First and foremost, mark your calendar now for June 30, the night of our first annual Houston Web Awards with special guest Fat Tony among other presenters such as the crew of Technology Bytes and the fabulous Houston Roller Derby girls.
Nominations are closed, but we will be presenting awards throughout the evening in several food-related categories: Best Food Blog, Best Chef on Twitter, Best Bartender on Twitter, Best Food Truck on Twitter, Best Use of Facebook by a Restaurant and more. Tickets to the awards ceremony are on sale now and include beer, booze and food sampling throughout the night.
However, if you wait until this Monday, you can snag those Houston Web Awards tickets for a lot cheaper through our one-day-only Deal of the Day. And unlike some recent events, this one will be held indoors and at night, so you're guaranteed plenty of shade.
Although the dinners themselves are completely sold out, don't fret if you didn't get a ticket to the Pilot Light series from chefs Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan. We'll have a beautiful slideshow from the first dinner -- which takes place this weekend -- for you on Monday, so you (like us) can live vicariously through the photos.
Around town, restaurants are ushering in the hot weather with new menus for the summer months. Down by the water at Kemah, Red Sushi -- a Japanese restaurant from, yes, the Landry's folks -- has introduced some more modern rolls to its menu along with some hibachi-style grilled items like fresh Gulf shrimp and whole lobster tails. This sounds better than anything else you can get on the Kemah Boardwalk, and is great to know for those inevitable weekends when visitors or in-laws want to make the drive down.
At Monarch, the ritzy restaurant in Hotel ZaZa, Chef Adam West has unveiled his new summer menu, some of which is perfect for enjoying poolside. The deconstructed ahi roll and the yellowtail tuna crudo are standout items, as is a ginger beef tenderloin with wasabi sauce and sesame mashed potatoes.
On Washington Avenue, one of my favorite places -- TQLA -- has a new, lighter menu for summer as well. Chef Tommy Birdwell has added 20 new dishes to the menu as well as lunch specials for $11, including a duck tamale and the fantastic-looking fried green tomato and crab salad pictured to the right. One step closer to making this the summer of the fried green tomato...
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At Brio Tuscan Grille, they've introduced a large new menu of cocktails for the summer that will go a little ways toward helping us enjoy the patio in June. Both locations -- at CityCentre and in The Woodlands -- are now offering libations like white peach sangria, strawberry basil limonata and raspberry mojitos for $7 to $10 a punch.
Now that you have a few new spots to try out tomorrow, tell us: What do your weekend plans involve?