Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:
All month long
Highball Special at Better Luck Tomorrow
Throughout August, Better Luck Tomorrow, 544 Yale, will make venturing out a little cooler with its highball special. When the mercury rises to 95 degrees and above, highballs are half off ($6 instead of the usual $12). Patrons just have to show the weather apps on their phones for proof.
Houston Restaurant Weeks
Houston Restaurant Weeks is back and running through Labor Day, September 4. Throughout the fundraising event, which raised a record-breaking $2,015,157.77 for the Houston Food Bank last year, diners can enjoy specially priced multi-course prix-fixe menus at a growing list of more than 200 participating restaurants. Check out our guide to this year's Best HRW Bets, from steakhouse dinner to Big Easy brunch.
Monday, August 7
Southern Smoke Ticket Sale
Southern Smoke tickets go on sale Monday, August 7, at noon. The charity event, which raises money for the MS Society, will be held at Underbelly, 1100 Westheimer, on Sunday, October 22. Expect a dream team of Southern chefs and pitmasters cooking unforgettable fare, with a massive street party to boot.
Tuesday, August 8
Summer Outdoor Cooking Series at Eight Row Flint
Chef Sam Chang, an alum of some of Houston’s most celebrated kitchens (including his most recent post, Oxheart), will be the next featured chef in the Summer Outdoor Cooking Series at Eight Row Flint, 1039 Yale. On Tuesdays through August 15, Chang will prepare Slack Season Noodles ($15), his take on a popular dish from Tainan, Taiwan, where his family is from. This more dressed-up version of the traditional braised pork, shrimp and wheat noodles dish will include elements such as fried shallots, julienne scallions and a soft-boiled soy egg. To make use of the outdoor grill, the shrimp will be skewered for the open flame instead of being poached. All food service begins at 5 p.m. and will continue until sold out. The regular Eight Row menu is also available.
Wednesday, August 9
Southern Smoke Kickoff Party at The Hay Merchant
Held at The Hay Merchant, 1100 Westheimer, at 3 p.m., the Southern Smoke Kickoff Party and release of Gordon’s TerraForm will kick off ticket sales for the October 22 Southern Smoke event. Saint Arnold Brewing Company and The Hay Merchant will debut a limited-edition beer that will help raise funds for a local organization aimed at helping those living with multiple sclerosis. The Grant Gordon Foundation, named for one of Houston’s acclaimed chefs who passed away in 2015, seeks to raise awareness of the increased risk of suicide among MS patients. All proceeds from the sale of the beer and special menu items — including Chris Shepherd’s smoked beer can chicken and Saint Arnold chef Ryan Savoie’s housemade Amber Ale bratwurst — will go to the foundation.
Sundown at the Grove
The Grove, 1611 Lamar, continues its Sundown at the Grove summer series, featured every Wednesday evening through August 30 (5:30 to 8 p.m.). Patrons can enjoy samples from featured local craft breweries (or wineries) alongside DJ sets and savory food pairings with made-to-order food stations, with this week’s Sundown featuring Oasis Texas Brewing Company. Tickets are $20.
HATCHED! Cooking Class at Central Market
As part of its 22nd annual Hatched Chile Festival, Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, will host this hands-on cooking class from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Learn to make hatch chile corn cakes with salmon and crème fraîche; hatch chile, onion and potato gratin; beef short ribs in hatch chile sauce; and grilled pound cake with hatch fruit salsa and mango crème. Cost is $60 per person.
Landry’s “Dining through the Decades” at The Oceanaire Seafood Room
Landry’s Inc. continues its Houston Chef Series: “Dining through the Decades” with time-spanning dishes from chef Lawrence Kirkland of The Oceanaire, 5061 Westheimer. The private and exclusive dining experience will feature five wine-paired courses, including 1960s duck à l’orange, 1970s lobster Wellington and 1950s grasshopper pie. Dinner is at 7 p.m. and cost is $95 per person or $80 for Landry’s Select Club members (plus tax and gratuity).
Saint Arnold Beer Dinner at Bacon Bros. Public House
Bacon Bros. Public House, 2110 Town Square, will be hosting a special Beer Dinner featuring Saint Arnold brews from 7 to 10 p.m. Guests can enjoy a small bites reception featuring Elissa IPA, plus four beer-paired courses, including prosciutto and grilled figs paired with Raspberry AF, slow-roasted pork head carnitas paired with Santo, Wagyu rib eye with Art Car, and a salted caramel tart with Bishops Barrel #13. Tickets are $45 and include all food and beer.
Thursday, August 10
Second Menu Printing Party at Noble Rot Wine Bar (Conservatory)
Join Noble Rot Wine Bar in Conservatory, 1010 Prairie, for a menu refresh party from 6 to 11 p.m. Winos can expect new wines, giveaways and contests, and a wine-filled good time.
Saturday, August 12
Parent and Child Tamale Making Class at Central Market
Continuing its 22nd annual Hatched Chile Festival, Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, will host this parent and child tamale-making class from 10:30 to 1 p.m. Learn to make chicken tamales with hatch green chile salsa, easy refried black beans, Mexican yellow rice and pineapple dessert tamales with dulce de leche. Cost is $90 per parent/child team.
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Landry’s “Dining through the Decades” Grand Finale at Vic & Anthony’s
Closing out Landry’s “Dining through the Decades” series, the Grand Finale dinner will be held at Vic & Anthony’s, 1510 Texas, at 6 p.m. The meal will showcase the talents of all Signature Group executive chefs, with dishes including oysters Rockefeller pot pie from The Oceanaire, boeuf bourguignon from Brenner’s on the Bayou, pheasant confit crepes from Vic & Anthony’s, and family-style ’90s treats like sour cherry pop tarts and butterscotch budino. Cost is $165 per person or $150 for members (plus tax and gratuity).
Southern Fried Chicken Fest at Levy Park
From 4 to 10 p.m., Levy Park, 3801 Eastside, will host a Southern Fried Chicken Fest featuring a fried chicken competition, wing eating and hot sauce contests, live music, awards and vendors. Tickets are $10 for general admission, with food and beverages available for purchase; VIP tickets are $55, including a fried chicken buffet, drink tickets ($20 value), a people’s choice voting card, a festival T-shirt and mug, and special VIP seating, restrooms and parking. Children eight and under are free.