UPCOMING HOUSTON FOOD EVENTS: HOT SUMMER SPECIALS & A 5-DAY WINE FEST

By Brooke Viggiano

Friday, June 19, 2015

 

 
Hit Loire Fest 2015 at Public Services Wine and Whisky and get some "bologney" with smoked cheese and crackers while you're at it.
Hit Loire Fest 2015 at Public Services Wine and Whisky and get some "bologney" with smoked cheese and crackers while you're at it.
Photo by Phaedra Cook

Beginning on the first day of summer (June 21), cocktail guru Alex Gregg and the team at Moving Sidewalk, 306 Main, are launching a fun Summer Menu celebrating the cult classic '90s movie Point Break; Of course, the lighter direction still employs the same technique-driven approach and focus on high quality spirits and house-made ingredients that are the bar’s signature. Sip on drinks like the “Utah Gimme Two,” a highball-style preparation featuring pink peppercorn infused Jersey Lightning (an un-aged American Apple Brandy), topped off with a clarified and house carbonated strawberry and basil soda. Or get into the Tiki spirit with the “Hundred Year Storm”, a bold, tropical and boozy concoction using two types of Jamaican rum, papaya, coconut, sweet vermouth and bitters. Try these and more excellent libations all summer long.

Also launching this month is the first-ever “Summer Break” lunch menu from Brennan’s of Houston, 3300 Smith, offered Monday though Friday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. While the Houston institution is well-known for its prix-fixe power lunches, guests can now choose from three à la carte options ($12 each) from Executive Chef Danny Trace. The dishes – a Bayou City Cheeseburger crowned with NOLA BBQ shrimp; Crawfish Grilled Cheese served with charred Creole tomato soup; and Back at the Ranch Lamb Chili – will be available alongside Brennan’s legendary 25-cent martinis (available only during lunch) for the entirety of summer.

Starting Monday, June 22 and running through Friday, June 26, Houston’s hottest wine bars will be offering an unprecedented smorgasbord of Loire Valley wine. Loire Fest 2015's all-star lineup includes Underbelly’s Wine Bar, 1100 Westheimer; 13 Celsius, 3000 Caroline;Camerata at Paulie’s, 1834 Westheimer; Public Services Wine and Whisky, 202 Travis; and Sonoma Wine Bar, 2720 Richmond; Each be pouring at least five Loire Valley Wines, doing some Loire-geared vittles and educational events whilst immersing Houston in the culture of Loire. Prior to the weeklong event, on Saturday, June 20, Camerata at Paulie’s will also be hosting a Loire Valley tutorial class that will give guests a chance to taste wines that exemplify the different regions and styles. Register online.

On Wednesday, June 24 starting at 6 p.m., El Big Bad, 419 Travis, will be hosting a Tequila 101 Dinnerwith Milagro Tequila. The interactive class will include a welcome cocktail made with Milagro Blanco, a flight of the Milagro Barrel Select line; blanco, reposado and añejo, and a build your own street taco bar with lots of munchies. There are only 30 seats available in order to keep this event intimate. Tickets must be purchased in advance ($20/person). The dinner will take place in the private dining room upstairs.

Vallone’s, 800 Gessner, will be hosting a Whiskey and Wine Tasting Event on Thursday, June 25 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. For $58 per person, guests will taste 4 wines and 5 whiskeys, including 18-year Aberlour and 18-year Chivas Regal, alongside food pairings created to accentuate the nuanced character of the whiskeys and wines. “Master of Scotch” Craig Vaught will be on hand to share his insights into the finer points of whiskey.

On Sunday, June 28 at 6:30 p.m., KUU Restaurant, 947 Gessner, will be welcoming vintner Manuel Pires and winemaker Philippe Melka of Gandona Winery in St. Helena, CA for a wine dinner created by Executive Chef Adison Lee. $195 per person, excluding tax and tip. Limited seating is available, so call 713-461-1688 to reserve your spot.