Art inspires local dishes

From Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, has seen fit to grace us mortals with her presence here in San Antonio. This time, she hasn’t floated to shore as a naked woman on a scallop shell but has rather become the embodiment of the most beautiful substance on earth: food.

The new Aphrodite-themed exhibit, “Aphrodite and the Gods of Love,” at the San Antonio Museum of Art recently inspired a culinary event called “Aphrodite Art on the Table.” This event challenged eight restaurants to create Aphrodite-themed food, and, since then, these beautiful new dishes have appeared in kitchens throughout San Antonio.

The active participants for this challenge are: Biga on the Banks (203 S. Saint Mary’s St.), Bistro Vatele (218 E. Olmos Dr.), Café des Artistes at SAMA (200 West Jones Ave.), Citrus and V Bar at Hotel Valencia (150 E. Houston St.), Dough (6989 Blanco Rd.), Il Sogno (200 E. Grayson St.) and Luke (125 E. Houston St.).

Though this event has already been in action for over a month, you’ll notice that none of these divine dishes can be found on the menu. All it takes to get one is to drop the name Aphrodite to your waiter. So far, I’ve heard rumors of Love Potions made from pomegranate juice, champagne and honey, a hot-and-cold oyster dish that represents the polarizing tendencies of love and an all-out, three-course meal that ends in a ricotta-and-marsala macerated fig dessert.

I couldn’t even find many of the themed dishes, so I’d suggest that all those die-hard foodies out there go out to discover and praise some history-inspired dishes during this reverently delicious event. You can feast on love and beauty with Aphrodite during dinner and then grab a few bottles of wine to party with Dionysius later.