Upcoming Events: Lavender, Wine and a Swedish Soiree at IKEA

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Bistro Provence is continuing its herb dinner series on Monday, August 12 with the fourth installment, a lavender menu. All evening, the restaurant will be serving dinner specials that incorporate lavender into the recipes. The appetizer option is fried squash blossom with lavender batter, the fish option is fish du jour on a bed of confit nectarines and lavender, the meat option is lavender honey glazed duck leg, and for dessert, the restaurant is offering lavender creme brulee. I've had lavender creme brulee before, and it's one of my favorite things. The following Monday will feature a fennel menu, so be sure to check that out if lavender isn't your thing.

In what's sure to be either awesome or not so, IKEA is hosting a Swedish Crayfish Party and Swedish Soiree on Friday, August 16. The gigantic store/cafeteria will be marinating crayfish in lemon and dill, then serving it cold to hungry patrons in the restaurant. The Swedish Soiree in an air conditioned tent on the IKEA plaza (which I think is a fancy word for parking lot) will feature Swedish dancing, complimentary appetizers beyond crayfish and free vodka drinks from Deep Eddy Vodka. There are three restaurant seatings between 4 and 9 p.m. at 4, 5:30 and 7. Tickets are $9.99 for IKEA member adults and $2.49 for children 12 and under and $12.99 for adult non-menbers and $4.99 for non-member children.

On Saturday, August 17, the Galleria Pinot's Palette location will host its annual Art Tasting from 7 to 10 p.m. According to website, the event will feature, "an array of interactive art, live music, live street painting, silent and live art auctions, and the opportunity to shop our signature paintings." There will also be wine, beer and food if that's more of an incentive. Tickets are $25 online ($30 at the door), and proceeds will go to an unnamed charity. The Pinot's Palettes in Katy and Montrose are also hosting Art Tastings that Saturday night, and the proceeds will benefit Carrie's Heart and the Chris Saiz Point The Way Foundation and The Center for Hearing and Speech, respectively. If you can't make those, the Sugar Land and Woodlands Art Tastings will both take place a few days earlier on August 15.

European Wine Bar 13 Celsius is going down under. On Monday, August 19 from 6 to 8 p.m., three Australian wine makers will be at 13 Celsius to pour six wines from Ochota Barrels, BK Wines and Dandelion Vineyards. Guests will have the opportunity to pair the Aussie wines with traditional Vegemite (yum?) and learn about the differences between Australian wine and wines from other parts of the world. Tickets are $25 and no reservations are needed. The wines that are part of the tasting will also be on special for one night only.

Saint Arnold Brewing Company is hosting an End of Summer Celebration for Wesley Community Center on Thursday, August 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. (though I imagine, summer will still be far from over then). The event is a fundraiser for the community center's many programs and services. Lady Bird Food Truck will be providing food, and Saint Arnold will offer six beers on tap and house-made root beer. The Junior Jazz Quartet will provide entertainment for the evening, and a variety of sports-themed prizes will be raffled at the end of the night. It's a great opportunity to learn more about the good work of the Wesley Community Center and drink some good beer in the process. Tickets are available for $30 online.

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