All Week Long
12 Days of Mole at Picos
Each day this week, you'll find a different featured mole at Arnaldo Richards' Picos, 3601 Kirby. This week's offerings include chicken forehalf in mole negro, oxtails in chichilo and rabbit in mole almendrado. Saturday's special is pork spare ribs in mole verde, and there will also be a massive brunch buffet of every featured mole, plus traditional sides and accoutrements, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Keep an eye on the Picos Facebook page for updates on each day's mole.
benjy's Goes Back In Time
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, benjy's at 2424 Dunstan in The Village will be throwing things back to 1995 until December 15. Waitstaff will be decked out in '90s haute couture, and we expect to see plenty of ill-fitting plaid clothing. The menu will include dishes from the original menu, and the best part is that these will be offered at the original prices, too! The party goes on until December 15, so swing by and relive the glory days.
Monday, December 7
Robb Walsh Book Signing at JCI
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Robb Walsh, a James Beard Award winner, will be signing copies of his new cookbook at JCI Grill, 5745 Westheimer. The Chili Cookbook contains not just Texas-style chili recipes, but also Hungarian goulash, vegetarian chili and more. JCI will also be offering half-price chili during the book signing so that you can enjoy chili while you read about it.
The Rise of the Gose
This tasting event at Flying Saucer Houston, 705 Main, features Gose beers, an unfiltered style of German wheat beer. At 6 p.m., Flying Saucer staff will tell you all about why the popularity of this ancient beer style was a surprising development in the craft beer movement, and you'll try several kinds of Gose beers, including some that aren't usually available in Texas. You can reserve your spot by calling Flying Saucer at 713-228-9472. Reservations are $15 for U.F.O. members and $20 for the general public.
Fine Port Wine Class with Bear Dalton
If you want to learn about different kinds of port, the origins of port, how to pair it and the best way to decant it, treat yourself to Bear Dalton's port wine class at 7 p.m. at l'Alliance Française, 427 Lovett. You'll sample 15 fine ports that vary in age from a Kopke Colheita 2005 to a Smith Woodhouse Vintage 1985, and bread and cheese will also be served. The cost is $80 cash, and you can reserve a spot by calling 713-854-7855.
Tuesday, December 8
Canadian Whisky 101
Davin de Kergommeaux, author of Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert, will be hosting an informative Canadian whisky tasting at 6:30 p.m. at Reserve 101, 1201 Caroline. The class, which features five different whiskies, costs $25, and a signed copy of de Kergommeaux's book is an extra $15. The whiskies include Crown Royal Harvest Rye, Wiser's 18 year and Forty Creek Double Barrel. Make your reservations on the Reserve 101 website.
Holiday Pie Baking at Revival Market
Pastry chef Alyssa Dole will lead this class on making perfect holiday pies at 7 p.m. at Revival Market, 550 Heights. She'll share the secrets to making a flaky, delicious crust as well as two classic holiday pie fillings. You'll take home your own miniature pie, as well as recipes for the crust and fillings featured in the class. Space is very limited, so make your reservations by calling 713-880-8463. Cost is $85.
Champagne Dinner at Bistro Provence
Join Tim Smith and Phyllis Adatto of French Country Wines at 7 p.m. at Bistro Provence, 13616 Memorial, for a holiday champagne dinner featuring Voirin-Jumel champagnes. The five-course menu, designed by new executive chef Cedric Vernin, includes a demi lobster tail with tarragon and olive oil, a grass-fed veal loin with oyster mushroom sauce and Reims biscuits with pear Charlotte. Call 713-827-8008 for reservations. $135 per person.
Wednesday, December 9
National Pastry Day
Not only is this holiday filled with sugar, spice and everything nice, but it also comes with freebies. Head to any La Madeleine location for a free miniature gingerbread crème brûlée tart, which is made with sweet gingerbread and cinnamon pastry cream.
Cookie Exchange at Central Market
Get ready for the holidays by learning how to make excellent cookies, and bring your own favorite cookie recipes to share with the class. Staff from Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, will teach you how to make spritz cookies, orange snowballs, chocolate gingersnaps and more so that your holiday parties will be easy as, well, cookies. Make your reservation on the Central Market website. Class begins at 6:30 p.m. and costs $60 per person.
Houston Tweet Drive
Bring a new, unwrapped toy or book to Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards, at 7 p.m. to get into a party with free food, drinks, games and live music. The charity event benefits Legacy Community Health, which provides health-care services to those who desperately need it. Sponsors of the event include Saint Arnold Brewery and 8th Wonder Brewery. You can R.S.V.P. on the Eventbrite listing until the day of the event.
Thursday, December 10
Paella Party at Central Market
This 6:30 p.m. class will teach you the basics of creating authentic Spanish paella, including seafood paella, hunters' paella with rabbit and quail, and fideuà, a paella made with noodles instead of rice. You'll also make an appetizer platter of Spanish cheese, charcuterie, olives and fruit, as well as Spanish rice pudding. This class at Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, costs $65 per person, and you can make reservations on the Central Market website.
Friday, December 11
Pop the Cork at Central Market
Join Ellise Pierce, author of It's Always Champagne-Thirty: How to Live and Eat like a Parisian, for this cooking class at 6:30 p.m. at Central Market, 3815 Westheimer. You'll learn how to create impressive appetizers that will pair perfectly with the champagne at your next holiday party, including shrimp and avocado in endive leaves, five-minute flatbread with bleu cheese, pear and bacon, and chocolate fleur de sel bread pudding. Make your reservations on the Central Market website. Cost is $65 per person.
Saturday, December 12
Breakfast with Santa at The Westin Houston
Join Santa in the 024 Grille in The Westin Houston in Memorial City, 945 Gessner, for a full breakfast buffet and build-your-own-waffle station. Specialty mimosa carafes will be available for $12 for adults, including agave peach, blackberry lavender, pomegranate orange and coconut mango. Seatings will be at 8 and 10 a.m., and you can make reservations by calling 281-501-4350. Tickets are $14 for children under 13 or $24 for everyone 13 years old and over.
Breakfast with Santa at Laurenzo's
From 8 to 11 a.m., you'll find Santa at Laurenzo's, 4412 Washington, where your kids can get photos with him or ride on Santa's Train in the parking lot. Admission is $15 for adults and $8 for children under 12 years old, which includes the breakfast buffet of scrambled eggs, silver dollar pancakes, applewood smoked bacon, mascarpone cheese grits and more. Reservations can be made by calling 713-880-5111.
YUMMY! Wonderland at Phoenicia
This festival celebrates holiday traditions from around the world, including music and dance from Latin America, Russia and Ukraine. There will also be traditional American caroling, craft-making, cookie decorating and more. A multilingual Santa will be there to speak to the kiddos in English, Spanish or French, and you can get photos taken with him as well. Did we mention that this is all happening at Phoenicia Specialty Foods, 1001 Austin, so there's an incredible brunch buffet available for $15, or $8 for the kids. You can buy your brunch tickets or get your free festival ticket on Eventbrite.
Breakfast with Santa at Hotel Derek
Take your little person to the Hotel Derek, 2525 West Loop South, for an enchanting morning with Santa and Mrs. Claus, during which you'll find a breakfast buffet and (man-made) snow to frolic in, plus you'll get one-on-one time and photos with the jolly old elf himself. The whole experience is $49 per person, but children two years old and under will get in free. Be sure to bring a new, unwrapped toy to help brighten the holidays for children in local hospitals.
Kids' Gingerbread House Workshop
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Bring your wee one (12 and under) to the Four Seasons, 1300 Lamar, any Saturday between now and December 26 for a special child-friendly gingerbread house decorating class at 1 p.m. The admission price of $65 includes your child's beautiful gingerbread house for you to take home, as well as decorating supplies. Adults can also participate for $85 each or $155 per couple. You'll get a special gift if you bring a new, unwrapped toy to benefit children in need. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 713-650-1300.
Seafood & Karbach Beer Dinner
The kind folks at Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, have done you a favor and planned out a perfect meal for you to impress your visiting relatives with that shows off a Houston favorite, Karbach Brewing, and your incredible seafood-cooking skills. Don't have any seafood-cooking skills? Head over to C.M. at 6:30 p.m. and get some with the help of the cooking school staff, who will show you how to make langoustine bisque, Dungeness crab cakes and cioppino, a Californian fish stew. This class is $70 per person; you can make reservations on the Central Market website.
Sunday, December 13
Brunch with Santa at Triniti
Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., you'll find Santa and his elves at Triniti, 2815 South Shepherd, where they'll be taking photos with the wee ones. The kids will get their choice of burger, French toast or scrambled eggs, bacon and fries, while adults will get to enjoy Triniti's fabulous brunch and a carafe of mimosa. Adults are $65, while kids 12 years old and under are $35. Make your reservation through Eventbrite.
Gingerbread Class at Central Market
Grab the kids and head over to Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, for this class in decorating the perfect gingerbread house, complete with icing and edible decorations. The cost is $65 each, and there are two classes today at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., plus more throughout December. Make your reservations on the Central Market website, where you can also find other dates for this class.