2011 is supposed to be the year of the pie, if you pay any mind to food trend prognosticators.
And in celebration of this favorite dessert, Oh My! Pocket Pies will be hosting a National Pie Day Party this Sunday, January 23 from noon until 3 p.m. Held on Heights' main drag in the revamped Heights Theater at 339 West 19th Street, the party will feature local vendors like Katz Coffee, Real Ale and H-Town StrEATs peddling their wares alongside the pies themselves from Oh My! Pocket Pies. Admission is free, but the food isn't -- but remember that a portion of the sales will go to benefit the Houston Food Bank, so come with an empty belly and a full wallet.
If you're going to be in the Heights the day before, too, stop by Onion Creek (3106 White Oak) where they'll be hosting their first annual H-Town Chilly Throwdown (yes, Chilly). The cook-off itself starts at 3 p.m., but the party -- which also features an ugly sweater contest with prizes and plenty of giveaways -- rolls until 1 a.m., with live music starting at 5 p.m. and drink specials all night long.
Houston's very own Erin Hicks Miller is releasing another cookbook filled with local favorites: Houston Classic Mexican Recipes. Like her last release, Houston's Classic Desserts, this new book spotlights famous recipes at Houstonians' favorite restaurants. Her book release party is taking place at -- where else? -- Hugo's (1600 Westheimer) starting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 26. The party is free and open to the public, and will feature plenty of appetizers as well as Hicks Miller herself, signing books and greeting fans.
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If you like pork and Port, Two Saints (12460 Memorial Drive) out in west Houston has a wine dinner for you: The Wine & Swine dinner, held on Thursday, January 27, will feature four courses of nothing but pork, ham, bacon and all the porcine delights you can oink at, all prepared by Chef Jeremy Massudi. Yes, even dessert will be pig-themed. The cost is $59 a person and reservations can be made at 713-465-8967.
The outer loopers are getting all the good upcoming wine dinners, as the Alexander Valley Vineyards Wine Dinner at Strata (122 Vintage Park Boulevard) demonstrates. Chef John Ly -- who specializes in the interesting and unexpected -- has six courses of exciting dishes lined up, starting with a watermelon radish salad with fava beans, butter lettuce, mandarin oranges and strawberry vinaigrette. And it all goes uphill from there. The cost is $65 a person and reservations can be made at 281-379-2889. But you'll have to choose between this and the Wine & Swine dinner -- they both take place on Thursday, January 27.
Finally, if you're in the mood for live music in a swanky atmosphere but you don't want to brave the Loop, head to RDG + Bar Annie, where the restaurant has introduced BLVD Lounge nights every Friday and Saturday. On January 28, Moodafaruca performs from 9 p.m. to midnight while Jando performs the following night, January 29, during the same times. There is no cover for the shows, but you'll want to bring plenty of cash for the BLVD Lounge's scrumptious bar menu and drinks.