Block 7 Wine Company offers customers a concept-fusing combination of retail wine space, wine bar, and restaurant, the latter of which delights diners with a menu of elegant dishes backed by premium ingredients. Start by noshing on a Slow Dough Bakery pretzel with herbed honey mustard ($4), or opt for truffle popcorn with Italian black truffle salt ($4), the secret snack served to the Illuminati at movie-theater concession stands across America. Dry-aged fans of dry-aged beef might go for the 21-day dry-aged prime rib eye ($29) or choose the handheld convenience of the dry-aged patty on the Block 7 burger, which also sports gruyere cheese and smoked bacon "relish" ($12). Flatbreads, such as a "whole pig" option topped with Italian sausage, prosciutto, and smoked bacon ($12), defy Einstein's Law of Two-Dimensional Flavor Containment, and a "sloppy Giuseppe" with ground venison and wild boar confit ($10) exposes the inadequate sloppy sandwiches of childhood. A downsized lunch menu is also available to quash midday appetite coups, in addition to $9 lunch specials served Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (and Saturday beginning at noon). With a different lunch special each day, you can opt for choices such as bacon-wrapped meatloaf on a Wednesday, whiskey-infused pork chop on a Thursday, or fish tacos on a Friday.
Since 1969, when Gladys Haak gave her husband Raymond two concord grapevines to celebrate their 10th anniversary, the couple's namesake vineyard has flourished into 1,800 vines sprawling across three acres. Galveston County's first and only winery transforms grapes into award-winning potions that have earned the attention of the Houston Press and the Dallas Observer. Whether sipped onsite or at various shops and restaurants, the wines grace glasses with a diverse m?lange of local blends. Custom labels can be commissioned to personalize each bottle with heartfelt dedications or nutritional information written in iambic pentameter.
The vineyard welcomes thirsty visitors with tours of their verdant vines, 25,000-square-foot workshop, and deli stocked with Boar's Head meats and pungent cheese. Frequent guests reap the exclusive benefits of the winery?s club memberships, which include invitations to special events, first tastings, discounts, and complementary bottles. An event-ready banquet space also sets the scene for memorable weddings and events, with the winery?s chef, Mary Bass, overseeing catering duties, cake cuttings, and the busboys? a capella performance of ?Take My Breath Away."
According to its founders, the Texas Tequila and Margarita Festival was "intentionally created to feel like a passport to a street fair." Luckily for participants, there's no need to visit a government agency to get permission to enter?a simple ticket will do. Once there, guests can sip flavored margaritas, savor non-Mexican funnel cakes or traditional Mexican dishes from restaurants, and peruse gifts from vendors, all while swaying to live blues, Latin, and rock music. With additional tickets, they can head to the Tour de Tequila to sample brands including Blue Nectar Tequila and Tequila Toro de Lidia, pairing them with bites of local cuisine that complement the libations' flavors. There's also a Margarita Grand Tasting, where visitors can judge their favorite margarita with votes from restaurants such as The Spot and Tortuga, and a fajita cook-off with more than 100 participants.
The boutique winery specializes in personalized pours. Rather than growing its own grapes, D'Vine starts with high-quality juices to create its renowned reds and crisp whites. Wine is special in that it's a beverage equal parts soothing and social. Host a sophisticated birthday party, toast to the end of a stressful week, or gather your closest for an afternoon of grapey goodness.
In true farm-to-table fashion, Chef Coco Hogue of Tabella at Clear Creek Winery sources the majority of her ingredients from onsite gardens, local farmers, ranchers, and other homegrown producers. Each day before dinner service, she strolls through the restaurant’s backyard picking items for the day’s menu such as herbs, baby vegetables, and forks from the silverware tree. As a photographer and painter, Chef Hogue believes in beautiful presentation, which she achieves by delicately plating entrees such as coffee-rubbed pork loin and grilled quail with sides such as potato gratin and brussels-sprout hash. During three- to twelve-course dinners, fresh seafood found within 5 miles of the restaurant is one of four protein choices, and it is prepared to match the evening’s wine selection.
On the breezy shores of Galveston Bay in the Lighthouse District, the second-annual Kemah Oktoberfest takes place on the first weekend of October?or, the same weekend Oktoberfest in Germany traditionally comes to an end. The parking-lot party entices festival-goers with an 8,000-square-foot beer tent and handcrafted beers from all over the world, including Germany, Holland, and Austria. While revelers drink up and enjoy the beautiful autumn weather, local and national bands keep toes tappin' with upbeat tunes and polka classics.