Mark your calendars, because you don’t want to miss these deliciously fun culinary happenings:
Brennan’s of Houston, 3300 Smith, is hosting a Date Night Cooking Class on Friday, July 13 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. This month’s class will focus on Texas, with dishes including sweet tea brined chicken tortilla soup, cast iron 44 Farms strip with Texas caviar and chile con queso au gratin potatoes, and Texas pecan pie with bourbon ice cream. Cost is $150 per couple, plus tax and gratuity.
The Italian Cultural & Community Center, 1101 Milford, will host its summer edition of La Piccola Cucina, a hands-on cultural culinary experience for children aged three to ten years old, on Saturday, July 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Kids will learn to make zaletti, buttery cornmeal cookies made with nuts and that originated in the Veneto region of Italy. Tickets are $30 for ICCC members and $45 for non-members Reservations are required by July 11 and can be made at Eventbrite or at 713-524-4222 ext. 7.
Backstreet Café, 1103 South Shepherd, will be celebrating French Independence with a five-course Bastille Day Wine Dinner ($118 per person), held on Thursday, July 12 at 7 p.m. Featured dishes include summer bouillabaisse, dijon-crusted salmon with beurre blanc, and duck leg confit with duck fat Yukon gold soufflé and foie gras sauce. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. Call 713-521-2239 for reservations.
On Saturday, July 14 (the actual Bastille Day), chef Philippe Verpiand will be presenting a celebratory prix-fixe, four-course menu at Etoile Cuisine et Bar, 1101-11 Uptown Park ($78++ per person, with $28 to $48 optional wine pairings). Celebrate the turning point of the French revolution with goat cheese panna cotta and zucchini-basil soup, Alaskan halibut with ratatouille vegetables, duck breast with fresh Washington cherries, and lemon zest mascarpone mousse with red berries, strawberry nectar and lemon rosemary over shaved ice. Reservations are encouraged.
The Bastille Day celebrations continue at Brasserie du Parc, 1440 Lamar Street, with a three-course, multi-course dinner on Saturday, July 14 ($52 plus tax and gratuity, optional wine pairing $18). The meal starts with a special Grey Goose (the French vodka) cocktail followed with a choice of salad, lobster bisque or escargot au beurre. Main-course selections include red snapper, roasted duck or vegetable risotto. Dessert brings a choice between pot au chocolat noir and strawberry with chantilly cream. Reservations are suggested.
Saint Arnold Brewing Company, 2000 Lyons, will be hosting its annual Feast of Saint Arnold fundraising dinner on Sunday, July 15 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Guests can enjoy a Medieval family-style meal, with four courses of fish, red meat, poultry and pork served simultaneously, for $135 per person (includes all food, beer and a commemorative mug). The menu features crawfish salad and boudin balls, whole roasted red snapper with dirty rice, blackened ribeye with maque choux, beer can chicken with stewed okra and tomatoes, andouille sausage with mustard greens and collards, and bananas foster bread pudding. The event raises funds for Texas Children’s Hospital’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center.
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SHOW ME HOW
Houston Restaurant Weeks returns with 34 days of meals and deals raising money for The Houston Food Bank, running from Wednesday, August 1 and through Labor Day, Monday, September 3. More than 250 area restaurants are expected to participate this year, with the growing list available beginning Sunday, July 15.
Poitín, 2313 Edwards, will host a Tour De France Wine Dinner — a seven-course dinner wiith French wine pairing prepared by chef Dominick Lee and sommelier Shannon Noelle Crow — on Tuesday, July 17 at 6 p.m. Cost is $150 per person. Space is limited and reservations are required. Call 713-470-6686.
On Wednesday, July 18 from 6 to 9 p.m., The Pass, 807 Taft, will be hosting a specials Steak Night, featuring the high-quality beef of 44 Farms. Enjoy dishes such as shrimp cocktail, Korean beef “tar tar,” crab cake tortellini, chocolate and Luxardo cherry cake and your choice of filet mignon au poivre, grilled N.Y. strip with bordelaise, and smoked bone-in short rib with salsa verde. The five-course dinner costs $125 per person or $200 with pairings, plus tax and service. Call 713-628-9020 (opt. 2) to reserve a seat.