America voted, and San Antonio’s Luca Della Casa won’t be getting his own show on Food Network … for now. Although Della Casa was a strong contender, Lenny McNab was revealed as the victor during this past Sunday’s Food Network Star finale. No offense, Lenny, but you’re basically the cowboy version of Guy Fieri and I can’t say anyone in SA will be watching your show. Fans of Della Casa will soon be able to visit Panzanella Pizzeria, one in Downtown and one in the Lower Broadway area, a concept he helped develop.
Still torn up about Della Casa’s loss? You can drown your sorrows in ice cream, specifically, Lick Ice Creams, which opened its doors this past Tuesday inside the former CIA Bakery & Café. Co-owned by Chad Palmatier and Anthony Sobotick, who opened the first location in Austin, Lick Ice Creams’ claim to fame lies with its inventive flavors like Texas sheet cake, dark chocolate with olive oil & sea salt, goat cheese, thyme and honey, and roasted beets with fresh mint. Lick has already garnered national attention for its creations, and has received shout-outs via Southern Living, The New York Times and GQ Magazine. Store hours are 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
San Antonians love crazy food creations and so does Spike TV’s Frankenfood, which hosts mad-scientist cooks creating outrageous dishes and pits them against each other in a wacky food battle royale. Cibolo’s David Page, who created a PB & Jellumbo Po’boy with peanut butter and jelly, Nutella, cilantro carrots and jumbo shrimp; and SA’s Steven Echeveste, who created a Rise and Shine waffle sandwich with coffee-infused French toast, cereal-crusted ham, egg, arugula and a drizzle of béarnaise sauce, were both awarded a $10,000 grand prize for their dishes, in two Texas-centric episodes.
There’s a new set of eateries coming to Olmos Park. Luis Colon, Cecilia Barretto and David Naylor, three members of the Texas Cooks’ Co-Op, will open three very distinct projects inside the former Ciao Lavanderia (226 E Olmos). Colon, formerly with Biga on the Banks, Lüke Riverwalk and Bella on the River, will head FOLC, the group’s take on contemporary American fare and Alumina, a ticketed dining experience. Naylor, former head bartender at Sustenio, will concoct boozy creations for Park Social, the group’s cocktail bar. Barretto, the former owner of the now-closed Vinously Speaking who holds a Level Three advanced certification from the Wine Spirit Education Trust, will run the wine program for all three projects. FOLC should open within the next two weeks, and Alumina early next year. Park Social will open once Naylor returns from staging at Chicago’s Aviary—whose head bartender, Charles Joly, just so happened to win the Diageo World Class 2014 competition in London and was named best bartender in the world.
Correction: April 30, 2014
This article has been updated from the original version in print, which incorrectly implied that Della Casa held ownership of Panzanella Pizzeria.