Upcoming Events: All About Bees...and Alligators

On Monday, August 19, at 7 p.m., Flora & Muse is hosting a gastronomical tour of Spain by Chef Kelly Boyd and Sommelier Evan Turner. The dinner will include six courses paired with Spanish wines. The first course will be a charcuterie plate with cured meats and cheeses from different regions of Spain. Next, diners will be treated to Pumpkin Secret Soup and Pulpo a la Feria, a roasted octopus and pink caviar-stuffed artichoke. The Interludio will be a citrusy, refreshing granita, followed by paella and Iberian suckling pig. For dessert, there will be almond cakes accompanied by dark chocolate brandy truffles. Again, each of these is served with wine. The Spanish extravaganza costs $100 per person and can be purchased at the restaurant or by phone.

Benjy Mason, PJ Stoops and Richard Knight are hosting a pop-up dinner at D&T Drive Inn on Thursday, August 22, and Friday, August 23, from 7 p.m. to midnight. They're calling the pop-up "Midnight Sticky Rice," and it will be a farm-to-table northern Thai-style dinner served à la carte. The menu will be paired with ice cold "beer jelly," a slushy semi-frozen beer and Johnnie Walker Black Label, a staple in Thailand, in addition to the numerous other offerings at D&T. Stoops lived in Thailand for several years, so he's very knowledgeable about the cuisine, and Mason and Knight both bring years of experience at nose-to-tail restaurant Feast to the table. Mason is currently the executive chef at Down House and D&T. Tickets can be reserved at Eventbrite.com.

Brennan's of Houston is encouraging diners to "explore the wild side" with an alligator cooking class on August 24. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Executive Chef Danny Trace will teach techniques for cooking alligator three different ways, then the guests will sit down and feast on the bayou beast with complementary wine pairings. According to Brennan's, "alligator is a delicately flavored, versatile meat that easily absorbs the Chef's style of Creole cuisine. The alligator, similar to fresh water fish or poultry, is a healthy option for carnivore lovers, as it's low in cholesterol and fat and rich in Omega 3." Go figure. The menu will feature Labelle Ranch Alligator & Cattail Soup, Atchafalaya Basin Alligator Pie and Alligator Grillades & Grits. The three-course demonstration menu with wine pairings is $150 per couple, and tickets can be purchased online at Brennan's Web site or by calling the restaurant.

On August 25 and 26, Central Texas Bee Rescue will be in Houston to discuss the nationwide shortage of bees and what can be done to save the dwindling population. On Sunday the 25, Haven is hosting a benefit Honey Dinner to showcase the many kinds of honey and its use in various dishes. Tickets to the dinner cost $50 per person, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Central Texas Bee Rescue's efforts in Houston. The dinner will include a "pink honey" cocktail and appetizers, followed by a three-course meal that incorporates honey in each dish. Before dinner, there will be an "Educational Honey Market" at 5:30 p.m. Dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. Reservations can be made on Haven's Web site or by calling the restaurant. On Monday, CTBR's "Bee-Czar," Walter Schumacher will address the City Council about protecting Houston's bees.

Ladies, leave the husbands and kids at home, because the Uptown Park Tasting Room's Women's Wine Social is all about you. On Monday, August 26, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Christine Spray, the president of Strategic Catalyst will be at the Tasting Room to speak on the topic "Women Helping Women." The evening will begin with a tasting of featured wines and champagnes as well as light appetizers. All wine purchases will benefit Genesys Works, a company that helps high school students find internships at major corporations. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. They can be purchased online or at the Tasting Room.

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