Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:
All month long
Chocolate Lover's Month at Bernie's Burger Bus
To celebrate Valentine’s Day and Chocolate Lover’s Month all in one, Bernie’s Burger Bus, 5407 Bellaire, 2643 Commercial Center, is blending a special shake for cacao lovers. Get chocolate ice cream swirled with crunchy chocolate cookie crumbles and topped with Sno-Caps for $5 per shake.
Through Valentine's Day
Some sugar for your Sugah at Ooh La La Dessert Boutique
Ooh La La Dessert Boutique, 23920 Westheimer, 770 West Sam Houston Parkway North, 20155 Park Row, has you covered in the Valentine’s sweets department. Choose from an assortment of mini chocolate-chip cookie cakes, confetti heart macarons, XO cupcake truffles, decorated shortbread and classic romantic treats, including red velvet cake, truffle cheesecake, strawberry amaretto or chocolate Italian cake.
Tuesday, February 14
Single & Loving It Anti-Valentine’s Day at Red Lion British Pub
Singles are invited to an Anti-Valentine’s Day at Red Lion British Pub, 2316 South Shepherd. Guests can forget the prix-fixe menus, roses and all that “mushy stuff” and enjoy a carefree night out with food, drinks and friends instead.
Bumble Pop-Up Happy Hour at The Dunlavy
The Dunlavy, 3422 Allen, and the dating app Bumble invite guests to enjoy live music by the E.Nicole Band and specially priced cocktails, boutique wines and bites. The Pop-Up Happy Hour runs from 2 to 8 p.m.
Fat Tuesday at Eight Row Flint
Every Tuesday in February is Fat Tuesday at Eight Row Flint, 1039 Yale. Each week, the whiskey-soaked hangout will have Mardi Gras-inspired food specials and frozen hurricanes, to boot. This Tuesday, guests can feast on crawfish pie.
Bite Me!: An Anti Dinner at Conservatory
Conservatory, 1010 Prairie, is bucking the Valentine’s Day tradition by hosting a Brash beer and breakfast-for-dinner pairing flight, including pairings such as Black Masses with "Black Coffee"(a French toast bread pudding with Irish coffee ice cream); Pussy Wagon with "Pig Destroyer" (a pecan pancake and breakfast sausage corn dog served with spicy maple syrup and butter); and EZ-7 with "Cowboys from Hell" (a cinnamon roll kolache stuffed with chorizo and egg). The dinner will be available from 7 to 10 p.m. In addition, each food court vendor will be offering a "Special for 2," which comes with a 750-ml bottle from Jester King while supplies last.
For more traditional Valentine’s offerings, check out our 2017 Valentine's Day Dining Guide.
Wednesday, February 15
Retail Wine Program Launch at Helen Greek Food and Wine
Helen Greek Food and Wine, 2429 Rice, is taking its wine program to the next level as it introduces Krasi at Helen on Wednesdays. Local sommelier and oenophile Evan Turner is intent on celebrating customer appreciation by offering retail wine prices during dinner service on all bottles, every Wednesday starting at 4 p.m. The all-Greek retail krasi (wine) promotions will run through the spring.
Thursday, February 16
Five Year Anniversary at Three Brothers Bakery – Memorial
Three Brothers Bakery – Memorial, 12393 Kingsride, is celebrating its fifth anniversary by offering free birthday cake beginning at noon (while supplies last). Additionally, the bakery will offer five cookies for $5 (excluding dip decorated cookies and full-size gingerbread men).
Hugo Family Cellars Wine Dinner at Roost
Beginning at 6:30 p.m., chef Kevin Naderi will host winemaker Pam Hugo of Hugo Family Cellars for a special five-course wine dinner at Roost, 1972 Fairview. The 2012 "Innovare" Grenache Blanc, which was a small production of only 50 cases and is no longer available for sale to the general public, will be featured; and courses include acorn squash bisque with goat cheese flan; seared Gulf catch with English pea risotto, saffron stock and salt cod crepinette; and braised beef short rib with apples, fresh horseradish, and braised beef jus. Cost is $130 per person or $250 per pair, inclusive of tax and gratuity (tickets purchased in pairs will include one bottle of your favorite wine from dinner). The intimate meal is limited to 18 people. Call 713-523-7667 for reservations.
Beer & Cheese Pairing Class at Southern Star Brewery
Beginning at 7 p.m., Southern Star Brewing, 3525 North Frazier, is offering a three-hour beer and cheese pairing class, where guests will learn how to look for notes in the beer that complement the flavor and texture notes in different cheeses. Tickets can be purchased for $25 per person.
Friday, February 17
Clos des Fous Wine dinner at Churrascos Memorial City
From 6 to 10 p.m., enjoy a four-course Clos des Fous Wine Dinner at Churrascos Memorial City, 947 North Gessner. Feast on dishes including roasted chicken empanada, Peruvian shrimp and lobster bisque, pan-roasted petite filet, bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin and tres leches. Cost is $55.95 per person. Call 713-231-1352 for reservations.
VIBES by SI Swimsuit Festival – Friday Night VIP Event at The Post HTX
Held at The Post HTX, 401 Franklin, and celebrating the launch of the highly anticipated Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2017, the first night of the VIBES festival will spotlight a curated selection of culinary delights with top chefs and specialty libations. Eight-time SI Swimsuit model and Cravings cookbook author Chrissy Teigen will have her own booth, serving two of her original recipes — John’s Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Honey Butter and a Frito Pie Bar. In addition, while mingling with the 2017 SI Swimsuit models, guests can enjoy signature dishes and demonstrations by award-winning chefs from around the country, including Hugh Acheson, Graham Elliot, Chris Shepherd, Terrence Gallivan, Seth Siegel Gardner and Tyson Cole. The party starts at 7 p.m. and VIP tickets are available for $150, plus fees (guests must be 21 and up).
Enchantment Under the Sea at The Houston Zoo
The Houston Zoo, 6200 Hermann Park, will be hosting its second annual Enchantment Under the Sea evening soiree from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Guests attending the exclusive event will experience a private sea lion show, get close to a myriad of touchable animals, and engage in intimate conversations with some of the zoo’s prominent animal experts. The three-course dinner ($99 per person) features ocean-friendly seafood and includes hors d’oeuvres, beverages and animal encounters. Each guest will also be welcomed to the event with a specialty cocktail. Tickets are only available to the first 50 couples (must be 21 and up) and proceeds from the event will be donated to conservation efforts in Belize by partner organization MarAlliance.
Friday through Sunday
The 106th Celebration of Mardi Gras in Galveston
Texas’s largest Mardi Gras celebration starts with the beads, more than three million of them, to be exact. Guests can hit the Strand for elaborate parades, headliner performances, family events, feasting and other festivities that come with hosting an island-style Mardi Gras. The festival will run Friday to Sunday through February 26, culminating with a party on Fat Tuesday, February 28.
Saturday, February 18
Ten-Year Anniversary Wine Tasting at French Country Wines
French Country Wines, 2433 Bartlett, will be celebrating ten years of business during its weekly afternoon wine tasting in the charming French wine-tasting room. There will be a number of wines, some from the same wineries that first came to the store ten years ago, plus music beginning at 3 p.m., cheese and other surprises. There is no charge to attend and taste.
Mardi Gras Gumbo Cook Off at 8th Wonder Brewery
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From 2 to 6 p.m., the Houston Food Bank’s f.r.e.s.h. Young Professionals invite guests to a Mardi Gras gumbo cook-off at 8th Wonder Brewery, 2202 Dallas. Tickets to the rain-or-shine event cost $20 ($15 for f.r.e.s.h. members) in advance or $25 at the door and include access to the gumbo cook-off and three drinks. All proceeds benefit the Houston Food Bank.
Sunday, February 19
Speed Rack Texas at 215 Grove
Speed Rack, the all-female speed-bartending competition that raises money for breast cancer charities, returns, and this year, the sixth national tour will stop in Houston at 215 Grove. Beginning at 3 p.m., the event brings together 19 of the best, brightest and fastest female bartenders in the region in the battle for Miss Speed Rack Texas. To date, Speed Rack has raised more than $500,000 for breast cancer charities in the U.S. and abroad. Tickets are $25 in advance; $30 at the door, and with a suggested donation, attendees can receive cocktails from premium sponsors.