Things To Do

Upcoming Events: Maize Dinner, Lunar New Year Festivities

Maize is celebrating its grand opening with a Mexican feast.
Maize is celebrating its grand opening with a Mexican feast. Photo by Becca Wright
Maize, 14795 Memorial, is celebrating its grand opening with an all-day party February 3. It will begin at 11 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting from the Houston West Chamber of Commerce. In the evening, there will be a five-course wine dinner accompanied by live mariachi music and other festive touches.

Executive chef/owner Fabian Saldana has created a menu that reflects his take on authentic Mexican cuisine beginning with a first course of several canapes paired with a margarita tasting. The second course includes an Aguachile de Camaron paired with Casa Magoni Chardonnay/Vermintino 2020 from Valled De Guadalupe, Mexico. It's followed by Roasted Chilean Sea Bass paired with another Mexican wine, Henri Lurton Chenin Blanc 2018. The fourth course is a stunning Lomo de Res, a dish of beef tenderloin, mole negro, vegetable pearls, potato croquette and corn. It's accompanied by Baio Oberto Barolo 2013 from Piedmont, Italy. The dessert course is a rich chocolate cake paired with Croft Vintage Port 2011.

The dinner is $95 per person, not including tax and gratuity. It begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m. prior to the celebratory dinner at 7 p.m. Reservations can be made at its website.

A portion of the proceeds from the evening will go to the Texas Restaurant Foundation, a non-profit which provides educational opportunities for students interested in restaurant and hospitality careers throughout Texas.

We were going to tell you about Revival Market's Sake Tasting February 4, but we discovered it's sold out.
click to enlarge Houston Arboretum offers a Lover's Lane with tapas and drinks. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY RATHBUN
Houston Arboretum offers a Lover's Lane with tapas and drinks.
Photo by Anthony Rathbun
That's why we are letting our readers know well in advance about Tapas on the Trails February 12. The Valentine's weekend event takes place at Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway, and runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. with registrations timed at 15 minute intervals for crowd control and social distancing.

The Valentine-themed outdoor party lets guest stroll the trails with five food and beverage stations along the way. This year, the tapas-sized dishes have a Mediterranean twist and are paired with different wines and beers. The trails are softly-lit, adding a romantic vibe to the moonlit forest. Each guest will receive a commemorative glass. For an additional $20 donation to the Arboretum, participants can upgrade to a VIP glass which includes a raffle ticket for a $150 magnum of wine. raffle tickets will also be sold for $10 apiece.
click to enlarge Commune with nature and adult beverages. - PHOTO BY CHRISTINE MANSFIELD
Commune with nature and adult beverages.
Photo by Christine Mansfield
The Mediterranean menu has been curated by Kelly Prohl of Double Decanted, Lennie Ambrose of Saint Arnold Brewing and the chefs at Cotton Culinary. Guests can expect dishes like tempura-fried artichoke bottoms, eggplant stuffed with goat cheese and ricotta, tabouleh salad, butternut squash soup, roasted lamb volitant and loukoumades drizzled with honey and pistachio dust.

Tickets are $95 to $105 for members and non-members. The event is for ages 21 and up only.

The Italian Cultural & Community Center's event, Ambrosia of Puglia, which was originally planned for February 1, has been rescheduled for March 1, at 7 p.m.

The guided olive oil tasting will be led by Maria Cristina Giliberti, a Rice University professor and representative at Masseria Maccarone, an organic olive oil estate located in Puglia, Italy.

The tasting will take place at the Milford House, 1101 Milford. Tickets are $20 for ICCC members and $25 for non-members. Reservations may be made at 713-524-4222 or at eventbrite.
click to enlarge This how they break it down at Tobiuo. - PHOTO BY DRAGANA HARRIS
This how they break it down at Tobiuo.
Photo by Dragana Harris
For those who missed last month's Bluefin Breakdown at Tobiuo Sushi & Bar, it is hosting the sushi event again January 31. The team at Tobiuo, 23501 Cinco Ranch Boulevard, will break down a whole bluefin tuna and transform it into 10 to 12 tasting courses sure to excite sushi aficionados. The tasting begins at 6 p.m. and lasts about two and a half hours.

The experience is $225 per person plus tax and gratuity. Seating is limited so reservations should be made in advance at 281-394-7156.

Tobiuo will also celebrate Lunar New Year with a Lion Dance performance from Houston Lion Kings February 5 to welcome the Year of the Tiger. The lion and dragon performances will begin at 7 p.m. and there will be a menu of new cold tastings, desserts and popular favorites.
click to enlarge The Prosperity Toss, or Yu Sheng, is part of the Lunar New Year menu. - PHOTO BY KIMBERLY PARK
The Prosperity Toss, or Yu Sheng, is part of the Lunar New Year menu.
Photo by Kimberly Park
Chinese Lunar New Year will be celebrated at various restaurants and venues around Houston including Phat Eatery, 23119 Colonial Parkway, which will have three celebratory seatings during the week. The first is February 1 at 7 p.m. the second, February 5 at 11:30 a.m. with the final one February 6, 11:30 a.m. For each seating, guests can enjoy a six-course tasting menu which will feature new specials served family style. There will be typical New Year dishes like Yu Sheng, or Prosperity Toss, a Malaysian dish symbolizing abundance and a variety of chef specialties. Chef/owner Alex Au-Yeung's Short Rib Rendang will be on the menu as well as the Phat New year Dim Sum Platter.  There will also be Lion Dances by Lee Golden Dragon.

The Lunar New Year dinner is $78 per person and includes service. Meals for children ages 4 to 12 are $28. Pre-paid reservations are required.


McDonald's is launching Menu Hacks January 31. Based on unique creations from its customers, the fast food giant has added four limited time items, pulled from social media, to its menu.

The new mash-ups include Hash Brown McMuffin, which combines  a Sausage McMuffin with Egg with a crispy hash brown (remember that kid who always put fries on his burger, or maybe that was you). There's also the Crunchy Double: Chicken McNuggets topped with a Double Cheeseburger with a suggested drizzle of Tangy BBQ sauce. And for the Filet-o-Fish lovers who always get the side eye from their friends, there are two mash-ups using that much derided menu item. Who needs a fancy steakhouse when you can get the Mickey D's Surf + Turf ? It's a pairing of a Filet-0-Fish topped with a Double Cheeseburger or the other way around, because, dig this, you build it yourself. The same with Land, Air & Sea which adds a McChicken to the mix. For some reason, the fine folks at McDonald's decided the Surf + Turf is only available through the McDonald's App and McDelivery.

Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup and Best Bites Competition is happening at NRG Center February 20 beginning at 6:30 p.m.  After a pandemic hiatus, the event returns with a diverse and abundant line up that includes Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, Brennan's, Casa Do Brasil, Dumpling Haus, eculent (for realz?), Field and Tides, Gulf Coast Distillers, Hobbit Cafe, Killen's TMX, Ouisie's Table, Toro Toro, Yi Peng Thai Dining and many more.

Tickets are $165 per person. Tables are available for purchase for groups of well-heeled buckaroos. Spurs are optional but in light of the pandemic's ever-present shadow, might we suggest getting that vaccine booster? We want you to be here for Rodeo 2023. 
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Lorretta Ruggiero is a Houston Press freelance writer based in Cypress, Texas. She loves entertaining her family and friends with her food and sparkling wit. She is married to Classic Rock Bob and they have two exceptionally smart-aleck children.