It's a busy weekend across the city, from a pub crawl downtown to a flash mob in Clear Lake. But first things first, tickets are still available for the Hats Off to Hospitality gala this Sunday, June 26, at Haven.
The gala will see nine of the city's finest chefs and five of its favorite bartenders serving food and drinks all evening long, as well as a raffle and auction for some truly outstanding items. Raffle tickets will be sold for a grand prize of an entire set of Modernist Cuisine cookbooks, which are rare to find and more expensive still. And auction items include dinner packages at popular restaurants as well as a working dinner for two with me. Tickets for the gala are $75 a person or $125 a couple. And in the spirit of the event's name, fancy hats are encouraged.
Tonight, those of you in Clear Lake are in for a treat at the nearly re-opened Tookie's: the burger joint is getting flash mobbed. And in addition to the crowds, it's also holding a pre-grand opening party in its parking lot with a DJ, give-aways and prizes for the biggest Tookie's fans. The party starts at 5 p.m. tonight, but the restaurant won't officially reopen until mid-July.
The next day, join a few hundred of your fellow Saint Arnold fans for one of the brewery's famous pub crawls, this one to take place downtown on Saturday, June 25. Although the stops aren't always listed ahead of time, Market Square Park has helpfully given a rundown on their Facebook page: Flying Saucer, Brewery Tap, The State Bar and Molly's Pub. The pub crawl starts at 1 p.m. and finishes at Niko Niko's on Market Square at 4 p.m. with pint glasses to all who successfully hit each pub.
Coming up soon are two exciting collaborative events that exemplify the kind of community that's been attracting young chefs to Houston: a Guest Chef Summer Series at Quattro and an Austin invasion of a popular Houston bar.
Quattro's chef, Maurizio Ferrarese, previously joined forces with Chef David Denis from Le Mistral in the restaurant's Guest Chef Summer Series for a duo of dinners at the Italian restaurant in the Four Seasons. This Tuesday and Wednesday, Ferrarese will be at Le Mistral as the two cook together once again. The four-course dinner is $65 a person and reservations can be made by calling 713-276-4700.
On July 3, all of Anvil's bartenders will be attending the wedding of their fellow barman, Kevin Floyd. But instead of closing the bar for the day, Bobby Heugel decided to invite six of Austin's best bartenders to sub for them in a one-night-only Austin invasion. The team -- including big-time bartenders like Bill Norris -- is bringing its own menu for the night, too. Here's a small sample of the menu:
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Montego Matica - Adam Bryan Jamaican Rum, Virgin Islands Rum, Fernet, Falernum, Lime
What's Up Doc? - Bill Norris Olorosso Sherry, Carrot & Ginger Shrub, Celery Bitters
Jimador Punch - Josh Loving Blanco Tequila, Mezcal, Blanc Vermouth, Sangrita, Jamaica Agua Fresca
Harper Highball - Andy Arrington Bourbon, Curacao, Lime, Ginger Beer, Angostura Bitters
Planning a big party for the Fourth of July? James Coney Island has a special for the holiday weekend that'll make it a breeze: You can get 20 dogs (regular or cheese Coney) for $20 from July 2 through 4. No party plans? Then we encourage an amateur eating competition with your friends...