Restaurant News

This Week in Houston Food Events: First Annual Houston Fajita Festival

Monday, May 30

Memorial Day Specials

Plenty of restaurants are offering Memorial Day specials, such as half-priced bottles of wine at Tony Mandola's and Laurenzo's, 25 percent off family meals at Boston Market, and free small Frosty Treats at Wendy's. Sal y Pimienta Kitchen, 818 Town & Country, will be offering a special $99 prix fixe meal for couples that includes a bottle of wine. Additionally, military and first responders in uniform or with valid I.D. can get a free appetizer and a free dessert with purchase of an entrée at MAX's Wine Dive, The Tasting Room or Añejo on Monday or Tuesday, and military personnel can get a free entrée at Piada Italian Street Food.

Tuesday, May 31

A Final SeaSide Poké Pop-Up

Enjoy fresh poké, a raw seafood dish with lots of sauce and vegetables, during the last pop-up dinner brought to you by SeaSide Poké at Lincoln Bar, 5110 Washington. We're thinking it's the last one because SeaSide is working on opening up its own brick-and-mortar location– fingers crossed! The menu for the pop-up includes classic poké bowls of salmon or tuna, as well as mango sticky rice and huli huli. Check out the Facebook event for more details.

Burger Joint Venture

From 6 to 10 p.m., you'll find a special menu created by chefs Mike Potowski and Maria Gonzalez of Benjy's at the Burger Joint, 2703 Montrose, which includes the M&M Burger with pimento cheese, roasted peppers, ham and a glazed doughnut bun, as well as the harissa chicken salad sandwich with tatsoi tzatziki on house-made charcoal bread. A portion of the proceeds from the special menu will go to Hope Stone, Inc., and the best-selling burger and shake from the evening will be available through June.

Seafood on the Grill Cooking Class

The folks at Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, will teach you all the basic techniques for producing well-grilled seafood, such as grilled salmon with lime butter sauce and grilled scallops with fruit salsa, during this 6:30 p.m. cooking class. To see the full menu and to reserve your spot for $60, visit the Central Market website.

HAYOP Series at Boheme

Filipino chef Yana Gilbuena concludes her two-month kitchen residency at Boheme Cafe & Wine Bar, 307 Fairview, this week. She'll be taking over the kitchen at Boheme one last time for a snout-to-tail menu that uses almost every part of locally sourced meats. While this event was originally à la carte, it is now a prix fixe menu with two seatings, one at 6:30 p.m. and one at 8:30 p.m. The cost is $65 per person, and you can call 713-529-1099 for reservations and details.

Hugo's Squash Blossom Wine Dinner

This 7 p.m. wine dinner celebrates ten years of squash blossom celebrations at Hugo's, 1600 Westheimer, by using the delectable flowers in each dish. The fare includes squash blossoms stuffed with crab meat, seared duck breast with yellow squash mole, and squash blossom and roasted poblano tamales. Cost is $90 per person, and reservations can be made by calling 713-524-7744.

Enoteca Rossa Wine Dinner

New Italian eatery Enoteca Rossa, 4566 Bissonnet, will host its first wine dinner at 7 p.m., which will feature special guest Aldo Steccanella, an award-winning restaurateur, chef and sommelier. The menu for the evening includes air-dried beef with artichoke stew and goat cheese mousse, braised beef with olive oil and rosemary, and freshly baked butter biscuits. Reservations are $85 per person and can be made by calling 346-204-4403.

Wednesday, June 1

Kenny & Ziggy's T-Shirt Contest Begins

Submit your funny T-shirt one-liners online or in person to Kenny & Ziggy's, 2327 Post Oak and 5172 Buffalo Speedway, and, if your design is chosen, you'll win a $50 gift card to the deli and, of course, one of the shirts with your design. Previous winners include "If you think my Frank is big, you should see my Knocks!" and "My Matzo Balls Are Bigger Than Yours." The contest ends on June 20.

Exploring Ingredients: Brown Butter Cooking Class

This 6:30 p.m. cooking class at Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, features browned butter – how to make it and how to make delicious meals with it. The menu includes fennel-dusted chicken with brown butter and capers, pecan brown butter cookies, and brown butter ice cream. Cost is $60 per person, and you can reserve your spot on the Central Market website.

Landry's Annual Chef Series Kicks Off

Each year, Landry's, Inc. hosts a series of chef-oriented dinners at its restaurants that feature an elaborate prix fixe meal and the opportunity to meet the chef and discuss the food. This week's chef is Jason Cole, and the dinner will be at 7 p.m. at Brenner's Steakhouse, 10911 Katy Freeway. The menu includes lobster scampi, Australian lamb tartare and rubbed Wagyu filets served alongside cocktail pairings. Cost is $95 and reservations can be made by calling 713-465-2901.

Thursday, June 2

Free Culinary Movies Series

On the first Thursday of each month, the Culinary Institute LeNôtre, at 7070 Allensby, screens a food-related film to help you kick back and relax with complimentary soft drinks and popcorn. This week's feature is No Reservations, with screenings at 1:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. in the institute's Crump Amphitheater.

Poolside Pop-Up

Join the folks at Hotel Sorella, 800 Sorella in CityCentre, for live music and light bites as the hotel unveils its new spirit-infused popsicles – a.k.a. "pop-tails." The party goes from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Stuffed Pasta Cooking Class

Learn to make your own pasta dough and transform it into stuffed pasta at this 6:30 p.m. cooking class at Central Market, 3815 Westheimer. Attendees will make manicotti with marinara sauce, spinach and ricotta ravioli with gorgonzola cream sauce, and tortellini with sage butter sauce. Cost is $65 per person, and reservations can be made on the Central Market website.

CASAMIGOS Tequila Dinner

Join representatives of CASAMIGOS Tequila for this 7 p.m. tequila-cocktail-paired dinner at Black & White, 1001 Studewood. Attendees will learn about the different types of tequila, how they're made and how to pair them as they enjoy dishes like fresh oysters pomegranate, pork tenderloin with shrimp pibil, and amaretto panna cotta with agave caramel. Reservations are $85 per person and can be made by calling 346-980-8484.

Glitter Karaoke Pop-Up Dinner

This week's pop-up dinner at Glitter Karaoke, 2621 Milam, features chef Ronnie Nguyen of Roostar Vietnamese Grill and chef Martin Weaver, executive sous chef at Brennan's of Houston. There's no word yet on what the fare will be, but the pop-up goes from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., and reservations are required.

Thursday and Friday

Free Deli Breakfast

To celebrate the first month of business at the second Kenny & Ziggy's, 5172 Buffalo Speedway, the restaurant is offering free breakfasts from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. to the customers who have made the opening such a success. It's first come, first served, and no reservations; diners will have their choice of the first four specials on the breakfast menu.

Friday, June 3

National Doughnut Day

Celebrate doughnuts at Dunkin' Donuts by getting a free doughnut of your choice with the purchase of any beverage all day long.

Summer Lobster and Wine Cooking Class

This 6:30 p.m. event, which is part cooking class, part sit-down dinner, will teach you how to select the best live lobsters, how to cook them and how to pair lobster-based dishes with summer wines, all from the knowledgeable folks at Central Market and Lonestar Lobster. The food includes tempura lobster, butter-poached lobster and lobster fajitas in duck fat. The class costs $75 per person, and you can book your spot on the Central Market website.

Saturday, June 4

Houston Fajita Festival

The first annual Houston Fajita Festival includes live music, art, kids' entertainment, games and a beer garden – plus, of course, a lot of fajitas. Tickets range from $5 for kids, $10 general admission and all the way up to $80, depending on what kind of add-ons you want, such as extra drink tickets, a fajita buffet, souvenir mugs and so forth. Be sure to check out the jalapeño-eating contests, too! Visit the festival website for more information and to purchase tickets; the party is from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Humble Civic Center, 8233 Will Clayton.

Artist's Reception at Urban Eats

Diane Gelman's art has been on display at Urban Eats, 3414 Washington, since the beginning of the month and will stay on view until the end of August. Now's as good a time as any to celebrate the artist and her work with a reception from 3 to 5 p.m. that includes complimentary beer, wine, champagne and hors d'oeuvres.

Sunday, June 5

Bands on the Bayou

Every Sunday from now through June 5, the patio at Brenner's on the Bayou, 1 Birdsall, will transform into a backyard party on the bayou, complete with brews, bands and bites, including drink specials. Live music will be provided by a different band each week from 3 to 6 p.m.; this week features The After Party.
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Alexandra Doyle