Le Dîner en Blanc

October 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Dining, Events, Foodie Events

A leading summer event in Paris for nearly 30 years, this elegant and secret affair is well on its way to becoming a Houston tradition! On Saturday, November 18, 2017, Le Dîner en Blanc – Houston will return for its third year. The breathtaking scene of thousands of guests elegantly dressed in white, descending upon one of the city’s most prestigious public spaces, is extraordinary for guests and passers-by alike. To learn more about this event, visit houston.dinerenblanc.com.
—Cassidy Irish

Fogo de Chão’s New BarFogo Menu

May 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Blogs, Dining, Entertainment

Fogo de Chão, the upscale chain of Brazilian steakhouses, has always primarily been an all-you-can-eat meat, sit-down churrasco dinner. Meals are usually full-service, as diners sample different meats roasted gaucho style (meaning cooked over an open fire) and carved table side. While none of that will change, On April 25th, the restaurant introduced their new, expanded bar menu—and it’s fabulous.

The new “BarFogo” menu features small Brazilian plates that allow patrons to eat at the bar rather than partake in the full Fogo churrasco dinner experience, if they prefer. Menu items include braised beef rib sliders, jumbo cocktail shrimp, Brazilian empanadas, and crispy parmesan polenta fries. No question about it—the bar menu “bites” are delicious and can be entire meals in and of themselves.

Craft caipirinhas and South American-inspired cocktails are also new at the bar, with names like “Flor de Fresca” ( a delicious blend of Argentinian gin, grapefruit, and honey) and “Brazilian Gentleman” (a tempting mixture of Bourbon and passion fruit). The Mango Habanero Caipirinha is a must-have for chile lovers, and the recipe is featured below courtesy of Fogo de Chão.

For the full BarFogo menu, click here. https://fogodechao.com/menu/bar-fogo

Dining Out 4 Life: April 27, 2017

March 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Blogs, Dining

For one day in April – Thursday, April 27, 2017 – Houston-area restaurants are donating a percentage of sales to AIDS Foundation Houston (AFH)through their participation in the annual nationwide event, Dining Out for Life. Gillman Subaru is the presenting sponsor for this year’s event, which is hosted by chairs Michael Pearce, Jessica Rossman and Travis Torrence. Guests can support AIDS Foundation Houston by enjoying breakfast, lunch or dinner throughout the day at one of more than 40 participating restaurants (and counting). A portion of the proceeds support AFH’s programs and services that help thousands of Houstonians living with HIV/AIDS and reduce the number of new HIV infections.“Every year we’re humbled by the outpouring of support that we receive from chefs, restaurants and diners in our community,” said Kelly Young, Chief Executive Officer of AIDS Foundation Houston. “We’re working to end HIV/AIDS, and Dining Out for Life helps raise funds and awareness that push us closer to our goal.”In 1991, an ActionAIDS volunteer in Philadelphia created Dining Out for Life. Now the event is produced in 60 cities throughout the United States and Canada, with more than 3,000 restaurants donating a portion of their proceeds from their designated day of dining. AIDS Foundation Houston has participated in the event since the inaugural year, raising thousands of dollars in support thanks to a mandate that ensures funds raised locally stay local. The 2017 participating restaurants offer something for everyone.

 

As of March 27, 2017, participating restaurants include:

America’s – River Oaks (2040 West Gray)

B&B Butchers & Restaurant

Barnaby’s Cafe – Downtown (801 Congress) Barnaby’s Cafe – Heights (2802 White Oak) Barnaby’s Cafe – River Oaks (1701 S. Shepherd)  Barnaby’s Cafe – Memorial (5750 Woodway) Barnaby’s Cafe – Midtown (414 West Gray) Barnaby’s Cafe – Museum District (1801 Binz) The Original Barnaby’s (604 Fairview) Baby Barnaby’s

Beck’s Prime – Memorial Park  Beck’s Prime – the Heights

Bollo Woodfired Pizza Canopy

Charivari Restaurant

El Real El Tiempo – Montrose (1308 Montrose) El Tiempo – Westheimer (322 Westheimer) El Tiempo – Navigation (2814 Navigation)

EQ Heights

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse – River Oaks (2405 W Alabama)

Ginger & Fork

Harold’s Restaurant

Bar & Terrace Krisp Bird & Batter L

aurenzo’s Bar & Grill Laurenzo’s Restaurant

Le Colonial Houston

Lucille’s

Niko Niko’s – Montrose (2520 Montrose) Niko Niko’s – Memorial (1040 W Sam Houston Parkway)

Pi Pizza

Rainbow Lodge

Reef

Shade

Songkran Thai Kitchen

Starfish

State Fare

Tacos A Go Go – Oak Forest (3401 W TC Jester) Tacos A Go Go – Midtown (3704 Main) Tacos A Go Go – Heights (2912 White Oak)

The Raven Grill

Tony Mandola’s

For more information and the current restaurant list, visit www.AIDSHelp.org.

Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair

March 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Blogs, Dining, Events

Located in Fort Bend County, which is the most ethnically diverse county in America, the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair focuses on the untold stories of the region’s melting pot of African, Asian, Latino, European and Southwestern flavors that are drawing attention from food and drink lovers from around the country. By partnering with leading regional and national culinary talent, expanding the weekend’s educational programming and adding curated dinners and events, Sugar Land is poised to showcase why the region is gaining a reputation as the next global food mecca.
Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair includes:

1) Dinners & Events – from unique seated dinner experiences to a meat-lovers lunch, these new dinners and events will educate, entertain and delight attendees:
·         The Boiling Point – Thursday, April 6 | 7:30pm

Double, Double Boil and Bubble … seafood lovers delight! The seafood boil is a long-standing southern tradition that showcases the freshest local shellfish and ingredients while bringing together community. Most notable are the Cajun crawfish boils from Louisiana and the shrimp boils of the Low Country, but boil fever has taken over most coastal towns throughout the South. Join Chefs David Bancroft (AL), Bryan Caswell (TX), and Edward Lee (KY), as they put their own spin on the boil, including Bryan’s hit Texan BBQ blue crabs. No boil is complete without refreshing libations specially selected to tame the spice … so guests can “Keep Calm & Boil On!” But there’s more ya’ll! The evening will boil down with Texas’ own “Sugar Fairy,” Rebecca Masson, and her magical confectionaries. Adding to the sweetness, a portion of proceeds from this dinner will benefit the Southern Salt Foundation.
·         The Italian Invasion: Italy and the Rest of the World – Thursday, April 6 | 7:30pm

Prepare for your palate to be blitzed by bold and vigorous Italian wine served alongside equally exhilarating wines from the rest of the world in this ultimate oenophile’s match up. Guests will play judge as these wines (identities concealed) battle course by course on a culinary tour showcasing Italian regional specialties prepared by Chef Andrew Curren (TX). In true “dolce vita” fashion, we’ll dine alfresco in the Piazza (aka: Sugar Land Town Square). Hosted by Master Sommeliers, Craig Collins and Drew Hendricks, you are sure to leave feeling that “La Vita e Bella!”
·         Cured & Fermented Lunch at Bacon Bros. Public House – Friday, April 7 | 12:00pm – 2:00pm

Explore the art and science of curing and fermentation which began long before refrigeration to preserve food.. To this day, hunters, gatherers, chefs and cooks around the globe use salt, brine, smoke and mold in everything from salumi and charcuterie to kimchi, kraut, yogurt, cheese and pickles. Chefs Kevin Ouzts (GA) and Joseph Zerwas (TX) will educate and enchant you at a family-style lunch showcasing this age-old art! Author and Sommelier, Jason Tesauro (VA), will host and select the perfect beverage pairings.

2) Learning Experiences – Friday, April 7 | 3:00pm-4:15pm, Saturday, April 8 | 10:00am – 11:00am and 11:30am – 12:30pm
·         Experience entertaining and delectable tastings of cocktails, wines as well as food and beverage pairings, all led by award-winning chefs, mixologists, distillers and sommeliers.

4) The Grand Tasting – Friday, April 7 | 7:30pm – 10:00pm
·         Delight in mouthwatering creations from top culinary superstars from both near and far, perfectly paired with the most delightful libations. Beverage-focused, the offerings will showcase Roses, Killer B’s (Boudreaux, Burgundy, Brunello, etc.), Bubbles and Crafts (spirits and beers). Held in the elegant ballroom of the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square, this exquisite tasting is a night not to be missed. Meanwhile, The Grand Auction, benefiting the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management, will offer guests the chance to bid on exclusive items as they indulge.
3) Sip & Stroll – Saturday, April 8 | 3:00pm – 6:00pm and Sunday, April 9 | 11:00am – 2:00pm

·         Eat, drink, savor and stroll at this all-you-can-indulge experience, the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair’s popular Sip & Stroll is back again with an expanded schedule and a deliciously curated experience. Eat, drink and enjoy fantastic bites from the area’s best restaurants, carefully crafted cocktails and a great selection of wines. Ale aficionados won’t want to miss the exciting beer garden. Cheers to that!

Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair was founded and produced in 2003 by the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce and benefits the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. For tickets, the full lineup and more information, please visit SugarLandWineandFood Affair.com.

Aramark’s Super Bowl LI Menu

February 1, 2017 by  
Filed under Blogs, Dining, Events

Celebrating the taste of Houston, the culinary team from Aramark unveiled some of the food available during Super Bowl Week.

 

To celebrate the many flavors the great state of Texas has to offer and Houston’s thriving culinary scene, Aramark offers a plentiful menu.

 

Students from the culinary program at Westside High School unveiled their specialty item: The Bayou City Banh Mi 51.

 

 

 

 

 

The ATL Fried Chicken Stak — Crisp waffles fries, topped with Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Peach Marmalade BBQ Sauce, Sour Cream and Green Onions.

Beantown Griller — slow cooked Tri Pot Roast, Sweet Carmelized Onions, Cabot Cheddar Cheese on Whole Grain Bread. Served with a side of Bacon Infused Baked Beans.

Thanksgiving at Tony Mandola’s

November 18, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Dining, Events

Leave the Cooking to Tony Mandola’s this Thanksgiving
Houston, Texas. November 11, 2016. Owners Phyllis and Tony Mandola are doing the shopping and chopping so you don’t have to this Thanksgiving.  Place your orders between November 1st to November 18th,  secured with a credit card with option to pay with the card or other forms of payment at pick up. Orders will be ready for pickup on Wednesday November the 23rd. between 9:00 am to 6:00 pm at the restaurant. Heating instructions for Turkeys and sides will be provided.

For more information or reservations, please call 713-528-3474, or visitwww.TonyMandolas.com
A la Carte Menu (feeds 6-8 people)
Cajun Fried Turkey $64.99
Roasted Turkey $56.99
Broccoli Casserole $16.99
Candied Yams $16.99
Cornbread Dressing $14.99
Creamed Spinach Casserole $16.99
Fresh Cranberry Sauce $13.99
Green Bean Casserole $16.99
Parmesan Potatoes $16.99
Quart of Gravy $9.50
Banana Key Lime Pie $32.00
Bread Pudding $20.00
Pumpkin Pie $20.00
1 full pan of Grandmas Meat Lasagna $72.00

“Make it a meal” options: (feeds 6-8 people)

1 Cajun Fried Turkey with 3 sides and a choice of Bread Pudding or Pumpkin Pie $150
Or
1 Roasted Turkey with 3 sides and a choice of Bread pudding or Pumpkin Pie $145

Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen is a New Orleans style Oyster Bar and Seafood House, with an Italian flair. Known for its fresh Texas Gulf Seafood – shrimp, oysters, fish, and home-made pastas, red beans and rice, Mama’s Gumbo, and Mama’s Bourbon Bread Pudding.
Hours of Operation:
Sunday-Tuesday: 11am – 9pm
Wednesday-Thursday: 11am – 9:30pm
Friday-Saturday: 11am – 10:30pm
Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen, 1212 Waugh Drive, Houston, TX 77019. For more information please visit www.TonyMandolas.com or call 713-528-3474.

Thanksgiving at the Granduca

November 18, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Dining, Events

Leave the Holiday Cooking to Hotel Granduca Houston

with a Thanksgiving Day Brunch Featuring Italian Accents

At Ristorante Cavour

Round up family and friends on Thanksgiving Day to kick off the holiday season with an extravagant buffet prepared by Chef Enrico Glaudo 

November, 2016 (Houston, Texas) – It’s everyone’s favorite time of year and Hotel Granduca Houstonis celebrating in distinctive style with a Thanksgiving Day Brunch like no other. Round up family and friends for a festive feast with rich Italian flavors within the beauty of Ristorante Cavour, a serene setting for fine dining and one of the “Best Brunches” in Houston.

Combining the traditional ambiance of an Italian Palazzo with rustic Texas charm, Hotel Granduca Houston is the premier destination for locals and out-of-town guests alike in one of the city’s most exclusive neighborhoods. Thanksgiving Day Brunch at Ristorante Cavour will unfold on Thursday, November 24, from 11am-3pm. Cost: $85 per person, $40 for children 5 to 12 years of age, plus tax and service.

Highlights of Executive Chef Enrico Glaudo‘s holiday brunch menu include:

  • Seafood – Octopus, potato, mixed olive salad, lemon dressing / Seared tuna, spicy cous cous salad / Fried bay scallops, spinach salad, apple shallot dressing / Smoked salmon, spaghetti, fennel salad, lemon-truffle yogurt dressing / Fresh blue point oysters / King crab legs
  • Vegetables – Roasted carrots, honey-chianti dressing, toasted hazelnuts / Eggplant funghetto, with garlic and oregano / Taggiasca olive tapenade tomato bruschetta / Roasted button mushroom / saffron cauliflower, curry aioli
  • Cheese and Charcuterie – Dry salami / Smoked and spiced speck / Cacio al tartufo / Pecorino toscano / Goat cheese in salsa verde
  • Pasta and Risotto – Green pea and scallop risotto / Asparagus and porcini risotto / Ricotta zucchini, pomegranate lasagna
  • Thanksgiving Traditions – Carved herb-roasted turkey breast / Chestnuts and focaccia stuffing / Green beans Amandine / Cranberry sauce / Butternut Casserole with Amaretto and almonds
  • Carving – Roasted prime rib / au jus / Creamy prepared horseradish sauce / Red onion jam / Pistachio crusted salmon / Lemon beurre blanc / Whipped potatoes
  • Eggs & More – Create your own omelet from a wide selection of condiments / Eggs Benedict
  • Breakfast Corner – Waffles with mascarpone cheese & berries / Thick cut Applewood smoked bacon, pork sausage, turkey bacon / Pancakes / Bread pudding
  • The Sweet Corner – Pecan pie / Pumpkin pie / Tiramisu / Almond ricotta cheese tart / Triple chocolate mousse / Cranberry pannacotta / Create your own parfait

With the long Thanksgiving weekend, Hotel Granduca Houston invites guests to stay awhile at their residential-style retreat. Enjoy good times and holiday shopping in the city and make family memories that last a lifetime with the Reconnect with … Your Family package, which includes:

  • Two-bedroom suite
  • Milk and cookies on arrival
  • Four tickets to Houston Zoo or Children’s Museum
  • Family Movie Night in your suite with popcorn and candy
  • Full family breakfast on Veranda or in your suite (up to four guests)
  • Free daily ice cream treat for kids
  • Package priced at $1,130

For more information or to make reservations at Hotel Granduca Houston, please call 1(888)472-6382 or visit www.granducahouston.com.

 

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Food Network Star, At Your Service

July 27, 2016 by  
Filed under Dining, Features

By Tom Flynn
Photography by Erin Wiese

Gordon Bethune and Laurette listen as Chef Jeff entertains the dinner guests.

Gordon Bethune and Laurette listen as Chef Jeff entertains the dinner guests.


Vegas’ bad boy of cuisine, Chef Jeff Henderson, flies into Bush Intercontinental Airport, where I await in passenger pickup. “I’m at door C-101,” he texts. “Black guy with a bald head.” Many black gentlemen with bald heads exit C-101 and wonder why I’m waving at them before one recognizes my white SUV and red shirt, and heads my way. After quick introductions, I ask, “Can you be a little more descriptive next time? Like, I’m a tall black guy with a black chef’s shirt and designer luggage.” This is the beginning of Shop, Chop, Cook and Eat, the Chef Jeff Experience.

The 6’2” Henderson has a history. His first career in sales earned him $35,000 a week, and a 19-year sentence in a federal institution. Henderson was never a user, just a seller from the Los Angeles projects. During his extended vacation from mainstream American life, Henderson did a lot of soul searching, realized he was not a victim, took responsibility for his actions and then decided to learn how to cook. Before he finished his parole, Chef Jeff had cooked his way through L.A.’s best restaurants and landed a job in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace, where he was voted Las Vegas’ Buffet Chef of the Year. He moved on to head chef at the prestigious Café Bellagio, the first African American to hold that position. Then he wrote a New York Times best-selling book about his life, appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and with Steve Harvey, starred in his own Food Network TV show and became a prolific public speaker.

Now he’s riding shotgun in my SUV as we head to Central Market. This is my Christmas present from my wife, the Chef Jeff Experience. We’ll be working side by side to cook a four-course gourmet meal for six. It turns out we have a lot in common. We’re both in our 50s, have three-year olds (him, one girl; me, two identical boys), extended careers in sales (mine, legal) and public speaking, and both love cooking and our wives. Whatever earned his bad-boy reputation is long gone, and we’re looking forward to having some fun.

I love grocery stores. Between 1977 and 1984, I worked every position from sacker to store manager—it was my first career. I still study how shelves and displays are set as I walk the Montrose area H-E-B and Disco Kroger. Part of the Chef Jeff Experience is learning to navigate a store and select the best ingredients. Ten minutes into our trip, he confesses a little frustration; I know this Central Market better than he does. “No worries, Chef. I know the store in your neighborhood better than you do, and I’ve never been there,” I reply. But the big guy has a presence, and a lot of heads turn as my famous new friend selects fresh fruits and veggies, along with jumbo lump crab meat, sea bass and a rack of lamb.

He is a little distant on the ride from the store to the house, and I realize he’s thinking of the magnitude of his task. He’s walking into a kitchen he has never seen, with a guy he just met, to produce a meaningful culinary experience for six people who are showing up in a few hours with high expectations. Wow! He has little clues of the appliances, utensils or pantry goods available. I ask him why he stresses himself out like this. “I left the Café Bellagio 28 days after appearing on Oprah and became a public speaker. This project keeps me in the kitchen and keeps me cooking,” he says.

And he’s in luck. We have a large, gorgeous kitchen with every gadget and pantry item a chef could need. He becomes the general of our two-man army, requesting stations for each dish on the menu and setting up a restaurant-style assembly line in my home kitchen. My first prep task is cutting corn off the cobs. “What’s next, Chef?” “You’ve got to do every ear,” he replies. “I did.” It goes the same way with the potatoes. He looks at my work, and lets out a chuckle and a little sigh of relief. “I didn’t know you had good hands. We’ve got plenty of time.”

Chef Jeff’s photographer shows up before mine (again, we have a lot in common) and starts documenting our progress. They sneak out to the store and come back with flowers; I get a vase. “We don’t need a vase, these are for us. We’re going to add some class to these pictures,” says Chef. We break the flowers down and put a little Mason jar filled with tulips at each workstation. I’m in the middle of chopping sausage for our crab chowder, when Chef asks me to join him at the stove. “You ready, Bobby?” he asks his photographer, now turned videographer. Without warning, Chef puts his arm around my shoulders and turns from being a contemplative chef into the Food Network star. “Hey, all right y’all, Chef Jeff here with my friend Tom in his mac daddy kitchen in Houston, Texas, cooking up some amazing…” Next thing I know, I’m being interviewed about travels and culinary experiences in front of a live camera!

The chef and Food Network star becomes host, server and entertainer as our guests arrive and sit for dinner, sharing his life lessons between courses. The food is phenomenal, the experience one of a kind. And it never really ends.

You can learn more about Shop, Chop, Cook and Eat, the Chef Jeff Experience by visiting www.chefjefflive.com. But for now, check out the recipes here.

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 2.57.09 PM


STARTER: Watermelon Cube with Minted Citrus Salad
(Serves 6)

WatermelonCube1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
12 mint leaves
½ kiwi, peeled and diced
½ peach, peeled and diced
½ Meyer lemon, peeled and segmented
8 strawberries, cored and diced
½ cup fig-infused balsamic vinegar
6–8 (1-inch) cubes chilled seedless watermelon

1. Make a simple syrup: Combine the water and sugar in a small pot and bring to a simmer while stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 8–10 minutes. Poor the syrup into an 8-ounce jar and let cool; reserve the remaining syrup for the dessert.
2. Roughly chop the mint leaves, wrap in cheesecloth and tie with butcher’s twine. Add the mint bundle to the syrup, secure with a lid and refrigerate overnight.
3. Add the diced kiwi, peaches, lemon and strawberries to a small bowl and let stand so the flavors blend.
4. Add the vinegar to a 10-inch sauté pan over low-medium and reduce by half or until the desired thickness is achieved. Remove from the heat and let cool.
5. Cut small cavities in the watermelon cubes, about ¼-inch deep, using a sharp knife or small melon-ball scoop. Add a little dollop of the fruit mixture atop each watermelon cube. Drizzle with ½ teaspoon minted simple syrup.

Plate it Perfectly: Dip a small pastry brush into the reduced balsamic and paint a stripe on each plate. Place a watermelon cube in the center of each stripe. Top with a sliver or 2 of julienned mint leaves.


Appetizer: Louisiana Lump Crab–Sausage Chowder
(Serves 6–8)

1 stick unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
1 pound smoked turkey or hot pork sausage, cut into ¼-inch cubes
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ yellow onion, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
½ jalapeño, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons minced garlic
Salt and black pepper to taste
¼ cup Riesling wine
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
2 (32-ounce) containers low-sodium chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1½ cups heavy whipping cream
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, cleaned
Cajun seasoning to taste
½ cup oyster crackers for garnish
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives for garnish
Crab-chowder2 tablespoons grated Manchego or Parmesan cheese for garnish

1. Melt 1 stick butter in a stockpot over medium. Add the sausage and continue stirring until caramelized. Add the flour and stir constantly until the flour begins to turn brown. Add the vegetables and garlic, cooking until softened. Season with a nice pinch of salt and pepper.
2. Slowly stream in the wine, clam juice and chicken stock and add the bay leaves, stirring constantly to dissolve the flour mixture. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 35–45 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
3. Add the heavy whipping cream and simmer for 12–15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
4. Meanwhile, brown the remaining butter in a sauté pan over medium. Gently fold in the crabmeat and sauté until warm. Add Cajun seasoning to taste.

Plate it Perfectly:
Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with oyster crackers and chives; top with big lumps of crap and freshly grated cheese.


Main Course: Herb-Encrusted Rack of Lamb
(Serves 4–6)

1 (6-bone) rack of lamb, trimmed and Frenched
Kosher salt and black pepper for rubbing
Cajun Seasoning for rubbing
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon freshly minced rosemary
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
rack-lamb
1. Liberally season the lamb with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning.
2. Heat the olive oil in large cast-iron skillet over medium-high and sear the lamb until all sides are golden. Remove from the heat and set aside for 1 hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
4. Combine the breadcrumbs and rosemary in a small bowl and set aside.
5. Rub the fat cap of the lamb with the mustard and garlic, then pack with the breadcrumb mixture.
6. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 118°F–120°F, slightly past medium-rare. Let rest for 15 minutes and cut into individual chops.


Main Course: Barbecue Chip–Encrusted Chilean Sea Bass
(Serves 6)

1 (3-pound) Chilean sea bass fillet
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
8 ounces barbecue kettle chips
2–3 tablespoons olive oil

SeaBass1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the fillet into 6 pieces and remove the skin and lingering bones.
2. Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, sear the fillets, until the bottom sides are brown and crispy. Meanwhile, season the top sides with salt and pepper.
3. Remove from the heat and let rest on a paper towel–lined plate, crispy side up.
4. Place the chips in a food processor and grind to a breadcrumb texture. Using a pastry brush, paint the seared sides of the fillets with olive oil and top with the chip crumbs.
5. Transfer the fillets to a baking pan and bake for 12–15 minutes, or until desired doneness. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Pair it Perfectly:
Cote du Rhone Blanc


Main Course: Corn and Bacon Maque Choux
(Serves 6–8)

choux½ pound thick-cut smoked bacon, diced
10 fingerling potatoes, quartered
1 large carrot, peeled and small diced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more if needed
1½ tablespoons freshly minced garlic
½ yellow onion, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
½ yellow bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
6 baby portabella mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
5 ears corn on the cob, kernels removed
1 bunch Swiss chard or collard greens, cut into 1-inch pieces
¼ cup chicken stock
Salt and black pepper to taste
Parsley sprigs for garnish

1. In large sauté pan, cook the bacon over medium-high until caramelized. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook until they begin to brown.
2. Add the butter, garlic and remaining vegetables and cook for 8–10 minutes, stirring often until desired doneness is achieved. Add the chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper.

Plate it Perfectly: Neatly place 1⁄3 cup maque choux in the center of each plate. Top with sea bass, then prop the lamb chop against the fish, bone pointing up. Garnish with parsley sprigs.


Dessert: Citrus Berry Parfait
(Serves 6–8)
parfait
½ quart heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 pint strawberries, hulled and diced
½ pint blueberries
1 orange, zested
¾ cup simple syrup (see watermelon starter recipe)
¼ Angel food cake, medium diced
8 ounces candied pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
Mint leaves for garnish

1. Place a glass or stainless-steel bowl and the carton of whipping cream in the freezer for 30 minutes.
2. Pour the cream into the chilled bowl and add the honey, sugar and cinnamon. Whip with a wire whisk, until soft peaks form.
3. Combine the fruit and zest in a medium bowl and add the simple syrup; toss gently.

Plate it Perfectly: Make parfaits by layering the fruit mixture, angel food cake, chopped nuts and whipped cream in 8-ounce mason jars. Top with whipped cream and mint leaves. Serve with long spoons.

National Ceviche Day

June 25, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Dining, Travel Blog

While most people think of Ceviche as a dish made with ocean seafood, this recipe demonstrates the cultural diversity of the dish. Peruvians incorporate potatoes and corn – two major staples of the Peruvian diet – as well as lake trout. The result is delicious. And there is no better place to enjoy it than at the foot of the world’s #1 landmark: Machu Picchu

A Ceviche and Pisco Sour class is included, complimentary, for all guests at Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel (www.sumaqhotelperu.com).

Recipe for 1 portion of ceviche

Ingredients:
-6 oz. trout
-3 tablespoons lime juice
-3 tablespoons morrón pepper sauce
-1/2 teaspoon ground garlic
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
-1/teaspoon chopped cilantro
-1/4 red onion sliced julienne
-1/4 Peruvian corn
-1/4 yam
-Salt & Pepper to taste
Garnish: lettuce, corn, limo hot pepper rings, yam strings.

Preparation:
Cook the corn with some anise seeds, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Cook the sweet potatoes, then peel them and cut them into matchsticks. Marinate the trout in lemon, salt, pepper,
cilantro, garlic, ginger, and onion. After two minutes, marinate again adding the pepper. Add ice cubes to the preparation to preserve freshness and lower the marinade’s acidity. Remove ice. Garnish with lettuce, onion, hot chili peppers cut into rings and crispy yam strings.

Dining out for life

Jessica Rossman; Michael Pearce; Photo by Greg KolanowskiAIDS FOUNDATION HOUSTON’S ANNUAL “DINING OUT FOR LIFE”
EVENT IS LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY

More than 40 Houston-area restaurants (and counting) will participate in the annual fundraising event, presented by Gillman Subaru

HOUSTON, TEXAS — For one day in April—Thursday, April 28, 2016—Houston-area restaurants are donating a percentage of sales to AIDS Foundation Houston (AFH) through their participation in the annual nationwide event, Dining Out for Life. Gillman Subaru is the presenting sponsor for this year’s event, which is hosted by chair Michael Pearce and honorary chair Jessica Rossman.

Guests interested in supporting AIDS Foundation Houston can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner throughout the day at one of more than 40 participating restaurants (and counting). A portion of the proceeds support AFH’s programs and services that help thousands of Houstonians living with HIV/AIDS.

“Year after year, we are impressed by the outpouring of support by restaurants and diners alike,” said Kelly Young, Chief Executive Officer of AIDS Foundation Houston. “We can end HIV/AIDS within our lifetime, and Dining Out for Life helps raise funds and awareness that gets us closer to that goal. All you have to do is go out to eat.”

In 1991, an ActionAIDS volunteer in Philadelphia created Dining Out for Life. Now the event is produced in 60 cities throughout the United States and Canada, with more than 3,000 restaurants donating a portion of their proceeds from this one special day of dining. AIDS Foundation Houston has participated in the event since the inaugural year, raising thousands of dollars in support thanks to a mandate that ensures funds raised locally stay local.

The 2016 participating restaurants offer something for everyone. As of April 14, 2016, participating restaurants are:

360 at Houston City Club
Allen’s Landing at The Houston Club
Araya Artisan Chocolate — River Oaks
Araya Artisan Chocolate — Uptown Park
B & B Butchers and Restaurant
Baby Barnaby’s
Barnaby’s – Downtown
Barnaby’s – Heights
Barnaby’s Cafe ­­­­– Midtown
Barnaby’s Cafe – Museum District
Barnaby’s Cafe – Original
Barnaby’s Cafe – River Oaks
Barnaby’s Cafe – Woodway
Bay Oaks Country Club
Canopy
Charivari Restaurant
The Durham House
El Tiempo on Montrose
El Tiempo Cantina on Westheimer
El Tiempo on Navigation
EQ Heights Coffee and Social House
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse – River Oaks
Harold’s Restaurant, Bar & Terrace
Hearthstone Country Club
The Island Grille at The Clubs of Kingwood
Last Concert Cafe
Latin Bites
Magnolia at The Houston Club
Mitchell’s 74 at Tournament Course at The Woodlands, CLUBCORP
Niko Nikos – Montrose
The Point Bar and Grille at the Club at Falcon Point
Prohibition Supper Club & Bar
Quattro Restaurant
Red Ox Bar & Grill
Reef
Shade
Songkran Thai Kitchen – Uptown Park
South Shore Harbour Country Club Grille
Tacos A Go Go — Heights
Tacos A Go Go — Midtown
Tila’s
Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen
Zelko Bistro

For more information and the most current roster of restaurants, please visit www.AIDSHelp.org/DiningOutforLife.
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Araya Artisan Chocolate_Macarons

Niko Niko's_Hercules

Mark’s American Cuisine assisted Children from Families-in-Need

September 4, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Dining, Events

SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young, benefited from Mark’s American Cuisine’s generosity as they helped raise funds and awareness.

Proceeds Benefiting SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young

During the month of August, Mark’s American Cuisine offered a specially-priced Prix Fixe 3-course lunch menu for $29 and a 6-course dinner Chef’s Tasting menu for $75. In addition to enjoying an epicurean adventure at Mark’s, guests supported children from families-in-need with every purchase. Mark’s donated $5 from each Prix Fixe lunch, and $10 from each Chef’s Tasting dinner .

“Mark’s is thrilled to offer our guests a culinary experience that will not only satisfy their appetites but that will feed their hearts as well,” said Cox.

Cox was inspired to give back to SAY after Houston Astros George Springer hosted the Inaugural All-Star Bowling Benefit in Houston recently. The overwhelming success and momentum created from the event, with SAY supporters, Springer, his fellow Astros and celebrity friends lead Cox to open up his heart and help send young people who stutter to a life changing summer camp. www.CampSAY.org

Editor’s note: I attended experienced some of Mark’s food recently. Yes, you are looking at Frozen Foie Gras.

Innovative new dessert from Mark's American Cuisine

Innovative new dessert from Mark’s American Cuisine

Oysters in Dune from Mark's American Cuisine

Oysters in Dune from Mark’s American Cuisine

 

 

 

 

Green Eggs and Kale – Eat for a cause

February 8, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Dining, Foodie Events

Liberty Kitchen

Green Eggs and Kale from Liberty Kitchen

 

Kale, the super food, is all the rage.

Now you can enjoy kale for a cause. A great local promotion, Green Valentine celebrates artists, restaurants, nonprofits and businesses that are helping Houstonians live healthier lives.

Eleven restaurants from across the city are running Green Eggs &Kale dishes on their menus, with 20-percent of proceeds going to benefit local food organization Urban Harvest. They include all of the Creek Group restaurants (Onion, Dry, Cedar, Canyon and Lowbrow), Main Kitchen at the JW Marriott, Pondicheri, Sparrow, Canopy, Cottonwood and Liberty Kitchen on Studewood. 

“I’ve been growing kale for years,” says Jeff Shell of greenvalentine.org. It made perfect sense to combine eggs with this super food. At a preview event, we saw some of the available dishes from Lowbrow, Onion Creek, Canopy, Sparrow and Liberty Kitchen.

So go out at eat! This promotion runs through February 15th.

Main Kitchen at JW Marriott

Green Eggs and Kale from Main Kitchen at the JW Marriott

 

Galveston Restaurant Week: Jan. 10-24

January 10, 2015 by  
Filed under Dining, Foodie Events

Join us and celebrate delicious at Galveston Restaurant Week from January 10-24!

For a full list of participating restaurants and more details, visit www.galvestonrestaurantweek.com.

Don’t forget to also vote for your favorite restaurants!

Flying Saucer’s BeerFeast – November 1st

October 23, 2014 by  
Filed under Bars & Nightlife, Events, Foodie Events

beerfeast

Sugar Land Flying Saucer’s 3rd annual BeerFeast will feature over 40 breweries and 60 craft beers, all carefully selected by Flying Saucer’s resident beer gurus. In addition, very rare and limited-release beers will be tapped one at time throughout the fest. Once again a variety of Sugar Land Town Square restaurants will have food available for sale during the festival.

Tickets are $35, and can be purchased here or at the Saucer beginning at 10am CDT, Wednesday, July 16th . The day of the fest, tickets will be $45 at the door if still available. Ticket purchase includes admission to the festival, a tasting card that is good for choice of 12 samples of any of the 60 festival beers, and a 2014 commemorative BeerFeast tasting glass. There are also designated driver tickets available for $15, which includes admission to the festival and complimentary soft drinks. Additional taster cards will be available for purchase by all VIP and general admission ticket holders on the day of the festival for just $3.

In addition to general admission tickets, again this year a very limited number of VIP tickets will be available for purchase. They are expected to sell out quickly and will only be available for sale online only prior to the festival for $65. In addition to the taster glass and sampling session, VIP ticket purchase includes early admission to the festival at noon, food vouchers redeemable at any of the festival food vendors, a 2014 BeerFeast T-shirt and a BeerFeast Brew Caddy. Additionally, all VIP ticket holders will have access to the rare brew tapping VIP only line.


BeerFeast is a 21-and-up-only event and all guests must purchase a ticket to attend.
Purchase VIP Tickets Here!


For more information, call 281-242-7468. Or, click the link to visit our website.

The Best Damn Food Truck Festival – November 15th

October 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Entertainment, Events, Foodie Events

food truck

When: November 15, 2014
Location: 1902 Washington Ave.
Times: 2pm 8pm
Website: www.thebestfoodtruckfest.com

Live music, craft beer, and over 20 food trucks to choose from!

Zest In The West- October 9, 2014

September 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Foodie Events

zest

 

What: 7th Annual Zest in the West
Location: Chateau Crystale,
2517 S Gessner Road at Westheimer
Houston, Texas 77063
Time:
7 – 10pm
Tickets: 
www.zestinthewest.com/tickets
Grand Zesting – $65
Ultimate VIP Luxury Lounge – $125
VIP Luxury Lounge & A Sparking Affair – $155
Total VVIP Experience – $200

A “Zesty” experience for foodies, craft beer buffs and wine enthusiasts while being serenaded by live music. Enjoy culinary offerings from West Houston’s finest restaurants as they compete for the Best of Zest Culinary Awards.

The Grand Zesting features a live auction benefiting the West Houston Leadership Institute, the Zestiest Display Contest, a relaxation zone and interactive displays. Warning if you come out in style you may just be spotted as a potential winner of the Fashion Forward Award.

Historic Montgomery Wine & Music Fest

September 11, 2014 by  
Filed under Entertainment, Events, Foodie Events

Montgomery

When: Saturday, September 20, 2014
Times: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Where: Historic Downtown  –  14420 Liberty Street Montgomery, TX 77356
Phone: 936-597-5004
Tickets: $25.00
Get Tickets HERE

Nestled in the heart of Historic Downtown Montgomery.
Discover Texas Wines while enjoying Great Texas Music!

$5 Alcohol Cover Charge with purchase of any package or tickets.

Sample wines from 16 Texas wineries.
Wine Tastings package includes 5 tastings and souvenir glass.
Additional tastings available for purchase at the gate.
Wine tents open at 11am.

Craft Beer Wall opens at 11am.
Sample tastings or 16oz pours available.

Vendors all around town for plenty of shopping.
Celebration Children’s Area has fun for the whole family!

Two Stages packed with fabulous entertainment.
Headliner for 2014 Main Stage:  Cory Morrow
More entertainment TBA.

For more information on our wineries, food, and entertainment line up visit our website at www.experiencemontgomery.com

Brewmasters 5th Annual Craft Beer Festival – August 29-31st

August 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Bars & Nightlife, Events, Foodie Events

 

 

 

brew 2

3rd Annual Wine and Food Festival Presented By Dionisio Winery

August 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Events, Foodie Events

Wine Festival

 Date: August 30, 2014
Times: 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location:  Billy’s Hall  4070 Wells Drive, Pearland TX 77584

In a Nutshell:
Local businesses join 5 local wineries for an outdoor festival full of music, award-winning fruit wine, and delicious food

Wineries:
Dionisio Winery – Downtown Houston,TX
Haak Vineyards & Winery- Santa Fe,TX
Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards – Pittsburg, TX
Red 55 Winery – Lindale, TX
Maydelle Country Wines – Rusk, TX

Limited Time Offer Get Tickets Here:
https://www.groupon.com/deals/dionisio-winery]

OR
www.livingsocial.com/events/cities/7-houston/1111987-admission-to-the-3rd-annual-dionisio-wine-festival?index=1]
OR
https://local.amazon.com/houston/B00K1LM7JA]

For Additional Information for being a Sponsor or Vendor please contact us at:
dionisiowinery@gmail.com

Number 13 Restaurant

August 4, 2014 by  
Filed under Blogs, Dining

Galveston Island has a new steak and seafood restaurant that is sure to wow any food enthusiast.

New Galveston hotspot

Number 13 Prime Steak and Seafood is sure to satisfy your taste buds as well as your eyes. The food alone is fantastic and bursting with flavor. The view from the restaurant amplifies the experience. Number 13 sits on the Pelican Rest Marina that overlooks the bay and Galveston Island. Guests can enjoy great cocktails, extensive wine lists, great steak and seafood, and even more amazing desserts. Executive Chef Jason Hanin uses his talents to showcase all of the different flavors in the meat and seafood.

When ordering an appetizer I highly recommend the Chef’s Charcuterie Board. This specialty come presented on a handcrafted board served with artisan cheeses and specialty meats chosen by the chef. This appetizer is sure to please your taste buds and prepare you for an amazing main course. As a main course I would recommend The Local Grouper or any of their steak options. On the menu, guests have choice between seafood, dry aged meat or wet aged meat. The servings are large and well worth every penny spent. When you finish with your main course I would recommend ending your experience with one of their fantastic dessert options. If you are looking for a twist on a traditional family favorite, I would order the S’mores. This dessert is prepared with homemade Moist Honey Graham Cake with Chocolate Mousse, Ganache, Salted Caramel Gelato and a Torched Handmade Marshmallow that the server torches right in front of you!

photo 4Number 13 also has a terrace restaurant on top of the roof where you can enjoy a drink, and appetizer while relaxing and watching the views! This spot is perfect for Summer nights in Galveston. On the weekends, you can sit back and relax while watching the fireworks displayed by Moody Gardens.

If you are looking for a wedding reception venue, this place fits the bill! This establishment makes for a romantic reception with a sunset view of the marina and off in the distance you can see Moody Gardens as well. Recently the Restaurant opened a reception hall that is part of the Restaurant that fits up to 200 people.

General Manager John Kuit and his team do a fantastic job at customer service and guest satisfaction. When you leave, you will leave with a smile on your face and a full stomach! – Jennifer RutledgeNumber 13

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