Top 13 food & drink events in Houston this month: January 2017

Photo courtesy of Yaga's Chili Quest & Beer Fest

With 2016 behind us, it’s time to open up to new possibilities in 2017. And what better way to do that than with an awesome culinary event?

Also in January 2017

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We hope you didn’t start that New Year’s diet yet, because January is full of tasty happenings (everything in moderation, right?). You may need to add a couple of cheat days for events like the New Year’s Day Fried Chicken Dinner at Holley’s or the 2017 Truffle Masters, where elite local talent will compete to make the most delicious truffle dish. We promise these events will be worth it.

Top 13 food & drink events in Houston this month: January 2017

  • New Year’s Day Brunch at Rainbow Lodge | Sunday, January 1 – Get cozy with some spiked egg nog or a Texas Bloody Mary at this stunning restaurant set in a historic log cabin. Three screens will be playing the football games while you nosh on black-eyed peas and greens, slow-smoked duck gumbo, shrimp and grits and short rib “benedict.” There will also be $2 mimosas, in the event you didn’t have enough Champagne the night before. 11am to 3 pm.
  • Fried Chicken Dinner at Holley’s Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar | Sunday, January 1 – As the saying goes, the way you start a new year sets the tone for the whole year ahead. Guests are invited to make the most of New Year’s Day by diving head first into Holley’s famous Fried Chicken Dinner, featuring cast iron fried chicken, cracklin cornbread, black-eyed peas, Vivian’s macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and sweet potato-pecan pie. Cost is $50 per person, with a minimum of 6 people per table. 3pm to 6pm.
  • Bombay Eccentric Pop Up Dinner at Pondicheri | Thursday, January 5 – Inspired by the fun-loving Parsi community of India, this eccentric pop up offers six courses of deliciousness. Feast on dishes such as spiced Shrimp Patia, Lamb Dhansaak (a hearty lentil and vegetable stew), and Parsi Wedding Custard, a flan with flavor notes of cardamom, rose water, and mace. Each dinner is limited to 16 people and cost is $135 per person, inclusive of food, beverages (wine), gratuity and tax. 7pm to 10pm.
  • The “Blind 50” Competition at Anvil Bar & Refuge | Sunday, January 8 – Anvil is known for its rigorous training program, and for the first time ever, the bar is opening up the final act in the program to the public. The “Blind 50” test is a grueling right of passage where trainees taste 50 spirits and correctly name 47 of them. For the inaugural, semi-annual Blind Tasting Competition, Anvil is accepting 30 entrants (though the number may expand if there’s overwhelming interest and a means to accommodate) at $55 per person, which is done in traditional Anvil “Break-Even” style – just enough to cover cost of pours and labor for the event. Entrants will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis in person at the bar. First place will receive a prize of $500 cash and a traveling trophy that will be passed from one winner to the next. At the conclusion of the event, the entire bar—participants and bar guests—will attempt to set a “world record” for the largest Ramos Gin Fizz. 2pm to 5pm.
  • Fruit Tree Sale at Urban Harvest Farmers Market | Saturday, January 14 – Now in its 17th year, the Urban Harvest’s annual fruit sale offers an opportunity for gardeners of all skill levels to shop for more than 125 varieties of fruit trees that are acclimated to Houston’s climate and soil. 9am to 1pm.
  • “Dinner with My Friends” at Fluff Bake Bar | Monday, January 16 – Chef Rebecca Masson’s playful dinner series continues with chef Richie Nakano of Hapa Ramen in San Francisco. Each dinner, which takes place the third Monday of most months, features a guest chef who creates a six-course dinner for 24 people. There is an opening reception and each course is paired with a beer or wine. 10 percent of all proceeds will benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry program, an important cause for Masson.
  • Cúrate, Katie Button, and Catalan Throwback at Underbelly | Monday, January 16 – To get inspired for his One Fifth Romance Languages restaurant, opening in September 2017, chef Chris Shepherd is bringing back the iconic flavors of the late Catalan restaurant and inviting Food & Wine Best New Chef Katie Button along for the ride. Button released her cookbook, Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen, in October 2016. The chefs will work together to create a Spanish feast, with interpretations of authentic Spanish dishes and exciting new ideas. Tickets are $150 per person and include the multi-course dinner, pairings, and a signed copy of the cookbook. 6:30pm.
  • Truffle Masters 2017 at the Hobby Center | Monday, January 16 – Indulge in decadent truffle dishes as 25 top chefs compete for the title of the “2017 Truffle Master.” This year’s lineup includes all-stars like Ryan Hildebrand of Triniti, Austin Simmons of Hubbell & Hudson Bistro, and Brandi Key of SaltAir Seafood Kitchen. Tickets are $150 for general admission and $250 for VIP. 7pm to 10pm (6pm for VIP).
  • 8th Annual YAGA Chili Quest & Beer Fest | Friday, January 20 through Saturday, January 21 – Galveston’s annual Chili & Beer Fest is back, with a Kick-Off Party at Yaga’s Café on Friday, and plenty of downtown events on Saturday. Festival goers can get in on the action when vendors start opening at 10am, and at noon, the public chili-tasting begins. The day also features beer tasting (1pm) and festival, live music, a washers tournament, a 5K Fun Run/Walk (9am), a Jackpot Margarita Contest, and merchant walk-about on the Historic Strand. Tickets are $10 for the chili tasting, $12 for a frito pie and beer combo, $30 for beer tasting, $40 for the VIP early beer tasting, and $37 for the beer and chili tasting combo. Friday 8pm to 10pm; Saturday 10am to 4:30pm.
  • Choco Loco 5k at Fish Plaza (Wortham Center) | Sunday, January 22 – Running a race has never been so satisfying. The Choco Loco 5k, 10k, and kids run finishes with live band, food, drinks, and a whole lotta chocolate, including a chocolate fountain. The race costs $22 for the kids run, $30 to $40 for the 5k and $35 to $45 for the 10k. All finishers will receive a medal. 7:10am.
  • 3rd Annual Karbach Cook Off at Lucky’s Pub | Sunday, January 29 – The annual Karbach Cook Off, headlined by Aaron Lewis, Tracy Byrd, and The Voice winner Sundance Head, is one of the brewery’s biggest charity events of the year. Tickets are $60 and include entry to the cook-off and concert, unlimited tastings, a commemorative firefighter glass, and three Karbach beers. VIP and concert only tickets are also available. Noon to 8pm.
  • Saint Arnold One Pot Showdown at Saint Arnold Brewery | Sunday, January 29 Whether you think you can use Saint Arnold beer and your secret ingredients to make a dish better than anybody else’s or you just want to taste the dishes of people who think they can, this 10th annual culinary showdown is one event you won’t want to miss. The One Pot Showdown combines a traditional chili, gumbo, and stew cookoff with ten parts Saint Arnold goodness. Look out for the ticket sale announcement and more details to come. 1pm to 4pm.
  • Butchery Demo at Revival Market | Tuesday, January 31 – Learn how co-owner Morgan Weber and charcutier Andrew Vaserfirer butcher a whole hog, head to tail. Guests can enjoy a selection of charcuterie upon arrival, a family-style dinner midway through the class, and take away a selection of Revival salumi. Tickets are $125 per person and can be purchased in-store, over the phone, or via email. BYOB is strongly encouraged. 6:30pm to 9pm.