Austin Foodie Bits: Halloween Week 2009


October has been a whirlwind of food events and the last week of October closes the month with a big Halloween bang – or boo! This is one of those fun years where Halloween falls on a weekend, so events abound. Interestingly enough, many events are on Friday instead of Saturday, making it possible to celebrate Halloween all weekend long with food and festivities. I’ve highlighted some of the more interesting food-related events, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. The Austin Chronicle has a great list of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos events, so be sure to review it as well as you plan your frightening fun.

I hope everyone has a safe and adventurous Halloween. I haven’t picked out my costume yet, have you?

Be Spontaneous: This Week’s Events

  • [NEW] [VALUE] October 25 – 28: FLAVORS of Austin at Judges’ Hill
    – The new “restaurant week is every week” event sponsored by FLAVORS of Austin and supporting the Sustainable Food Center moves to Judges’ Hill Restaurant this week with a $30 menu full of tasty choices. Appetizers include a choice of seasonally-inspired soup, salad, or duck tart (yes please). For your entrée, choose from fowl, fish, or filet, and then wrap the evening up with a trio of desserts that include chocolate, coconut, and bananas. Yet another easy and cost-effective way to try a new local Austin eatery or revisit a favorite. To reserve your table, go online, call 12.495.1857, or e-mail
  • [NEW] [VALUE] October 27: New World Wine Series, The Wines of South Africa – Cissi’s Market is continuing their New World Wine Series with a tasting of South African wines. I’ve been a big fan of wines from this region ever since I was introduced to them by distributor and aficionado Elizabeth Bray at a Central Market Cooking School class. This region is still coming into its own, and as a result these wines are a huge value given their high quality. With the holidays coming up, it’s a great time to learn about these interesting, unique, and cost-effective wines. 7 pm – 9 pm. $25. Make reservations online or RSVP to
  • [DO GOOD] [VALUE] October 28: Paint the Town Pink Ladies Happy Hour – Ladies, grab your girlfriends and get ready to get into a bit of trouble (the good kind of course). Local favorites Sugar Mama’s, Cornucopia Popcorn, Tito’s, and Milk and Honey Spa are putting on a great event at the Belmont to benefit the Komen foundation. With the Austin Race for the Cure just around the corner on November 1, this is a great way to celebrate one another while helping support research into this disease that can so quickly impact any one of us. The donation for the event is (at least) $20, which is a steal considering the fun you’ll have. 6 pm – 8 pm. Donate online or at the door.
  • [UPDATED] October 29: Ciola’s Foods of Tuscany and Wines of Antinori Dinner
    – As one who dwells a ways away from downtown near the lake, I’m always interested in events out in my neck of the woods. Ciola’s, a well beloved Italian eatery in Lakeway is kick-starting their monthly wine dinner series this week. This initial dinner will feature wines from a vineyard that has been in production for 600 years and dishes like rabbit ragu, herb-roasted pork, and honey-nut cake. Even if you don’t live out in the lake area this event will be worth the drive. $65 – $70 per person. Call 512.263.9936 to reserve your spot.
  • [NEW] [DO GOOD] October 30: Ghoulwill Ball
    – Channel the ghosts of Graceland and support Goodwill’s job-related programs and services on the night before Halloween. You’ll hobnob with Austin’s best ghouls and goblins while you enjoy endless food and drink at the Driskill. Have your face painted or your palm read, all while you enjoy music and a live auction. 8 pm – 11:30 pm. $125 per person. Purchase tickets online or e-mail
  • [NEW] October 30: Halloween Wine Bar Crawl – The Austin Winos are going on a pre-Halloween wine expedition and it promises to be a blast. They will be visiting five wine bars – Aquarelle, Cru, Max’s, Mulberry, and Cork & Co – and buying two bottles at each spot that are listed at between $80 and $100 each. Everyone on the tour contributes to the pot and everyone gets two big pours at each stop. That’s 10 glasses of $80 wine for $72.40. What I love most about this is the opportunity to sample several good quality wines for the prices of one. The company will be great as well and if you haven’t been to all of these fantastic establishments, you’ll get to experience them all in one evening. Space is limited to 24 people so if you’re interested, I’d sign up now. 7:30 pm – 12:30 am. Reserve online.
  • [NEW] [VALUE] October 30: Moulin Rouge Halloween PARTY! – Local French favorite Aquarelle is hosting a pre-Halloween party featuring $6 wines and $6 nibbles including truffle-scented potatoes, lamb chops with orange gastrigue, and apple cupcakes. There will be music and a costume contest as well, so grab some friends and start the weekend out right without breaking the bank.
  • [UPDATED] October 30: Cooking Class International Food & Wine: France – Central Market’s dynamic duo of Paul Schunder and Robert Jenkins are at it again, continuing their world expedition of food and wine with a stop in France. Sample the flavors of France including dishes like Salade Lyonnaise, chestnut soup, and leg of lamb. Each course will be paired with specially selected wines from France that will amaze your taste buds but not empty your wallet. Seating is limited. 6:30 pm – 9pm. $60 per person. Reserve online.
  • [UPDATED] [GREAT VALUE] October 30: Whole Foods Sunset Supper & Cinema Featuring Ghost Busters – Once again this week, Whole Foods and Alamo Draft House bring you dinner and a movie on the roof of the Lamar mothership store. The movie is free and you can purchase wonderful food and drink from the store. A special $15 three course menu is available to go with the theme of the movie. This is a great event for friends or even an innovative date night.
  • [UPDATED] [VALUE] October 30: Tea Embassy Halloween Afternoon Tea – Before you get your ghoul on and run about the neighborhood scaring small children, start your Halloween day with a refined spot of tea. Enjoy pumpkin tarts, brie, tea sandwiches, scones, and more along with paired teas for a relaxing and rejuvenating afternoon before the tricks and treats begin. Seatings at 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm. $35 per person. Call 512.330.9991 to reserve.
  • [UPDATED]October 31: Dai Due Halloween Feast of Junk at the Cathedral of Junk – Looking for something new and fun to do this Halloween? How about sharing a fantastic meal with your follow Austin foodies at the very Austin Cathedral of Junk. You’ll spend Halloween night eating pickled watermelon rinds, offal, chard stems, dandelion, hoja santa, purslane and bread pudding next to the flickering lights of Vince Hannemann’s magnificent sculpture, listening to the ethereal live tunes of Ethan Azarian and his band at the Cathedral of Junk. And of course, you should dress for the occasion. $75. BYOB. To reserve, e-mail with the number in your party. Payment required in advance.
  • [UPDATED] October 31: MAX’s Underground Halloween Party – MAX’s Wine Dive Underground space is exceptionally cool and it would be a fun place to spend or at least start your Halloween. Their event includes music, drinks, munchies, and a whole bunch of fun. $50 per person. Or, if you’re more in the mood for a sit down meal, MAX’s is offering a $35 prix-fix menu with an optional $20 wine pairing menu. You really can’t go wrong with either option. Call 512.904.0111 to reserve for either event.

Eat Well, Do Good

  • November 8: Sustainable Food Center Inaugural Chef Series Benefit Hosted by La Condesa – To celebrate the importance of locally grown and harvested food, La Condesa will host the inaugural Sustainable Food Center Chef Series on Sunday, November 8 at 6:00 p.m. Austin’s most exciting and innovative chefs will be on hand to prepare an exquisite multi-course tasting menu featuring fresh meats and produce from the Austin Farmers’ Market. Experience amazing food from local chefs including ne Ortiz, executive chef at La Condesa, Tyson Cole, executive chef at Uchi, Shawn Cirkiel, executive chef at Parkside, Todd Duplechan, executive chef at Trio, Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due Supper Club, and Laura Sawicki, pastry chef at La Condesa. This will indeed be a night to remember. $150 with all proceeds benefiting the Sustainable Food Center. 6:00 pm. Purchase tickets online.
  • November 4- 20: Les Dames d’Escoffier Food Fight Online Charity Auction – I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised to learn that professional women leaders in food, fine beverage, and hospitality have a world-wide philanthropic organization. Eating well and doing good just go so naturally together. The local Austin chapter of this organization will be hosting their first online event –a Food Fight — that will feature auctions of all sorts of interesting food experiences, including a VIP evening at Stubbs, a customized Oscar Party, an artisan cheese getaway for two in Oregon, and a holiday cookie party. The event promises to be a fun way to support this organization while bidding on unique experiences you can’t otherwise purchase. Watch their site (and this one) for more details as November 4 approaches.

Plan Ahead: Events in the Next 3 Weeks