Superstars are in town this week, with selections from Charles Heidsieck on the menu at an event at Rudyard's, Mark Cox making an appearance at Bisou, and winemaker, designer, and overall jetsetter Jean-Charles Boisset turning up at Emmaline. Fat Tuesday celebrations abound, and a beer dinner raises money for a worthy cause.
Monday, February 24
Lundi Gras Dinner at Rudyard's
Hosted by Down Low Dinners — a pop-up that unites sommeliers Emily Tolbert (Savoir), Jonathan Honefinger (Houston Oaks), and Robert Waltrip (formerly of Yauatcha) — this evening features selection from Charles Heidsieck. Chef E.J. Miller (International Smoke) has created a menu that includes roasted cauliflower salad with tallow, hazelnuts, and yogurt paired with Charles Heidieck Brut Reserve NV, and Berbere spiced fried chicken with grilled potato salad and biscuits alongside the 2005 Charles Heidsieck Brut Rose Millesime. The cost is $135 per person and dinner begins at 6:30 pm. Buy tickets online.
Tuesday, February 25
National Clam Chowder Day at Jonathan's the Rub
Both locations mark the unofficial holiday with pots of the thick, delicious New England chowder. Grab a cup for $8 and a bowl for $14 all day long.
Mardi Gras happenings all over Houston
Before the fasting season of Lent comes the heady party atmosphere of Fat Tuesday. Bistro Provence has a savory chicken crepe topped with a rich sauce and served with rice for $12 and a sweet banana and Nutella crepe for $8. At Eugene's Gulf Coast Cuisine, get 25-percent off select Cajun dishes, including Crab Balinese, the Debris Sandwich, Shrimp Mardi Gras, and more.
Great Heights Brewing Company offers "Beer, Bugs, Beads & Bingo." From 5 to 10 pm, Orleans Seafood Kitchen's food truck will be on-hand serving up crawfish (the bugs) and cajun specialties; there will also be $4 Great Heights beer and Bingo. Jax Grill's Shepherd location features live zydeco music from Cedryl Ballou starting at 6 pm, and menu selections include seafood gumbo, Cajun crawfish po-boys, red beans and rice, crawfish étouffée, and blackened shrimp and grits. One Fifth Gulf Coast augments its regular menu with crawfish, crab, and shrimp dishes as part of a Gulf Coast seafood boil.
Wednesday, February 26
Eureka Heights dinner at The Hay Merchant
This three-course dinner begins with passed appetizers. After that, the Montrose craft beer favorite will serve Panzanella salad with cornbread croutons and roasted garlic honey vinaigrette, bacon-wrapped porchetta with smoked polenta, and dessert of arroz con leche with churros, all paired with Eureka Heights brews. Dinner runs from 6 to 8 pm and costs $60 per person. Proceeds benefit the Pink Boot Society, which helps women in the beer industry advance their careers through education. Buy tickets online.
Forgotten Legacy: A Cocktail Dinner at Backstreet Cafe
Honoring the creations and contributions of African-American bartenders and mixologists, this event focuses on pre-Prohibition libations, and features some of Houston's best bartenders such as Bevin Biggers (Champan & Kirby), Rich Bailey (Johnny's Gold Brick), and Qwesha Byrd (Anvil). The menu includes lime-cured Ruby Red shrimp paired with Voodoo Honey, a Tanqueray gin-based cocktail with white port, honey, lemon, and rosemary; and New York strip with the Nearly Perfect, made with sweet and dry Italian vermouth, saline drop and Meyer lemon. Dinner starts at 7 pm and tickets are $89 per person, plus tax and gratuity. A portion of proceeds will benefit BlackGirlWhiteCoat.org, a local non-profit that provides mentorship to minorities in medicine. Buy tickets online.
Thursday, February 27
Mark Cox guest chef dinner at Bisou
The River Oaks District see-and-be-seen spot launches this monthly series with chef Mark Cox, the former chef-owner of legendary Houston restaurant Mark's. The four-course meal features selections such as butter poached lobster with Johan Crab panna cotta and citrus, New Zealand Barramundi with Key West Pink Shrimp, and ash-crusted heart of ribeye with onion soubise, Vichy carrots, tater tots, and truffle madeira sauce. The evening starts with cocktails at 6:15 pm and dinner is at 6:45. The cost is $89 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Buy tickets here.
Jean-Charles Boisset Collection Wine Dinner at Emmaline
Winemaker Jean-Charles Boisset, known for his popular vintages and celebrity friendships, will pour from his LIVE collection of wines. Selections include salmon carpaccio paired with the 2018 J. Moreau & Fils Chablis, beef medallions Oscar paired with both the 2016 Louis Bernard Châteauneuf Du Pape and the 2017 Raymond Vineyards Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Dinner begins at 6:30 pm and costs $130 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Purchase tickets online.
Saturday, February 29
Open That Bottle Night at The Tasting Room
Get 50-percent off bottles on the Sommelier's List at both the Uptown Park and CityCentre locations in honor of this day that encourages wine lovers to pull out a rare or special bottle they’ve been saving and enjoy it with friends.
Sunday, March 1
Justin's Last Day and crawfish boil at Johnny's Gold Brick
The popular Heights bar bids farewell to longtime general manager Justin Ware. Currently a nominee for the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards bartender of the year, Ware will leave his post to open Night Shift, a new bar in Houston's East End. Enjoy spicy mudbugs and cocktails starting at 2 pm.