Up in Cypress, Chef John Ly is hosting a wine tasting at Strata (122 Vintage Park Boulevard, Suite A, 281-379-2889) this Saturday, January 8, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. If you have shopping to do at Vintage Park, what better way to unwind afterward (and trust me, wine is the way to do it) than at Strata? $20 gets you seven wine tastings, while $25 gets you 15. Both tickets also get you plenty of appetizers and finger foods for noshing while you sip.
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This Sunday, January 9, head down to the Highland Village Farmers Market, where the old girl has gotten a facelift. Now run by Urban Harvest -- which also administers the popular Eastside, City Hall, Discovery Green and Rice University markets -- the River Oaks-area Highland Village market will take place every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It joins Discovery Green as the only other Sunday market in Houston and, according to the press release, "will feature a farm-to-table market brunch theme each Sunday with chef- and farm-driven market menus." Sunday brunching just got way better.
Winter in Texas means great oysters and -- yes! -- great citrus. Central Market (3815 Westheimer, 713-386-1750) is celebrating citrus season by hosting its annual Citrus Festival from January 12 to the 25. And while there are plenty of great events going on at the store, this is my top pick: a cooking class hosted by David Lebovitz. The popular author and pastry chef will host a class on using citrus in desserts on Sunday, January 16, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. that includes treats like Meyer lemon-buttermilk ice cream sandwiches and goat cheese soufflés with mixed citrus compote in sparkling champagne & yuzu jelly. The class is $65 a person and filling up fast, so book your spot soon.
As mentioned last week, two great events are coming up soon: the First Yiddish Whine Dinner at Kenny and Ziggy's (2327 Post Oak Boulevard, 713-679-8453) and the 2nd Annual Chili Quest & Beer Fest in Galveston. We'll be bringing you coverage from both, so get out there and don't miss two of Houston's most interesting wine and beer events.
And speaking of interesting events, My Table has put together a running series of chef-driven dinners for 2011 called the Toque 5 Dinner Series. The first dinner in the series will be held at Sushi Raku (3201 Louisiana) on Monday, January 24, and features five of Houston's most creative chefs serving five courses for the new year: Adison Lee of Sushi Raku, Hugo Ortega of Hugo's, John Sheely of Mockingbird Bistro, Juan Carlos Gonzales of Bistro Alex and Greg Lowry of VOICE. The five-course meal includes cocktails (starting at 6:30 p.m.) and one course served by each participating chef. The cost is $135 a person, $10 of which goes to local charities. For reservations or more information, call Taylor Byrne Dodge-Ray at 713-529-5500.