|1. The Houston Polo Club and The Children’s Assessment Center Foundation hosted the 3rd Annual Polo Italia & Risotto Festival. First place in the risotto competition went to Melange Catering & Special Events. More than 500 guests attended the event, which raised $96,000 for the organization that helps sexually abused children. Pictured (l to r) are: Stephanie Millika and Dasha Scherfarberg.
2. One of Houston’s leading businessmen and philanthropists received the Ethical Leadership in Action Award from the University of St. Thomas during a special luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel. Pictured (l to r) are: University of St. Thomas president the Rev. J. Michael Miller, honoree Jack Blanton and chair of the Greater Houston Partnership, Jim Kollaer.
3. There’s a new boutique in town that?s all the buzz! Tracy Huffor and Michael Todd Smith design timeless dresses and evening gowns. Neiman Marcus is picking up their collection for several of its stores. Plus, one of their designs will be featured in the upcoming April edition Neiman Marcus catalog. If they were alive today, you?d probably see Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly shopping there. Pictured is Atelier Tracy & Michael located at 2015-B West Gray.
4. After having a $14 million face-lift, The Sam Houston re-opens its doors as a modern, luxury boutique hotel. The hotel offers 100 guest rooms, nine suites and a new home for chef John Shelly’s acclaimed Riviera Grill. Pictured (l to r) are: General manager Sam Schorr, VP and CEO of Spire Realty, Bill Franks, Mayor Lee Brown and owner Barbara Smith.
5. Houston Grand Opera supporters were transported to France and the Reign of Louis XIV to kick off the Opera’s annual white-tie gala, which will be held April 5. Pictured (l to r) are: Host Robert Taylor and gala chairs Shelly Anne and Irv Marks.
6. Treviso is open in the Texas Medical Center. The new restaurant, by the same folks who created Zula, hosted its grand opening with some 1,000 guests. Treviso is open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. It?s located in the new John P. McGovern Texas Medical Center Commons Building. Picture (l to r) are: Mandy and George Ciotti, restaurateur David Edwards and Jennifer Ashkinazo.
7. A new sports newspaper hits Houston in February. Sports Scene will feature personal interviews with professional and amateur athletes, including high school. Sports personality Craig Roberts is a contributing editor. A launch party is set for Jan. 16 at 5:30 p.m. at Frankie Mandola’s on Kirby. Admission is $10, and proceeds benefit the Touchdown Club of Houston. For more information, give them a buzz at (713) 523-4499. Pictured (l to r) are: Publisher Nolan Ackman and Frankie Mandola.