Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:
All summer long
Seasonal Brunch Menu at State of Grace
State of Grace, 3258 Westheimer, has updated its Sunday brunch menu with seasonally-inspired plates. Dig into dishes such as soft-shell crab with fried egg, kimchi and eggs with pork belly and curried fried rice, shrimp and grits with Pullman toast, and crawfish eggs benny with cornbread and Creole hollandaise. Brunch is offered Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Summer Break Menu at Brennan’s of Houston
Take a lunch break at Brennan’s of Houston, 3300 Smith, which is offering three $12 specials on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. throughout the summer. Enjoy “summer break” dishes such as Gulf shrimp and mozzarella panini slathered with horseradish tomato jam and served with fried potato chips; wood-grilled Creole burgers served with handcut fries and topped with shaved tasso, a fried egg, “avo-del-gallo” and garlic aioli; and buttermilk fried chicken served with lardon brussels sprouts, cornbread and “potlikker gravy.” Reservations can be made online or by calling 713-522-9711.
June and July
Sparkling Sounds at Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
Eddie V’s, 2800 Kirby, is hosting a fine dining and entertainment experience that harkens back to the summer soirées of the Jazz Age. In addition to champagne/sparkling wine pairings and live nightly music from the past century, the special Sparkling Sounds menu will feature $8 oyster trios such as the Citrus Pearl Oysters with grapefruit pearls, Tito’s vodka and micro greens, as well as $8 chef’s teasers like the salt and pepper shrimp.
Tuesday through Saturday
Chef’s Menu Series: Gujarti Cuisine at SaltAir Seafood Kitchen
SaltAir Seafood Kitchen, 3029 Kirby, continues its Chef’s Menu Series, which offers menus based on locations central to The Tropic of Cancer, 23 degrees north of the equator. This week, chef Brandi Key will feature traditional Cuban dishes and preparations such as sauces like mojo, made with oil, garlic, onion and spices such as oregano and bitter orange or lime juice. Feast on ropa vieja, pork ribs in Cuban mojo, sautéed shrimp in Creole sauce and capuchinos, or custard cakes soaked in syrup . Cost is $45 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
Tuesday, June 27
Guest Chef Outdoor Cooking Series at Eight Row Flint
Eight Row Flint, 1039 Yale, continues its Outdoor Cooking Series with its first guest chef — Jason White, chef de cuisine of the upcoming Theodore Rex. Although this is the first time the team at Eight Row has invited a guest chef to the series, White has been close with the Agricole family since opening Revival Market with chef Ryan Pera back in 2011. Stop by to get $15 plates of coal-grilled chicken with green garlic broth and chicken fat rice from 5 p.m. until they sell out.
Tour of Italy Wine Dinner at Lucille’s
Lucille’s, 5512 La Branch, has teamed up with the Houston-based Vino Vero Wine Company to take guests on a tour of Italy with an intimate, five-course wine dinner at 7 p.m. Guests can experience all-new dishes created by executive chef Chris Williams — including crab-stuffed calamari, squid ink spaghetti with little neck clams and braised goat neck with three-day feta cheese, all paired with unique, Italian white and red wines that are only available at Lucille’s. The cost is $60 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and limited seating is available. Call 713-568-2505 to reserve your spot.
“Tuesday by the Sea” at Nobie’s
Nobie’s, 2048 Colquitt, invites guests to its last-Tuesday-of-the-month special, “Tuesday by the Sea.” The evening will feature seafood offerings from Hawaii — including poke and unique creations using Spam — in addition to the a la carte menu. The special seafood-centric menu is available from 5 p.m. until sold out.
Wednesday, June 28
BBQ and Beer Dinner at Pinkerton's Barbecue
Pinkerton's Barbecue, 1504 Airline, is teaming up with Karbach for a beer dinner that will have you switching the notch on your belts. Get brisket, pulled pork, turkey, ribs, jambalaya, jalapeño cheese rice, blueberry cobbler and four Karbach brews for $55 per person (only 50 plates guaranteed).
Landry’s “Dining through the Decades” at Brenner’s on the Bayou
Landry’s Inc. continues its Houston Chef Series: “Dining through the Decades” with Back the the Future-inspired dishes from chef Ryan Braden of Brenner’s on the Bayou, 1 Birdsall. The private and exclusive dining experience will feature five wine-paired courses, including K-Paul’s blackened snapper salad, Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen’s braised short ribs with white bean cassoulet and McFly’s chocolate cake. Dinner is at 7 p.m. and cost is $95 per person or $80 for Landry’s Select Club members (plus tax and gratuity).
Master's Wine Dinner at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Downtown
The Downtown location of Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, 1200 McKinney, invites guests to a special wine dinner beginning at 7 p.m. Master sommelier Jack Mason (one of only nine esteemed master sommeliers in Texas) will showcase some of the most iconic wines from different regions around the world. Additionally, the selected wines will be paired with a five-course dinner created by guest chef PJ Calapa, featuring delicately composed crudos, 75-day dry-aged ribeye, handmade pastas, seasonal vegetables and artisanal cheeses. As part of this dinner, Calapa will preview some of the items that will be on the menu of his newest restaurant, Scampi, opening in the fall in Manhattan’s Flatiron district. Call 713-658-1995 for reservations (required).
Rhythm in the Heights at Fountain Park
Rhythm in the Heights, a summer bash benefiting Recipe for Success, will take place at Fountain Park, 939 West 26th, from 7 to 10 p.m. The evening will feature chillin’ and grillin’ food demos by some of Houston’s top chefs including Robert Del Grande of Café Annie, Ryan Pera of Coltivare and Revival Market and Roberto Espinosa of TacoDeli. Guests can also expect food truck bites by Oh My Gogi!, Skratch Food Truck and Truck on the Bayou; tequila tastings by Titanium Tequila; and live entertainment provided by Mango Punch! Tickets are $20 each and include all food and beverages, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Recipe for Success.
Thursday, June 29
Saint Arnold Beer Tasting at La Griglia
La Griglia, 2002 West Gray, has teamed up with Saint Arnold to pair brews and bites. Enjoy pairings such as Summer Pils with short rib sliders, Art Car IPA with a beer-battered flounder taco, Raspberry AF with duck confit empanada and Bishop’s Barrel No. 18 with bitter and blanc bread pudding. Tickets are $45 per person and the tasting begins at 7 p.m.
Friday, June 30
FriYAY Rosé Party at Brennan’s of Houston
From 4 to 7 p.m., everyone is invited to cheers summer time and rosé season at Brennan’s of Houston, 3300 Smith. Guests can taste up to 35 rosé selections with light bites for $25 (tickets required). Wear something pink and receive a glass of frosé.
Saturday, July 1
One-year anniversary at City Acre Brewing
City Acre Brewing, 3418 Topping, will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a sprawling party, held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. across the property’s beautiful acre of land (don't worry, the air-conditioned taproom and Victorian-style manor on the property will also be open for indoor festivities). Party goers can expect yard games, music, German buffet from chef Rick Kelsay and a rotating menu of brand-new specialty beers, as well as some old favorites. Tickets are $29.95 and include a commemorative anniversary pint glass, two fills of any beers of your choice and access to the German food buffet.
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Local Brews Local Grooves at House of Blues
Don’t miss this epic craft brew and music festival, held at the House of Blues, 1204 Caroline, and featuring a lineup of 20 local breweries, more than 50 beers and rare releases, 13 local bands and brew-inspired pub grub. Tickets start at $15 for admission (21 an up only), with additional tasting packages and VIP upgrades available. Doors open at 3 p.m.
Canada Day at Riel
Riel, 1927 Fairview, invites guests to don their best Canadian tuxedos and celebrate Canada Day, with Trudeau Punch, Molson and Canadian Club flowing all night long (5 to 11 p.m.).