Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings, from a beer and burger pairing to a Derby Day soirée:
All month long
Burger and Beer Pairing at the Royal Sonesta’s Axis Lounge
In honor of National Burger Month, Royal Sonesta’s Axis Lounge, 2222 West Loop South, will be spotlighting a unique burger and beer pairing for each of the four weeks during the month of May. This week, diners can indulge in a BBQ Brisket Double Cheese Burger and Saint Arnold Lawn Mower for $18. The burger is made with two 44 Farms patties, cheddar cheese, BBQ beef brisket, coleslaw and a fried egg on a brioche bun. Other burgers featured include the Chicharron Burger with hatch green chilies, avocado, queso fresco and guajillo ketchup; the Pesto Burger with heirloom tomatoes, provolone and basil pesto; and the Blue Cheese Burger with truffled potato chips and grilled pear.
Tuesday, May 2
Beer Dinner with Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. at Roost
Beginning at 7 p.m., guests are invited to a Beer Dinner with Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. ($90/person; $160/pair inclusive of tax and gratuity) at Roost, 1972 Fairview. Enjoy five-paired courses, starting with Slow Dough jumbo pretzels with pimento cheese and beer butter for the table and moving on to courses such as braised pig head terrine and charred Spanish octopus with crushed potatoes, chorizo and citrus. In addition, each guest will receive a swag bag complete with chef Kevin Naderi’s maple chili jam mustard, and tickets purchased in pairs will include two bombers of Buffalo Bayou beer to take home. Seats are limited; call 713-523-7667 to reserve a spot.
Wednesday, May 3
Whisky Extravaganza at the Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria
Held at the Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria, 2222 West Loop South, the Whisky Extravaganza invites enthusiasts to participate in master classes, sample from a selection of more than 100 whiskies and indulge in delicious culinary pairings. Master Classes will be held from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m., with the tasting and dinner buffet from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $150, with reserved table seating for groups purchasing eight or more tickets offered for a discount at $135.
Wednesday through Friday
Teacher Appreciation Week at Salata
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, participating Salata locations will be offering teachers and school faculty a free salad or wrap from 3 to 6 p.m. The special offer is open to educators with an official identification badge issued by any local elementary/middle/high school, public or private, including teachers, teachers’ aids and administrators. Educators must present valid school ID—with photo, name of school and current school year—to receive their free meal.
Wednesday though Tuesday, May 9
7 Layer Loaded Fries at Hopdoddy Burger Bar
Hopdoddy Burger Bar, 4444 Westheimer, 5510 Morningside, 142 Vintage Park, will be offering a large order of the burger bar’s hand cut Kennebec fries served with housemade seven layer dip and two mini frozen margaritas or two ice cold Mexican cokes for $9. The seven layer dip features refried black beans with bacon, cheddar cheese, green chile queso, guacamole, pico de gallo and fresh cilantro, all of which is poured all over the fries to create the magical seventh layer.
Thursday, May 4
Cuatro de Mayo at Radio Milano
Radio Milano, 800 Sorella, will be hosting a Cuatro de Mayo tequila dinner with Casamigos Tequila. Starting at 7 pm, guests are invited to enjoy a tasting menu by executive chef Jose Hernandez and sip on featured cocktails including The Gecko Bros, made with Casamigos Reposado, mezcal, chocolate and orange bitters, agave, lime and cherry; and the Vaso de Santa Anna, with Casamigos Reposado, lime, sugar, habanero, strawberry, ginger beer and angostura. The dinner is priced at $65 per person and seats must be reserved by Tuesday, May 2. Call 713-827-3545.
National Star Wars Day at Milano Bar
May the fourth be with you. Milano Bar at Radio Milano, 800 Sorella, has crafted Star Wars-inspired cocktails for the day. The festive beverages are priced at $15 each and include drinks including Han Shot First—Jameson Black Barrel, green Chartreuse, Strega and lemon juice served in a tobacco-smoked snifter; Tosche Station—Larceny Bourbon, Bruto Americano, grapefruit, basil, lemon and honey; and Kessel Run—Casamigos Reposado Tequila, lemon, agave, raspberries and cassis.
National Star Wars Day at Nobie’s
The force is also strong at Nobie’s, 2048 Colquitt, but its cocktails may be even stronger. Guests are invited to let their geek flags fly with a variety of Star Wars-themed refreshments, including the Obi One Negroni. The cocktails will be priced at $10.
Kentucky Derby Garden Party at Backstreet Cafe
Backstreet Cafe, 1103 South Shepherd, continues its casual Garden Party Series with mint juleps, big hats and bourbon from 5 to 7 p.m. Guests can enjoy a tasting of bourbon, cocktails featuring Maker’s Mark bourbon and the cuisine of the races—including peach-glazed pork ribs, fried chicken cheese biscuit sandwiches and spicy shrimp and grit cakes. There will also be local craft beers, sangria and bubbles, plus door prizes, including a magnum of rosé for the winner in the Best Derby Hat Contest. Cost is $30 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and includes the bourbon tasting station, two drinks (with happy hour prices after) and the eats.
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at Houston Galleria Macy's
Beginning at 6:30 p.m., the Houston Galleria Macy's, 5135 West Alabama, will celebrate Asian Pacific American cuisine and culture with special guest and Top Chef winner Kristen Kish. Guests can enjoy a discussion with Kish, followed by a Korean night market reception that includes local Asian cuisine sampling, skin care tips, Korean art, music and social media tutorials. In addition, with any housewares or cookware purchase of $50 or more that day, guests will receive a limited-edition Macy’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month tote bag and cutting board, plus a photo opportunity with Kish.
Domaine Ruhlmann Wine Dinner at Bistro Provence
Bistro Provence, 13616 Memorial will be hosting a pre-fall dinner featuring wines of Alsace with Domaine Ruhlmann beginning at 7 p.m. The menu will feature dishes from the Alsace region (which blends French and German influences), with highlights including salmon quenelle on a bed of sauerkraut with beurre blanc sauce and Barry Farm pork shoulder, slow cooked with mustard and thyme. Cost is $68 per person, plus tax and gratuity, with a $30 deposit per person via Paypal required to confirm. For information or reservations, call 713-827-8008 or visit bistroprovence.us
Friday, May 5
Santo de Mayo Pub Night at Saint Arnold Brewery
Hit Saint Arnold Brewery, 2000 Lyons, for a special pub night from 5 to 10 p.m. The festivities will feature on-site printed shirts from Santo artist and amigo of the brewery Carlos Hernandez, a Santo costume contest, live mariachi, a Santo de Mayo pint glass and beer combo, Mexican eats from the kitchen, and specialty beers on tap, from Mango/Habanero Art Car IPA to RAF-arita Gose.
Friday through Saturday
Galveston Island Food & Wine Festival at the Galveston Island Convention Center
The 8th annual Galveston Island Food & Wine Festival returns with favorite events and new wines at the Galveston Island Convention Center, 5600 Seawall. On Friday, hit the Premium Tasting ($108), held from 6 to 8 p.m. and featuring fine wine from the county’s top vineyards and hors d’oeuvres from top local restaurants. On Saturday at 2 p.m., the Grand Tasting ($98) will showcase bottomless samples of more than 100 vintages next to inventive tapas-style plates. VIP combination tickets for both events are available for $156.
Saturday, May 6
Derby Day at Julep
Featuring live music, food, drinks, fashion, a raffle and viewing of the 143rd Kentucky Derby, all in proper "derby" style, Julep, 1919 Washington, will be celebrating from 1 to 7 p.m. Guests can enjoy Old Forrester Juleps and a rosé wine garden, plus gourmet derby day provisions from Harlem Road BBQ. Tickets are $20 for general admission (including one raffle ticket) or $70 for a four-pack of general admission (including four raffle tickets). All sales from raffle tickets will benefit Habitat for Horses, a non-profit equine protection agency committed to the prevention, rescue and rehabilitation of neglected horses.
Day at the Derby at Ouisie’s Table
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Ouisie’s, 3939 San Felipe, will be hosting its own day at the derby, beginning around the bar at 4:30 p.m. and continuing for dinner after the race. For the early part, the restaurant will be selling hand-crafted mint juleps and Kentucky bourbon whiskey flights. The race will be shown on the bar television. Following the race, Ouisie’s has created a three-course, multi-choice dinner of Southern dishes with drink pairings. The dinner is $45, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are encouraged.
Sunday, May 7
5th Annual Big Taste of Houston Audi Central Houston
Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star’s fifth annual Big Taste of Houston will take place at Audi Central Houston, 2120 Southwest Freeway, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. (VIP entry at 3:30 p.m.). The much-anticipated food and beverage extravaganza showcases more than 25 of Houston’s most diverse restaurants and bars—including talent from Kitchen 713, Mala Sichuan, Southern Goods and Uchi—all competing for the “Judge’s Choice”, “Best Overall” and “People’s Choice” awards. The 2016 James Beard Rising Star Award winner, Daniela Soto-Innes of COSME (New York City), will be preparing a dish exclusive for VIP ticketholders. Advance tickets are $125 for general admission or $195 for VIP. All funds raised benefit Big Brothers Big Brothers of Greater Houston and support the hundreds of youth waiting to be matched with a volunteer mentor within the Houston community.