Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:
Monday October 9
National Moldy Cheese at Bistro Provence
Bistro Provence, 13616 Memorial, will be celebrating stinky cheese with blackboard specials featuring traditional moldy vartieties, from cheese boards with Fourme d’Ambert, Kunik and Petit Agour to a roasted pork loin made with blue cheese. The moldy specials will be available for both lunch and dinner.
Christopher Columbus Was an Asshole: The Cocktail Menu at Anvil Bar & Refuge
Anvil Bar & Refuge, 1424 Westheimer, is launching its new Cuba-inspired cocktail menu in conjunction with Columbus Day, and the bar will be celebrating by offering “Christopher Columbus Was an Asshole” holiday specials. Enjoy half-off rums from the islands Columbus visited, as well as a selection of badass sherries and Caribbean classics.
Saint Arnold Beer Dinner at The Pass & Provisions
The Pass & Provisions, 807 Taft, is hosting a Saint Arnold beer dinner with brewer Aaron Inkrott at 6:30 p.m. The dinner will focus on the nuances in slightly different versions of two base beers, pairing seven beers — multiple versions of X-Mas Ale and Baltic Porter — with six courses for $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Tickets can be purchased by calling 713-628-9020. Choose option 2 to speak to the host. Tickets are non-refundable, but are transferable.
Pop-up with chef Kelli Prescott at 8th Wonder Brewery
From 6 to 11 p.m. at 8th Wonder, 2202 Dallas, guests can indulge in a four-course local fall menu, with dishes including heirloom squash and locally foraged mushrooms with citrus brown butter, open-faced rabbit confit empanadas, an earthy venison filet with a trio of grains and seasonal sorbet with Pop Rocks crumble. Pre-sale tickets are $50 for all four courses and courses will be sold individually at the door if available.
Tuesday, October 10
Outdoor Cooking Series at Eight Row Flint
Every Tuesday in October from 5 to 7 p.m., chef Paul Lewis is taking over the outdoor grill at Eight Row Flint, 1039 Yale. Lewis will prepare a Thai dish featuring Chiang Mai-style sausage with Thai-spiced head-on prawns, crispy jasmine rice, spicy green chile dip and persimmon som tum salad.
Wednesday, October 11
Japanese-style Oktoberfest at Izakaya
Izakaya, 318 Gray, is teaming up with Hitachino Nest Beers to host its own version of Oktoberfest, Japanese style, from 5 to 8 p.m. Beer lovers can hit the pub’s newly redone patio to taste a wide variety of beers, including Hatchino Nest’s Dai Dai, White Ale, Red Rice, Japanese Classic Ale, Saison Du Japon, and the Espresso Stout, as a representative from the beer maker will explain the different brews and answer questions. Admission ($35) includes three full bottles of choice and select bites like pork katsu, takoyaki and korubuta sausage, a Japanese heritage pork sausage coming from Berkshire pigs. Reservations are suggested.
Hamilton Russell Vineyards Wine Dinner at Backstreet Cafe
Backstreet Cafe, 1103 South Shepherd, will host Hamilton Russell Vineyards for a special five-course wine dinner beginning with a reception at 7 p.m. Indulge in wine-paired dishes such as scallop and cauliflower risotto cake with carrot butter, duck leg confit with roasted vegetables en papillote, and old-fashioned coconut layer cake. Cost is $108 per person plus tax and gratuity. Call 713-521-2239.
Tasting California Cabernets at Third Coast Restaurant
Learn about the important Cabernet vineyards in California and the classic characteristics that embody the bold grape at the first of a monthly-event series held at Third Coast Restaurant, 6550 Bertner (sixth floor). Beginning at 7 p.m., Third Coast’s award-winning sommelier David Cook will lead the tasting, as guests taste three wines paired with a small bite prepared by chef Jon Buchanan. Tickets are $65 per person, including tax.
California Wine Dinner at Chama Gaúcha Brazilian Steakhouse
Beginning at 7 p.m., Chama Gaúcha Brazilian Steakhouse, 5865 Westheimer, is hosting an exclusive five-course California wine dinner. For $55 per person plus tax and gratuity, guests can enjoy five premium wines paired and food pairings while a certified sommelier discusses the wines and answers any questions. Reservations are required. Call 713-244-9500.
Thursday, October 12
National Gumbo Day at Ouisie’s Table
Ouisie’s Table, 3939 San Felipe, will be offering guests a trio of ways to enjoy the South’s most famous dish with flights in honor of National Gumbo Day. For $9, each flight comes with samples of Ouisie’s seafood gumbo, its popular quail gumbo and its classic chicken and sausage gumbo. Full gumbo portions are available for $12. Both the flights and bowls are available for lunch and dinner.
Thursday through Sunday
Houston Italian Festival at University of St. Thomas
The 39th Houston Italian Festival will be held over four days at the University of St. Thomas, 3800 Montrose. This year’s festival features live music and folk dance, film screenings, activities and cooking classes for children, wine and beer tastings, Italian language classes, Carranza puppet shows, interactive sidewalk art and a classic car show. Festival-goers also have the opportunities to compete in pasta-eating contests, grape stomps and a bocce ball tournament. Admission is $8 for adults and free for children under 12 (it is also free all day on Thursday and on Friday until 4 p.m.). Discounted admission tickets are available online for $6. Proceeds from the Houston Italian Festival support the ICCC, the Italian language school, scholarships and many cultural events presented for the public each year.
Saturday, October 14
National Dessert Day at Laurenzo’s Restaurant
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Laurenzo’s Restaurant, 4412 Washington, is celebrating National Dessert Day by offering all dessert for half price with the purchase of any entrée. Indulge in sweets from apple walnut cobbler and brownie a la mode to Italian cream cake and pumpkin bread pudding.
Saturday through Sunday
Taste of Houston Festival at Town Green Park
The 2017 Taste of Houston Festival will be held along the promenade at Town Green Park, 2099 Lake Robbins, hosting more than 200 eateries, artists, crafters, boutiques and food trucks, alongside live music, a kid zone with rides and activities, and artistic performances. The event is now a benefit for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, with all ticket proceeds donated to the relief fund set up by J.J. Watt. Tickets are $5 at the gate, though you can bring a can of food for Montgomery County Food Bank and take $2 off that ticket price. All proceeds from the carnival rides will go to first responders affected by the Hurricane.