Austin Foodie Bits: Week of February 1, 2010

The word Love done with letterpress type on white background.Happy February! Time does fly when we’re having fun, and we are having fun aren’t we? This week I’ll continue to remind everyone that Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and if you are planning to make plans, you should plan to make those plans sooner rather than later. Prime times at the best restaurants are filling up quickly. Because the big day is on Sunday this year, you may think about a romantic brunch out for your excursion instead of the more typical dinner. FINO, one of my favorite spots in town, is offering a special menu in addition to their regular brunch menu, so you might consider starting your day there and ending with a movie or a romantic stroll about town as a different take on the day. Whatever you’re going to do, get a move on and do it before it’s too late.

Soon I’ll be done haranguing you about Valentine’s Day and will have to find a new topic on which to wax rhapsodic (or at least wax). As you’ll note in the Eat Well, Do Good section, the Bad to the Bone Celebrity Chef competition is scheduled for the end of the month, and it’s an event not to be missed by those who enjoy great food and great music. To help motivate you to get this event on your calendar, I’ll be giving away two tickets to a lucky commenter on next week’s Foodie Bits blog. So be sure to hone your made commenting skills in the next few days and give yourself a chance to win. Look for all the details in the February 8 edition of Foodie Bits.

And, without further adieu, here’s what’s on tap in our lovely city this week for all you Austin food lovers.

Be Spontaneous: This Week’s Events

  • [NEW] February 2: Tito’s Vodka Dinner – Following close on the heels of their inaugural spirits dinner, Jack Allen is hosting a five course dinner featuring Tito’s Vodka and local goodness from Richardson Farm. Enjoy pork belly, shredded pork butt, gulf snapper, pork tenderloin, and more – all paired with the perfect cocktail. $65/person. Call 852.8558 or e-mail to reserve your spot.
  • February 3: Gluten-Free Store Tour @ Whole Foods – Tour Whole Foods Market in search of the best gluten-free products with knowledgeable guide Anne Allen of the Austin Chapter of the Alamo Celiac Support Group. Sign up at the Concierge Desk or call 512.542.2243
  • February 4: St. Valentine’s Dinner with Chef David Bull – Enjoy the amazing food and insightful cooking instruction of David Bull, Executive Chef at the Stoneleigh Hotel in Dallas and Bad to the Bone Contender. Learn how to make beef tartare, crisp sea scallops, poached lobster, and a chocolate almond silk tart – quite the menu to impress that special someone on Valentine’s Day. $70/person. 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Reserve online.
  • [NEW] February 4: Cupcake Decorating Class – Cupcakes are all the rage these days and can be ever so much more personal than a single large cake. Learn tips, tricks, and the latest techniques for creating your own special cupcake masterpieces. $45/person. 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Reserve online.
  • February 5-7: Way Out Wineries Mardi Gras Road Trip – The Way Out Wineries is a group of boutique wineries in an area of the state you can generally describe as the “middle”, from the north part of the Texas Hill Country to just south of the metroplex. They schedule multi-day events that give customers an opportunity to visit the different wineries in a self-directed tour. Their Mardi Gras party includes food and wine parings at each winery as well as doubloons you can draw to win spending money for each winery. $20/person. Purchase tickets online.
  • [FREE] February 6: Beerbusters I: Big Beers for the Big Game – Join the beer specialists at the Twin Liquors Marketplace At The Galleria as they debunk a major Beer Myth: the one that says that when you watch the big game, you have to drink a boring, mass-produced beer. They’ll show you some beers that are easy to drink, easy on your pocketbook, but still have the kind of quality and taste that will score big with you and your game-watching friends. RSVP to

Eat Well, Do Good

  • [GREAT VALUE] February 18: HOPE Happy Hour – This event was postponed due to weather; you’ll have more time to plan for it now. 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.
  • 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