Halloween-related events dominate this week's options, but choices still abound for those who aren't interested in spooky stuff. For wine lovers, this week's Iron Sommelier competition is always can't miss.
Those looking for something a little more rustic might want to see what Ronnie Killen is cooking up at the site of his next restaurant. Wrap up this week with a zombie-themed grand opening bash and an annual event where Houston's top pastry chefs unite to promote better mental health (isn't that what the cookies are for?).
Tuesday, October 29
Orin Swift Wine Dinner at Roost
This exclusive wine dinner (only 20 seats per night) features a four-course dinner created by chef Kevin Naderi, paired with selections from the boutique California winery. Look for menu items such as spiced shrimp pani puri with dill yogurt, chili oil, and grilled sweet corn paired with the 2017 Mannequin Chardonnay, and crispy duck confit with a sour cherry glaze served with sweet potato mousse and partnered with the 2018 "8 Years in the Desert" Zinfandel. Tickets are $165 per person and include food, wine, tax and gratuity. To reserve, call 713-523-7667. The dinner repeats on Wednesday, October 30.
Let's Taco Bao It at Decatur Bar
Cochinta & co. and Breaking Bao, two of the tenants at the soon-to-open Politan Row food hall in Rice Village, are teaming up for the last Taco Tuesday at Decatur Bar. Chefs Victoria Elizondo and Phillip Kim will present a flip-flop menu where bao get filled with taco meats and tortillas are loaded up with traditional bao fillings. The event takes place from 4 - 10 pm, and items are priced individually.
Wednesday, October 30
Iron Sommelier at the Houstonian
Now in its 12th year, this annual fundraiser for the Periwinkle Foundation pits 14 of Houston's top wine experts against each other in a head-to-head competition. Competitors — including Bridget Paliwoda (The Annie Cafe), Chris Poldoian (Camerata), Julia Dalton (Mastro's), Emily Tolbert (Noble Rot Wine Bar), and Justin Vann (Public Services) — each present three wines on a theme. Attendees vote for their favorite, and a panel of master sommeliers will also pick a winner. Tickets are $200 if purchased in advance or $225 at the door, 6 pm.
Friday, November 1
Dia de los Muertos Cocktail Class at Arnaldo Richard's Pico's
Cocktail specialist Monica Richards hosts this class, which allows attendees to create their own cocktails under her expert tutelage. Expect a focus on tequila, plus special appetizers throughout the evening. Tickets are $35 per person and can be purchased online.
Saturday, November 2
Fried Chicken and Chicken Fried Steak Pop-Up at Killen's
Ronnie Killen's new comfort food restaurant in the former Hickory Hollow space may be a bit delayed (as in, the building currently lacks a roof), but that's not stopping the chef from previewing its offerings. He and his crew will be in the parking lot serving up fried chicken, chicken fried steak, barbecue, and sides, 11 am - 3 pm (or sold out).
Grand Opening Party at The Toasted Coconut
Martin and Sara Stayer's tiki-inspired bar and restaurant will celebrate its official grand opening with a zombie-themed grand opening party. In addition to the establishment's regular menu, bar manager Sarah Troxell will be shaking up a few special, zombie-inspired libations, and the kitchen will be grilling some tasty treats under on the patio. A DJ will spin from 8 pm to midnight, and attendees can participate in a zombie costume contest at 10 pm. The party lasts from 4 pm - 2 am.
Días de los Muertos Fundraiser at The Pink Elephant Room
DoorVetsInc. presents its sixth annual day of the dead bash that raises money for Combined Arms, a non-profit that helps veterans transition back to civilian life. Come in costume (and participate in a contest) or get your face painted on site. Local circus performers and fire dancers will dazzle the audience while DJ Melodic keeps the party going. Supporting veterans has never been so easy or so fun, 7 pm, no cover.
Sunday, November 3
The Depressed Cake Shop at Silver Street Studios
Organized by baker Jody Stevens (Jodycakes) and Ladies of Libation Laurie Harvey and Kris Sowell, this annual event features gray-colored baked goods that are designed to raise awareness of mental health issues. Chefs from Nancy’s Hustle, Underbelly Hospitality, 1751 Sea & Bar, The Dunlavy, Koffeteria, and others all contribute special confections to the silent auction. Other treats are priced per item. Cocktails, sparking water, and coffee will also be available. All proceeds will be donated to The Montrose Center and NAMI Greater Houston (National Alliance of Mental Illness), 1 pm - 5 pm.
Sunday Supper Series: Mexico at Paulie's
Chef Joseph Brozovich are the Paulie's team are preparing a special, four-course menu inspired by Mexican traditions. Dishes include squash blossom and huitlacoche empanadas, shrimp and poblano tamales, turkey enmoladas with mole, and pumpkin cake with avocado ice cream. Camerata wine director Chris Poldoian will feature pairings from Mexican wineries. Tickets ($125) include the meal, tax, and gratuity, 6 pm.
Holly Beretto contributed to this article.