Upcoming Events: Cinco de Malo and a Wine Dinner at a Gastropub

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L'Olivier, the subject of a very recent (and mostly glowing) cafe review, is celebrating its one-year anniversary this coming Tuesday, April 23. In honor of that milestone, the restaurant is hosting its inaugural Soiree de Printemps -- a springtime soiree -- with an all-day happy hour menu, live music and complimentary tastings of chef Olivier Ciesielski's new spring menu.

Also on hand will be brews from Houston's own Karbach Brewing Co. and Texas wines from Duchman Family Winery, owned by Houston cardiologist Stan Duchman. Live music from Moodafaruka will be performed from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., but the celebration as a whole will last from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. -- opening to closing. Go help L'Olivier shut it down.

Where better to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Houston than at El Gran Malo, home to the city's best and most adventurous tequila selection? The Big Bad is hosting a big, bad Cinco de Mayo party all day Sunday, May 5 from 11 a.m. until the bar closes at 2 a.m. Roving chef Randy Rucker will be" putting his own, maniacal spin on crawfish," according to El Gran Malo, starting at noon on the patio. Crawfish will be on the boil until they run out.

Meanwhile, Houston's own MasterChef contestant Alvin Schultz will be mixing up frozen margaritas made with liquid nitrogen and Karbach will be on hand with cans of their ice-cold beer. Also look for an adult "lemonade stand" with refreshing herb- and fruit-filled sangria, special Jell-O shots and chilled booze-infused fruits. Inside, El Gran Malo will serve its full menu all day long, including our favorite Torta Burger fresh off the grill and cool cups of ceviche to beat the heat.

El Gran Malo isn't celebrating alone, though. Skeeter's Mesquite Grill will be hosting Cinco de Mayo celebrations at all six Houston-area locations on Sunday, May 5. That day, all Mexican beers will be only $2.

Although BRC Gastropub is known mainly for its excellent draft beer selection, the restaurant wants you to know it's serious about wine too. To that end, BRC is hosting its first-ever wine dinner on Wednesday, May 1 with two seatings: one at 6:30 p.m. and one at 8:30 p.m. Wine director Matthew Duclot-Bernhardt worked with chef de cuisine Paul Smithwick and executive chef/owner Lance Fegen to create a four-course menu that will be paired with wines from Alexander Valley Vineyards.

Among the courses Smithwick created are a braised pork belly with Cheddar grits and jam (served with 2010 Sin Zin) and homemade churros with praline ice cream and dark chocolate sauce (served with a 2009 Redemption Zin). The four-course dinner costs $55 a person. Reservations can be made at 713-861-2233.

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