Upcoming Events: Holiday Office Lunches and an Elf Screening at Karbach Brewing Co.

Still looking for a place to take the office for a Christmas lunch? Backstreet Cafe has got your back. The restaurant will offer a "Bring Your Office to Lunch" special on Tuesday, December 17, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The holiday menu costs $25 per person and includes items such as butternut squash soup, pear soup, winter risotto with braised beef short ribs, roasted chicken with creamy corn, wild mushrooms and green beans and baked rigatoni. The meal concludes with a seasonal pumpkin chocolate cheesecake topped with a thick chocolate cream, crunchy pumpkin brittle and a smooth maple reduction.

Hugo's will also offer a "Bring Your Office to Lunch" buffet on Thursday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The buffet costs $25 per person and includes empanadas, quesadillitas, a marinated mushroom salad, corn pudding, slow-cooked pork and seafood enchiladas, plus much more. Chef Ruben Ortega will also offer a mesa de postres for dessert.

Central Market will host a cooking class on Thursday, December 19, as a tribute to the legendary and beloved Marcella Hazan, an Italian cookbook writer who passed away on September 29 this year. The cooking school staff will teach students how to make classic Italian dishes -- baked crespelle with a spinach, proscuitto and Parmesan filling, sauteed veal scaloppini with Marsala, sauteed green beans with butter and cheese, and polenta shortcake with raisins, dried figs and pine nuts. This hands-on cooking class lasts from 6:30-9 p.m. and costs $60.

Watching Christmas movies at home is all good and well, but why not watch Elf at Karbach Brewing Co. On Thursday, December 19, Karbach and Alamo Drafthouse bring you the Rolling Road Show. For $15 you will receive a pint glass, two beer tokens - one for a classic brew and the other for a specialty brew -- and will get to watch Elf! The doors open at 6:15 p.m. and the movie will begin at 7 p.m. Bring your own chair, because seating is quite limited. Food trucks will be on site as well.

Have you always wanted to go to Venice, but never had the opportunity to do so? Well, you are in luck, because Venice is coming to Houston. Da Marco has paired with Osteria Oliva Nera of Venice, Italy, to serve a five-course Italian meal with wine pairings on Sunday, December 22, at 6:30 p.m. The meal costs $290 and places are limited. The two restaurants will begin the meal with a reception including Cichetti and Prosecco, followed by antipasto of assorted Venetian seafood specialties, paired with 2010 Schipoetto Blanc des Rosis. Next, guests will indulge in black spaghetti with shrimp and date tomatoes, paired with 2009 Soave Classico Gini, La Frosca, followed by Adriatic sea bass with citrus, paired with 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, Piere Sauvignon, Vie de Romans. The fourth course includes grilled lamb chops with 2009 Valpolicella Ripasso "Il Bugiardo" Buglioni. Finally, the meal concludes with a chestnut puree with meringue and 2009 Torcolato, Maculant.

If you're unsure as to which wines you should bring to the Christmas dinner table, then head to Sonoma Wine Bar in Upper Kirby. On Monday, December 23, the wine bar will host a cellar wine tasting and retail sale for $30. The staff will offer their favorite wines during the holidays for guests to sample. Each guest will taste eight wines and receive discounts on retail items and complimentary gift wrapping if they choose to buy a bottle or two. This wine tasting on the Monday before Christmas will last from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.

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