Austin Foodie Bits ~ Food and Wine Events for the Week of November 15

If we were keeping score, the month of November would be so far ahead of me that there would be almost no hope for a comeback. Happily, there’s no scoreboard floating over my head (that I can see anyway) so I continue to be optimistic that I’ll make my move any time now. That said, I’m happy to be able to bring Foodie Bits back as there are some exciting events happening in the couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. From the annual Big Reds and Bubbles event to some interesting classes and a Slow Food Austin happy hour, there are many ways we can treat our inner foodies even as we prepare to indulge in Thanksgiving festivities.

In the Spotlight

  • On Wednesday you can participate in not just one but two Twitter wine tastings from the comfort of your own couch. TRIO at the Four Seasons and Whole Foods are both trying a new way to share their favorite holiday wine finds. The idea is simple: pick up one or more of the wines on their list and toast virtually with fellow tasters. You can even have a few friends over to share the tasting (and the wine cost). Both will be great opportunities to discover new tastes for the holiday season and should be fun experiences. Both events start at 6 pm CST so be sure to plan to get home in plenty of time to pull the corks and pour a glass or two. I’ll be tweeting from the TRIO event and keeping a close eye on the Whole Foods tasting, so be sure to let me know if you’re joining in.
  • Celebrating its 8th year, Big Reds and Bubbles
    has become one of the most anticipated and celebrated events on the Austin food scene. It’s perfectly timed to give you some new options as you consider what bubbles and red wines to serve during the holidays. Held at the historic Driskill Hotel, the event features over 50 champagnes and red wines as well as a select group of Austin chefs showcasing their finest holiday cuisine. $100/person.
  • One of my favorite chefs, Paul Petersen, is back at the Central Market Cooking School after a long hiatus. In addition to creating tasty menus, Chef Petersen is a great teacher and I always leave his classes with practical, restaurant-inspired tips that make me a better home cook. If you’re looking for a relaxing way to spend the Sunday morning before Thanksgiving, make a reservation for the Chef Diablo Wine Brunch and fill your stomach and your mind.

Be Spontaneous – This Week’s Events

  • November 16: Chef Wine and Dine Series at Parkside – Chef Shawn Cirkiel is hosting the next event in this exclusive dining series that benefits the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival. You’ll enjoy a champagne reception, top-tier wine pairings with each of the chef’s exquisite courses, private dining, and the opportunity to meet Shawn himself. $125/person. 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm. Purchase tickets online.
  • November 17: Desserts for Entertaining – Soufflés, Bananas Foster, and Creps Suzette don’t only sound impressive, they taste amazing, and with a little help from Whole Foods staff you can learn to make these fantastic desserts in your own kitchen. Take your holiday menus to a whole new level with these creations. $65/person. Whole Foods Culinary Center. 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Reserve online.
  • November 17: Champagne and Oyster Fest – To round out their patio dining series, Paggi House prepares to greet the holiday season Austin-style. Chef Stark will be shuckin’ his best oysters with a selection of over a dozen varieties and applying his culinary prowess for a variety of preparations. $35/person. Paggi House. 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Call 512.473.3700 or email to reserve.
  • November 17: Mirabelle 12th Anniversary Dinner – Mirabelle will be 12 years old next week and they want to celebrate with a Mirabelle’s favorites wine dinner featuring some of their best recipes along with selections of favorite American wineries that have been fixtures over the years. Raise a glass to toast 2010 and what might be the last wine dinner before the holiday season. $65/person. Call 512.346.7900 to reserve.
  • November 17: Celebrate Spain-San Francisco and Austin Style – This month’s chef’s table dinner at FINO will feature Chef Jason Donoho teaming up with Chef Daniel Olivella of B44 and Barlata in the Bay Area for a special multi-course Spanish feast. A cocktail reception kicks off the event at 6:30 pm followed by dinner at 7:00 pm. The dinner includes cocktail and wine pairings from Beverage Director Josh Loving. $75/person. Call 512.474.2905 to reserve.
  • November 17: JP’s Cajun Thanksgiving – Jean Pierre Lacoste, the Executive Chef at Austin’s own MAX’s Wine Dive will be sharing his family’s favorite recipes along with some timely kitchen advice. The menu includes gulf oyster dressing, cornbread and andouille sausage stuffing, New Orleans bread pudding, and more. $60/person. Central Market North Lamar. 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Reserve online.
  • November 18: Real Ale Dinner – Hot on the heels of the successful inaugural Beer Week, Alamo Drafthouse is partnering with Real Ale for a Real Ale for a beer tasting paired with a delectable mini-feast. You’ll enjoy special menu items and discuss the particulars of the different Real Ales offered. The guided tasting will also feature a guest speaker to help you explore the Real Ale catalogue. $55/person. Alamo Lake Creek. 7:00 pm. Purchase tickets online.
  • November 18: Slow Food Austin Happy Hour – This month’s celebration of sustainable food practices will be at Péché and feature a special seasonal appetizer menu created by Chef Jason Dodge. And because Péché is known for its mixology, they will be offering a special cocktail menu as well. All proceeds benefit Slow Food Austin. RSVP to
  • November 18: Winter Mixology 101 – When the weather gets cooler the libations get warmer. Join Austin bartender Rob Pate in as you learn a bit about the history of classic cocktails and get the skinny on how to craft winter cocktails with Gin, Cognac and Rum. $10/person or $15/couple. Twin Liquors Hancock. Purchase tickets online.

Plan Ahead – Events in the Next Three Weeks

1 Comment

  1. Hey thanks for all the easy to look at updates. Lots to pick and choose for the up coming holidays.