Monday, October 12
National Gumbo Day
You should celebrate this important day with a big bowl of gumbo, and we've got a few specials you should know about. Tony Mandola's at 1212 Waugh is offering half-off gumbo all day, which means you can get your fix for just $5, and you can add a draft 16 ounce Schooners for $5 more. You can also find some unusual gumbo flavors at Brennan's of Houston, 3300 Smith, such as smoked duck and collard green gumbo or Tabasco smoked pheasant and sausage gumbo.
5-Alarm Rita at El Tiempo
On Monday and Tuesday, you can find a new specialty margarita at El Tiempo Cantina, 2814 Navigation. Station 20's 5-Alarm Rita features premium Titanium tequila, pineapple juice, passion fruit and jalapeño, and $1 from each margarita will go to Firefighters Helping Firefighters. Beginning November 1, this specialty drink will be available at every El Tiempo location for an entire year.
Bordeaux Class for the Women's Center
Bear Dalton, fine wine buyer for Spec's, invites you to join him for this seminar on value Bordeaux wines — that is, wines that you can regularly drink at home without having to dip into your savings account and without sacrificing your high standards. The class is a fundraiser for the Houston Area Women's Center, and the cost of a ticket is a minimum $20 donation to that organization. Bread and cheese will be served alongside the wine, and the class takes place at l'Alliance Française, 427 Lovett. Call 713-854-7855 for reservations. 7 p.m.
KUU Wine Dinner
Join Dr. Madaiah Revana at KUU, 947 Gessner, for this dinner that features wines from three of his vineyards: Revana Family Vineyard in Napa, Alexana Winery in the Willamette Valley and Corazon del Sol Vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina. Chef Adison Lee will be crafting Japanese cuisine to pair with the wide variety of wines. Check out the Facebook event, and call 713-461-1688 to make your reservations. 6:30 p.m., $175
Wine Dinner at Helen
Athanasios and Vasiliki Parparoussis are hosting only two wine dinners during their current trip to the U.S., and you can be one of the lucky few to meet them during this wine dinner at Helen Green Food and Wine, 2424 Rice Boulevard. The fare includes roasted grouper with caper-scented tomato sauce, moussaka-stuffed pumpkin and venison with a sweet mavrodaphne glaze. Call 832-831-7133 to make reservations. 7 p.m., $125
Tuesday, October 13
Galveston Restaurant Association's "A Taste of the Gulf"
From 6 to 8:30 p.m., Galveston's Moody Gardens Convention Center, 7 Hope Boulevard, will be filled with local culinary goodness from restaurants and other food businesses, and you can sample it all for just $35 (or $40 at the door). This is the 43rd annual Epicurean Evening from the GRA, and the proceeds will benefit the Francisco Vargas Scholarship Fund, which offers scholarships to students pursuing careers in the hospitality or culinary industries. You can buy tickets in advance at various Galveston businesses, and check out the GRA Facebook page for details.
Wednesday, October 14
National Dessert Day
You can find many delicious desserts around Houston to celebrate this day, such as the funfetti birthday cake in a glass at MAX's Wine Dive, 4720 Washington, or the chocolate tres leches cake at Añejo, 1180-1 Uptown Park. If you get a dessert at Urban Eats, 3414 Washington, you'll also get a free cup of Java Pura Coffee Urban Blend; don't let that flourless chocolate torte pass you by! Laurenzo's at 4412 Washington also has a can't-miss seasonal dessert — pumpkin bread pudding.
Thursday, October 15
Pop-Up Dinner at Glitter
This week's pop-up dinner at Glitter Karaoke, 2621 Milam, features chef Will Gilchriest of The Brooklyn Athletic Club. There's no word yet on what he'll be cooking, but his gastro-American style will be sure to please. Check out the Facebook event for more details. 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Friday, October 16
Pre-Concert Dinner at Quattro
If you plan to attend the Marc Anthony concert at the Toyota Center, nearby Quattro at 1300 Lamar has a special dinner buffet set up for you, including beef empanadas with mango salsa, arroz con pollo, camarones en cerveza and more, for $39. There will also be Latin music playing to get you in the mood. As an added bonus, valet parking will be only $6. An optional beverage package is available for $25. Make reservations by calling 713-276-4700. 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Stand-Up Comedy at MKT BAR
Every Friday until the end of October, you can find the BETA Bracket stand-up comedy competition at MKT BAR in Phoenicia, 1001 Austin, and, as part of the audience, you can help select the winners. Ten local comedians (or people who think they're comedians) will perform in a five-minute round, then the competition will be thinned out to a ten-, then a 20-minute set, and the winners go home with lots of money. As in, the top prize is $3,000. Admission is free, and you can enjoy MKT BAR provisions while you laugh. 10 p.m.
Saturday, October 17
Appetizer Cooking Class at Sylvia's
Sylvia Casares, chef and owner of Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen at 1140 Eldridge Parkway, is hosting her fall cooking classes again this year, and this one features traditional appetizers, such as chile con queso, salsa, flautas, sopes and more. The class includes a full meal of the foods cooked in the class, cheese enchiladas, dessert and a margarita or other drink of your choice. Sign up for this class and future classes. 12:30 to 3 p.m., $55.
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Rosé Tastings for The Rose Foundation
From noon until 6 p.m., French Country Wines, 2437 Bartlett, will let you try a vast array of their wine selection for free. As a fundraiser for The Rose Foundation, which supports diagnostic and treatment services for breast cancer patients, $2 from each bottle of Rosé purchased will go to that organization. One dollar from other purchased bottles will also go to The Rose.
Sunday, October 18
Blues and Brews at Brenner's
Every Sunday evening between now and November 29, you can catch live blues music on the patio at Brenner's on the Bayou, 1 Birdsall, plus featured cocktails and brews, such as $5 Stella Artois, $6 Cazadores Reposado Margaritas and more. Small bites will also be available. For information, call 713-868-4444. Must be 21 or older. 3 to 6 p.m.
Chamber Music and Wine Tasting
You can enjoy a stunning chamber music concert by faculty members of Rice's Shepherd School of Music at French Country Wines, 2437 Bartlett, while you sip on various wine samples and enjoy cheeses from Houston Dairymaids. The reception begins at 6 p.m., and the concert will begin at 6:30. Make your reservation by calling 713-993-9500. $35.