Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:
Monday, December 14
12 Bartenders of Christmas Highway Vodka Bartending Competition at Penny Whistle Pub
Penny Whistle Pub, 1625 Richmond, will host a holiday “Chopped” style bartending competition featuring custom holiday cocktails infused with Highway Vodka. Beginning at 7 p.m., 12 bartenders will compete for a $250 cash prize, and guests can enjoy happy hour bites and cocktails, plus swag giveaways throughout the night. Ugly sweaters are encouraged and Industry Night will follow the competition with Christmas Karaoke starting at 9 p.m.
Intimate Sushi Experience at Tobiuo Sushi & Bar
The team at Tobiuo, 23501 Cinco Ranch, is reviving a popular tasting experience this Monday, when its kitchen breaks down a whole bluefin tuna and transforms it into a 10- to 12-course tasting for limited guests. For this event, the tuna comes from Mexico, rocking a higher fat content and making the prized parts like the otoro tastier than ever.
Cost is $175++ per person and the tasting begins at 7 p.m. Call 281-394-7156.
Monday-Friday, December 18
Hanukkah Menu at Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen
Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen, 2327 Post Oak, will offer Hanukkah and Festival of Lights menus, available to-go and featuring offerings to feed 6-10 people (Festival of Lights) and a la carte offerings (Hanukkah menu). Choose from favorites like matzo ball soup and latkes, brisket and kasha varnishkas, fried kreplach and sweet noodle kugel, deli and lox platters, and desserts from cookies to cakes. Call 713-871-8883 to order or print the order form and fax it in (call to confirm receipt). All orders must be made at least 24 hours in advance.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Houston Toy Drive at Sticky’s Chicken
Sticky’s Chicken, 2311 Edwards, has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters Houston for its 2020 toy drive. Now through Friday, December 18, Sticky’s will give customers 30-percent off their entire meal in exchange for a toy or gift card (must be an unopened toy for children 6+ years of age). The sticky chicken joint is serving dine in, to go and curbside and delivers through Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub and Postmates.
Tuesday, December 15
French Country Wines Dinner at Bistro555
Owner Genevieve Guy joins Houston’s French Country Wines for a special wines of Bordeaux evening at her Bistro 555, 13616 Memorial, beginning at 7 p.m. The Bistro will present a five-course dinner, each with a paired wine from French Country Wines, for $139 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For dine-in reservations, a non-refundable $40 deposit via PayPal is required. For take-home orders, which come with the wines, reservations for the dinner should be made no later than Monday, December 14, and picked up before 5 p.m. December 15. Highlights of the menu include pork, duck and hazelnut paté; filet de boeuf with sauce foie gras and a bûche de Noël Christmas log. Call 713-827-8008 or email email@example.com.
Taco Tuesday Team-Up at Tacos A Go Go
Tacos A Go Go has teamed up with Mastrantos to create a limited-time specialty taco this month, with proceeds from each taco sold benefiting I'll Have What She's Having in support of women's health. Available at all Tacos A Go Go locations every Tuesday in December, the Chorizo Carbonara taco features housemade bucatini pasta, chorizo, garlic, onion, Taleggio cheese, queso fresco, cilantro and egg yolk.?
Wednesday Special at Ike’s Love & Sandwiches
This holiday season, Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, 1051 Heights, is giving back to its customers by knocking $5 off orders of $20 or more on the Ike’s app every Wednesday. The app offers delivery or in-store pickup.
Holiday Movie Night at Revelry on Richmond
Every Wednesday night of December, Revelry on Richmond, 1613 Richmond, is hosting Holiday Movie Night on its 30-plus TVs including a large outdoor projector and outdoor TVs. There will also be specialty holiday cocktails to keep you warm as well as heaters on the patio. This week’s movie is Office Christmas Party, screening at 7 p.m.
Wine Tasting Kits for Two at Rainbow Lodge
Rainbow Lodge, 2011 Ella, will feature Champagne in its sellout Wine Tasting Kits for Two for the entire month of December (available for pickup on Wednesdays throughout the month). Each curated kit ($139 plus tax) will contain Champagne for two and four appetizer tasting portions from chef Mark Schmidt. There will also be an element of caviar each week.
Chinese-American Wednesdays at UB Preserv
In addition to its new dumpling happy hour (dine-in only Wednesday-Satruday from 5 to 6:30 p.m.), UB Preserv, 1609 Westheimer, will offer Chinese-American Wednesdays with a different menu each week highlighting Nick Wong’s favorite dishes, available for both dine-in and to-go. Bonus points for those dining in: it has also recently added 16 outdoor seats on its updated patio.
UBP After Dark at UB Preserv
The hot eatery also continues its UBP After Dark nights, providing late-night food and drinks to post-shift restaurant industry workers and anyone else who wants something tasty late night. The limited menu will run from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Thursday. Reservations can be made online, and there is outdoor seating, too.
Saturday, December 19
Breakfast with Santa at Downtown Aquarium
The Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby, is hosting a Breakfast with Santa on Saturdays in December. Reservations required.
Virtual Cooking Class with Anita Jaisinghan of Pondicheri
Pondicheri’s Anita Jaisinghan will host a Cuisine of Kashmir virtual cooking class from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 19. Participants will get an in depth look at some of the chef’s favorite Kashmir-inspired dishes that will spice up any holiday spread, from Lamb Roghan Josh to “Dum” Vegetables and Haak. The ingredient list and recipes will be sent out via email prior to the class. Entry to the virtual class is $30 and participants have the option to add an ingredient bag (feeds 3-4 people; local pick-up only) for an additional $70.
Tamale Class at Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen
On Saturday, December 19, a very limited number of students will be able to join Sylvia Casares at Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen, 1140 Eldridge, to tackle the ancient art of making pork and chicken tamales, from wrapping them in corn husks to steaming them. The three-hour class concludes with everyone sitting down to eat (socially distanced, of course). The event runs from 1 to 4 p.m. and the cost is $65 per person.
Saturday and Sunday
Brunch with Santa at Bloom & Bee
On Saturday, December 19 and Sunday, December 20,Bloom & Bee
, 1600 West Loop South , will host Brunch with Santa, with live holiday entertainment, a holiday-themed three-course menu and desserts, and an appearance from Mr. Claus and his elf. Brunch with Santa reservations run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $65/person and $35/child under age 12. Call 346-227-5139.
All month long
“H-Town Originals:” Tutu Turkey at Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys
Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys, 4520 San Felipe, 2724 West TC Jester, 6618 Fannin, continues its “H-Town Originals” sandwich collaboration series with Tutu Turkey, available during the month of December. Former Houston Prima ballerina Lauren Anderson worked with Legacy Restaurants chef Alex Padilla to create the holiday-inspired sandwich, which features house-cured oven roasted turkey, grilled onions and bell peppers, sliced brie, mayo and spicy mustard on toasted whole grain bread for $8.95. Antone’s will donate 50-percent of proceeds from December’s “H-Town Originals” sandwich to Houston Ballet’s Education and Community Engagement program.
Tamale Stand at Arnaldo Richards’ Picos
Picos, 3601 Kirby, has officially rolled out its annual Tamale Stand this holiday season, running now through January 3. Similar to years past, the stand will be located in the parking lot with a menu that boasts tamales, salsas and moles made fresh daily. And this year, the Richards have commissioned local artist Jose Arredondo to create two murals that pay homage both agave and to the Hispanic tradition of tamales during the holidays.
Jingled Up Pop-up Bar
Now through the year’s end, Houstonians are invited to sleigh all day atJingled Up
, the holiday-themed pop-up bar opening at 711 Main in downtown. Pop in for festive cocktails, cookie decorating, socially distanced photos, karaoke and trivia nights, ugly Christmas sweater contests and more. GA is $30 for adults and $15 for kids ages 5-14.
The Miracle at Johnny’s Christmas Pop-Up at Johnny’s Gold Brick
The Christmas-themed pop-up Miracle at Johnny’s returns to Johnny’s Gold Brick, 2518 Yale, open now through the end of December. The festive cocktail bar will toast the season over-the-top holiday decor and seasonal signature cocktails.
New and ongoing specials
Christmas Buche de Noels at Bistro 555
Bistro 555, 13616 Memorial, is selling housemade Christmas Buche de Noels (known in the United States as a Yule Log cakes) for the holidays. There are two kinds, the bûche au chocolat et mousse de poire, chocolate genoise filled with pear mousse, and the bûche Grand Marnier et mousse orange, a génoise filled with orange and grand marnier mousse. Each log can be ordered in two sizes, one for $33 to serve 6-8 or for $49 to serve 10-12. Orders must be placed before Tuesday, December 22, for pick-up no later than Thursday, December 24. Call 713-827-8008 for more information.
Target Hunger Drive at Ben & Jerry’s
The Ben & Jerry’s on Kirby is partnering with Target Hunger to provide virtual monetary donations towards food donations to persons in need in Houston. From now through January 7, guests who make a donation (via a QR code scan that takes you to an online donation form) will be entered into a drawing to win free ice cream for a year. The mission of Target Hunger is to alleviate hunger and its root causes in the northeast Houston neighborhoods served, which include Denver Harbor, Fifth Ward, Kashmere Gardens, Magnolia Park, North Forest, Settegast, and many more.
Winter Menu at Musaafer
Musaafer, 5115 Westheimer, has launched a new winter menu that boasts 21 dishes to complement the season, including Thukpa (Noodle Soup), Baked Oysters, Winter Chaat and Winter Nihari (lamb shank).
Orleans Seafood Kitchen, 20940 Katy Freeway, is offering buy-one-get-one-half-off whole, housemade pecan pies (co-owner Marcus Payavla's great grandma’s recipe). Get your first pie for $19, add a second pie for just $9 in store or by calling 281-646-0700.
Daily Lunch at Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House
In addition to its social hour and dinner service, San Leon’s Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House, 113 6th, is now open for lunch, Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. On the menu, in addition to chilled and grilled oysters and wood-fired proteins, guests will find additional casual sandwiches, including a butter-poached lobster roll, Nashville hot chicken sandwich, the fried oysterman sandwich and more.
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