Small Bites: Houston Food & Drink Specials & Events for the Week of June 3, 2024

prime rib at TRIBUTE at The Houstonian

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 it’s not 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.

Ongoing

A New Lunchtime Offering In Spring

Belly of the Beast, the acclaimed restaurant from chef Thomas Bille and his wife Elizabeth, located at 5200 FM 2920, has announced that starting on Friday, June 7 it will be opening for lunch from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The lunch menu includes shareables such as grilled shrimp and pork belly, tuna tostadas and ceviche mixto, and entrées such as pollo en mole with rice, crema, pepitas, cotija and corn tortillas, carne asada with frijoles aligot, maggi onions and 50/50 tortillas, Iberico pork huarache, duck bánh mì, The Burger with wagyu beef, cheddar, BotB secret sauce and “burger de gallo” and Chicken Tinga Tostada.

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.

Enjoy Summer Friendly Sips And Bites In River Oaks

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.

Through Summer 2024

Sangria at The Houstonian
Whether you prefer rosé, red or white sangria, you can have it on the relaxing patio or in The Bar at the Houstonian every Thursday. Courtesy photo.

Relax Over Sangria or a Prime Rib Feast at Houston’s Finest Resort

The Houstonian at 111 North Post Oak is one of the best places to stay in Houston, but the great thing about it is that locals have plenty to enjoy there, too. Summertime means sangria, and from 3 to 10 p.m. every Thursday, visit for the Sangria Social Soirée. Choose from classic red, white or rosé varieties. The cost is $40 for a pitcher or $12 for a glass. There is an ample, wood-decked patio adjacent to restaurant TRIBUTE and The Bar for enjoying these fruity wine cocktails. You’re welcome to enjoy these inside The Bar as well.

If you have an appetite for a hearty end to the week, Make a reservation for TRIBUTE’s Friday night prime rib dinners. The smoked prime rib is accompanied by just about anything you could want alongside: yukon mashed potatoes, grilled jumbo asparagus, creamed spinach, jus and horseradish sauce. The cost is $89 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required, and you can make them by calling (713) 685-6713. Make sure to mention that you are visiting for the prime rib dinner. Valet is available, or you can park for free in the garage.

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.

This Week (Monday, June 3 through Sunday, June 9)

Empanadas at Comfort Foodies
Empanadas at Comfort Foodies. Courtesy photo.

Visit a Hidden-Gem Restaurant For $2 Empanadas

It’s not talked about enough, but two years ago, an excellent Soul-Caribbean restaurant opened in a small strip center just off of Beltway 8. Comfort Foodies, located at 8128 North Sam Houston Parkway West at North Gessner (not far from the 249 interchange and Willowbrook area), is celebrating its second anniversary on Tuesday, June 4 by selling its crispy, well-made empanadas for only $2 each from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Choose from beef, chicken or spinach. The special is good for both dine in and carry out. Consider an order of the succulent oxtails while you’re there.

The Biggest Food & Drink Week in The Woodlands is Back

It’s time for the annual Wine & Food Week, now in its 20th year. The festivities begin on Wednesday, June 5 and end on Saturday, June 8 with the big Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase. Get the full details in our article, and be sure and get tickets to your preferred events before they sell out.

Image of the outside of Brennan's restaurant
Brennan’s of Houston. Courtesy photo.

Partake In An Expert-Led Scotch Whisky Tasting On Friday, June 7

Brennan’s of Houston, located at 3300 Smith, is hosting The Macallan Tasting on Friday, June 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. The event entails an exclusive tasting of three expressions led by The Macallan brand specialist Juliana Hernandez. The single-malt Scotch whisky flight includes The Macallan 12-year Sherry Oak, The Macallan 15-year Double Cask and The Macallan Harmony Intense Arabica. Small bites will be prepared by Brennan’s kitchen team. Tickets for the event cost $60 plus tax and gratuity and are available through the website.

Free Doughnut With Drink Purchase on Friday, June 7

Doughnuts at Tim Hortons
Doughnuts at Tim Hortons. Courtesy photo.

June 7 is National Donut Day, so Tim Hortons locations are giving customers a free donut with any drink purchase. That even applies to the seasonal beverages, which include Cookie Butter Cold Brew and Cookie Butter Iced Capp. Limit one free doughnut per customer.

Little Rey taco
Chef and restaurateur Ford Fry, who owns Superica and La Lucha in the Heights, has brought tacos and pollo al carbon to River Oaks. Courtesy photo.

Enjoy Free Small Bites and a Party at a Celebrity Chef’s Taqueria

Chef Ford Fry’s restaurant Little Rey recently opened at 2345 Mid in the River Oaks neighborhood, and a block party to celebrate is on Saturday, June 8, from 5 to 9 p.m. Admission is free, and attendees will get to sample the food. Some examples include guacamole and chips, tacos, including the chicken al carbon, smoked chicken wings tossed in salsa matcha and soft-serve ice cream. There will even be a queso fountain. Drinks are available for purchase, and the selection includes margaritas, beer and Coca-Cola-brand sodas. For entertainment, there will be face painting, a balloon artist and a DJ.

Saturday, June 8: Deals and Parties For National Rosé Day

Artisans, chef-owner Jacques Fox’s French restaurant at 5745 Westheimer, is celebrating National Rosé Day from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 8. It is offering a complimentary glass of rosé and hors d’oeuvres along with live music outside on its new patio, which happens to be one of our picks for best restaurant patios in Houston. The restaurant suggests wearing your best pink and white attire for the occasion. No RSVP is required. 

Lulu's River Oaks
Lulu’s River Oaks. Photo by Kirsten Gilliam.

Lulu’s River Oaks at 2518 Kirby is offering a deal for National Rosé Day. On Saturday, June 8, visit this Italian eatery for $35 bottles of a featured rosé or $10 glasses of frosé (a frozen rosé cocktail).

Upscale Italian chophouse Marmo at 888 Westheimer is hosting a Rose Gold Garden Party featuring Rose Gold Rosé on Saturday, June 8 from 3 to 5 p.m. The wine is a woman-owned brand made in Provence. Along with the rosé, the party also offers passed appetizers, live music and Instagram-perfect photo opportunities. Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased online.

Next Week (Monday, June 10 through Sunday, June 16)

Iced teas at HTeaO
Iced teas at HTeaO. Courtesy photo.

Half-Priced Specialty Iced Tea on Monday, June 10

HTeaO, which started in Texas and has five locations in the greater Houston area, is offering half-priced cups of tea for National Iced Tea Day, which is on Monday, June 10. The company has 26 flavors of sweetened and unsweetened teas. The selections range from basic iced tea to adventurous flavors such as Sweet Almond Green and Unsweet Peach Ginger.

Join Our Club & Go On A Bar Crawl In The Heights

We just started the Food Finder 500, our own club of supporting Houston Food Finder readers. Our first event is a crawl of four great bars in and near the Heights. We are starting at the beautiful Tied-Fly Bar at Rainbow Lodge on Tuesday, June 11 at 4 p.m. and will end at 7 p.m. at the amazing tiki bar, Lei Low. Expect a complimentary spirit sample or cocktail at each stop as well as some terrific swag from brand sponsors Maison Ferrand, Andalusia Whiskey Co. and Yellow Rose Distilling. In addition, Andalusia Whiskey Co. is doing a drawing for a lovely gift basket. The tour is limited to 30 people, and you must be a member to join the crawl. Membership only costs $5 a month and supports articles like the one you are reading right now. Go online to sign up. You’ll be added to our members-only email list, and we will be sending the final itinerary and taking sign-ups soon.

Soak Up Some Italian Wine & Culture During A Special Happy Hour

If you love Italian food and drink, join the Italian-American Chamber of Commerce – Texas (IACC Texas) at a special happy hour at Sorrento Ristorante, located at 415 Westheimer. IACC Texas is a nonprofit organization that promotes trade between Italy and the United States and the development of Italian businesses in Texas. It runs from 6 to 8 PM on Tuesday, June 11, and the general public is welcome. Guests will enjoy complimentary small bites; drinks, including Italian wines, are available for purchase. Go online to reserve your spot.

Indulge In An Ice Cream Pairing Dinner On June 11

Chef Marcos Juarez of Hidden Omakase is partnering with chef Steve Marques of Sweet Bribery for a can’t-miss 12-course omakase and ice cream pairing dinner. The event is taking place at Hidden’s sister restaurant and bar, Norigami and Hidden Bar, located at 2715 Bissonet. This creative, culinary experience is limited to 22 seats and takes place starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11. The cost is $200 and includes eight savory courses crafted by chef Juarez and four artisan ice cream courses by chef Marques. Guests can also purchase cocktails and wine to complement the first eight courses. Tickets are available through Eventbrite; a $25 per-person deposit is required, which will be applied to the final check.

Enjoy Some Of Houston’s Best Sangrias While Providing Shelter To Women & Children

The annual Sangria Throwdown hosted by Women of Wine Charities returns on Thursday, June 13 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Mercedes-Benz of Houston Greenway at 3900 Southwest Freeway is hosting, and competitors from 11 Houston restaurants and bars, including Oporto, Doris Metropolitan and The Upside Pub, will gather to see who can make the best sangrias — both classic and creative. Historically, the competition is fierce, and proceeds benefit the Houston Area Women’s Center. Only general admission tickets remain (save one Matador Team Sponsor spot that gets VIP access for eight people for $1,000), and you can buy them online for $95.

Find Fine Sippers for June 14, National Bourbon Day

On Friday, June 14, for National Bourbon Day, Ouisie’s Table at 3939 San Felipe is serving a flight of three Texas bourbons for $26. The flight includes a 1½-ounce pour each of selections from Fort Worth-based TX Whiskey; Rebecca Creek Distillery in San Antonio and Balcones Distilling in Waco. Visit the bar or call (713) 528-2264 for a lunch or dinner reservation.

Coming Soon

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 and are available via Resy.

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