It's already scorching hot in Houston, and it's only going to get hotter. So cool off by celebrating the first day of summer on Thursday, June 21, at Pollo Campero. The fresh-Mex joint will be offering patrons a free agua fresca with purchase of any entree all day Thursday, including:
- Mango: A puree of the world's most popular fruit
- Guava: A refreshingly cool drink made from a tropical and vitamin-rich super fruit native to Latin America
- Horchata: A rich and creamy drink made with rice, almonds, cinnamon, milk and sugar
And if that agua fresca doesn't do the trick, try cooling down at Fratelli's Authentic Italian Cuisine, where the restaurant is hosting a "Cool Italian Wine Dinner to Beat Houston's Heat." Chef and owner Teresa Tadeo Wittman will be serving a five-course dinner including such dishes as handmade black pasta with fresh Gulf shrimp and crabmeat topped with a creamy lobster sauce and thin-crust pizza topped with goat cheese, fresh Sonoma figs and chopped walnuts.
Each course will be accompanied by a cool wine from Casa Vinicola Antonutti, including a sparkling Pinot Noir for dessert. There are two seatings for the night -- at 6:30 and 8 p.m. -- and the cost is $45 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Call 713-957-1150 for reservations.
Not every special dinner has to be expensive -- at least that's IKEA's policy. The furniture store (which also houses a popular Swedish restaurant on its second floor) is hosting a traditional Midsummer Swedish buffet in celebration of Midsommar, a Swedish summer festival, this Friday, June 15, from 6 to 8 p.m.
On the big Midsommar spread, guests will enjoy traditional Swedish fare such as new potatoes boiled in dill and served with assorted varieties of herring, smoked and poached salmon, assorted Swedish cheeses, Swedish ham, Prinskorv sausage, Swedish meatballs, cucumber and fruit salads, ice cream and assorted desserts, and more. There will even be clowns in the restaurant to entertain the little ones. Tickets are $12.99 per adult and only $2.49 per child.
More cheap thrills can be found at City Acre Brewing, where the soon-to-open brewpub will be hosting a movie night on the lawn. They'll be hosting a free screening of Houston cult classic Rushmore on Saturday, July 21, and the brewpub will have plenty of its popular Fermette de Saison on hand as well as a few other beers. Food trucks will likely be parked outside to feed your face, too.
Attendance at this event, like the others at City Acre, is by invitation only (in compliance with very specific TABC laws). The invitation request window will be open until Wednesday, June 20, at 5 p.m. Invitations will be sent out by e-mail by the following Wednesday, June 27. There are a limited number of spots, so get your request in now.
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Also coming up in July is an advanced sushi-making class from RA Sushi, Sushi 102. After the success of its previous Sushi 101 classes, RA has decided to take sushi-making to the next level with an interactive class that will educate attendees on fish preparation, decorative techniques, Japanese etiquette and sake pairings. Attendees will receive a complimentary selection of appetizers and fresh sushi along with their very own sushi-rolling mat to take home and a complimentary lunch card for their next visit.
Sushi 102 will take place at RA's location in Highland Village and costs $58 per person, or you can make it a date for $110 per couple. Space is limited and reservations are required. Call 713-621-5800 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to save your spot.