Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:
Houston Restaurant Weeks Continue
The Houston Food Bank’s biggest and most delicious fundraiser continues with an all-star lineup of reasonably priced, multi-course meals. Need help choosing where to dine? We’ve put together a few guides to help you navigate your way through HRW, including top picks, the new restaurants participating for the first time and some surprisingly awesome vegetarian menus.
Fundraising Week For Latino Giving at Cuchara
Spend $35 on any food and drink this week at Cuchara, 214 Fairview, and it will generate a donation of $5 to Latino Giving from today through Sunday, August 21.
Central Market’s 21st annual Hatch Chile Festival
Now through Tuesday, August 23, Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, will show off the amazing flavor and versatility of Hatch chiles. From Hatch-marinated meats and seafood to pepper-packed baked goods and products, there will be a bevy of new products and recipes to satisfy any spice lover.
Monday through Friday
Texas Book Festival Literary Libations Week
The Texas Book Festival will be hosting Literary Libations Week today through Friday, August 19 at bars and restaurants in Austin, San Antonio and Houston. Houston watering holes — including Weights + Measures, 2808 Caroline, Mongoose versus Cobra, 1011 McGowen, and Etoile Cuisine et Bar, 1101-11 Uptown Park — have created signature, literary-inspired cocktails to be offered for the week. A percentage of proceeds from each drink sold will be donated to the Texas Book Festival in support of its annual Lit Crawl on Saturday, November 5. Weights + Measures' Love & Squalor, for example, will offer Les Fleurs du Mal, a cocktail that draws inspiration from a book of poetry written by Charles Baudelaire.
Monday through Wednesday
SaltAir Chef Series: Caribbean at SaltAir Seafood Kitchen
The 12-week, travel-inspired chef series (ending Wednesday, October 5) continues at SaltAir Seafood Kitchen, 3029 Kirby. This week's passport takes diners straight to the Caribbean. The tasting menu is available for $50 per person, with a beverage pairing at additional cost. For reservations (highly recommended), call 713-521-3333.
Monday, August 15
Dinner with Friends at Fluff Bake Bar
Pastry chef Rebecca Masson continues her Dinner with Friends series with guest chef Nathan Lemley from Parkside in Austin. Held at Fluff Bake Bar, 314 Gray, the collaborative six-course menu includes a cocktail reception and costs $85 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Beer pairings by Joshua Justice of Flying Saucer Draught Emporium can be added for an additional $45 per person. Limited seating is available. Call 713-522-1900.
Tuesday, August 16
Summer Outdoor Cooking Series at Eight Row Flint
Continuing its Summer Outdoor Cooking Series, Eight Row Flint, 1039 Yale, will feature sous chef Marcelo Garcia and culinary director Vincent Huynh for a cold fried chicken picnic. Get the chicken alongside picnic-style sides like watermelon and corn and a Boozy “Big Red.” Food service begins at 5 p.m. and will be served until they sell out. The regular menu will be available as well.
Woodford Reserve Tasting at Reserve 101
Join Reserve 101, 1202 Caroline, for a Woodford Reserve Tasting featuring Bourbon, Double Oak and Rye at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $20 per person, with 100 percent of ticket sale proceeds going to Lucky Dog Rescue. For more information, visit reserve101.com.
Wednesday, August 17
The 8 Wonders of the World Beer Dinner at Hunky Dory
Enjoy an 8 Wonders of the World Beer Dinner, featuring 8th Wonder Brewery suds, at Hunky Dory Tavern, 1801 North Shepherd, at 7 p.m. Chef Richard Knight has created a four-course British and European-inspired menu to pair with both beer and beer cocktails. Dishes include mussels and chorizo with IntellectuAle; spit-roasted suckling pig and poor man’s potatoes with Dome Faux'm; and a liqueur-soaked sponge cake bombe filled with chocolate and hazelnut mousse and paired with Rocket Fuel. The cost is $65 per person, tax and gratuity included. Seating is limited.
Sundown at The Grove
This Wednesday night summer series, overlooking Discovery Green at The Grove, 1611 Lamar, continues with food paired with brews from Spindletap. Tickets are $20 and include four 4-ounce pours and bites to pair. Sundown at the Grove runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and the last event will be held Wednesday, August 31.
Goliad Brewing Tap Takeover at Hot Toppings
Join Hot Toppings, 7705 Westheimer, for an evening of Goliad Brewing. There will be great prices on pizza pies and pints, plus swag while supplies last. The specials run from 6 to 10 p.m.
“Hard Knocks” Round Table Dinner at the Houstonian
NFL writer John McClain will be talking football at a series of Wednesday night “Hard Knocks” Dinners, held in the Hearth Room at The Houstonian, 111 North Post Oak on four Wednesdays: August 17, 24, 31 and September 7. At the round table dinners, guests will have an intimate, all-access pass to McClain and his takes on draft picks, position battles, rookies and their adjustments to the team, coaches' decisions, players' lives, jokes and pranks. The dinner is $125 per guest and includes a family-style meal along with beer, wine and valet parking. Dinners begin at 7 p.m. and are limited to 24 guests to ensure exclusive interaction with McClain. For reservations, call 713-685-6713.
Thursday, August 18
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Karbach Brewing Company Beer Dinner at Monarch
Karbach and Hotel ZaZa are teaming up for an ambitious dinner at Monarch, 5701 Main. Enjoy an amuse-bouche plus five beer-paired courses, including Third Coast campechana and Black Hills Ranch pork shoulder steaks with charred carrot purée. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. and costs $75 per person. Call 713-527-1800 or email Lmunoz@hotelzaza.com for reservations.
Sunday, August 21
Dream Big Bash at 8th Wonder Brewery
The Dream Big Bash hopes to inspire students, friends, neighborhoods and families to get up, get out, get active and dream together. The family-friendly day features activities, prizes, music, live demos, raffles, a wall of dreams and drinks by 8th Wonder Brewery, 2202 Dallas. Held from noon to 6 p.m., the event also aims to raise awareness and support for the Rick Anthony Athletic Foundation. Tickets are $8.