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This Week in Houston Food Events: Last Chance to Dine For Democracy

Pondicheri is just one of the restaurants participating in Dining for Democracy, benefiting the ACLU of Texas.
Pondicheri is just one of the restaurants participating in Dining for Democracy, benefiting the ACLU of Texas. Photo by Troy Fields

From movie-themed dinners to a rosé garden party, here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:

Monday though Wednesday

Dining for Democracy

Don’t miss your chance to dine for a cause; Dining for Democracy—benefiting American Civil Liberties Union of Texas to honor its work on behalf of immigrants—is still running through Wednesday, March 22. Local bars and restaurants, including spots like benjy’s, Down House, Grand Prize Bar, Pondicheri and Riel, have teamed up to donate 15 percent of special Dining Democracy menu sales (pre-tax and pre-tip) to the ACLU of Texas.

Wednesday, March 22

National Coq au Vin Day at Bistro Provence

Bistro Provence, 13616 Memorial, will be paying homage to wine, roosters and Julia Child by offering Coq au Vin as a blackboard special for both lunch and dinner.

Royal Tenenbaums Wine Dinner at State of Grace

State of Grace, 3258 Westheimer, is hosting a special The Royal Tenenbaums-themed wine dinner at 7 p.m., with dinner held in a private dining room and the film playing silently in the background. Guests can enjoy a five-course supper featuring wine pairings from Banville Wine, each corresponding with the personality of a character from the beloved Wes Anderson film. The restaurant will be releasing the details via its Instagram account, @stateofgracetx. Highlights include paccheri pasta with charred octopus and bone marrow, paired with a beautiful, serious Rosso di Montalcino to represent Margot Tenenbaum; and red wine braised beef cheeks with dark mole, paired with a Don Anselmo Aglianico to represent the patriarch of the family, Royal Tenenbaum, as Don Anselmo is the “father of quality, originality and weirdness.” Tickets ($125 per person, plus tax and gratuity) are limited and can be purchased by calling 832-942-5080.

Thursday, March 23

Rosé Garden Party at Backstreet Cafe

Backstreet Cafe, 1103 South Shepherd, is introducing a Garden Party Series to spotlight its popular patio and award-winning food and wine. The casual, walk-around series kicks off this week, with a Rosé Garden Party from 5 to 7 p.m. Guests can enjoy a tasting of ten still and sparkling rosés and passed bites, including smashed avocado and feta toast, heirloom tomato flatbread, dirty rice beignets, country ham grilled cheese squares and salmon and mango salsa tostadas. Cost is $25 per person and reservations can be made at 713-521-2239.

8th Annual Keels & Wheels Uncorked at Mercedes-Benz of Greenway Plaza Dealership

Held at the Mercedes-Benz of Greenway Plaza Dealership, 3900 Southwest Freeway, from 7 to 10 p.m., this eighth annual event combines classic cars, fine wines and hors d'oeuvres from local chefs. Participating restaurants—including Carmelo’s Italian Restaurant, Amalfi Ristorante Italiano & Bar, Mister French's Gourmet Bakery and Brennans of Houston—are assigned a classic automobile or boat, and each chef will select a wine to match the car and prepare a bite to pair alongside. Tickets are $75 in advance and $100 at the door.

click to enlarge
Fridays just got a whole lot tastier.
Photo by Kimberly Park
Fridays during Lent

Lobster Fridays at Bernie’s Burger Bus

Bernie’s Burger Bus, 5407 Bellaire, 2643 Commercial Center, has puts its Lobster Friday special into overdrive. Usually only offered on the first of the month, both Katy and Bellaire locations are offering butter-toasted lobster rolls and lobster poutine fries every Friday during Lent. The specials will be available at lunch and dinner until the goods are gone.

Saturday, March 25

Brunch Cooking Class and Documentary Screening at Brennan’s of Houston

Beginning with a reception at 10:30 a.m., Brennan’s of Houston, 3300 Smith, will continue its 1967 celebration with a brunch cooking class demonstration and screening of the Ella Brennan documentary. The menu will feature snapping turtle soup, eggs Sardou, speckled trout almondine and crepes Fitzgerald. Cost is $50 per person (excluding tax and gratuity) and includes the brunch and demo, plus up to three featured cocktails per guest. The screening is optional and will begin after the demo, around 1 p.m.

South Texas Breakfast Cooking Class at Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen

Sylvia Casares of Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen, 1140 Eldridge, will teach a South Texas Breakfast cooking class from 1 to 4 p.m. Those attending will learn how to make fat gorditas, flour tortillas, corn tortillas, tasty migas, wake-you-up huevos rancheros, Mexican hot chocolate and café de olla. The cost for the hands-on class is $64 per person and includes all materials, the class and a meal. To register, visit or call 713-334-7295. The next class will be on Saturday, April 8, with step-by-step instructions on making meatless enchiladas.

IPA and Stout Style Class at Ritual

Beer nerds are invited to this IPA and Stout Style Class at Ritual, 602 Studewood, from 3 to 4 p.m. Delicious Concepts beverage director Peter Clifton will walk guests through the brewery process, define clear flavor profiles by style and help guests to identify those flavors. The class costs $20 and includes tastings and a special gift from a local brewery.

Sunday, March 26

Peli Deli Pop-Up at Axelrad Beer Garden

From 1 to 8 p.m., Axelrad Beer Garden, 1517 Alabama, will host a special pop-up of Peli Deli, the “baby” version of Peli Peli Kitchen which will have a 9-month residency at Downtown’s Esperson Building beginning Monday, March 27. Guests are invited to hangout in the gardens with hammocks, beer and South African-inspired bites.

Beauty and the Beast Feast at Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park

Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park, 531 Mason, is hosting a special feast screening of Beauty and the Beast at 5:30 p.m. Tickets ($60) include a four-course meal, including baby artichokes en croute, roasted eggplant, braised beef short rib and a flamed cherry “pie” with vanilla pudding.
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Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
Contact: Brooke Viggiano