Houston Food News Bites: Winter Truffle Season Is Here

Houston Food News Bites: Winter Truffle Season Is Here

Houston Food News Bites: Winter Truffle Season Is Here

Houston Food Finder – POSTED: OCTOBER 31, 2017 AT 11:41 AM   /   BY 

La Nuit du Caviar

November 7

DR|Delicacy and Potente Present La Nuit du Caviar, 1515 Texas: Ease into the holiday season with an evening of indulgence and extravagance benefitting The Astros Foundation and The Astros Harvey Relief Fund on November 7 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at Potente. The La Nuit du Caviar event features domestic and imported caviars, autumn truffles from France and Italy, Champagne provided by Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, vodka provided by Belvedere, and a special menu crafted by Danny Trace, executive chef at Potente. Tickets are $200 per person and may be purchased through Eventbrite.

Upcoming Houston wine events

Upcoming Houston wine events

Upcoming Houston wine events

Published 2:41 pm, Monday, October 30, 2017

ature Bordeaux dinner with Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton: Lucio’s, 905 Taft. 7 p.m. Thursday. $270 cash or check, $284.21 with credit card. BearDalton@mac.com.

New release event: Water 2 Wine, 3331 Westpark. 6-9 p.m. Thursday. $20. 713-662-9463.

Chef Marco Wiles’ annual white truffle dinner with Beni di Batasiolo wines: Vinoteca Poscol, 608 Westheimer. 6:30 p.m. Monday. $375. 713-529-2797.

La Nuit du Caviar: Potente, 1515 Texas. 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. $200. 713-468-6200.

Fifth anniversary wine dinner: Etoile Cuisine et Bar, 1101-11 Uptown Park. 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. $98 plus tax and gratuity. 832-668-5808 or etoilecuisine.com.

Opus One vertical tasting and dinner: Fielding’s Local Kitchen & Bar, 26400 Kuykendahl, The Woodlands. 6 p.m. Nov. 8. $299 plus tax and gratuity. 281-351-2225.

Domaine Dublere Burgundy wine dinner with winemaker Blair Pethel: Brasserie 19, 1962 W. Gray. 7 p.m. Nov. 8. $125 plus tax and gratuity. 713-524-1919.

Iron Sommelier presented by AutoSol, benefiting the Periwinkle Foundation: The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, 111 N. Post Oak Lane. 6 p.m. Nov. 9. 713-807-0191 or arohrman@periwinklefoundation.org.

Upcoming Houston Food Events: World Series Eats and a Night of Caviar

Upcoming Houston Food Events: World Series Eats and a Night of Caviar

Upcoming Houston Food Events: World Series Eats and a Night of Caviar

Mark your calendars, because you don’t want to miss these deliciously fun culinary happenings:
DR Delicacy and Potente, 1515 Texas, will present La Nuit du Caviar (A Night of Caviar) on Tuesday, November 7, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The evening will highlight domestic and imported caviar and fresh autumn truffles from France and Italy, as chef Danny Trace serves up a menu paired with Champagne and vodka provided by Belvedere, Dom Pérignon and Moët. Tickets are $200 per person and proceeds will go to benefit The Astros Foundation and The Astros Harvey Relief Fund.
 La Nuit du Caviar
Houston restaurant-scene news bites

Houston restaurant-scene news bites

Houston restaurant-scene news bites

October 23, 2017

Top 12 Italian Restaurants in Houston

Top 12 Italian Restaurants in Houston

Click2Houston – By Tanji Patton

Headline Goes Here

HOUSTON – The Top 12 hottest Houston Italian restaurant spots, from Good Taste.

Listed in alphabetical order:

  1. Amalfi Ristorante Italiano & Bar — Chef/Owner Giancarlo Ferrara is a culinary genius whose cuisine pays homage to the essence of the Western Coast of Italy.
  2. Amerigo’s Grille — Located in The Woodlands, Amerigo’s Grille is a chef-driven restaurant plating up seasonal menu selections using the freshest ingredients. This spot has been a long time favorite of people on the North side of Houston, whether you are looking for a date night or a special family gathering, they have you covered.
  3. Bistecca Ristorante — This Italian steakhouse run by Chef Alberto Baffoni offers comfort food from Northern & Central Italy. The hearty cuisine accompanied by their stellar wine list will not disappoint.
  4. Cane Rosso — Transport yourself to Naples at Cane Rosso where they strive to adhere to the strict principles endorsed by the AVPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana) by using all natural “OO” flour imported from Italy and sauce made from hand-crushed San Marzano tomatoes. You truly can taste the difference.
  5. Carmelo’s Ristorante — Offering authentic inspirational dishes, Chef/Owner Carmelo Mauro and his wife Hillary make you feel right at home when you dine at their restaurant located in the energy corridor.
    Photo: Medaglione di Manzo, our 8 oz. Filet of Beef, grilled to perfection and topped with a choice of cubed tomatoes or Béarnaise Sauce, served with roast potatoes.
  6. Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino — You will feel right at home in this comfortable and unpretentious neighborhood Italian café.  Their small plates of hot you to linger, graze and share. The food is prepared from scratch using quality local, imported and all natural ingredients.
  7. Mascalzone — Imported Italian flour is used for their house made pastas and wood-fired pizzas. They also pride themselves on using Italian ingredients like Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma.
  8. Sud Italia — There’s something so romantic and charming about a dining experience set in a refurbished old home, you can’t help but wonder the history of the home. The dishes and ingredients have heavy focus on the five main areas of southern Italy; utilizing ingredients such as, authentic Italian olive oils, tomatoes, eggplant, capers, mushrooms, olives, in house hand-pulled burrata, herbs from their garden, seasonal vegetables and fresh seafood.  Chef Ale “Sandro” Scarafiles’ passion to deliver the best is evident in the presentation and flavor of each dish.
  9. Paulie’s Restaurant — This neighbor restaurant resembles a charming café, but don’t let casual appearance the place fool you, they dish up generous portions of house made pasta smothered in bold flavorful sauces.
  10. Via Emilia Italian Restaurant  — This Italian favorite is nestled the Village of Sterling Ridge in The Woodlands. They’re known around town for their house-made pastas, braised meats and fresh seafood dishes.
  11. Potente –There’s certainly potential in Potente. This beautiful new fine dining spot in downtown Houston has a fantastic executive chef at the helm. Believe it or not, Chef Danny Trace is just as marveled at the pristine “playground” he works in everyday as we were. The quality and design of the decor, down to the smallest detail, is really quite stunning. Potente is Italian for “Powerful” — a self-assurance that shows up loud and clear on the dinner menu. You’ll taste local and coastal throughout. Pastas all handmade with the perfect wines to pair with.
  12. Tony’s — “Naples Influenced. Milan Inspired. Houston Cherished.” This fine dining favorite is elegant in its setting, making Tony’s the perfect special occasion spot.  Executive Chef Austin Waiter’s carefully curated plates are bursting with flavor.
From BBQ to caviar: Houston’s top food events from now through Thanksgiving

From BBQ to caviar: Houston’s top food events from now through Thanksgiving


From BBQ to caviar: Houston’s top food events from now through Thanksgiving

Hurricane Harvey may have pushed back some of this fall’s food events, but the next two months offer tempting experiences almost every weekend through Thanksgiving. Whether a person wants to hobnob with James Beard Award-winning celebrity chefs or sip carefully selected fine wines, this roster should suit almost any taste.

Best of all, every event listed has some sort of charitable component. After all, what is the point of eating well if one is not also doing some good?


La Nuit du Caviar – November 7
Indulge in an evening of luxury at this event, which features a menu of 10 caviar-laden dishes created by chef Danny Trace, along with truffles, champagne, and vodka. Proceeds will benefit The Astros Foundation and The Astros Harvey Relief Fund.

Location: Potente. Tickets: $200.

Iron Sommelier – November 9
Oenophiles won’t want to miss this event that features 14 of Houston’s top sommeliers competing to display their expertise. This year’s competitors include Samantha Porter (Oporto Fooding House), Adele Corrigan (13 Celsius), Matt Crawford (State of Grace), Sam Governale (Emmaline). Proceeds benefit the Periwinkle Foundation, which develops and provides programs that positively change the lives of children, young adults and families who are challenged by cancer and other life threatening illnesses.

Location: Houstonian Hotel. Tickets: $200, $225 day-of.

Risotto Festival – November 12
Sample creative and classic takes on risotto at this popular event. Now in its 12th year, competitors include Bryan Caswell (Oxbow 7), Jose Hernandez (Lucienne), and Manuel Pucha (Maison Pucha Bistro). Proceeds will benefit Casa de Esperanza de los Niños, which offers a safe place for children in crisis due to abuse, neglect, or the effects of HIV

Location: Houston Design Center. Tickets: General Admission, $75; VIP, $175.

The Butcher’s Ball – October 15
This meaty event is stepping things up in its second year. In addition to a culinary competition featuring 18 chefs — participants include Monica Pope (Sparrow Bar + Cookshop), Ryan Hildebrand (FM Kitchen & Bar), and Bobby Matos (State of Grace) — the Butcher’s Ball will feature butchery demonstrations by Bryan Butler (Austin’s Salt & Time) and Richard Knight (Hunky Dory), panel discussions on culinary topics, and live music headlined by Dale Watson and His Lone Stars. Proceeds from a silent auction will benefit Foodways Texas and Urban Harvest, while proceeds from ticket sales will benefit area farmers and ranchers affected by Harvey.

New this year, the Le Boucherie vs. La Matanza will feature two teams of chefs competing to break down and utilize as much of a whole pig as possible. Attendees to this portion of the event will have the option to assist the chefs in their work.

Location: Rockin’ Star Ranch, Brenham. Tickets: $100. Boucherie vs Matanza: $50 supplement. Round-trip transportation: $30 supplement.

Southern Smoke – October 22
For the third year in a row, Chris Shepherd has gathered two of the nation’s top pitmasters (Aaron Franklin and Rodney Scott), a few of his fellow James Beard Award winners (Ashley Christensen, John Besh, etc.) and some of Houston’s best chefs (Ryan Pera, Justin Yu, etc.) for a barbecue-themed bash. New this year are VIP areas at Hay Merchant and Blacksmith with premium wines and spirits. An affiliated silent auction has already gone live with a wide range of memorabilia, fine wine, trips, and culinary experiences.

For this year’s edition, Southern Smoke has partnered with Legacy Health to help hospitality industry workers who were affected by Hurricane Harvey. Those who wish to apply for grants can do so here.

Location: 1100 Westheimer. Tickets: General Admission, $200; VIP, $350.

Chefs Unmasked – October 28
Speaking of all-star chefs raising money for hospitality industry workers, a very special event is coming to downtown’s Four Seasons Hotel. Local James Beard winners Chris Shepherd and Hugo Ortega will be joined by celebrity chefs Richard Sandoval and Michael Mina as well as acclaimed local chefs Alejandro Di Bello (Four Seasons Hotel) and Danny Trace (Potente) for a one-night-only event that will benefit the Greater Houston Restaurant Association’s Houston Hospitality Employee Relief Fund.

In keeping with the theme, diners are encouraged to bring their own masks. ABC13’s Katherine Whaley will serve as emcee and will help facilitate a silent auction.

Location: Four Seasons Hotel. Tickets: $250.

Depressed Cake Shop – October 29
Over two dozen of Houston’s top chefs and bakers are participating in this event that’s designed to raise awareness for depression and mental health issues. In addition to a bake sale featuring cookies, macarons, bars, cakes, and cupcakes, attendees will be able to bid on special grey cakes prepared by these top talents. Participants include Jillian Bartolome (Aqui), Adam Dorris (Presidio), Martha de Leon (Pax Americana), and organizers Jody Stevens (Jodycakes).

Location: Underbelly. Tickets: Free to attend, bake sale items vary.

Urban Harvest Sunday Supper – November 5
Weights + Measures chef Richard Kaplan will host this dinner that benefits the Urban Harvest Farmers Market. Attendees will feast on a dinner created by market regulars Ara Malekian (Harlem Road Texas Barbecue), Martha de Leon (Pax Americana), Ryan Hildebrand (FM Kitchen & Bar), Kevin Naderi (Roost), Peter Garcia (El Meson), and Dylan Murray (Local Foods). Those chefs will use vegetables and proteins from local farms including Loam Agronomics, Plant It Forward Farms, Blue Heron Farms, and more.

Location: Weights + Measures. Tickets: $150.

Houston chef rises from humble beginnings to join pantheon of legendary Southern food icons

Houston chef rises from humble beginnings to join pantheon of legendary Southern food icons

Mina will return the favor when he comes to Houston on October 28 to participate in the Chefs Unmasked fundraiser for the Greater Houston Restaurant Association’s Houston Hospitality Employee Relief Fund. Other participating chefs include Chris Shepherd (Underbelly/One Fifth), Richard Sandoval (Bayou & Bottle), Ortega, and Danny Trace (Potente). Tickets are on sale now.

This Week in Harvey Relief: Chefs Unmasked Helps Houston Hospitality

This Week in Harvey Relief: Chefs Unmasked Helps Houston Hospitality


Eight celebrated and award-winning chefs have come together to curate an unforgettable culinary
event benefitting the Houston Hospitality Employee Relief Fund.  Chefs Unmasked will take place at Four Seasons Hotel Houston, 1300 Lamar, on Saturday, October 28 from 7 to 10 p.m.

The award-winning chef lineup includes:

  • Richard Sandoval, Richard Sandoval Restaurants
  • Michael Mina, MINA Group,
  • Hugo Ortega,  Xochi
  • Chris Shepherd, One Fifth Houston and Underbelly
  • Maurizio Ferrarese, Quattro Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Houston
  • Adam Sobel, The MINA Test Kitchen and upcoming Cal Mare
  • Danny Trace, Potente

Guests can mingle and meet the celebrity chefs. ABC 13’s Katherine Whaley will emcee the event and facilitate a silent auction. Masks will be provided at the door, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own decorative disguise.  Tickets are $250 person. More info at 713-652-6249.

Enjoy Houston Restaurant Weeks 2017 at these 11 can’t-miss newcomers

Enjoy Houston Restaurant Weeks 2017 at these 11 can’t-miss newcomers

CultureMap – Enjoy Houston Restaurant Weeks 2017 at these 11 can’t-miss newcomers

or food lovers in Houston, July 15 is one of the most eagerly-anticipated days of the year, because that’s the day the Houston Restaurant Weekswebsite goes live with menus.

Organized by TV and radio host Cleverley Stone, the month-long dining event, which runs from August 1 until Labor Day (September 4), features over 250 participating restaurants that run special two and three-course menus at set price points of $20 (lunch), $22 (brunch), and either $35 or $45 (dinner). Each meal contributes a set donation of between $3 and $7 to the Houston Food Bank.

All those meals add up. Last year’s event raised just over $2 million to feed hungry people in the Houston area, and the event has raised over $9.6 million since 2003. The event is a win for restaurants that have turned one of year’s slowest months into one of their busiest, a win for diners who get to try some of the city’s most popular establishments at a discount, and a win for the Food Bank.

While diners may choose to patronize restaurants like B&B Butchers, Masraff’s, and Peli Peli that ranked in last year’s top 10, many others will use it to try places that are either newly opened or new to the event. As an opening salvo in CultureMap’s HRW coverage (more restaurants will be added through July 31), here are 11 newcomers to consider, including the best new restaurant to open in Houston this year (so far) and the Heights spot that took the top prize at this year’s CultureMap Tastemaker Awards.

The Italian-inspired restaurant that took home both Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year in the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards makes it HRW debut with a compelling, three-course, $35 menu. To start, choose from either two small snack/salumi plates (arancini, eggplant dip, pork terrine, etc) or a more substantial appetizer or salad (chicken wings, fried cauliflower, grilled figs with prosciutto, etc).

Entree options include six different pizzas, five pastas — including the signature black pepper spaghetti — and three dishes (mussels, eggplant parmesan, or roast chicken). Finish with one of three desserts. Since Coltivare doesn’t take reservations, diners should plan to arrive either early or late to minimize their wait times. 3320 White Oak

Hugo Ortega’s Oaxacan restaurant in downtown’s Marriot Marquis hotel may not be the concept that won him a James Beard Award in May, but it has emerged as this year’s consensus best new restaurant. Xochi is serving both a $20 three-course lunch menu, three different $45 dinner menus (four courses each, wine or spirit pairings available for an additional $28), and a four course $35 vegetarian dinner menu (plus $27 optional wine pairing).

While all of the dinner menus look compelling, the menu de mezcal, which celebrates Oaxaca’s signature spirit with dishes that include both a peach tamal and dry-rubbed pork shank (along with a $27 spirit pairing) seems particularly must try. 1777 Walker

The recent addition of former Brennan’s chef Danny Trace has made Astros owner Jim Crane’s fine dining Italian restaurant a must visit destination. For HRW, Trace is serving a four-course, $45 dinner menu that blends Italian preparations with Texas ingredients. Start with a classic dish like burrata caprese salad or Italian wedding soup. Entree options include a spicy pasta fra diavolo with Texas shrimp, Hill Country quail saltimbocca, and an eight-ounce beef filet with garlic-whipped potatoes.

Save room for dessert. Executive pastry chef David Berg offers three options, but those who pass on his signature caramel apple galette are missing one of Houston’s most underrated treats. 1515 Texas

Osso & Kristalla
Potente’s more casual sister restaurant is serving all three HRW meals. Choices on the two-course $20 lunch menu include fried calamari, tomato soup, pulled pork pizzetta, and a cheeseburger made with a pork and beef patty. Brunch starts with a prosecco cocktail, continues with a small starter, and finishes with entrees like a blueberry bacon malted waffle, eggs pomodoro, and smoked salmon rillette toast.

Dinner starts with an amuse bouche of artichoke hummus. The three-course $35 menu starts with classic dishes like fried calamari, prosciutto and melon, or burrata caprese salad. Entree options include a mozzarella-stuffed meatball with rigatoni, Sicilian barbecue shrimp, and four cheese tortellini. Keep dessert classic with Italian cake, tiramisu, ricotta cheesecake, or berries with mascarpone cream. 1515 Texas

The casual half of The Pass & Provisions will serve both a two-course lunch and a three-course $35 dinner during HRW. Both menus features the same three starters (red oak salad, watermelon and tomato gazpacho, and spicy tuna sourdough toast) and overlapping main dishes like green pea cavatappi and smoked pork sausage, but the dinner menu includes an eggplant parmesan pizza and three dessert options that aren’t being served during lunch. 807 Taft

Le Colonial
This Vietnamese restaurant in River Oaks District has earned a reputation as a pleasant place to dine thanks to its beautiful decor and lively bar scene. The three-course $45 dinner menu offers diners the opportunity to sample Le Colonial’s lighter, fresher take on traditional Vietnamese dishes.

Start with steamed dumplings filled with chicken and mushrooms, summer rolls filled with shrimp and rice noodles, or crispy spring rolls packed with shrimp and pork. Entree options consist of a classic Bo Luc Lac cuisine as well as grilled salmon and asparagus or shrimp in green curry sauce. While both strawberry panna cotta and a chocolate mousse dome sound pretty good for dessert, a mango sundae should prove to be a tempting choice. 4444 Westheimer

Relish Restaurant & Bar
This River Oaks restaurant serves the sort of well-executed comfort food that someone could eat once a week or more. The three course $35 menu features some of chef Dustin Teague’s best dishes, including starters such as duck liver mousse and a daily crudo. Entree options consist of fried chicken, New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp, and an eight-ounce filet. Dessert choices keep things classic; the seasonal fruit crostata looks like the most appealing option. 2810 Westheimer

Brasserie du Parc
Already known for his acclaimed Galleria-area restaurant Etoile, chef Philippe Verpiand opened this restaurant that looks out onto Discovery Green in January. The three-course $35 dinner menu serves up classic French fare.

Of the five appetizer options, beef tartare, chicken liver pate, and chilled tomato soup are the most intriguing. While it would be hard to pass on steak frites as an entree, seafood risotto and beef bourguignon are compelling alternatives. Just leave room for one of the three dessert options; skipping sweets at a French restaurant is folly. 1440 Lamar

Cafe Azur
While Brasserie du Parc serves mostly traditional French cuisine, Cafe Azur offers a lighter, more seafood-oriented take on Gallic dishes. The two-course $20 lunch menu includes dishes such as fish soup, chickpea fries, veggie fettuccine, and mussels Marinere.

While at dinner, the three-course $35 steps things up a bit a taleggio cheese-topped butternut squash, squid ink risotto, and an eight-ounce flat iron steak. Dessert options consist of a strawberry cake, apple and jalapeno crumble, and a classic floating island. 4315 Montrose

Bayou & Bottle
Instead of traditional courses, this comfortable lobby bar in downtown’s Four Seasons Hotel offers a $35 menu that gives diners the opportunity to choose two dishes from a list of 13 possibilities. Some, like Korean BBQ wings, beef fat fries, and chips and queso are all clearly intended to be appetizers. Others, like steak frites, a cheeseburger, and pan-seared scallops, are more entree oriented.

Regardless of one’s choices, the friendly, accommodating staff won’t judge anyone for doubling down on either style of dish. Just leave room for one of the three dessert choices: chocolate brownie, PB&J sundae, or strawberry shortcake. 1300 Lamar

Eloise Nichols Grill & Liquors
Keep things Southern with this more upscale concept from Adair Kitchen owners Nicholas Adair and Katie Barnhart. The three-course $35 dinner menu starts with choices that include caramelized Brussels sprouts, spicy fried chicken nuggets, and venison sausage. Vegetarians will choose to dine on the “super foods” bowl, but omnivores will likely skip it in favor of choices that consist of shrimp and grits, a sweet tea-brined pork chop, and grilled half chicken.

Finish the meal with chocolate hazelnut cake, peach crisp or key lime pie. 2400 Mid Ln

Click the video below from our partners at ABC13 for more details.