This year marks the 100th anniversary of Mardi Gras on Galveston Island. But while the whole island will be celebrating starting today through March 8, you can have your own celebration further inland New Orleans-style at Brennan's.
The restaurant will be hosting a Mardi Gras celebration on Fat Tuesday itself, March 8, from 5:45 to 10 p.m. For $65, you'll be treated to a three-course meal from Chef Danny Trace that includes, of course, a slice of king cake at the end. Helping to celebrate will be a live jazz band, faux floats with beads and specialty cocktails. Reservations should be made by calling 713-522-9711.
And if you're wondering about that delicious-looking slice of sticky sweetness above, you'll probably be pleased to hear that Phoenicia is hosting a Baklava Bake-Off next week to benefit the new downtown Ronald McDonald House at 1907 Holcombe. From 5 to 7 p.m. on March 3, the store's pastry chefs will be helping the Ronald McDonald House's young residents put together their own baklava recipes in the House's kitchen. The winning dessert will be featured on the Phoenicia's bakery menu, where a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the House and the great work that it does with seriously ill children and their families.
The giving doesn't stop there, though. Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q, the popular chain of barbecue restaurants that has started filtering into the Houston area, is celebrating the 175th anniversary of Texas's independence from Mexico by offering quarter-pound briskets for only 32 cents on March 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. Each 32-cent payment will be donated to Texas Children's Hospital, but if you don't happen to need any brisket, you can also give back by "liking" Rudy's on Facebook and following its Twitter account. Each "like" or new follower will result in 50 cents being donated to Texas Children's from now through next Wednesday, March 2.
And now for something completely different: three upcoming wine events.
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The first is National Wine Week from March 7 through 11 at Smith & Wollensky, the Highland Village steakhouse that's celebrating the 48th year of the in-house event. And while the steakhouse is normally a pretty pricey occasion, Wine Week is a great time to sample its fare along with a wide selection of wine: Each day at lunch, you can taste up to 10 wines for just $10 along with your lunch. Reservations are required; call 713-621-7555 to make yours.
In the middle of all that, Rainbow Lodge will be hosting ONEHOPE Wines for a casual food and wine pairing on March 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (see, it doesn't even interfere with lunch!). For $29 a person, you'll be able to sample all five ONEHOPE's wines -- 50 percent of each bottle's proceeds are donated to one of seven partner charities -- and stroll around the Lodge's sumptuous grounds while you nibble and sip.
Last but not least, Bistro Provence will host Laurent Miquel Wines for a six-course wine dinner on March 22 starting at 7 p.m. The wines featured come from Laurent Miquel's 222-year-old estate and will be paired with courses like smoked tuna carpaccio and eggplant and duck magret roulades from Chef Jeremy Griffin. Dinner is $70 person and reservations can be made by calling 713-827-8008.