Monday, February 29
Some Houston-area restaurants are celebrating the leap year with specials, such as discounted bottles of Stag's Leap cabernet at Ouisie's Table, 3939 San Felipe, and a plate of four miniature versions of customer favorites for $29 at Kenny & Ziggy's, 2327 Post Oak. If you were born on a leap day, make sure to bring your I.D. with you to score some fabulous birthday surprises. Flying Saucer at 705 Main has a Hoppy Leap Year tasting with Alpine and Green Flash, and you can check out our leap day round-up for more ways to spend this special day.
Educational German Wine Tasting
Learn more about German wines with the help of Paul Steinbach, wine curator and co-owner of Traubenhaus, a Dallas-based importer of German wines. He's hosting tastings on Monday and Wednesday of this week, and this one is at 6 p.m. at Poggenpohl, 5002 Westheimer. Both tastings will feature a variety of Rieslings, as well as other, less well-known varietals. Cost is $10, which can be paid at the door; the entry fee can be used toward retail wine purchases as well.
Wednesday, March 2
Bacon Fest Begins
From today through March 15, Central Market at 3815 Westheimer is holding its annual Bacon Fest, which means that you'll be able to find more than 70 kinds of specialty bacon in the store, plus bacon-wrapped and flavored goodies, such as bacon-roasted corn bread, bacon jam and bacon guacamole. There's a market-wide stroll and sample from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, during which shoppers can sample many of the bacon goods as they wander through the expansive grocery. It's free and self-guided, but Central Market asks that you register on the website in advance. Keep an eye out for bacon-themed cooking classes during the festival, too.
Educational German Wine Tasting (Take Two)
Learn more about German wines with the help of Paul Steinbach, wine curator and co-owner of Traubenhaus, a Dallas-based importer of German wines. He's hosting tastings on Monday and Wednesday of this week, and this one is at 6 p.m. at Brasil, 2604 Dunlavy. Both tastings will feature a variety of Rieslings, as well as other, less well-known varietals. This event is free, but you will need to register in advance by calling the cafe at 713-528-1993.
Texas Independence Wine Dinner
Celebrate the Lone Star State's independence day with chef Antoine Ware of Harold's, 350 West 19th, who will be cooking up a six-course meal at 6:30 p.m. for the occasion. The fare includes Mexican-style ceviche, pan-seared Gulf fish with peas and okra, and barbecued Black Hill Ranch pork ribs with garlic glaze and pickled corn relish. Pairings for the dinner will come from Duchman Family Winery, located in the Texas hill country. Tickets are $85 per person; reserve your spot through the Harold's website.
Bacon Love at Central Market
This 6:30 p.m. cooking class at Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, will teach you how to make dishes for every course using the meat with the greatest cult following: bacon. The menu includes bacon, pear and Humboldt Fog salad, pork tenderloin with bacon and fennel, bacon-stuffed grilled tomatoes and bacon s'mores. The cost is $60 per person, and you can reserve your spot on the Central Market website.
Whiskey Tasting at Reserve 101
Not only is Reserve 101, 1201 Caroline, unveiling a new whiskey at this 6:30 p.m. tasting, but the get-together will also serve as a good-bye to Ian Millar, a brand ambassador for William Grant & Sons who is retiring. That whiskey company sought to create a perfect blend when it created Annasach 25, a combination of four single malt whiskies. Only 600 bottles will be released, but you can get a pour of it at Reserve 101 for one night only. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through the bar's website.
Really, Really Nice Wine Dinner at Brennan's
If you don't have anything to do tonight and you've got $320 (per person) to spend, go to Brennan's, 330 Smith, at 7 p.m. and let the wine wisdom wash over you as Bear Dalton of Spec's, Bruno Borie of Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, Alexander Thienpont of Vieux Château Certan and François Thienpont of Wings present a positively fabulous wine dinner, with the help of chef Danny Trace, of course. The featured wines will come from Château Ducru-Beaucaillou and Vieux Château Certan, and the fare includes Tabasco-smoked rabbit gumbo, whiskey-laquered quail with crawfish stuffing and creole mustard-crusted lamb chops with charred peppers and mint chimichurri. To reserve your spot, call 713-854-7855.
Saturday, March 5
Pure Pork Awesomeness at Central Market
Join chef Kevin Gillespie at 6:30 p.m. at Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, to learn the tricks of the Southern culinary traditions surrounding pork. In this cooking class, you'll make arugula, fig and prosciutto bundles, sweet potato pancakes with maple-braised bacon, trifle with candied bacon, and something called bacon explosion. We're not sure what it is, but we're definitely interested. The cost is $70 per person, and you can book your spot on the Central Market website.
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Saturday and Sunday
Cuchara Celebrates La Parroquia
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Cuchara at 214 Fairview will transform into a pop-up celebration of the iconic Café de La Parroquia in Veracruz, complete with its chef, Alejandra Fernandez, who will create a brunch menu in honor of her home restaurant. The celebration will also include music, crafts and traditional folk dancing. Reservations are not required.
Sunday, March 6
Kiran's Cellar Select Wine DInner
Join chef Kiran of Kiran's Restaurant & Bar, 4100 Westheimer, for a five-course meal featuring truly top-notch pairings from the wine director's vault. The menu includes lobster with black truffle and curry leaf emulsion, tandoori quail stuffed with mission figs, and cabernet-braised venison osso bucco. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 713-960-8472; cost is $165 per person.
Family-Style Sundays at Mark's
To help lighten the load of March madness, Mark's American Cuisine, 1658 Westheimer, will be offering special prix fixe, family-style dinners for $65 per person from 5 to 9 p.m. This week's main dish is whole roasted veal shanks, which come with carefully curated sides. Wine pairings will be available for an additional cost. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 713-523-3800.