Things To Do

Upcoming Houston Food Events: Buy Some Wine, Sip With Santa

The Re-gifter takes Santa to the Tropics.
The Re-gifter takes Santa to the Tropics. Photo by Randy Schmidt

Mark your calendars because you don't want to miss these deliciously fun culinary happenings:
click to enlarge Get some sips and pick your favorites at Camerata. - PHOTO BY CAMERATA
Get some sips and pick your favorites at Camerata.
Photo by Camerata
Camerata at Paulie's 1830 Westheimer, is having its annual wine sale November 21 for those looking to stock up for the holidays or buy a gift for your favorite oenophile (hint, hint). Beginning at noon and running till 6 p.m., the wine sale will be held in the parking lot at Paulie's but attendees should enter through the main entrance where they will check in and receive a glass for sampling. They will then be shown through to the parking lot where over 50 wines from 10 distributors will be available for purchase at retail prices. Customers will be able to pick up their purchases November 23. For those who cannot make the event, the wines will be available at Camerata's online marketplace.

Because the parking lot at Paulie's will be closed, street parking will be limited. Guests are encouraged to use a rideshare, if possible.
click to enlarge Get prepared for Thanksgiving with wine packages. - PHOTO BY FEGES BBQ
Get prepared for Thanksgiving with wine packages.
Photo by Feges BBQ
Feges BBQ Spring Branch, 8217 Long Point, has curated Thanksgiving wine packages that can be picked up at the restaurant beginning November 23. There's no pre-ordering, so scoot your boots to Spring Branch and let co-owner Erin Smith guide you to the perfect turkey and wine pairing. The Thanksgiving Package ($110) offers three bottles beginning with the Cleto Chiarli Vecchia Modena Lambrusco from Italy. There are two Willamette Valley bottles; Avarean Chardonnay 2019 and Soter Vineyards North Valley Pinot Noir. The Willamette Valley pair can be ordered without the Lambrusco for $85.

There's also the Syrah, Syrah, What Ever Will Be Will Be ($100), a two-pack of Piedrassi Santa Rita Hills 2017 and Stolpman Vineyards La Cuadrilla 2019. Just as Houstonians have trusted Smith to make delicious sides to accompany the amazing smoked meats that come from her husband, Patrick Feges, folks can trust her choices for wine. With her previous experience as a sommelier and executive chef, Smith's wine package, Erin's Pick ($85), offers a bottle of Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc 2020 from New Zealand, a bottle of J. Bouchon Salvaje Pais 2020 from Chile and four cans of Ramona Blood Orange Wine Spritz for a bit of fun.
click to enlarge That's a bloody good flight. - PHOTO BY KIRSTEN GILLIAM
That's a bloody good flight.
Photo by Kirsten Gilliam
Traveler's Table, 520 Westheimer, will host a Black Friday Brunch from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. November 26. Its regular weekend brunch menu will be available including its Hill Country Brisket and Cornbread, Morning Churros, Hawaiian Pancakes and Louisiana Fried Chicken. For a morning pick-me-up cocktail, there's the Wake the Dead made with tequila, coffee liqueur, espresso and agave nectar. For those who linger over brunch, the Bloody Mary Flight is a tasty option.

MKT Distillery, 5373 1st Street, is reviving the tradition of lighting a Christmas tree atop the rice dryers in historic downtown Katy. From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. November 27, there will be cocktails and a food truck available as attendees enjoy the family and pet-friendly event. The lighting will begin around 6:45 p.m.

Located in the old Katy Rice Silos, the distillery has a number of spirits to choose from including its Conductor's Bourbon, Smoke Stack Gin, Bonner's Point Vodka, KT Firebox Cinnamon Moonshine and more.
click to enlarge Vietnamese banh mi meets Turkey Day, U.S.A. - PHOTO BY MARVIN HE
Vietnamese banh mi meets Turkey Day, U.S.A.
Photo by Marvin He
Yelo, 23119 Colonial Parkway, is open Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with its regular menu. However, from November 20 through November 28, it is offering its Smoked Turkey Banh Mi, a crackly baguette filled with smoked turkey, honey-turmeric mustard sauce, fresh herbs and crunchy pickled vegetables for $8.

KP's Kitchen, 700 Town and Country Boulevard, has special wine dinners throughout the week. This week Owner/chef Kerry Pauly is offering the Silver Oak "surf n turf" dinner for two which includes a bottle of 2017 Silver Oak Cabernet Alexander Valley to pair with an 8 ounce filet mignon, 5 ounce Blue Horizon Gulf Crab Cake, Truffle Fries, crispy Brussels sprouts and two house salads for $150. For rib devotees, there's also the Stag's Leap Baby Back Dinner. It includes 2018 Stag's Leap ARTEMIS Cabernet Sauvignon, baby back ribs for two, fries, slaw, crispy Brussels sprouts and a choice of dessert.
click to enlarge The Re-gifter takes Santa to the Tropics. - PHOTO BY RANDY SCHMIDT
The Re-gifter takes Santa to the Tropics.
Photo by Randy Schmidt
Night Shift, 3501 Harrisburg, is hosting Sippin' Santa, a holiday pop-up presented by Jerry "Beachbum" Berry. It will be located in the space next door, Ronin Art House. The event venue has been transformed into a holiday cocktail experience with a touch of kitsch and a lot of whimsy. The pop-up, or pop-in,  begins November 22 and runs through December 28. Reservations can be made on Resy.

With help from rootlab, a Houston design and fabrication company, Night Shift has designed four unique rooms, each with their own theme and cocktail/snack service. The rooms will provide plenty of social media opportunities and Instagram-worthy photos. Attendees can take a photo with Naughty Nick, an 8-foot-tall tiki Santa, or Sippy the Snowman who resides safely on the Ice in the Tropics patio.
click to enlarge Santa's surfin' and sippin' into Houston. - PHOTO BY RANDY SCHMIDT
Santa's surfin' and sippin' into Houston.
Photo by Randy Schmidt
In The Jungle Room, there's an active volcano and tropical drinks. Uncle Jerry's Basement is described as National Lampoon meets A Christmas Story, with kitschy vintage decor. And for those who missed out on the heyday of Studio 54, the Disco Holidays room has disco balls and shag carpet plus candy canes for a sweet touch.

Holiday-themed cocktails available for purchase include Azul Navidad, made with tequila, mezcal, lime, cream of coconut, blue Curacao, hazelnut liqueur and pineapple rum and the Sippin' Santa made with aged Demerara rum, Amaro, lemon, orange and gingerbread mix. For a toasty beverage, there's the Yule Log, a hot drink with gin, Falernum, cranberry syrup, ginger liqueur and lime.

Reservations must be made by credit or debit cards. It runs Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. It is closed Thanksgiving Day and open Christmas Day at 8 p.m.  Seatings are limited to two hours. Walk-ins will be accepted on a first-come-first served basis, according to availability. The event is 21 and up after 10 p.m.
click to enlarge Few things make Houstonians happier than an abundance of tamales. - PHOTO BY TAMALE FESTIVAL HOUSTON
Few things make Houstonians happier than an abundance of tamales.
Photo by Tamale Festival Houston
This one is a couple of weeks away but tamale lovers need to make plans so that they don't miss out on the 10th Annual Tamale Festival Houston, December 4. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will be held at East River, 100 Bayou Street. It has been a Houston tradition since 2011 and this year the 2021 Tamale Festival returns with a new location: Midway’s East River development. It promises to be bigger and better than ever before. The festival will showcase East End vendors and other local kitchens plus there will be art displays and craft booths selling holiday merchandise. There will also be live musical performances and activities for the kids at the family-friendly event.

Tickets start at $10. Kids 12 and under are free with a paying adult. Complimentary tickets are available at the Harris County General Store Barbecue Co. and select local retailers, while supplies last.
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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.