Houston diners will have a host of things to choose from this week, and that doesn't even include all the festivities surrounding Valentine's Day — although any of them might make a nice present for that special someone.
Barbecue masters take on paella. A popular Spanish restaurant spotlights wines from its homeland. One of the city's favorite steakhouses gears up for Mardi Gras. And there's a killer chocolate party Tuesday night that ought to be a hot ticket. It all adds up to lots of opportunities for sampling great food and drinks.
Tuesday, February 11
Ribera del Duero wine dinner at Costa Bravo Bistro
This four-course dinner features dishes served with wines from one of Spain's most acclaimed regions. Look for selections such as beef filet with winter black truffle served with the 2013 Crianza, Tempranillo, and black rice with Spanish octopus, baby squid, and jumbo shrimp paired with the 2010 Gran Reserva, Tempranillo. Dinner starts at 5 pm and tickets are $105 per person, plus tax and gratuity. To reserve a spot, call 713-839-1005.
First Anniversary Celebration at Verandah
Verandah Progressive Indian Restaurant owners chef Sunil Srivastava and his wife, Anupama, celebrate their first year in business with a specially-created carte menu that showcases restaurant favorites as well as some never-been-offered dishes. The restaurant will donate 10 percent of all net sales to Second Servings of Houston. Dinner hours are from 5 to 11 pm.
Sweets for the Sweet: A Fine Chocolate and Drink Pairing Event at Public Services Wine and Whiskey
Hosted by our friends at Houston Food Finder, this evening showcases the chocolates of Callebaut and Cacao Berry, spun into fine creations by a whole cadre of Houston's standout culinary talent, including Vanarin Kuch, pastry chef-owner of Koffeteria, who's serving Pain Au Chocolat Bonbons; Sarah Johnson, ice cream maker and owner of Fat Cat Creamery, offering strawberry ice cream with Callebaut ruby chocolate; and Allison Thiessen, pastry chef at 1751 Sea & Bar, sharing foie gras bourbon cherry cordials with gold and dark chocolate. All of the dishes will be paired with a beer, wine, or spirit curated by Public Services' Justin Vann. Doors open at 6:30 pm and tickets, $65, are available online.
Thursday, February 13
6's and 7's Preview at Rudyards
Get a sneak peek at what Lacey Williams and chef Anthony Calleo will be serving at their new venture. Festivities run from 7 to 10 pm, and tickets are $80 per person.
Saturday, February 15
Mardi Gras brunch at B&B Butchers
The popular Washington Avenue spot lets les bon temps roullez with this festive occasion, featuring dueling pianos, face painting, New Orleans-inspired brunch dishes such as a crawfish etouffee omelet, cajun boudin with poached eggs, and duck and andouille gumbo, plus specialty cocktails and festive swag. New Orleans natives and Pat O'Brien's piano bar veterans Leah Stonum and Jen Cox perform and take requests. Brunch runs from 10 am to 3 pm and reservations are a must. Call 713-862-1814.
Veuve Clicquot Brunch at a'Bouzy
Lison Blanchemanche, wine educator for the famed Champagne house, will be in Houston to greet brunch-goers and answer questions about the renowned bubbles. Look for all-day Veuve specials and a menu of items to complement the Champagne. Brunch is from 10 am to 3 pm, and reservations can be made by calling 713-722-6899.
Houston Oaks Wine & Food Classic at The Club at Houston Oaks
This inaugural event spotlights the finest in food and wine. Guests can take a Bordeaux Master Class with master sommelier Guy Stout, learn about sake, enjoy a Champagne and caviar tasting, and more. More than 20 participating wineries are participating, including Alexander Valley Vineyards, Amici, Honig Vineyards, and Shug Estate. General admission tickets are $175 per person and include event access from Noon to 5 pm, a souvenir Riedel glass, tastings of more than 200 wines, light bites samples, and the opportunity to purchase seminar passes. VIP tickets, $250, come with early entry at 11 am and access to a VIP lounge. Buy tickets online.
Sunday, February 16
Drink, Play, and Paella at Harlem Road Texas BBQ
What happens when barbecue guys make this global favorite dish? Find out at this party that also features music, games, and S'mores for the kiddos. It all kicks off at 3 pm, and the event takes place rain or shine. Tickets are $39 per person and can be purchased online.