Mark your calendars, because you don’t want to miss these deliciously fun culinary happenings:
Yauatcha, 5045 Westheimer, is adding to its weekday lunch service with the addition of Yum Cha (literally translating to “drink tea”), the Cantonese tradition involving Chinese tea and dim sum. The new menu offers patrons a fixed lunch option between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and features a diverse selection of dim sum accompanied by a pot of tea and patisserie-crafted dessert. The cost is $30 per person and includes a chef-selected steamed dim sum basket, fried dim sum assortment, and order of cheung fun as well as a choice of tea and dessert. A vegetarian Yum Cha is also available.
Now through Sunday, December 31, Freebirds World Burrito is encouraging guests to donate meals, by way of loyalty points, to those affected by some of this year’s most devastating natural disasters. Guests in Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee will have the opportunity to donate their loyalty points to the Houston Food Bank to help with friends and neighbors still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, while California guest donations will go to the Redwood Empire Food Bank to assist families affected by California’s recent wildfires. For every 100 points donated, Freebirds will provide one burrito to the respective food bank.
On Thursday, December 7 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, will host a "Macarons for the Holidays" cooking class. Guests can learn to create delectable French treats in flavors such as "everything bagel" with cream cheese and smoked salmon, Christmas cookie with vanilla buttercream, gingerbread with gingerbread buttercream and Mexican hot chocolate with marshmallow fluff. Cost is $60 per person. On Wednesday, December 13 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., chef and owner Arnaldo Richards of Pico’s Mex-Mex will be on hand to lead a Tamales with Pico’s demo. Learn the basics of masa making and how to make and wrap fillings, then sample traditional and nontraditional varieties, from wild mushroom and huitlacoche tamales to pineapple tamales and pork belly chicharrones tamales done two ways. Cost is $70 per person.
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La Table, 1800 Post Oak, will be hosting a Santa Brunch starting Saturday, December 9 and running every Saturday and Sunday until Christmas Eve. The brunches run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature photo ops with Santa, create-your-own gingerbread houses and Christmas carolers. Cost is $55 per person, including a family-style brunch with pastries, eggs, seasonal fruit, orange brioche French toast, a chocolate fountain, sides like chicken-apple sausage and smoked bacon, and beverages from cranberry juice to hot chocolate and coffee, plus complimentary mimosa for adults and gingerbread house for kids.
The Italian Cultural & Community Center, 1101 Milford, will host its holiday edition of La Piccola Cucina, a hands-on cultural culinary experience for children aged three to ten years old, on Saturday, December 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The children will be preparing “mezzelune alla vaniglia”, moon-shaped almond and vanilla cookies that are found all over Europe and are traditionally made at Christmas time. Children will wear chef aprons and toques and learn basic Italian language, metric system and culture while preparing authentic Italian cuisine. The registration deadline is Thursday, December 7 and cost is $30 for ICCC members and $45 for non-members.
Finca Tres Robles, 257 North Greenwood, invites guests to join it under the oaks for A Taste of Winter dinner on Saturday, December 9. The unique dining experience will feature farm fresh produce and beer from Town in City Brewing Co, plus live music, dancing and good company. Farm tours will run from 5 to 6 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 p.m. and drinks and dancing until 10 p.m. Tickets are $65 each.
Backstreet Cafe, 1103 South Shepherd, has several holiday events planned for December. On Sundays, December 10 and December 17 from 5 to 9 p.m., guests can enjoy Holiday Family Nights. The eatery will transform into a night-time holiday wonderland with all things Christmas, featuring Santa Claus and Viva Voce Victorian Carolers. There will also be happy hour pricing until 8 p.m. along with an a la carte menu. On Wednesday, December 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., guests are invited to a three-course Holiday Lunch ($34 per person plus beverage, tax and gratuity) featuring dishes like butternut squash soup, duck spring rolls, red corn chicken enchiladas, bucatini with shrimp and pumpkin chocolate cheesecake. On Sunday, December 24, guests are invited to three-course Christmas Eve Dinner ($52 per person plus beverage, tax and gratuity), featuring everything from Parker House rolls and stuffed quail to seared scallop and sticky English pudding. For reservations, call 713-521-2239.