Austin Foodie Bits: Week of January 25, 2010

The word Love done with letterpress type on white background.Happy Monday! I hope 2010 is treating you well and that you’re treating yourself occasionally with good food and wine. I’m continuing to see a pickup in events around town, and liquor dinners are popping up more and more. Last week it was a tequila dinner, this week it’s a Scotch dinner. There’s also a special happy hour to benefit the new HOPE farmer’s market (the one on Sunday with later hours) and some fantastic beer and wine tastings.

It’s that time of week again when I remind you that Valentine’s Day is around the corner (3 weeks away in fact) and the good reservations are going fast. Thus far I’ve received e-mail message from Max’s Wine Dive, Finn and Porter, and Hudson’s on the Bend about their special Valentine’s Day menus, and I’m sure more will find their way to my inbox in the coming couple of weeks. I’ve also seen posts on Twitter from Fino and other restaurants mentioning that they are taking reservations and that it’s not too early to make yours. So, I ask again – do you have a Valentine’s Day plan? Does it include eating out? If so, do you have a reservation already? If not – what are you waiting for? Also, remember that the Alamo is offering a special dinner and a movie feature at several locations around town, so if you’re looking for a different date night, consider Gone with the Wind at Alamo Downtown, Amelie at Alamo Village, or Charade at Alamo South Lamar.

Be Spontaneous: This Week’s Events

  • [GREAT VALUE] January 25: Bobby Burns Scotch Dinners – In honor of Robert Burns, a Scottish poet and Scotland’s patron saint of Scotch, Twin Liquors is hosting two dinners that are sure to please the Scotch and food connoisseur. At the Hill Country Galleria location they will feature a collection of Glenlivet offerings from 12-25 years in age, along with a four course dinner of small plates catered by the Trading Post restaurant. More central at the Hancock Center location, join Master of Whiskey James McCartney for an exclusive Johnny Walker tasting and partake in nibbles from a catered buffet. Events at either location are $40. 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm. $25/person or $40/couple. Purchase tickets online.
  • [GREAT VALUE] January 28: HOPE Happy Hour – Join fellow Austinites in celebrating the best in local food, music, and art, all in support of Austin’s newest farmer’s market. Featuring food from Eddie V’s, La Condessa, and East Side Showroom, and libations from Pedernales Cellars, Dripping Springs Vodka, Treaty Oaks Run, and Independence Brewing, this event is sure to be great. At just a $10 suggested donation (but of course give more than you can), it’s also a great value. Grab a friend or five and come on out. 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Pine Street Station.
  • [NEW] [GREAT VALUE] January 28: Don’t Cry Argentina Wine Tasting – Argentinean wines are some of the best value wines out there and Twin Liquors is ready to give you a crash course in this region and its varietals. Sample six different wines and enjoy appetizers from the Trading Post. Twin Liquors Hill Country Galleria. $15/person or $20/couple. 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Purchase tickets online.
  • January 30: Valentine’s Cookie Decorating – If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make decorated cookies, this class is for you. I’ve taken classes with the instructor, Laurie Mather, and she is an incredible teacher. Starting with a recipe for the world’s best sugar cookies and continuing to a collection of easy decorating techniques, she’ll have you creating beautiful cookies in no time. Central Market North Lamar. 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. $60/person. Make reservations online.
  • [FREE] January 30: Whole Foods Chile Cookoff – The best chili slingers at Whole Foods are pitting their skills against one another to see who can make the best chili. Taste their creations and vote for your favorite. You’ll even be able to take copies of their recipes home so you can recreate your favorites. 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Whole Foods North Lamar.
  • [NEW] [FREE] January 30: Independence Brewery Tasting – Go local with the folks from Twin Liquors and Austin-based Independence Brewery. Sample their best offerings including Austin Amber, Bootlegger Brown and Freestyle Wheat. Twin Liquors Hancock Center. 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm.
  • [NEW] [FREE] January 30: Abita Brewery Tasting – It’s almost Mardi Gras so what better time to taste beer from NOLA? Join the Texas Abita representative and taste Abita Amber, Jockamo IPA, and Abita Turbodog Black Lager. Hill Country Galleria Marketplace. 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm.
  • [NEW] [GREAT VALUE] January 30: Champagne and Cupcakes Downtown – If you’ll be in the downtown area on Saturday, stop by Cru on 2nd street for a pairing of cupcakes and bubbles. You may be surprised at how nicely champagne and cupcakes complement one another. If you’re enjoying yourself and want to stay a while, you can stick around for a 3-course dinner for $30. 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. $20 for the cupcake and champagne tasting. RSVP to or call (512) 472-9463.
  • [NEW] [GREAT VALUE] January 31: Champagne and Cupcakes at the Domain – If the Saturday event downtown doesn’t fit your schedule or local, you’ll have a second opportunity to experience cupcakes and champagne up north at the Domain. The 3-course dinner for $30 will also be available. 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. $20 for the cupcake and champagne tasting. RSVP to or call (512) 472-9463.

Eat Well, Do Good

  • February 27: Bad to the Bone Celebrity Chef Competition – Stubbs Bar-B-Q is taking culinary competitions to a higher level by combining star chefs, audience text voting, and live music. Their Bad to the Bone even series launches with a competition featuring three of Texas’ youngest and most acclaimed chefs: David Bull, of Bolla at the Stoneleigh Hotel in Dallas, who was named as one of Food & Wine magazine’s Top Ten Best New Chefs in 2003; Shawn Cirkiel, executive chef of Austin’s Parkside Restaurant, recently named by Bon Appetit magazine as one of the “Hot 10 New American Taverns”; and Paul Petersen, star of TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters, author of Keeper of the Flame Interactive Cookbook, and former executive chef of Café Cenzio at the Gage Hotel. They will battle it out, each choosing a preferred ingredient to stump their competitors’ culinary prowess. Audience participants and a panel of noted culinary experts will sample the dishes and use live text voting to determine the winning chef. Ticket sales will benefit the Sustainable Food Center which helps more than 20,000 Central Texans access healthy, affordable and locally grown food annually. Time TBD. $35/person. Purchase tickets online.

Plan Ahead: Events in the Next 3 Weeks

1 Comment

  1. Don’t forget Tipsy Texan now performing Mondays at East Side Show Room—Tiki Happy Hour from 5-9

    I plan on ending my Monday with a Mai Tai!