Monday, June 20
Free Iced Tea at La Madeleine
To celebrate the first day of summer, La Madeleine locations around Houston are offering free iced teas, both Mango Breeze and traditional, all day long. As everyone from the South knows, there are few better ways to beat the heat than with a cold iced tea!
Beer Fest with Southern Star Brewery
As part of Beer Fest at Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, the grocery is offering beer samplings and discussions. This one features owner and brewmaster Dave Fougeron of Southern Star Brewery, who will introduce a variety of his beers paired with light bites like citrus salad and chocolate mousse cake. The class begins at 6:30 p.m. and costs $25 per person; you can make your reservations on the Central Market website.
Tuesday, June 21
All About Basil Wine Dinner
This five-course meal at Bistro Provence, 13616 Memorial, features a whole lot of one of our favorite herbs: basil. The fare includes gazpacho with bacon ice cream, grilled sockeye salmon with zucchini flan and basil sauce, and chocolate cake with basil sorbet. It's a wine dinner, too, but not in the traditional sense; paired wines will be available for purchase by the bottle at greatly reduced prices. Seatings are between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., and reservations can be made by calling 713-827-8008. Cost is $45 per person.
Wednesday, June 22
Sundown at The Grove
It's time once more for The Grove's summer happy hour celebration. Each Wednesday this summer, the restaurant, located at 1611 Lamar, will feature brews from a craft brewery alongside food pairings created by chef de cuisine Ryan Williams. This week's featured brewery is Saint Arnold, and founder Brock Wagner will be on hand as part of the brewery's 22nd anniversary celebration. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online or at the door; season passes are also available for $250 per person or $450 per couple. The party goes from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Flares of Lombardy Wine Dinner
Aldo Steccanella, an award-winning chef, restaurateur and sommelier, will lead this five-course wine dinner at 6:30 p.m. at Bramble, 2231 South Voss. All of the wines are from Ca'Maiol and Provenza Wineries, located in the Lombardia region of Italy. The food includes slow-cooked carrots with buttermilk ricotta, boudin blanc with Gulf seafood and pickled beets, and whole redfish. Reservations are $75 per person; check out the Facebook event for more details and call 832-819-0322 to reserve your spot.
Hot and Spicy Indian Summer Cooking Class
Shubhra Ramineni, a cookbook author, will lead this 6:30 p.m. cooking class at Central Market, 3815 Westheimer. The class focuses on spicy Indian food, including spiced tomato soup, red snapper curry, and spiced yogurt with roasted cumin and cucumbers. Reservations are $65 per person and can be made on the Central Market website.
Vic & Anthony's Favorites Wine Dinner
This 7 p.m. wine dinner features some of the staff's favorite European wines at Vic & Anthony's, 1510 Texas. The seven courses of fare include oysters with pineapple mignonettes, suckling pig with seasonal vegetables, and lamb T-bone with sour cherry demi-glace and crimini mushrooms. Tickets are $95 per person, and you can purchase yours by calling 713-228-1111.
Not Another Pint Night at Conservatory
Houston's new, cafeteria-style food hall, Conservatory, has started a new Wednesday night tradition called Not Another Pint Night. Every Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., you can find a brewery on hand offering special pints with pairings from each vendor in the food hall. This week's featured brewery is Real Ale Brewing Co., and the pairings include Hans Pils with $2 brisket tacos from El Burro and the Bull, plus Gose with $7 lemon chicken and potatoes from Myth Cafe. You'll find Conservatory at 1010 Prairie under Prohibition Supperclub & Bar.
Lucille's South African Wine Dinner
Stellekaya Winery's Ntsiki Biyela, the first black female winemaker in South Africa, will present the wine pairings for this seven-course wine dinner at Lucille's, 5512 La Branch, alongside winery owner Jane Lello. The fare includes peri peri chicken liver with curry and tomatoes, lamb heart sosotie with herbed cous-cous, and deconstructed bobotie with 44 Farms filet and roasted almonds. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. and costs $85 per person. Reservations can be made by calling 713-568-2505.
Landry's Annual Chef Series: Morton's The Steakhouse
Each year, Landry's puts on a series of chef-hosted dinners at several of its Houston-area restaurants. Each dinner features an elaborate prix fixe meal and the opportunity to meet the chef and discuss the food. This week's chef is Frank Lewis, and the dinner will be at 7 p.m. at Morton's The Steakhouse, 1001 McKinney. The menu includes carpetbagger oysters with braised pork belly, Australian lobster tails, and Snake River Farms wagyu strip steak with marinated pearl onions and shiitake mushrooms, all with cocktail pairings. Cost is $95 ($80 for Landry's Select Club members), and reservations can be made by calling 713-659-3700.
Friday, June 24
Vino & Pasta along the Fredericksburg Wine Road
All of the 15 wineries along the Fredericksburg Wine Road 290 will present samples of their wines paired with pasta samples all day long. Some wineries may have a tasting fee, but there's no additional fee for the pasta pairings or the event in general. Visit the Wine Road 290 website to see a map and the list of participating wineries.
Float & Flick at Hotel Derek
The summertime Float & Flick pool parties at Hotel Derek, 2525 West Loop South, have started up again; on the last Friday of each month through September, you can catch a movie while you lounge in SPLASH, the pool at the hotel, and enjoy drinks and snacks from REVOLVE, the bar at Hotel Derek. Tickets are $15 and include gourmet popcorn, one drink and parking. Access to the pool begins at 6 p.m., and the movie will begin just after sundown. This week's feature is The Goonies. Make sure to RSVP in advance by emailing the hotel.
Saturday, June 25
25-cent Mimosas at Brennan's
Throughout the summer, Brennan's of Houston, 3300 Smith, is offering house mimosas and Bloody Marys for just 25 cents during Saturday brunch, which is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It's the restaurant's summertime spin on its 25-cent lunch martinis; both offers apply only with the purchase of an entrée.
Central Market Craft Show
At 4:30 p.m., a host of local brewery representatives will congregate at Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, to tell you all about their brews, how they're made and how to properly pair them. There will be live music, plenty of samples and lots of light bites, such as gazpacho, bison and blue cheese sliders, and lambic floats with peach ice cream. Tickets are $15 per person and can be purchased on the Central Market website.
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Balcones Whiskey Tasting
What's better than a fancy whiskey tasting? A fancy whiskey tasting for a good cause! All proceeds from this 6:30 p.m. whiskey tasting at Reserve 101, 1201 Caroline, will go to Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. The featured goods hail from Balcones Distillery, and national brand ambassador Winston Edwards will be on hand to introduce the whiskeys and answer questions. Get your tickets for $20 on the Reserve 101 website.
Houston PRIDE Festivities
Keep an eye out for post-Houston Pride Parade festivities and specials at local restaurants and bars. For example, El Big Bad, 419 Travis, will have a unicorn costume contest after the parade, as well as specially priced drinks, including the Unicorn, a margarita with a miniature champagne bottle inverted into it.
Sunday, June 26
Brunch Pop-Up at The Tasting Room
Each Sunday through August 28, you'll find a brunch twist at The Tasting Room, 1101 Uptown Park – there will be brunch menu items available from MAX's Wine Dive, such as MAX's famous fried chicken and red velvet pancakes. The pop-ups are a contest between MAX's menu items and those from The Tasting Room, so be ready to make brunch into a competition. Make sure you hashtag your social media posts about it with either #TTRBRUNCHSQUAD or #MWDBRUNCHSQUAD to let your friends know which side you're on.
Sunday Dinner with Karbach
Brewmaster Eric Warner of Karbach Brewing Company will lead this 5 p.m. cooking class and dinner of small plates at Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, where he'll talk about the beers and how to pair them. The bites include Southwestern ceviche, beer-poached bratwurst with red cabbage, and grilled steak with gorgonzola butter sauce. Reservations are $58.50 per person, and you can book your spot on the Central Market website.