Austin Foodie Bits ~ Food and Wine Events for the Week of September 27

Cutting board with summer ingredients, cheese, and wineWow – it’s been a food and drinks sprint of epic proportions over the last couple of weeks. Keeping up with the events, much less deciding which ones to attend, has been a full time job. And well, I have one of those already. I’ll admit I’m glad to see things slow down just a bit this week if only so our stomachs and taste buds can take a break. I predict though that October will be a smorgasbord of events, so don’t get to comfortable on that couch. Take a gander at the Plan Ahead section to see just how much foodie goodness we have to look forward to this fall. Still, even though the pace is slower this week, there are still some great events to consider adding to your calendar.

Before we jump into the event list, I’d like to introduce a new section of Foodie Bits called In the Spotlight, in which I’ll highlight events coming up in the next few weeks that I think are particularly interesting or important. I’ve been doing this informally for a few weeks now and I’ve found like the opportunity to really highlight events I want to be sure everyone knows about. The only criteria for an event making it into my list is that I think it’s fun or cool, which I will admit is entirely subjective. If you have an event you’re particularly looking forward to, drop me a note in the comments and maybe it will make it into a future week’s spotlight.

In the Spotlight

GO TEXAN logoThe Texas Department of Agriculture promotes the wide variety of products grown across our great state through the GO TEXAN program, and September 27 – October 1 GO TEXAN Restaurant Week celebrates the best that Texas has to offer. At a recent luncheon celebrating the start of this restaurant week, Commissioner Todd Staples said it best “It all starts and ends with the land,” and Texas has some fantastic land that produces some amazing products that chefs across the state put to use every day in their restaurants. This week, take the time to visit a local participating restaurant (or even visit one in Dallas if you’re headed that way for TX/OU this weekend), and taste the best of what Texas has to offer.

The La Dolce Vita Food and Wine Festival celebrates all that is good and sweet about food and drink in our lovely city. Hosted on the grounds of the amazing Laguna Gloria, enjoy the glorious weather as you stroll will friends, enjoy food from the best Austin chefs, and sip exquisite wine and spirits. There are many big food events in our town throughout the year, but this is easily one of my favorites because the experience is like no other. If you’ve been looking for a special treat for yourself or someone special, I can’t more highly La Dolce Vita as a foodie adventure well worth the $125 ticket price.

Be Spontaneous – This Week’s Events

  • Ongoing through September 29: Austin Restaurant Week – The opportunity to explore some of Austin’s best restaurants without breaking the bank continues through Wednesday of this week. The folks at Austin Restaurant Week have been giving away gift cards on twitter, so you might follow them there if you’re so inclined.
  • Ongoing through October 5: Central Market’s Brewtopia – This celebration of all things beer from will feature meet-and-greets with brewmasters from around the country, tastings, lessons on pairing beer with food as well as cooking with beer, and more. Be sure to check out all of the tastings and dinners at the cooking school for plenty of opportunities to deep dive the offerings of a specific brewery.
  • September 27: Chefs Under Fire Austin Regional Competition – Chefs Under Fire is a culinary competition designed to find the best up-and-coming chefs in Texas and pit them against one another in a heated battle where the best food wins. The competition starts with four regional competitions and the Austin/San Antonio competition has arrived. Join expert chef judges Josh Watkins, Paul Qui, and Jason Dady as they select the finalist to represent our section of the state at the finals in October. $35/person. Texas Beef Council. 7:00 pm. Order tickets online.
  • September 28: Wine and Cheese Conversation featuring Antonelli’s Cheese Shop – Aromatized wines include vermouths, lillet, some amari (bitters) and sangria along with wines that have been altered with natural substances such as spices, herbs, honey, flowers, nuts and fresh fruits also fall into this category. Learn how to pair these wines with cheeses and chat with local experts about the pairings. As the holidays approach, what you learn might be the great basis for a holiday party or cheese board. $55/person. FINO. 6:00 pm. Call 512.474.2905 to reserve.
  • September 28: An Evening with Francis Ford Coppola Wines –Join Maggiano’s at the Domain for a dinner of signature dishes prepared by Chef Matt Nicholson paired with Coppola wines in a luxurious banquet rooms. Entertainment by local musician Eric Kent and art by Patricia A. Lyle & Donna-Marie Gerarde on display will create the ambiance for the event. What a great excuse to let someone else do the cooking. $40/person. 6:00 pm. Call 512.501.7870 to reserve.
  • September 29: Tour of Italy Wine Tasting – Join local chef Michael Vilim and Domaine & Estates Austin Wine Manager, Greg Cataldofor a tasting of 10 of the best Italian wine values in the market. These wines are also terrific representatives of the many, diverse wine regions in Italy, so you’ll take a tour of Italy’s wine regions along the way. The wines will also be paired with some great Italian street food and appetizers for a complete culinary experience. $30/person. Mirabelle. 6:30 pm. Call 512.346.7900 to reserve.
  • September 30: Best of Austin Bash – For the fourth year in a row, Greenling has been voted the best local food company in the Austin Chronicle’s Reader’s Poll and they are throwing a big party to say thank you to the community. They are partnering with local chefs and vendors to create an unforgettable soiree at Hummingbird House. The whole event is free but be sure to pack a great dish to contribute to the potluck so you can enter to win a free local box. 6:0 pm – 9:00.
  • October 1-2: Mediterranean Festival – For 78 years, the Jabour, Dagar and Attal families have been the driving force behind the annual Mediterranean Festival. These families cook up their menu specialties from scratch every year, personally hand-rolling thousands of grape leaves, mixing up dozens of fresh batches of tabouleh, and baking enough baklava to feed an army. For those who enjoy true food traditions, this event isn’t to be missed. $5 suggested donation. St. Elias Church; 6pm – midnight both days
  • October 2: Perfect One Dish Dinners – One dish dinners are great for family meals and entertaining, and in this class New York Times best-selling author Pam Anderson will teach you the secrets of one-dish meals and simple sides and desserts to accompany each. As the holidays get closer, you’ll want to be ready with your arsenal of these easy dishes. $75/person (includes a copy of the book). Central Market Cooking School. 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm. Reserve online.

Plan Ahead – Events in the Next Three Weeks

1 Comment

  1. Laci Marden /

    Thanks for the great ideas this week! Went to the Med Fest at St. Elias last night, and the food was AMAZING!! Really fun event…thanks for the tip!