Wine dinners highlight the food and drink fun in Houston this week, but there are also events for barbecue lovers, local food enthusiasts, and those who want to up their spirits game. We've also included a few suggestions for how to celebrate Bastille Day.
Wednesday, July 10
French Wine Flight at Mastrantos
Through July 14, diners can get a flight of three French wines for $18 in honor of Bastille day. The flight includes pours of Domaine Jean-Philippe Marchand Crémant de Bourgogne, Domaine Gueissard, Cuvée “G” Rosé from the Côtes de Provence, and Château Eugenie Cuvée Pierre Legrand from Cahors. Diners can also opt for two food pairings from the regular menu, with a $2-off discount.
Wine Tasting at Rainbow Lodge
These popular events take place on the second Wednesday of every month in the restaurant's Tied Fly Bar and on the patio (weather permitting). Today's tasting takes place from 5:30-7:30 pm and spotlights the wines of central Italy paired with light bites. Guests can sample glasses of the Marotti Campi Albiano Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico from Tuscany, the Il Feuduccio Fonte Venna Montepulciano from Abruzzo, and the Falesco Tellus Cabernet Sauvignon from Umbria. The cost is $38 per person, and the event is a casual sip and stroll, not a seated dinner. Pro tip: arrive early, because there's no reserved seating.
Aperitivo Italiano at the Italian Cultural and Community Center
Learn about how to recognize light, medium, and full-bodied Italian wines at this casual sipping experience hosted by Riccardo Guerrieri of Vinology. He'll teach guests about how to evaluate a wine and show off examples from some of Italy's lesser-known winemakers. It's a chance to try new things and learn more about finding the right wine for any situation. Doors open at 6:45 pm, and the cost is $25 for ICCC members and $30 for the general public. Purchase tickets online or call 713-524-4222, ext. 7.
Thursday, July 11
BBQ, Beer and Pho at Saigon House
From 5-10 pm, Saigon House and Eaker BBQ host this evening of smoke, hops, and fun. On the menu are selections such as Dragon Beef Rib and kim chi, Korean smoked ribs, Texan prime brisket pho, and smoked pork belly burnt ends with tamarind barbecue sauce.
Bastille Day Wine Dinner at Lucienne
Sure, France's national day isn't until Sunday, but this dinner will put guests in the holiday mood. The five-course meal features pairings of French wines to complement chef Jose Hernandez's cuisine. Geoffrey Prioreau of BBR Imports (French Country Wines) will discuss the wines.
The menu features selections such as foie gras with a cherry sauce paired with Domaine Rouge Bleu's rose from the Rhone Valley, stuffed saddle of lamb with fava beans accompanied by the Domaine de Père Caboche Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, and Peach Melba served with the Domaine Nicolas Brunet Vouvray Brut. Dinner starts at 7 pm, and the cost is $95 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For reservations, email Ludovic at the restaurant or call 713-242-8540. The menu, sans wine pairing, will also be available to diners on July 12 and 13.
Saturday, July 13
Grand Hatching Celebration at The Chicken & Rice Guys
This Boston-based restaurant marks its entry onto the Houston dining scene with a grand opening party from noon to 8 pm. The first 100 customers get free food, there are all-you-can-eat deals with a guest's first purchase, free sunglasses, and other goodies. To be entered to win swag and other fun stuff, guests must click the "going" tab on the event's Facebook page.
Spirits Class at Julep
From 1-3 pm, Julep owner and nationally recognized bartender Alba Huerta will host a bourbon class featuring six different varieties, along with paired bites and cocktail samples. The menu items are some of those featured in her book Julep: Southern Cocktails Refashioned, which just won the 2019 IACP International Association of Culinary Professionals cookbook award for best Wine, Beer or Spirits book of the year. Seating for the class is limited to 32 guests, and tickets are $65 per person.
One-Year Anniversary Party at Henderson & Kane General Store
Coinciding with Houston Day, the Old 6th Word bodega-cum-independent-grocery store will mark its first year of business with a full barbecue menu, snacks, ice cold growlers, wine tastings, and other samplings, as well as giving away gift baskets as door prizes. Look for drinks from Houston Cider, Great Heights Brewing Company, and 11 Below. It's also a great time to stock up on items from 44 farms steaks, Chilesquiles salsa, local honey from Nando’s, farm fresh bacon and eggs from Three Sister Farms, and gelato from Sweet Cup. Festivities take place from 4-10 pm.
Sunday, July 14
Inaugural Tex-Mex BBQ Block Party at Saint Arnold Brewing Company
From 1-4 pm in Saint Arnold's fully air-conditioned Beer Hall, catch this celebration of the influence Tejano and Tex-Mex cooking traditions have in contemporary Central Texas-style craft barbecue. Think smoked brisket taco with a handmade flour tortilla topped with pickled onions, jalapenos, queso fresco, and guacamole or smoked pork shoulder pozole dressed with pickled radish, cilantro, and lime.
Participants for the event include Eduardo Ortiz of Eddie O's Texas Barbecue, John and Veronica Avila of El Burro & the Bull, Joseph Quellar of JQ's Tex-Mex BBQ, Dom Soliz of Mick Smokin BBQ, Ray and Genesis Dominguez of Ray's Texas Smoke Barbecue, Willow Villarreal & Jasmine Barela of Willow's Texas BBQ, as well as special guests Esaul Ramos of 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio and Tony Salazar of Taste of Texas Tex-Mex BBQ in Beaumont. Tickets are $60 per person and include entry to the event, unlimited samples, and Saint Arnold Beer. All tickets must be purchased online in advance; there are no sales at the door.