Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:
Santa’s Tavern at Porch Swing Pub
Now through Tuesday, December 31, interactive Christmas pop-up bar Santa’s Tavern will transform the Porch Swing Pub, 69 Heights, into a winter wonderland where adults and kids can release their inner elves. Offerings include holiday-themed photo stations (all day and night); kids photos with Santa and gingerbread and ornament making stations (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.); and Christmas cocktails, food pairings and festive fun for the adults (7 p.m. to 2 a.m.). Tickets for Santa’s Tavern will be sold in three-hour time slots to avoid over-crowding and long wait times. Admission is $20 per adult, $10 for children five to 12 years-of-age, and free for kids four and under. Admission includes entry, unlimited photo booth access and visits with Santa on select days.
All month long
Cacao & Cardamom Treats at Sweet Paris Highland Village
Famed chocolatier Cacao & Cardamom has joined forces with local creperie Sweet Paris to offer two special treats to benefit the Houston Food Bank, available all through the month of November at the Sweet Paris Highland Village, 2701 Drexel. C&C’s Annie Rupani has created two signature crepes — the Pistachio Rose Crepe featuring white chocolate ganache, cardamom and rosewater garnished with pistachio praline and caramelized pistachios; and the Buttered Chicken Tikka Masala Crepe with a tangy carrot beet chutney and yogurt sauce. Each indulgence raises enough funds to provide a child with one meal.
"H-Town Originals" Sandwich at Antone’s Famous Po’Boys
Antone's Famous Po' Boys, 4520 San Felipe, 2724 West TC Jester, is continuing its "H-Town Originals" celebrity chef series with a new sandwich from local artist Donkeeboy. Available throughout the entire month of November, "The R.I.P." ($8.95) is a Día de los Muertos-inspired sandwich featuring carnitas, avocado, coleslaw, chipotle mayo and sliced jalapeños between two slices of pan de muerto bread. Proceeds from every sandwich sold will benefit Assist the Officer, a non-profit which provides short-term, immediate need financial assistance for officers critically injured or disabled in the line of duty.
Tuesday, November 19
$1 Four Year Birthday Shakes at The Burger Joint
The Burger Joint, 2703 Montrose, will be celebrating its fourth birthday by giving away $1 Shakes to customers who say "Happy Birthday" when ordering their meal. It will be serving up a Cookie Butter Birthday Shake for the occasion as well.
Holiday Wine Tasting at Third Coast Restaurant
From 6 to 7:30 p.m., guests are invited to a Holiday Wine Tasting at Third Coast Restaurant, 6550 Bernter. Taste several wines and learn what and how to purchase wines for entertaining or gift-giving alongside light bites from chef Jon Buchanan. Tickets are $55.
Garrison Brothers Pairing Dinner at Whiskey Cake Baybrook
Whiskey Cake Baybrook
, 18840 Gulf Freeway, will be hosting apairing dinner
from 7 to 10 p.m. ($123.41 per person, including tax and gratuity). Highlights include pan-seared diver scallop paired with a blackberry-infused Garrison Brothers bourbon cocktail, duck confit and mesquite waffle with a Garrison flight; homemade banana bread with a loaded sweet potato old fashioned and more. Space is limited, and reservations are required.
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
Beaujolais Winemakers Tour Houston with French Country Wines
In wine circles, the third week of November is when the young and light Beaujolais Nouveau departs France to delivered far and wide around the globe. This year, French Country Wines, 2433 Bartlett, will be bringing in Beaujolais winemakers and siblings Cyrille Bernardo and Karine Ducrozet, seventh generation owners of Domaine de la Ronze in the Beaujolais region of France, to celebrate. The winemakers will be guests at a number of food and wine events, all open to the public, during their week-long visit in Houston; with events including a Wine Dinner at Alice Blue, 250 West 19th, on Tuesday, November 19 ($121.84 all-inclusive; call 713-864-2050); a Wine Dinner at Bistro Provence, 13616 Memorial, on Thursday, November 21 ($65, call 713-827-8008 ); and a Beaujolais Happy Hour Wine Tasting at Café Benedicte,15455 Memorial, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Friday, November 22 (no reservations required).
Wednesday, November 20
Garrison Brothers Pairing Dinner at Whiskey Cake Katy
Whiskey Cake Katy , 23139 Grand Circle, will host its pairing dinner from 7 to 10 p.m. ($115 per person, including tax and gratuity). Dine on bbq glazed chicken with a Sage in Bloom cocktail, 44 Farms smoked tenderloin paired with Garrison Brothers Single Barrel and Balmorhea neat and more. Space is limited and reservations are required.
Champagne and Caviar Dinner at Rainbow Lodge
Rainbow Lodge, 2011 Ella, will continues will host a Champagne and Caviar Dinner with Champagne Bollinger and Champagne Ayala and featuring Master Sommelier Craig Collins on Wednesday, November 20, beginning with a 6 p.m. reception and followed by a dinner at 6:30 p.m. Email email@example.com to reserve your seats.
Thursday, November 21
Beaujolais Nouveau Day Celebration at Houston Wine Merchant
Celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau Day at Houston Wine Merchant, 2646 South Shepherd, with a complimentary tasting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 22
Free Wine Friday at Revival Market
Every month, Revival Market, 550 Heights, will sample some of its favorite wines with guests; and on this Friday from 2 to 4 p.m., guests can sample Revival Market’s entire lineup of bubbles to kick off the holiday season. The tasting is free, and all wines are available for retail purchase.
Holiday Champagne Tasting at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Galleria
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Galleria, 5839 Westheimer, will host a walk-around Holiday Champagne Tasting event beginning at 5:30 p.m., with sommeliers sharing their knowledge at every table. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be provided. and cost is 125 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
Saturday, November 23
Houston Margarita Festival at The Water Works at Buffalo Bayou Park
The Houston Margarita Festival will take place at The Water Works at Buffalo Bayou Park, 105 Sabine, on Saturday, November 23 from noon to 10 p.m. Hit it to sip from 18 margarita flavors and enjoy live music and DJs, festival eats and more. Tickets are $15 and up, with value and group passes available.
Mixology Class at Lucienne
Guests are invited to mix it up with chef Jose Hernandez as Lucienne, 1070 Dallas, continues its Saturday mixology series. This month will feature Yellow Rose Rye Whiskey, Blended Whiskey and Outlaw Bourbon Whiskey, with each class covering the of history of bourbon and teaching guests to make three classic cocktails — including the Passion Fruit Sour, Apple Spiced Smoked Old Fashioned and Liquid Alchemist, with apple spice, bitters Cobbler Yellow Rose Single Malt, Sherry, tamarind and citrus Cost is $65 per person (age 21 and over only) and seating is limited eight guests. The weekly offering takes place on Saturdays from 3 to 4:30 p.m. and includes light bites courtesy of chef Hernandez. To reserve, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, November 24
Friendsgiving Brunch at UB Preserv
UB Preserv, 1609 Westheimer, will be hosting a Friendsgiving brunch on Sunday, November 24, featuring outrageously good dishes from wok-fried green beans and chile con queso hasselback potatoes to coconut cream pie and turducken. The brunch is $35 per person and includes all food on the menu, served family-style (alcohol not included). Free for children under 5. Seating times are 10:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Raclette Party at Montrose Cheese & Wine
Montrose Cheese & Wine, 1618 Westheimer, will be celebrating Raclette cheese with a two-day party from 2 to 8 p.m. on Sunday and Monday. Like fondue, raclette is a typical après-ski meal invented in Switzerland; the cheese is held up to a fire to melt then scraped from the half-wheel atop foods like potatoes and cornichons. At the shop, $18 plates will include potatoes with caramelized onions, frisée, cornichons and baguette slices for ($22 with salami). There will also be wines on special to add to the fun (including Glühwein on Sunday).