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First, a bit of good news from the streets of Montrose: Ruggles (903 Westheimer) has finally reopened after damages from Hurricane Ike and fire damage from renovations kept them closed for over a year. Head over this weekend and give them a warm welcome back to the fold, and keep yourself warm at the same time with a bowl of spicy shrimp pasta or the classic Ruggles crab cakes.

Earlier this week, Robb Walsh told us about Urban Harvest's 10th annual fruit tree sale. Despite the cold weather, it's still going on as planned starting at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning and running through noon at the Rice University stadium parking lot. And since so many area farmers and gardeners were clipping their crops in advance of the freeze, there should be a bounty of fresh produce and greens at area farmers' markets this weekend.

Yelapa Playa Mexicana is hosting the first of what it hopes to be a series of events called Reality Dinners: a multi-course menu featuring farm-fresh produce and as many local, sustainable and organic products as possible. It's Chef LJ Wiley's aim for people to know as much about their food and where it came from as possible -- a new reality for diners. The first dinner is this Sunday, January 17, and costs $65 per person (before tax and tip) or $130 with wine pairings. Call 281-501-0391 to RSVP.

An old hat at crafting menus from local ingredients, Chris Shepherd at Catalan is hosting another of his popular Farm To Table dinners -- also taking place this Sunday evening. The six-course meal will feature local duck, rabbit and citrus dishes with cocktail pairings from Anvil Bar & Refuge's Bobby Heugel. Cost is $125 per person (before tax and tip), and reservations can be made at 713-426-4260.

Tuesday nights just got a little more interesting with Block 7 Wine Company's new Tueday Tasting Series. Wine manager Charles Kirkwood leads oenophiles and newbies alike through five wines each Tuesday night starting at 6 p.m. Visit block7wineco.com for more information.

Thursday night had best see you and your friends at the Maple Leaf Pub when Eating Our Words co-hosts the Geeks Who Drink pub trivia game on January 14 starting at 8 p.m. We promise the food trivia won't be as difficult as the questions we posted earlier this week. But we'll still have prizes for you.

Wondering where Cafe Chino went? It's no longer in Rice Village. Eddie and May Chan have moved to bigger and better digs at 3285 Southwest Freeway (at Edloe) and are having a grand opening celebration on Thursday, January 21, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. For a suggested donation of $25, enjoy drinks and hors d'ouevres while you help the Chans celebrate not only the re-opening of Cafe Chino, but also their 23rd year in business. All donations will go to benefit the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.