Things To Do

Upcoming Events: Mixers, Elixers, Cocktails and Covers

Good news for fans of the Houston Museum of Natural Science's late, lamented Mixers & Elixers series: It's back! Well...sort of, and with a makeover. Says the Museum: "It's gotten in shape, revamped its wardrobe, learned to two-step and is a brand new event: LaB 5555."

LaB 5555 kicks off its first event tonight from 8 to 11 p.m. In addition to the same cash bars and live music as Mixers & Elixers, LaB 5555 will also feature food from It's a Wrap, Big Happy's Ice Cream & Treats, Pi Pizza and Luchi & Joey's as well as a giveaway for the first 200 guests. Tickets cost $20 for the general public and $12 for members, which grant you access to the new Hall of Paleontology throughout the night, live entertainment and free planetarium showings of Dark Side of the Moon and Led Zeppelin at 8:15, 9:15 and 9:45 p.m.

Speaking of cocktails, the Houston Press is teaming up with the House of Blues to sponsor a brand-new concert series: Cocktails and Covers, which kicks off on July 13 with Skyrockets. Every Friday night, a different cover band will be featured in the Peacock Room while you can enjoy cocktails and light bites at the adjoining Foundation Room.

Come to all seven events and you'll earn yourself a three-month membership in the Foundation Room. You'll also be entered win a pretty grand prize, if we do say so ourselves: two free tickets to the House of Blues concert of your choice -- yes, even the sold-out ones -- for a year.

Coming up this weekend, there's a new brunch buffet in town at an old favorite spot: Latin Bites, which has plenty of room in its expanded Tanglewood dining room since moving from the Warehouse District last year.

The Peruvian restaurant is now serving its buffet every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each Sunday, diners can choose from more than 30 South American dishes, such as: huevos revueltos, papas a la huancaina, causa de pollo, adobo de puerco and - of course - cebiche. The cost of the buffet is $35 a person ($28 for seniors and $10 for children), but seating is limited. Save your spot each week by calling 713-229-8369 for reservations.

Two upcoming independence celebrations mean fireworks-worthy deals at two of our favorite restaurants. Up first on July 4, both locations of Union Kitchen will be offering half-price entrees for Independence Day. "Everyone dining with us on the 4th, will enjoy a complimentary entrée with the purchase of another entrée of equal or lesser value," said owner Paul Miller. "We will be open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Come celebrate the 4th with us!"

And over at Bistro Provence, owners Jean Philippe and Genevieve Guy will be celebrating Bastille Day on July 14 with a special evening menu featuring an array of dishes in blue, white and red (the colors of the French flag, not just our own). Among the colorful choices are heirloom tomato carpaccio with blue cheese (blue), Chateaubriand, roasted potatoes and green beans in a béarnaise sauce (white), coq au vin rouge in red wine sauce (red) and a Bleu, Blanc et Rouge Tarte for dessert. The restaurant is also pairing the Bastille Day dinner with three French country wines. Call 713-827-8008 for reservations.

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Katharine Shilcutt