Upcoming Events: Commercial Free Cocktail and Oysters for Cause

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Alex Gregg, bar manager at the upcoming Goro & Gun, is reviving his popular Commercial Free Cocktail series -- initially hosted at Grand Prize Bar -- for a limited, three-night run at Ambrosia. And this time, he's bringing along guest bartender Chris Frankel to help.

Both bartenders got their start at Anvil Bar & Refuge before branching out to some of the city's best bars, and the collaboration brings the two bar buddies full circle. Ambrosia - the new South Asian "tapas" joint near Upper Kirby from the owners of London Sizzler - will host Gregg and Frankel on three successive Wednesday nights: March 13, 20 and 27.

Gregg prefers to make cuisine-inspired cocktails, while Frankel often focuses on exotic flavors in his drinks. Between the two, the drinks they shake up each Wednesday should prove an interesting complement to chef Rikesh Patel's bold cuisine at Ambrosia: samosas with cilantro chutney, spicy saffron tiger prawns and steak filet kabobs with Korean chili sauce are just a few of the items on his current menu.

The Commercial Free Cocktail series at Ambrosia will run from 4 to 11 p.m. each Wednesday night, with the kitchen closing at 10 p.m.

Tommy's Restaurant & Oyster Bar in Clear Lake goes through 10,000 oysters on the half shell during the height of oyster season, and has recycled more than 110 tons of oyster shells to date -- shells which are used to help build new oyster beds in Galveston Bay, thus ensuring that our oyster supply will always be plentiful.

To say "thank you" to another huge contributor to the Gulf of Mexico's health and happiness, owner Tom Tollett is hosting an Oyster Appellation Tasting on Saturday, April 6 from 2 to 5 p.m. in honor of Dr. Sammy Ray. Ray is perhaps best known as the marine biology professor at Texas A&M and world-renowned oyster expert who developed a diagnostic method to detect the disease-causing Dermocystidium marinum in oysters.

"Dr. Sammy is the foremost authority of oysters, and has played an important role in the health of oysters and of Galveston Bay," Tollett said. "It is a great pleasure to honor him for his lifelong contributions to the oyster industry."

The afternoon event will consist of a side-by-side tasting of eight to 11 different oyster appellations from Galveston Bay reefs, as well as appetizers, wine and beer for a cost of $50 per person. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Galveston Bay Foundation. Call 281-480-2221 for reservations.

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