Shop local for Valentine’s Day at Pearl

Shop local for Valentine’s Day at Pearl. Photo:

February is the month of love and the boutiques and at Pearl have put together a handy shopping guide to make it easier to shop for a Valentine’s Day gift. Starting with special deals at this week’s First Thursday, shoppers are encouraged to shop local at Pearl and give thoughtful and unique gifts from local businesses. (Pearl, 2017)

Gift ideas for women:
The Tiny Finch – Choose from a variety of small art prints, each hand signed and printed on 100% cotton rag paper.
Lick Honest Ice Creams – Pick up the Foxwares bowl and wooden ice cream spoons to create the perfect set.
Curio at Hotel Emma – The 14K pave double heart necklace makes a memorable gift.
Ten Thousand Villages – Give the gift that keeps on giving by purchasing jewelry and supporting makers in developing countries.
Larder – Indulge in a gift basket filled with wine, chocolate and body products.
Adelante – Stock up on jewelry for the trendy girl.
Niche – Get the latest from the Niche Spring 2017 collection. The Cabana dress in red is a flirty and fun addition to any wardrobe.
LeeLee – The Adina Reyter 14K pave necklace is a must have.
Bakery Lorraine – Satisfy any sweet tooth with delicious macarons from the bakery.
Bike World – A bicycle rental is the perfect gift for adventurous couples. Rentals are rent one get one half off.
The Synergy Studio – Violet love headbands for women who love to get fit.

Gift ideas for men:
The Sporting District – Mckittrick’s Fine Goods candle “Shut The Blinds” is made from the finest soy wax and scented with delicious oils.
Leighelena – exotic Santa Fe Stoneworks knife or stunning onyx, coral and natural wood liner lock knife with clip.
Local Coffee – The Murago from Katanga, Burundi, Merit Light Gray Sweatshirt and Hario V60 Dripper are perfect for the coffee lover.
High Street Wine Co. – Enjoy the Terra Valentine Cabernet from Napa Valley; a big, bold red wine that brings power and elegance to any occasion.
Dos Carolinas – Purchase a special Valentine’s guayabera for the one you love.

Gift ideas for children:
Roo & Me – Choose from an assortment of clothing and gifts.
The Twig Book Shop – Choose from a variety of cards or books about love.

Pearl Brewery
303 Pearl Parkway
San Antonio, TX 78215
(210) 212-7260


First Thursday at Pearl

The next First Thursday at Pearl on February 2 will include specials just in time for Valentine’s Day. Photo courtesy of Pearl, used with permission.

First Thursday at Pearl was created to give guests an evening of family fun and shopping deals. The next First Thursday is this Thursday February 2 from 5p.m. to 7p.m. Pearl kicks off the month of love as guests will be able to take advantage of in-store specials at Pearl’s boutiques and enjoy live music by National Standard. (Pearl, 2017)

Exclusive specials for this month’s First Thursday include:
Cured – there will be a “Roses & Chocolate” demo. The bar will present a sample of a Rose Pedal Cocktail while the kitchen will do a demo on chocolates and how to decorate with them.
Leighelena – guests will be able to enjoy complimentary Rosé from 5 to 7 p.m.
Niche – there will be an artist reception with Barbara Natoli Witt. Guests can enjoy wine and sweet treats, meet the artist and view the current collection.
Roo & Me – there will be a 50% off sale to make room for new spring merchandise. Tiff’s Treats and champagne will also be offered.
Twig – guests have a variety of books and cards to choose from.
Ten Thousand Villages – specials include 25% off all handcrafted jewelry and select Valentine’s gifts.
Curio – Gifts include a variety of Valentine’s themed merchandise.

Pearl Brewery
303 Pearl Parkway
San Antonio, TX 78215
(210) 212-7260

New exhibitions at Artpace

Artpace has new exhibitions now on display through April 30, 2017. Photo: google

Artpace is a contemporary art space located in downtown San Antonio created to support artists with residences, exhibitions and educational programs to foster the creative process. With the new year Artpace is proud to present a series of special exhibitions and events. Michelle Grabner, Spring 2017 Residency Guest Curator, has selected three artists from the Texas Open Call list to showcase their work for the Spring 2017 Hudson Showroom. The exhibition is titled Did You Ever See Such A Thing As A Drawing Of A Muchness? and will include artists Natasha Bowdoin, Harold Mendez and Rodrigo Valenzuela. It will be on exhibit from January 26 through April 30, 2017. Doors open at 6p.m. and admission is free and open to the public with complimentary drinks and appetizers on the Artpace Rooftop. (Artpace, 2017)

The gallery space formerly known as Window Works has been renamed Main Space for its location in downtown San Antonio and will showcase local artists. The first exhibit on this new space will feature San Antonio artist Benjamin McVey who will relocate his studio for the exhibition titled Open and will be on display from January 26 through April 30, 2017.

Artpace is a non-profit contemporary art organization that includes residencies, exhibitions and educational and community programs. Since it opened in 1995 Artpace has housed more than 200 artists through the International Artist-in-Residence program. Every year they host three residencies that include a Texas-based artist, one national artist and one international artist who are each chosen by a guest curator. After an eight week residency the artists will have their exhibits on site for two months. The purpose of these residencies is to give artists every opportunity to grow by giving them the resources they need.

445 N Main Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 212-4900

Cook Like a Texan Feast at Pearl Stable

Cook Like a Texan Feast will be at the Pearl Stable on Sunday February 26.  Tickets are now on sale. Courtesy photo, used with permission.

The December issue of Texas Monthly is devoted to essential cooking techniques every Texan needs to know and on Sunday February 26 from 6p.m. to 10p.m. it will come to life during Texas Monthly’s ‘Cook Like a Texan Feast’ at the Pearl Stable. It will be a culinary road trip featuring acclaimed Texas talent and will include a walk around tasting by renowned local chefs paired with interactive art, craft cocktails, beer and wine and a multi course seated dinner by master chefs. There will also be live music and a magical dessert presentation under the stars. Tickets to this event are now on sale, are priced at $145 and may be purchased online. (Texas Monthly, 2017)

This culinary journey will be hosted by Texas Monthly’s recently appointed Executive Vice President and Editor in Chief Tim Taliaferro and celebrated Restaurant Editor Patricia Sharpe. There will be a Q&A with the chefs and talent including: award-winning chefs Jeff Balfour of Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery, John Brand of Supper at Hotel Emma, Johnny Hernandez of La Gloria, Jeremy Mandrell and Anne Ng of Bakery Lorraine, Hugo Ortega of Hugo’s, Rene Ortiz of Launderette, Jesse Perez from Central Market and Tim Rattray of The Granary ‘Cue & Brew. Guests will also enjoy interactive art by international contemporary artist Cruz Ortiz, live music by artist Doc Watkins, owner of Jazz, TX, and an Infiniti lounge.

The evening will begin with a walk around tasting reception from 6p.m. to 7:30p.m. featuring Jeff Balfour, John Brand, Jesse Perez and Tim Rattray. Artist Cruz Ortiz will have his artwork and screen-printing on display. Outdoor live music will be by Doc Watkins. The feast will be from 7:30p.m to 9p.m. and is a special seated dinner and will include cuisine by Johnny Hernandez, Hugo Ortega and Rene Ortiz. Indoor music will be by Doc Watkins. The evening will end with a grand finale from 9p.m. to 10p.m and will be a magical dessert presentation from Jeremy Mandrell and Anne Ng of Bakery Lorraine.

Pearl Stable
312 Pearl Pkwy #2
San Antonio, TX 78215
(210) 212-953

Blues singer Marcia Ball at Jazz,TX

‘The Tattooed Lady and the Alligator Man’ is the newest CD from blues singer Marcia Ball.  She will be performing at Jazz, TX on Wednesday February 1.  Courtesy photo, used with permission.

Marcia Ball is a Texas-born, Louisiana raised pianist, vocalist and songwriter and is now touring in support of her sixth Alligator Records CD ‘The Tattooed Lady and the Alligator Man.’ On Wednesday February 1 she is bringing her tour to Jazz, TX, the Pearl’s newest upscale jazz venue. Her musical style is described as groove-laden New Orleans R&B heart-wrenching ballads and driving Gulf Coast blues. She has five Grammy Award nominations and received the 2014 Blues Music Award (BMA) for the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year. In 2010 she was inducted into the Gulf Coast Hall of Fame and into the Louisiana Music Hall of fame in 2012. Show time is from 8:30p.m to 11:30p.m. and tickets are $35 and available online. (Jazz, TX, 2017)

Jazz, TX is owned and operated by renowned musician Brent “Doc” Watkins. It is located in the cellar of the Bottling House and hosts musical acts include jazz, blues, big band, Texas swing, salsa, conjunto and Americana including Doc Watkins. It is open from Tuesday through Saturday and aside from music guests can enjoy a wide variety of food, beverages, wine and spirits.

Jazz, TX
312 Pearl Pkwy, Building 6, Suite 6001
San Antonio, TX 78215
(210) 332-9386

Dinner with Argentinian winery at Nao Latin Gastro Bar

Nao Latin Gastro Bar will be hosting a dinner and educational seminar with Argentinian winery Bodega Colome. Photo by Sandra Cruz

Nao Latin Gastro Bar is a student-staffed restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America located at the Pearl. The menu features Latin American dishes rooted in tradition but reinvented using a variety of ingredients and techniques and includes seasonal and progressive Latin food. Next month the restaurant will host an exclusive dinner and educational seminar with vineyard director Thibaut Delmotte of legendary Argentinian winery Bodega Colomé. This five course dinner will feature dishes prepared by Chef de Cuisine John Carpenter and will be paired with unique wines from the Salta region of Argentina. Before the dinner there will be a short seminar on the winemaking philosophy of Bodega Colomé. This will all take place on Wednesday February 1 at 6:30p.m. at a price of $125 per person. Space is limited so reservations are required and may be done via OpenTable. (Nao Latin Gastro Bar, 2017)

The dinner consists of the following: Reception – Tuna with passion fruit, pomegranate seeds and serrano paired with Amalaya White Blend 2015, Salta Argentina. First Course – Charred baby carrots with goat cheese, tamarind and arugula paired with Colomé Torrontes 2015, Salta Argentina. Second Course -Crispy pork belly with ají panca, green apple and pickled tiny vegetables paired with Amalaya Red Blend 2015, Salta Argentina. Third Course – Seared scallop with ajo blanco, charred grapes, cucumber and toasted almond paired with Colomé Malbec ‘Autentico’ 2015, Salta Argentina. Fourth Course – Beef tenderloin with celery root, roasted cippolini onions, peas and Malbec glaze paired with Colomé Altura Maxima Malbec 2013, Salta Argentina. Fifth Course – Red wine-poached pear with caramelized white chocolate, pistachio and coriander whipped cream.

Nao Latin Gastro Bar
312 Pearl Parkway, Building 2
San Antonio, TX 78215
(210) 554-6484

Theater review: ‘Fool for Love’

Damon C Mentzer and Holly Clifford star in ‘Fool for Love’ now playing at the Cellar Theater.  Photo by Daniel Baumer, used with permission.

The setting at the Cellar Theater is small and intimate and it makes an ideal location for Sam Shepard’s ‘Fool for Love.’ A dark and gloomy motel room complete with run down furniture sets the mood for the somber story. The cast is small but they deliver big as the story of two former lovers unfolds in a motel in the desert. It includes Damon C Mentzer as Eddie, Holly Clifford as May, Bill Gundry as the Old Man and Michael Zaiontz as Martin.

Right from the start it becomes clear that this couple has seen their share of drama. May wants to go on with her life without Eddie and now has a job and on the night that he shows up, a date with a man named Martin. Eddie has other plans, as he has tracked her down and traveled for days to convince her to leave with him and settle down in Wyoming. They have bonded over the years and want to be together but they are doomed to keep repeating their destructive patterns. When Martin shows up to pick up May he finds himself stuck in the middle. Throughout the play the Old Man sits to the side and talks to May and Eddie and comments on each character and about himself. It is later revealed that the Old Man has a scandalous connection to both of them and is the reason May is hesitant about her relationship with Eddie. At the end Eddie leaves without May, May packs her suitcase and leaves alone and Martin is left in the motel room too confused to do anything but just stand there looking out the window.

‘Fool for Love’ is an intense production and the combination of the setting and the story creates an almost voyeuristic atmosphere. The focus is on the night’s confrontation rather than a developing story and the past plays a major role because it comes back to haunt their present. Mentzer and Clifford work well together and their onstage chemistry is believable. Zaiontz does an excellent job as the confused and clueless Martin and Gundry as the Old Man ties it all together with his emotional and regretful performance. It is a show not to be missed but it should be noted that it contains adult language and content and may not be suitable for everyone.

‘Fool for Love’ is now playing at The Playhouse San Antonio’s Cellar Theater through Sunday February 5, 2017. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 8p.m. and Sunday at 3p.m. Ticket prices range from $12 – $42 and may be purchased online or by calling the box office at (210) 733-7258.

Book review: ‘The Other Einstein’ by Marie Benedict

‘The Other Einstein’ is Marie Benedict’s historical fiction novel about Albert Einstein’s first wife. Photo:

Marie Benedict is a lawyer and, with the pen name Heather Terrell, author of historical novels such as ‘The Chrysalis,’ ‘The Map Thief,’ and ‘Brigid of Kildare.’ Her most recent novel ‘The Other Einstein’ was released in October. It is a historical novel about Mileva “Mitza” Marić, Albert Einstein’s first wife and whose contributions to the special theory of relativity have been the subject of much debate for more than a century.

‘The Other Einstein’ tells the story of a brilliant young woman whose story was lost in Einstein’s shadow. At the age of twenty she is the only woman studying physics at an elite school in Zürich while other women her age are already married with children. She is determined to master physics and mathematics and has put marriage and friendships on the backburner to achieve her dreams. Her parents, particularly her father, have always encouraged her pursuit of a higher education. This was partly because she has a limp due to a bad hip so they feared she would never have suitors and would have to rely on herself. Everything is going well until she catches the eye of a fellow student. His name is Albert Einstein and he promises to treat her as an equal in both love and science. He keeps his promise at first but due to difficult circumstances they eventually grow apart and go their separate ways.

Very little is known about Mileva “Mitza” Marić so it is worth noting that ‘The Other Einstein’ is a fictional account of her early life. It is told from her point of view and gives readers an insight into what it must have been like to be a woman trying to have it all in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The story flows effortlessly and the characters are well developed and relatable. At the end there is a Q and A section with the author that is worth reading to get background information about her research and views on the book’s subjects. This would make an interesting choice for a book club and the reading group guide’s questions are sure to get the conversation going. It is recommended for fans of historical fiction centered on intellectual female characters.

*A copy of this book was given for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are solely the author’s.

Book review: ‘Law and Disorder’ by Mike Papantonio


Mike Papantonio is a prominent trial attorney and co-host of Ring of Fire, a nationally syndicated weekly radio talk show, along with Robert F Kennedy, Jr and Sam Seder where he is known as ‘America’s lawyer.’ His new legal thriller ‘Law and Disorder’ was released in September of last year and tells the story of a highly successful Florida attorney who suddenly finds the system working against him.

In ‘Law and Disorder’ Nicholas “Deke” Deketomis is a successful attorney who despite coming from a humble background has built a successful practice where he defends the rights of the innocent in the form of multimillion dollar lawsuits. While in the middle of a highly publicized lawsuit against a powerful pharmaceutical company he makes the wrong kind of enemies including the local bible thumpers, a district attorney out to win at any cost and two corrupt brothers who own one of the country’s biggest oil corporations. To bring Deke down they plan to set him up on a murder charge and during the murder trial which becomes a media circus he must find a way to exonerate himself before his family becomes the next target.

‘Law and Disorder’ by Mike Papantonio is a fast paced legal thriller and an impressive addition to the genre. Readers get an in-depth look at the justice system from the inside out. The author makes the legal jargon and courtroom drama easy to understand and even though the characters are diverse they are relatable and well developed. Given the progressive themes of the story it is disappointing to have the housekeeper character be a Hispanic woman driving a burrito-stained jalopy and speaking in broken English. Aside from that it is an enjoyable read with enough plot twists to keep the story from becoming predictable. It is recommended for fans legal thrillers but it should be noted that the main character is a progressive liberal and that might turn off the more conservative readers.

*A copy of this book was given for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are solely the author’s.


Tickets to ‘Finding Neverland’ go on sale Friday

findingneverlandThe touring production of ‘Finding Neverland’ will be stopping by the Majestic Theatre for eight performances only from Tuesday May 2 through Sunday May 7 as part of the 2016-2017 season of North Park Lexus Broadway in San Antonio.  Tickets go on sale tomorrow Friday January 20 at 10a.m. for performances at 7:30p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 8p.m. Friday, 2p.m. and 8p.m. Saturday and 2p.m. and 7:30p.m. on Sunday. Tickets start at $30 and are available through Ticketmaster online, by phone at (800) 982-ARTS (2787) and at all Ticketmaster outlets including the Majestic Theatre box office. Majestic Theatre box office hours are Monday through Saturday from 10a.m. to 5p.m. and Saturday hours vary. (North Park Lexus Broadway in San Antonio, 2017)

‘Finding Neverland’ is based on the Academy Award winning movie by David Magee and the play ‘The Man Who Was Peter Pan’ by Allan Knee. It follows the relationship between playwright J.M. Barrie and the family that inspired ‘Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.’ It is directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus with a book by Olivier Award nominee James Graham, music and lyrics by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy and choreography by Emmy Award winner Mia Michaels. This musical is a story about the power of imagination and proof that people never really have to grow up. It features mesmerizing visuals, irresistible songs and plenty of laughs.