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This Week in Houston Food Events: Get Your Wine and Food On

The Grand Tasting is Wine & Food Week's main event.
The Grand Tasting is Wine & Food Week's main event. Photo courtesy of Wine & Food Week
Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings, from Negroni cocktails to a taco extravaganza:

All week long

Wine & Food Week in the Woodlands

Now in its 13th year, this all-inclusive, multifaceted culinary and wine extravaganza will host 75 chefs, hundreds of talented winery representatives, scores of restaurants and thousands of enthusiasts looking to eat, drink, mingle and give back (more than $900,000 has been raised for local charities over the years). This year, the event welcomes Emmy award-winning TV chef, restaurateur and author Lidia Bastianich as its Wizard Gourmet Master of Ceremonies, with a theme of “Inspired! Flavors” celebrating cuisine from around the globe. Events in the lineup include Thursday’s H-E-B Wine Walk at Market Street and the Platinum Wine Vault Tasting and The Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase, both held on Saturday. Event pricing ranges from $20 to $250.
To see more of what’s in store this year, check out our full guide to the event.

Negroni Week

Made with one part gin, one part vermouth rosso and one part Campari, the Negroni cocktail is considered to be one of the world's greatest. And Negroni Week celebrates that, all while raising money for charities around the world. Local participants include spots like Eight Row Flint, 1039 Yale, which will be offering four different versions (including Jell-O shots and frozens) to benefit No Kid Hungry; Provisions, 807 Taft, which will be serving five special cocktails to benefit One More Wave; and Nobie’s, 2048 Colquitt, with offerings including eats like Negroni-cured scallops and Negroni custard pie in addition to cocktail variations, all of which will raise money for No Kid Hungry. To view all Houston-area bars and restaurants participating in Negroni Week, visit

Tuesday, June 6

Free Taco Tuesday and 8th Wonder Pint Night at La Grange

On the first Tuesday of every month, you can get a free taco with every drink purchase at La Grange, 2517 Ralph, from 4 to 10 p.m. This month’s night will also feature Weisstheimer hefeweizen pints from 8th Wonder Brewery.

Taco Loco at Uptown Park

Held at Uptown Park, 1111 Uptown Park, from 6 to 9 p.m., Houstonia Magazine’s Taco Loco event pits together local talent in a head-to-head lucha libre-style taco takedown as guests enjoy unlimited tacos and margaritas. Tickets are $35 and include all food and drink.

Wednesday, June 7

Banfi Wine Dinner at Carmelo’s Ristorante Italiano

Carmelo’s Ristorante Italiano, 14795 Memorial, will be hosting a Banfi Wine Dinner with special guest Luciano Castiello, U.S. ambassador for Castello Banfi. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., the restaurant will serve a five-course, wine-paired dinner, with featured dishes including ricotta gnocchi with black truffles, salmon and risotto with Tuscan kale, organic wagyu tenderloin with polenta and sfogliatella ai fichi (a flaky pastry with figs). Cost is $100 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and seating is limited. Call 281-531-0696.

Landry’s “Dining through the Decades” at Brenner’s Steakhouse

Landry’s Inc. is kicking off its Houston Chef Series: “Dining Through the Decades” with chef Jason Cole of Brenner’s Steakhouse. The first chef to host the private and exclusive dining experience this summer, Cole will be serving up five wine-paired courses, including duck breast with red wine gastrique and chestnut puree, filet mignon with morel cream sauce and Texas pecan streusel. Dinner is at 7 p.m. and cost is $95 per person or $80 for Landry’s Select Club members (plus tax and gratuity).

Squash Blossom Wine Dinner at Hugo’s

Join Hugo’s, 1600 Westheimer, as it celebrates the start of the season with a special dinner paired with wines from Mexico and beyond. Dinner begins with a reception at 7 p.m. and features courses including toasted white corn tostada with whipped ricotta cheese, tomatillo, avocado, squash blossom salad and lime dressing; pan-seared snapper over squash blossom and corn stew; grilled Texas quail with yellow squash mole, squash blossom and roasted poblano cornbread; and corn flan with candied squash blossom and guava syrup. Cost is $90 per person plus tax and gratuity. For reservations, call 713-524-7744

click to enlarge Spend one night in Barcelona at Backstreet Cafe. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BACKSTREET CAFE
Spend one night in Barcelona at Backstreet Cafe.
Photo courtesy of Backstreet Cafe
Thursday, June 8

One Night in Barcelona at Backstreet Cafe

Backstreet Cafe, 1103 South Shepherd, continues its garden party series with One Night in Barcelona, held from 5 to 7 p.m. Guests can revel in the flavors of Spain’s most exciting city while enjoying gin and tonics, cava, sangria and vermouth spritzers, Spanish wines and tasting stations featuring pan con tomate, papas bravas, boquerones and albóndigas. Admission includes the wine tasting station, two additional beverage selections (with happy hour pricing thereafter) and the bites for $35 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For reservations, call 713-521-2239.

Pax Mahle Wine Dinner at Killen’s Steakhouse

Killen’s Steakhouse, 6425 Broadway, will partner with winemaker Pax Mahle for a perfectly paired wine dinner ($135 per person) from 7 to 9:30 p.m. The meal will feature six courses, ranging from grilled octopus salad and duck breast with hoisin cherry glaze to tamarind-glazed lamb rib and kumquat-vanilla panna cotta. Seating is limited; call 281-485-0844 for reservations.

One Year Anniversary Party at Part & Parcel

Part & Parcel, 1700 Smith, is celebrate its first birthday with $1 drink specials, $1 tacos, live music and giveaways and happy hour all night long. The party starts at 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 10

2017 Texas Taco, Tequila and Margarita Festival at Preservation Park

Hit Spring’s Preservation Park, 130 Spring School Road, from 1 to 11 p.m. to enjoy the first Texas Taco, Tequila and Margarita Festival. Guests can expect more than 30 taco vendors, tequila tastings, a multitude of margarita flavors and live performances by Los Skarnales and Jenny and the Mexicats. Tickets are $15 for general admission (includes wristbands for entrance to the festival), with VIP tickets available for $150 (includes private tastings, unlimited tacos, two alcoholic drinks, unlimited non-alcoholic drinks, a private cooled tent and bathrooms, and a VIP swag bag).

First annual Poke Showdown at Bar Bleu

The first annual Poke Showdown will be held at Rice Village’s Bar Bleu, 2506 Robinhood, from 6 to 10 p,m. Guests can experience the diverse poke in the Houston food scene, with contestants including Moku Bar, Wokker Texas Ranger, RA Sushi, Flip N’ Patties, Nippon Sushi, The Fish Houston, People’s Poké, Cabo’s Coastal Kitchen, Mochi Sushi and Agu Ramen. Tickets are $30 and include two complimentary drinks.

Saturday and Sunday

23rd Anniversary Celebration at Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Saint Arnold is turning 23, and in celebration, Houston’s oldest brewer is throwing down with a weekend-long celebration at the brewery, 2000 Lyons. On Saturday, the 23rd Anniversary Party will feature a local and independent music showcase, with the 100 percent Houston lineup including top acts like Bun B and The Tontons. Tickets are $10 for general admission or $35 for the Saint Package (includes admission, two beers and our special commemorative 23rd-anniversary glass). On Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m., the Special Rare Cellar Tasting offers a sampling of one-of-a-kind selections and aged beauties. Tickets are $60 plus tax and include two-ounce samples of each beer, plus bites from the Houston Dairymaids cheese tasting table and a commemorative pint glass. Both events are a 21+ only.
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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