowlin, who replaces Jeff Balfour of the upcoming Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery, will launch a new menu on Friday, August 1 made up of dishes like foie gras crepes with compressed strawberry, banana, celery, black pepper creme fraiche and candied hazelnut; chorizo pork belly; tuna tartare; and butter-poached Maine lobster. Be on the lookout for a brunch menu this fall.

Didn’t get a chance to nab a ticket for Texas Monthly’s BBQ Fest on September 14? Fret not, you can still visit with one of the participating locals as The Granary ’Cue & Brew’s Tim Rattray serves up a six-course dinner with Sonoma’s Jordan Vineyard wine pairings on Monday, August 4. Produce from the winery will also be shipped in for the dinner, which will include Chardonnay vintages from 2007 and 2012 along with Carbernet Sauvignon vintages from 1999, 2002 and 2005. Reserve your tickets ($150) at thegranarysa.com.

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