Starting this Saturday, there are plenty of inexpensive ways to get your gourmet on in Houston this week, and it all kicks off at Block 7 Wine Company.
Fresh off last night's wine dinner featuring acclaimed Italian winemaker Ezio Trinchero, Block 7 Wine Company will continue to host both Trinchero and his wines at a tasting on Saturday afternoon. It's completely free and no reservations are required; just show up between noon and 3 p.m. to sample Trinchero's "natural" wines. It's a coup for Block 7, as the wines are normally very hard to come by in the United States, so head out to taste some truly unique bottles, such as an '03 Barbera Vigne del Noce or a '99 Vigne del Noce, 7 Anni di Castagno.
The next day, Moon Tower Inn is hosting a crawfish boil (you knew it was only a matter of time, after all). Bring $15 and prepare to bury your face in all-you-can-eat crawfish for the rest of the afternoon. The boil starts at 2 p.m. and the bugs should be ready by 3 p.m. But this is Moon Tower, after all, so don't get fidgety if the crawfish aren't served precisely at that time; just grab another Lone Star and relax.
On Tuesday, Vinoteca Poscol will officially roll out its new happy hour after last week's sneak preview. The weekly happy hour will run each Tuesday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. Small glasses of selected Italian wine are only $2 and cicchetti (small plates) are only $1. I smell nearly a week's worth of dinners coming up for me...
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Starting in April, look to Wood Duck Farm to continue its popular series of Farm Dinners on Saturday, April 2. This month, the guest chef is Jon Buchanan from Trevisio, and he's bringing a menu of Southern, farm-fresh, locally cultivated goodness to the table. The menu for the evening includes field greens with fried green tomatoes and pickled red onions with Pola blue cheese dressing; gumbo with Gulf shrimp and oysters; Texas red fish with veggie slaw; and a whole roasted hog. Tickets are $75 a person (including tax and tip; BYOB) and dinner starts with a reception and farm tour at 4 p.m.
And on April 9, put on your finest steampunk or bohémien gear and head down to Avant Garden for a crash course on the history of absinthe (it's always more fun when you dress up). Starting at 7:30 p.m., absinthe historians and experts will speak on the myths surrounding the notorious spirit, how to enjoy it and what to look for when purchasing a bottle of the green fairy. The cover is $20 (or $15 after 10 p.m.) and includes cocktails, live jazz and hors d'oeuvres. Beware: The first absinthe event at Avant Garden sold out fast, and this one will too, so buy your tickets now!