Upcoming Events: North Coast Brewing Co. Comes to Houston & Kata Robata Celebrates Chinese New Year

There are some drinks and foods that go perfectly together, and beer and cheese is one of those delightful combinations. D&T Drive Inn will host Houston Dairymaids and North Coast Brewing Co. on Wednesday, January 22, from 7 to 10 p.m. during a beer and cheese tasting open to the public. For $30 you will receive a ticket for five beers and five cheeses. Beer selections include Red Seal, Old Rasputin and Le Merle. Representatives from North Coast Brewing Co. and Dairymaids will be on site to explain the beers and cheeses being served.

Many restaurants feature special healthier menus throughout the month of January so New Year dieters can eat out and still stick to their resolutions. Adair Kitchen will offer a "Fresh Food, Fresh Year" menu each day after 5 p.m. until March. The menu includes two starter dishes of roasted asparagus with prosciutto Americano for $5.95, and an orange and pomegranate salad with greens tossed in a lemon vinaigrette for $9.95. The lighter entree option features pan-seared scallops with sliced heirloom tomatoes and linguini with lemon and basil for $19.95 (a gluten-free pasta may be substituted). And because every dessert isn't necessarily terrible for your diet, Adair will offer a $6.95 fresh fruit trifle made with raspberries and blackberries.

On January 28, Triniti Restaurant will continue its Guest Bartender series with Chip Hight, a Balvenie Whiskey Associate with William Grant & Sons. The series happens every Tuesday night and gives guests the opportunity to try special cocktails and mixed drinks created by the guest bartender. All tips will be donated to that bartender's charity of choice -- Hight chose BlueCure Foundation -- and Triniti will match the tips up to $1,000. Beginning at 7 p.m., cocktails will be served in the lounge for $10 each.

North Coast Brewing Co. seems to be making the rounds to several Houston bars and restaurants, because after the D&T Drive Inn beer and cheese tasting event the brewery will head to The Hay Merchant for a Beer Dinner on Wednesday, January 29, at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $85 and must be purchased in person at The Hay Merchant. This seven-course dinner will be paired with a variety of Belgian Ales and Russian Stouts, as well as an after-dessert flight of vintage Old Stock Ale from 2004, 2007 and 2010. North Coast Brewing Co.'s senior vice president, Doug Moody, will be at the dinner to talk about the brewery and the beers paired with each dish.

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Chinese New Year falls on January 31 this year, so for the next month Chef Manabu Horiuchi will prepare a green tea cheesecake at Kata Robata to ensure a prosperous New Year. While most cheesecakes are filled with sugar, fat, carbs and a bajillion calories, this cheesecake is unlike the rest. Hori's "dessert" is made with green tea and served with a chestnut puree and sweet, pickled chestnuts (chestnuts bring good luck when eaten at Chinese New Year). He has also added a scoop of red bean ice cream served on top of crumbled buckwheat. Yes, this does not sound like a sweet, creamy cheesecake, but it does sound like a healthy treat that just might bring you good fortune.

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