Upcoming Events: Ghetto Dinners, Gulf Repasts and Movies in the Park

At least one good thing has come out of our list of 100 Favorite Dishes so far: This deal from Brennan's, in which the restaurant is offering a special deal on its shrimp and grits, our No. 9 favorite dish. Brennan's is extending its current $99 deal -- which includes three courses and wine for two people -- to October 12, and it's throwing in the shrimp and grits as one of the entree selections. And there's your opportunity to start working your way through the 100 list, one dish at a time.

Speaking of restaurants on our 100 list, Stella Sola and Chef Adam Dorris will be bringing back Dorris's signature Ghetto Dinners every Sunday evening in October, and they're bringing them back in style. Says wine director Nathan Smith, "We're throwing a Sunday jam," with a jazz band comprised of local musicians. "We're not sure what we're going to call the band yet," Smith laughed. Ghetto Dinners will be served in Stella Sola's upstairs space along with tunes starting this Sunday at 7 p.m. with special guest DJ Sun. As in the past, Ghetto Dinner pricing is $5 for an appetizer and $10 for an entree, although there's no cover if you just want to hang out and enjoy the music.

And one more restaurant on the 100 list, Niko Niko's, will be serving up our favorite falafels and more tonight at its Market Square location, where the park will be hosting the Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow's screening of Animal House starting at 8 p.m. The weather will be absolutely perfect for a free movie in the park tonight, so head on down -- and remember that parking is free after 6 p.m.! While you can bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnics, outside alcohol is strictly verboten. No worries, though: You can always get a beer or a margarita from Niko Niko's.

Next week, float down the bayou in style on a pontoon boat with beer in hand. The latest Buffalo Bayou Brews Cruise will depart on Thursday, October 6, and will feature beer from Saint Arnold Brewery paired with cheese from the Houston Dairymaids. The cruise runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and costs $50 a person. Email tsmith at buffalobayou dot org to reserve your spot.

That Sunday, catch up with Robb Walsh at one of his enormously popular cooking classes, held in Walsh's own home on the west side of town. The class on October 9 runs from 4 to 6:30 p.m. and features recipes from Walsh's Tex-Mex Cookbook, specifically the recipe in which he teaches you how to make the perfect cheese enchiladas -- complete with chili gravy -- from scratch. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online, but beware: They sell out fast.

Coming up later in October (which is tomorrow; what the hell?!), Randy Rucker will be hosting a two-night dinner for fans who can't wait for the winter and the anticipated opening of conāt. The Gulf Seafood Repast at Ziggy's on Main will feature a tremendous menu of fresh seafood from P.J. Stoops (who'll also be on hand to impart some of his plentiful knowledge of the Gulf and its bounty) in the form of nine courses. Rucker will be assisted by his conāt team of Chris Leung and Mark Clayton and beverage pairings will be provided by Ziggy's. The dinners will take place on October 22 and 23 at a cost of $150, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Email rrucker79 at hotmail dot com for reservations.

The next weekend, South Houston will be having an Evening of Cuisine featuring favorite local restaurants such as Randy's Smokehouse & BBQ, Magnolia Cafe & Bakery, Dixie Deli, Crown Cafe and more. The event takes place on Thursday, October 27, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at The Gardens on Beamer. The all-you-can-eat evening costs $20 at the door and will feature an antique car show and silent auction in addition to the food, food and more food.

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