Upcoming Events: Feast with the Beasts, Dim Sum Lunch in Chinatown & More

It's definitely not too early to order your tickets for the 8th Annual Feast with the Beasts, which takes place at the Houston Zoo on November 1. Everything but general admission tickets is sold out, but that doesn't mean the night won't be spectacular. This year, 65 Houston restaurants will be on-site to cater to your culinary needs, including Haven, Local Foods and Ooh La La Dessert Boutique. Throughout the night you will have the opportunity to watch special animal presentations and feedings, as well as a live performance from Smash Mouth. While this is a food, beer and wine event, it is also a fundraiser for the Houston Zoo; each dollar raised helps support the care and feeding of the more than 6,000 animals at the zoo. Tickets cost $95 for zoo members and $105 for non-members. This event is strictly for individuals 21 and older.

The folks at Messina Hof Winery have partnered with chef Monica Pope for a four-course dinner paired with wines from the winery and resort on Thursday, October 17. The meal begins at 7 p.m. at Sparrow Bar + Cookshop; tickets cost $95. The wine pairings for the dinner haven't been released yet, but Pope's creations have. The meal begins with spicy clams and chorizo, followed by sablefish with horseradish-milled potatoes and a coriander sauce. The third course consists of a duck confit cassoulet served with local shell beans. Dessert will be a bittersweet chocolate friand.

Take a walking tour through Chinatown on Saturday, October 19, for just $45. The tour begins with a Dim Sum lunch including a variety of dumplings and buns stuffed with an assortment of fillings including meat, seafood and sweet paste. After the lunch, Dorothy Huang, author of "Chinese Cuisine Made Simple," will lead the group through a Chinese shopping mall and supermarket and talk about some of the products available fro purchase there. The tour starts at 11:30 a.m., so come hungry and get ready to learn more about Chinatown.

The hybrid of breakfast and lunch is brunch, but what's the meal between lunch and dinner? Dunch! Kata Robata will host a six-course dunch on Sunday, October 20, at 4 p.m. Chef Manabu Horiuchi, who created the concept of "dunch," will finalize the menu the day before the event to make sure he uses only the freshest of ingredients. The menu will be a combination of hot and cold Japanese dishes, and Kata Robata's beverage director, Steven Salazar, will pair each course with sake. Reserve your spot at this six-course sake-paired dunch for $100; a $40 deposit is required for advance reservations. Email blake@katarobata.com to reserve your seat.

The River Oaks Americas on West Gray is offering a Chef Pairing Menu on Monday, October 21, throughout the entire day. Each of the four courses will be paired with a wine from Araucano, a Chilean winery. Start the meal with poached shrimp carpaccio made with tarragon, a pineapple relish and agua de chile, served with a 2012 Sauvignon Blanc from Valle de Lolo. The second course consists of pork tenderloin churrasco with a smoked tomato sauce, fried capers and sage, served with a 2011 Pinot Noir from Balle Central. Next, indulge in more meat for the third course:pepper-crusted buffalo tenderloin with mascarpone-whipped potatoes and a bordelaise sauce, served with a 2012 Carmenere from Valle de Colchaqua. Finally, satisfy your sweet tooth with a season-appropriate pumpkin pie empanada and Zingu Stout Flip. All this for only $69 per person -- what a deal!

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