Small Bites: Houston Food & Drink Events for the Week of June 24 — Updated

Houston chef Chef Christine Ha and husband John Suh are celebrating the one-year anniversary of their fast-casual restaurant, Stuffed Belly

Houston’s food scene always has a lot going on, but not every bit of news that we get qualifies for a full article. However, that does not mean that these tidbits aren’t useful. We often hear about deals, events such as wine dinners, limited-time menu items, culinary classes and new dishes. “Small Bites” rounds up these tasty little morsels to keep you on top of what’s going on in Houston.

For specials available all month or even through the season, scroll to the bottom of this article.

This Week — Through Sunday, June 30

Dine In With A Remarkably Low-Priced Bottle Of Wine

Brennan’s of Houston at 3300 Smith is clearing out space in its wine cellar to make room for new orders — and this is the last week to take advantage of that. Prices are wildly reduced on on more than 60 bottles of winewith some starting for as little as $20. The selection includes styles from France, Italy, Spain and Argentina as well as a variety from California, including Caymus, Frank Family Vineyards and Rombauer Vineyards. Bottles are available on a first come first serve basis, so make your reservation ASAP.  Click for the wine sale selection

Enjoy a “Spirited” Dinner with a Side of Cocktail History at Brennan’s of Houston

On Thursday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m., Brennan’s of Houston is hosting a lively, three-course dinner that includes cocktails, storytelling and history. The latter two are courtesy of special guest Elizabeth Pearce, New Orleans cocktail historian and author of “Drink Dat New Orleans: A Guide to the best Cocktail Bars, Neighborhood Pubs and All-Night Dives”. The Spirited Dinner courses feature options from among Brennan’s signature dishes, such as the Snapping Turtle Soup, Creole Roasted Chicken and, for dessert, Brennan’s Creole Bread Pudding. Alongside, you’ll enjoy four Brennan’s cocktail standards: the Vieux Carré, Julep, Ramos Gin Fizz and Café Brûlot. Tickets are $140.00 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Click to purchase tickets.

Enjoy A Texas Whiskey Dinner In Spring Branch On June 27

Dan Garrison, the founder of Garrison Brothers distillery in Hye, Texas, is coming to Houston to host a whiskey dinner at Wild Oats, located at 1222 Witte Road. The event, which takes place on Thursday, June 27 starting at 6 p.m., includes four courses paired with pours of Garrison Brothers whiskey chosen by Dan himself: Small Batch, Honey Dew, Single Barrel and Balmorhea. For dinner, the Wild Oats team has lined up smoked oysters with bourbon and beef tallow, salsa macha, cilantro oil and lemon, Bourbon-Glazed Pork Belly with millefeuille potatoes, apple slaw and purée, mustard seeds and chicharrones, steak au poivre with bourbon pink peppercorn au poivre, roasted cipollini onions and grilled asparagus, and chocolate cake with bourbon buttercream for dessert. Tickets cost $90, are non-refundable and available via Resy.

Get a Taste of Reimagined Classic Chinatown Dishes at a Multi-Chef Dinner

On Thursday, June 27 from 7 to 9 PM, Kim Son at 10603 Bellaire, in conjunction with Asia Society Texas, is hosting top Houston chefs from other restaurants as they present their versions of classic Chinatown dishes. The participating chefs are Masaru Fukuda of Pacha Nikkei, Dory Fung of Fung’s Kitchen, Lung Ly of 93′ Til, Souli Phaduangdet of Sao Lao Thai Cafe, and recent Food Network “Chopped” champion Lena Le of Lena’s Asian Kitchen. Tickets include one complimentary drink pairing, and a vegetarian meal option is available; Must select that option when purchasing tickets. Other dietary restrictions will not be accommodated. The cost is $120 for individuals or $210 for a couple. Asia Society Texas members can buy tickets discounted to $100 for a single or $180 for two. Buy tickets online.

Learn the Fundamentals of Clear Spirits for Just A Little Cash

What’s your favorite clear spirit? For only $20, the Total Wine & More location at 12516 Memorial is helping you learn more about the most popular ones in a class on Thursday, June 27 and June 29.  It’s called Gin, Vodka & Tequila — A Battle of the Clear Spirits. Use this link to register for the Thursday class, which is from 6 to 8 p.m., and this one to sign up for the Saturday class, which runs from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Korean Burger at Stuffed Belly
The Korean Burger at Stuffed Belly. Photo by Michael Ma.

A MasterChef’s Restaurant Celebrates a One-Year Anniversary

Chef Christine Ha and husband John Suh’s fast-casual restaurant, Stuffed Belly, is turning one year old on Friday, June 28. The owners are marking the occasion by offering 50% off all menu items all day. The offer excludes specials such as Belly Sliders, drinks, Pudgy’s cookies, merchandise and gift cards. Stuffed Belly will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Respect The Rosé party, a fundraiser for Southern Smoke Foundation, returns to Brennan's of Houston
The Respect The Rosé party, a fundraiser for Southern Smoke Foundation, returns to Brennan’s of Houston. Courtesy photo.

Rub Shoulders With Top Chefs Around the Country at a Rosé Party

The annual Respect The Rosé party returns to Brennan’s of Houston on Saturday, June 29, with proceeds benefiting Southern Smoke Foundation. James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd along with fellow acclaimed chefs will host a party replete with excellent food and their favorite wines and rosés. Guest chefs include Ryan Prewitt of Pêche Seafood Grill (Best Chef 2014), Stephen Stryjewski of Gianna (Best New Restaurant Nominee 2020), Andy Tiger and Michael Hudman of Hog & Hominy fame (James Beard finalist four years in a row). Tickets are $500 per person with the option to donate additional funds to support Southern Smoke Foundation’s mission of helping hospitality professionals in crisis. Click to purchase tickets.

Chef Dawn Burrell is hosting a collaborative dinner series in Houston
Houston chef Dawn Burrell is hosting a collaborative dinner series in Houston. Photo by Jenn Duncan.

A Top Chef Competitor & Returning Chef Join Forces At a Special Dinner

Houston’s own Dawn Burrell, a Top Chef finalist during season 18 and James Beard Award semifinalist In 2020, is hosting a dining series called Sound and Color. It kicks off on Saturday, June 29 at 6 p.m. when she teams up with chef Dominick Lee of forthcoming restaurant Augustine. Before leaving Houston for a time, Lee was chef at now-closed Poitín. The cost is $150 per person. The location will be disclosed to ticket buyers after purchase. Get your tickets online.

How Many Lumpia Can You Eat? 

Be More Pacific at 506 Yale is hosting its Fourth Annual Lumpia Eating Contest on Sunday, July 7. The event starts at 3 p.m., and competitors start devouring lumpia at 3:45 p.m. The event is hosted by Rose-Ann Aragon, a Filipina-American who was formerly the space reporter at KPRC Channel 2. The eight competitors are representing local businesses. Last year’s champion was Seaside Poke, whose representative consumed 60 lumpias. One additional competitor will be chosen from an online competition. Visit the Be More Pacific Instagram for details on how to enter. The winner will be announced on Monday, July 1. If you want a memento of the occasion, Lumpia Eating Contest T-shirts are available for pre-order. Bring your receipt and pick up your shirt the day of the event.

Through June 2024

Spicy boiled crawfish at BB's Tex-Orleans
Spicy boiled crawfish at BB’s Tex-Orleans. Courtesy photo.

Get 10 Pounds of Crawfish For $5 a Pound on Mondays

BB’s Tex-Orleans is offering 10 pounds of crawfish for $50 every Monday in June. The offer is available across multiple locations for dine-in and to-go but does not include add-ons such as sausage, red potatoes, button mushrooms, boiled eggs or corn. Pile on other seafood options for an additional fee, such as king crab legs, Dungeness crab, snow crab and Hot-n-Spicy Boiled Shrimp. Boiled seafood styles include The Tex-Orleans Way with BB’s signature seasoning and spicy coating, The Louisiana Way with a light dusting of seasoning after soaking in a citrus-infused spice bath for 30 minutes and The Citrus Garlic Way with citrus fruits and roasted garlic tossed in the boil.

Lick Honest Ice Creams has a special flavor and merch for Pride Month 2024
Lick Honest Ice Creams has a special flavor and merch for Pride Month 2024. Photo by Annie Ray.

New Ice Cream Flavors To Try for Pride Month

Lick Honest Ice Cream’s new summer ice cream flavors are coming out soon. These include Cherry Limeade made with cherries from Northwest Texas, Cilantro Lime, Strawberry Basil (made with Texas strawberries), Orange You Glad It’s Pride (an orange and vanilla concoction with rainbow sprinkles), vegan Coconut Cream Pie and Grapefruit Paloma made with Dulce Vida Tequila, fresh lime, grapefruit and a touch of salt. Top anything you want with the seasonal Texas strawberry sauce.

Lick is also using the Orange You Glad It’s Pride in its PRIDE Fundae. Served in a waffle bowl, it additionally includes scoops of Grapefruit Paloma and Cherry Limeade, and is topped with whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles and a little edible glitter. The company also has special Pride Month merchandise featuring its logo in rainbow colors.

Through July 2024

Caribbean Soul Food Lunches for Around $10

Comfort Foodies, the Caribbean and Southern soul food restaurant just off the feeder at 8128 North Sam Houston Parkway West, has a number of lunches for $10 or less before tax and gratuity. Daily through July, it’s adding wild, locally sourced grilled blackened catfish topped with housemade Creamy Cajun Coconut Sauce and served on top of rice to the roster for $9.95. Other lunch specials are available on certain days of the week. Whole fried chicken wing lunches are on Tuesdays, smothered pork chops with rice and gravy is on Wednesdays, Thursdays feature Dominican brown stew chicken and Fridays offer the fried catfish basket. All of the lunch entrées come with two sides. Lunch runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the prices are good for not just dine-in, but also carry-out and online ordering

Houston restaurant Ouisie's Table in River Oaks
Houston restaurant Ouisie’s Table in River Oaks. Courtesy photo.

River Oaks Restaurant Showcases Peach Season

In keeping with the tradition of late owner and namesake Elouise “Ouisie” Adams Jones, Ouisie’s Table at 3939 San Felipe is featuring peaches through July — even in cocktails, such as the Peach Bellini with Prosecco and Peach Sorbet. Selections will change through the month, but examples of dishes are Gulf Shrimp Spring Rolls With Peach Sauce, Summer Salad With Grilled Peaches and Blackened Shrimp, Grilled Meatloaf With Peach Chipotle Ketchup, Seared Blackened Salmon with Peach and Avocado Relish and Summer Peach Mousse. Check the big blackboard in the dining room for that day’s peach specials. Go online to make a reservation.

Through Summer 2024

Pizzitola's Bar-B-Cue in Houston
A sign mounted to the front of Pizzitola’s honors original owners John and Leila Davis. Photo by Phaedra Cook.

Rack Up a Deal on Smoky Pork Ribs

Pizzitola’s Barbecue, 1703 Shepherd: Houston’s oldest barbecue restaurant, which has been in operation since 1935, is now offering a full rack of its famous pit-smoked spare ribs for just $25 every Friday and Saturday during June and July. There is no limit to how many racks you can purchase, and pre-orders can be made by calling the restaurant directly at (713) 227-2283. This special is available for dine-in and to-go.

Enjoy Summer Friendly Sips And Bites In River Oaks

A trio of Summer Spritz at Zanti Cucina Italiana. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
A trio of Summer Spritz at Zanti Cucina Italiana. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

Zanti Cucina Italiana, an elegant Italian restaurant in River Oaks which has been impressing us ever since opening mid-November 2022, has introduced a Summer Spritz Menu that may be the mood-lifting cure Houston needs after a rash of storms and triple-digit heat. The menu includes six different refreshing riffs on the sparkling Italian wine-based cocktail priced at $15 each. Options include the Spritz Al Limone with limoncello, prosecco and soda, The Spagliato with Campari, sweet vermouth and prosecco and Purple Delight with crème de violette, lemon juice, simple syrup, grappa and prosecco. There is even a non-alcoholic Berry Brezza with muddled raspberry, simple syrup, lemon juice and soda. These sociable aperitifs are the perfect compliment to conversations and small bites with friends. 

During happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, Zanti offers half a dozen small plates priced between $12 and $14, including arancini in a flavorful arrabbiata sauce, shrimp ceviche and oysters on the half shell. You will also regularly find live musical performances during this time and drink specials on house cocktails, beer and wine. Visiting is easy, too, as Zanti also offers free (gratuity only) valet parking.

New Year-Round Features

Chef Christine Ha’s Fried Chicken is Back

The Blind Goat, 8145 Long Point: Chef-owner Christine Hà and her husband, John Su, have introduced Fried Chicken Night to their modern Vietnamese eatery in Spring Branch. Every Thursday, guests can order chef Hà’s signature crispy fried chicken — half a bird brined in garlic and fish sauce for 48 hours before being battered in a nine-spice buttermilk coating and fried until golden and crunchy. It’s then tossed with a blend of cumin and Sichuan peppercorns. The cost is $22 for an order, and it’s served with Korean pickled radish to brighten things up. To wash it down, all wines by the glass are 25% off on Thursdays. Reservations can be made through Tock.

A Full Meal Deal on Fajitas

Valencia’s Tex-Mex Garage, 2009 West 34th: This fun, casual, Tex-Mex joint in the heart of Garden Oaks is now offering Fajita Nights on Mondays and Tuesdays for dine-in or to go. The promo is available indefinitely and includes a chile con queso appetizer and combination beef and chicken fajitas for two served with Mexican rice, your choice of black refried beans or charro beans and fresh, housemade flour or corn tortillas with shredded cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo and sour cream on the side for $41.99. Also available on Fajita Nights are $8.99 house jumbo margaritas and $10.99 El Garage Margaritas featuring Don Julio tequila.

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