Head to Canyon Creek Cafe on Tuesday, April 29, for a five-course beer dinner paired with brews from Buffalo Bayou, Saint Arnold and Karbach. The beer dinner costs $65 and begins at 6 p.m. with crispy calamari paired with Buffalo Bayou Figaro - Belgian Fig. Next, Canyon Creek will serve a roasted garlic Caesar salad with pork belly cracklins and Buffalo Bayou 1836 Copper Ale, followed by pan-fried grouper in guajillo Santo broth, appropriately paired with Saint Arnold Santo. The fourth course features house-smoked pork loin with bosc chutney and veal demi, paired with Karbach Rodeo Clown. Finally, the meal concludes with donut bread pudding and Sunset ice cream, paired with Buffalo Bayou Sunset Ale.
On Thursday, May 1, spend the evening at Central Market during the Italy Meets Texas Sip and Stroll part of the two-week Passaporto Italia Festival. From 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., the specialty grocery store will offer samples of wine paired with a multitude of Italian meats, cheeses, desserts, and pastas. Commemorative glasses will be available for purchase at the Information Desk.
Brennan's of Houston will host a wine dinner for $185 on Thursday, May 1, at 6:30 p.m., featuring a selection of wines from the Peter Michael Winery. Executive chef Danny Trace will prepare a five-course dinner beginning with a Blue Crab Faulk salad with yellow fin tuna carpaccio, tropical fruit and alligator pear atop hearts of palm with a sorrel glaze, paired with LA Carriere Chardonnay 2012. Other menu items include crispy sweetbreads with crawfish and goat cheese grits paired with Le Caprice Pinot Noir 2012, and a Mississippi Mud Pie with a candied pecan crust paired with a 1982 Toro Albala PX.
If you missed the last fundraising event for Gracie Nguyen, the Houston pastry chef severely injured in the SXSW drunk driving crash in February, here's another opportunity to raise funds for Nguyen's medical and recovery expenses. On Monday, May 5, at 6:15 p.m., L'Olivier will host a "Help Gracie" dinner featuring five chefs preparing one course each, and a surprise sixth chef who will create another course. The event's chefs include chef Olivier Ciesielski of L'Olivier, chef John Sheely of Mockingbird Bistro, chef Mark Cox of Mark's American Cuisine, chef Charles Clark of Ibiza, Brasserie 19, Coppaand Punk's Simple Southern Food, and pastry chef Sam Major of Jackson & Company Catering. Tickets to the event cost $175 and include an hors d'oeuvre reception before the dinner.
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Wine tastings are great, but they are even better when they are free. Chelsea Wine Bar and French Country Wines have partnered to host a free wine tasting event at Chelsea Wine Bar on Wednesday, May 7, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The night will feature newly added wines from French Country Wines, French appetizers and live music. Chelsea Wine Bar also looks over Lake Taylor, so guests are in for a treat during sunset.