Monday, December 14
Winter Warms Drive
From now through December 18, you can bring new or gently used blankets, coats, hats and other cold weather gear to either Antone's Famous Po'Boys location or The Original Ninfa's at 2794 Navigation for their Winter Warms Drive, which will benefit SEARCH homeless services. While the weather isn't quite frosty just yet, many people rely on generosity like this to stay cozy during cold snaps, and your donation will make an enormous difference to someone in need.
Hanukkah with Genesis Steakhouse
This kosher steakhouse is the first of its kind in Houston, and today is the last day of its Hanukkah celebration. Genesis Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 5427 Bissonnet, will be offering special holiday desserts, such as sufganiyot and latkes, and founder Jason Goldstein will light the menorah at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, December 15
benjy's Goes Back In Time
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, benjy's at 2424 Dunstan in The Village has been throwing things back to 1995, and today is your last day to get in on the '90's action. Waitstaff will be decked out in '90s haute couture, and we expect to see plenty of ill-fitting plaid clothing. The menu will include dishes from the original menu, and the best part is that these will be offered at the original prices, too!
Holiday Lunches with Chef Hugo Ortega
Visit Hugo's at 1600 Westheimer, Caracol at 2200 Post Oak or Backstreet Café at 1103 South Shepherd for special three-course holiday lunches from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Each meal is just $30. At Hugo's, you can create your own meal from dishes like roasted cauliflower and almond soup, raw tuna with charred jalapeños and deconstructed enchiladas with veggies and crema fresca. Caracol's menu includes shrimp tortilla soup with blistered tomatoes, poblano peppers stuffed with pork and fruit, and Mexican-style French toast. The offerings at Backstreet Café include roasted oysters with butter, winter risotto and braised short rib and jalapeño fettuccine with chicken.
Wednesday, December 16
Buche de Noel Cooking Class
Let the knowledgeable folks at Central Market's cooking school, located within the store at 3815 Westheimer, teach you how to bake, fill and decorate a French Yule log. Creating a Yule log requires some traditional cooking knowledge, such as making buttercream and meringues, so you'll learn some cooking tips that will come in handy year-round. The $55 class is from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and you'll create your very own chocolate Buche de Noel with buttercream filling and meringue mushrooms to take home. Make your reservations on the Central Market website.
Star Wars Party at Flying Saucer
Get ready for the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, 705 Main. Starting at 6 p.m., rare brews from Saint Arnold will be tapped, and the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special will be screened. Costumes aren't explicitly mentioned, but we can only assume that costumed partygoers will be revered by all.
Thursday, December 17
Ugly Sweater Party at Pico's
Put on your most hideous holiday sweater and head to Arnaldo Richards' Picos, 3601 Kirby, to enter the tacky sweater contest at 6 p.m. Arnaldo Richards will craft a a four-course meal with special cocktails created by Monica Richards, Picos beverage director, and 100 percent agave Cuervo tequilas. After dinner, you can enjoy a specialty coffee and cordial bar. Seats can be reserved by calling 832-831-9940, and cost is $99.
Old and New Holiday Flavors Cooking Class
Join cookbook author Carol Pock at 6:30 p.m. at Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, for a class that will teach you some traditional holiday recipes and some new ones. You'll make stuffed artichokes with lime dipping sauce, beef wellington with borderlaise sauce, green beans with honey teriyaki and baked Alaska. If you're tired of making the same menu for every holiday, this class will help you spice up your life in the kitchen. Cost is $60, and you can reserve your spot on the Central Market website.
Holiday Wine Dinner at Charivari
Spec's wine buyer Bear Dalton will host this holiday wine dinner at 7 p.m. at Charivari, 2521 Bagby, which features fare like roasted quail with multigrain risotto, red beet sorbet and black angus steak with marrow butter and roasted potatoes. In addition to the fare, of course, there will be plentiful wines, including champagne, sherry, bordeaux, burgundy and more. Reservations cost $200 cash and can be made by calling 713-854-7855.
Friday, December 18
No Label Awakens The Force
At 6 p.m., Flying Saucer Draught Emporium at 15929 City Walk in Sugar Land will unveil a special version of No Label's India Pale Ale, Hop Solo, made with galaxy hops. You can also buy special glassware to commemorate the occasion.
Central Market's Vietnamese Cooking Class
In this class, you'll learn traditional Vietnamese meals like beef noodle soup, traditional sandwiches, salmon braised in ginger sauce and potted sticky rice with chicken and mushrooms. Cookbook author and cooking instructor Nicole Routhier will lead the class at 6:30 p.m., and the cost is $65. Make your reservations on the C.M. website.
Saturday, December 19
Breakfast with Santa at The Westin Houston
Join Santa in the 024 Grille in The Westin Houston in Memorial City, 945 Gessner, for a full breakfast buffet and build-your-own-waffle station. Specialty mimosa carafes will be available for $12 for adults, including agave peach, blackberry lavender, pomegranate orange and coconut mango. Seatings will be at 8 and 10 a.m., and you can make reservations by calling 281-501-4350. Tickets are $14 for children under 13 or $24 for everyone 13 years old and over.
Gingerbread Class at Central Market
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SHOW ME HOW
Grab the kids and head over to Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, for this class in decorating the perfect gingerbread house, complete with icing and edible decorations. The cost is $65 each, and there are two classes today at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., plus two more at the same times on Sunday. Make your reservations on the Central Market website, where you can also find other dates for this class.
13 Desserts of Christmas Wine Tasting
Join owners Phyllis Adatto and Tim Smith at French Country Wines, 2433 Bartlett, where you can participate in their weekly free wine tasting from noon to 6 p.m. This wine tasting will celebrate Les Treize Desserts de Noël, a French Yuletide tradition that symbolizes Jesus and his twelve apostles at the Last Supper. On Christmas eve, French hosts will put out thirteen desserts, and guests are expected to try at least a bite of each one.
Kids' Gingerbread House Workshop
Bring your wee one (12 and under) to the Four Seasons, 1300 Lamar, any Saturday between now and December 26 for a special child-friendly gingerbread house decorating class at 1 p.m. The admission price of $65 includes your child's beautiful gingerbread house for you to take home, as well as decorating supplies. Adults can also participate for $85 each or $155 per couple. You'll get a special gift if you bring a new, unwrapped toy to benefit children in need. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 713-650-1300.