The week begins with a tequila tasting and a tribute to Anthony Bourdain. It revs up with wine dinners, a multi-century exploration of an ancient cooking technique, then culminates in a bash celebrating our neighbor to the north. In fact, there's so much world cuisine in this week's list of must-eats and must-drinks, Houstonians might want to break out their passports.
Through June 30
Dozens of Houston bars and restaurants are participating in the international event that celebrates the classic three-ingredient cocktail that features gin, vermouth, and Campari. Each establishment will put its own spin on the classic. To participate, they must donate to one of the event's official charities; they are also encouraged to make additional donations. Six bars — Anvil, the Pastry War, Lei Low, Brasserie du Parc, Etoile, and Public Services — have been designated premium donors, which means they've contributed at least $250.
Monday, June 24
Tequila Tasting at Third Coast
From 6-7:30 pm, join sommelier David Cook to celebrate National Tequila Day. A $60 ticket buys a tasting of four tequilas paired with selections from executive chef Jon Buchanan.
Tuesday, June 25
Anthony Bourdain Tribute at Himalaya
Marking the birthday of the acclaimed chef and TV host, Himalaya chef and owner Kaiser Lashkari will be donating a portion of the day's sales from his Bourdain-approved menu items to Make-A-Wish Foundation, one of Bourdain's charities of choice. Anthony Bourdain featured Himalaya on his "Parts Unknown" TV show and gave his stamp of approval to several menu items, including chicken hara masala (pieces of boneless chicken cooked in a tangy green curry sauce); mutton biryani (pieces of mutton cooked in a blend of dry whole spices, and layered with basmati rice); steak tikka (lean and tender pieces of beef steak, marinated in a griddle, roasted in aromatic spices from the Bihar region of India, and char grilled); and aloo chana masala (butter soft chickpeas and potato cubes simmered in a piquant curry sauce). Himalaya is open from 11:30 am to 10:30 pm.
Honig Vineyard & Winery Dinner at Jasper's The Woodlands
Chef Ruben Campos has created a special three-course dinner to pair with a series of Honig wines for this evening, led by Michael Casanova, Honig's southwest regional manager. Begin with passed Thai chicken salad wontons paired with the 2017 Rutherford Honig Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, and move through courses such as a tenderloin pie of grilled eggplant, portobello mushrooms, zucchini, and red bell peppers paired with the 2015 Napa Valley Honig Cabernet Sauvignon, and rosemary-glazed lamb chops with a bleu cheese chimichurri that's accompanied by the 2014 Bartolucci Vineyard Honig Cabernet Sauvignon. Dinner starts at 6:30 pm, and tickets are $75 plus tax and a 20 percent gratuity per person. Reservations can be made online or by emailing the restaurant.
Wednesday, June 26
New Menu Debuts at Le Colonial
The trendy River Oaks District French-Vietnamese gathering place has switched on its summer menu. Available through September, look for sui cao tom hap, done with steamed shrimp and chive dumplings; ca hap, a steamed bass filet with noodles, bok choy, shitake mushrooms, tomato, and scallions in a light ginger soy broth; a half-roasted duck for two; and kaffir lime and coconut panna cotta served with cherry brandy sauce, seasonal berries, and toasted coconut.
Thursday, June 27
"Every Queso Counts" at Gringo's Mexican Kitchen
In honor of PTSD Awareness Day, all of the restaurant's locations will donate 100 percent of their queso sales to Camp Hope, which provides interim housing for veterans and their families in Houston along with a PTSD recovery program. The company will also make an additional donation matching the amount of the day's queso sales and will donate $1 for every share the Facebook event link receives. Restaurants are open from 11 am to 10 pm.
Wine and Bourbon Dinner at Morton's Steakhosue
Chris Brundrett of William Chris Vineyards and Dan Garrison of Garrison Brothers walk diners through a series of their wines and bourbons, paired with a multi-course dinner. Courses include selections such as heirloom tomato and goat cheese terrine, baby arugula, and candied pecans with aged balsamic vinegar accompanied by the Garrison Brothers Small Batch Peach Lemonade and William Chris Vineyards 2018 Pétillant Naturel Rosé, and Black Hills Heritage bone-in pork tenderloin with fingerling and smoked onion smashed potatoes served with the Garrison Brother Small Batch Neat and William Chris Vineyards 2017 Cinsault. Dinner starts at 7 pm. Tickets are $150 per person and can be purchased online.
Journey of Kabobs Wine Dinner at Verandah
Verandah owners chef Sunil Srivastava and his wife, Anupama, team up with French Country Wines to offer a 10-course dinner paired with five wines. Each course offers guests one of two kabob plates, most with a choice between meat or vegetarian. Over the course of the meal, diners will learn how this ancient dish evolved from hunters cooking wild game skewered on swords to the elaborate and labor-intensive methods used today. Dinner starts at 7 pm and costs $250 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For information and reservations, call 281-501-0258 or 832-886-4291.
Saturday, June 29
Pre-July 4 Wine Tasting at French Country Wines
History class review: Without the support —monetary and otherwise— of the French, it's altogether possible the American Revolution might have had a completely different ending. Those looking for a way to celebrate sticking it to the British and gaining our independence might consider adding a bottle (or several) of French wine into their barbecues, fireworks watching, and other revelry accompanied by bonfires and illuminations. From Noon to 6 pm, French Country Wines, independent wine shop and tasting room in Upper Kirby, offers a free tasting of reds, whites, roses, and bubbles guaranteed to go with whatever celebrating takes place.
Sunday, June 30
3rd Annual Canada Day Celebration at Riel
Riel owner and former semi-pro hockey player Ryan Lachaine opens the closed-on-Sunday restaurant to honor the land of his birth. Joining him are Mason Hereford of New Orleans's Turkey and the Wolf and fellow Canadian Mandel Hitzer of Winnipeg's deer + almond. The menu features surprise items from the visiting chefs as well as hot dogs, poutine, pierogies, Nanaimo Bars, and Riel’s Big Steak, a 48-oz. 44 Farms bone-in ribeye served with squash and haricot verts. Drink offerings include $1.52 Canadian Club Whisky in honor of Canada’s 152nd birthday, plus plenty of Molson, Lot 40 cocktails, and Canadian Jell-O Shots. Reservations are encouraged, but walk-ins will be welcome. The party begins at 2 pm.
Arts District Houston Dinner Series at Decatur Bar & Pop-Up Factory
Chefs Dominick Lee of Poitiín and Evelyn Garcia of Decatur Bar & Pop-Up Factory pair up for a collaborative evening showcasing each chef's unique flavors and styles for this four-course dinner. Selections feature a mixture of Lee's southern-Creole cuisine and Garcia's southeast Asian dishes. Look for items such as crispy water spinach salad with heirloom tomatoes, tasso bits, and green goddess dressing; charred octopus with grits, bitter greens, achiote oil, and crispy garlic; aged Iberico pork collar with herb salad, crispy salad, and cane syrup fish sauce; and grilled Gulf shrimp with crispy stuffed shrimp head, chili paste, and pickled green tomato. Tickets are $100 per person, and a portion of the sales will go to Arts District Houston. Dinner starts at 7 pm.