Landry’s “Summer Chef Series” runs through August in Houston

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Each Wednesday this Summer Houston area food and wine lovers can treat themselves to a distinctive dining experience as part of Landry’s “Summer Chef Series.”

Dining rooms on tap this year include Landry’s Inc Signature Group restaurants; Vic & Anthony’s, Brenner’s Steakhouse, Brenner’s Steakhouse on the Bayou, Grotto, La Griglia, The Oceanaire, Morton’s The Steakhouse, McCormick & Schmick’s and Willie G’s Seafood and Steak House. All limited-seating dinners start at 7:00 p.m.

ChefPosterBilled as “a private and exclusive dining experience hosted by their award-winning executive chefs,” the weekly dining experience will feature an exclusive menu of mouth-watering specialties, along with the chef’s individual section of wine pairings.

Set in an intimate atmosphere, the gathering will afford guests the opportunity to engage one-on-one with the Chef and his team, promising to create an evening of fun, friends and truly exceptional fine dining.

The Kick-off event at Brenner’s Steakhouse sold out quickly and included a five-course meal and intermezzo of seafood and beef with unique flavors. Chef Brian Miner wowed guests with his slow-roasted Berkshire shoulder, pickled plum chutney, peppered apple slaw paired with 2013 Stellenbosch Hills Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa; English Pea Soup with mustard seed caviar, Parmesan Reggiano mousse paired with 2013 Domaine Franck Millet Rosé from Sancerre, France; Herb-Marinated Duck Breast with seasonal cherries, pink peppercorn, vanilla-scented oil paired with 2011 Ampeleia “Kepos,” from Tuscany, Italy; Petite Strip Loin with corn-cumin purée, baby fennel and pancetta butter paired with 2011 Michael David “Inkblot” Petit Verdot from Lodi, California and Ruby Red Terrine with lingonberry jus and basil paired with Demarie Birbet Brachetto from Piedmont, Italy.

The remaining events for this summer’s series include the following

When: Wednesday, June 18
Where: Grotto
Who: Chef Ricky Cruz
Price: $95
Reservations: 713-622-3663

Planned Menu & Pairings:

  • Rollatine di Zucchini Ripieno con Salmone – Rolled roasted zucchini, stuffed with ricotta cheese and smoked salmon, served on parmesan crisp and sun-dried tomato mayonnaise
    Wine: Stellina di Notte Prosecco, Italy
  • Insalata di Carciofi – fresh artichokes, baby arugula, fava beans, yellow and red teardrop tomatoes, pecorino cheese, mint and extra-virgin lemon olive oil
    Wine: Sant’Elena Chardonny, Friuli, Italy
  • Risotto tre Amici – Arborio rice tasting, truffle mushroom risotto, shrimp risotto and beer Carpaccio risotto
    Wine: Melini “Borghi d’Elsa” Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
  • Branzino al Forno – oven-roasted Chilean sea bass, served over orzo primavera, topped with a jumbo shrimp, baby celery and saffron sauce
    Wine: S.Anselmo Moscato, Oltrepo Pavese, Italy
  • Agnello alla Griglia – grilled lamb chops, served over homemade sweet potato dumplings and mint sauce
    Wine: Livio Felluga “Vertigo” Rosso delle Venezie, Veneto, Italy
  • Trio di Gelato – pistachio, strawberry, pineapple
    Wine: Castellare Vin Santo Del Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy

When: Wednesday, June 25
Where: The Oceanaire
Who: Chef Skip King
Price: $95
Reservations: 832-487-8862

Planned Menu & Pairings:

  • Baked Oyster Trio – Gilhooley, Bienvielle, Rockefeller
    Wine: Olivier Leflaive “Les Setilles,” Chardonnay, Bourgogne, France
  • Tuna Nicoise – red and green oak lettuce, frisée, haricots verts, fingerling potatoes, fried truffled quail egg, white balsamic vinaigrette
    Wine: Domaine Drouhin, Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Oregon
  • Baked Texas Redfish – cornmeal crust, grilled shrimp, creole slaw
    Wine: Paul Hobbs “CrossBarn,” Cabernet, Sonoma Coast, California
  • Salt-Crusted Gulf Red Snapper – sweet corn pudding, snap peas
    Wine: Blackbird “Arise,” Cabernet, Napa Valley, California
  • Blackberry & Grilled Peach Cobbler – buttermilk ice cream with salted caramel swirl with Coffee “Oceanaire”

When: Wednesday, July 9
Where: Morton’s The Steakhouse
Who: Chefs Frank Lewis & Phuc Luu
Price: $95
Reservations: 713-629-1946 (Galleria location)

Planned Menu & Pairings

  • Baked Lobster Milanese – garlic rouille
    Wine: Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Chardonnay
  • Thai Asian Salad – avocado, mango, crispy rice noodles, ginger soy vinaigrette
    Wine: Anew Riesling
  • Broiled Miso-Glazed Wild Alaskan Halibut – baby bok choy, sesame jasmine rice
    Wine: Erath Estate Pinot Noir
  • Broiled New Zealand Lamb Chops – oven-roasted smoked maitake mushrooms, blueberry port reduction
    Wine: Col Solare Red Blend
  • Apricot Crème Brulee
    Wine: Nicolas Feuillatte Brut NV

When: Wednesday, July 16
Where: Brenner’s Steakhouse On the Bayou
Who: Chef Ryan Braden
Price: $95
Reservations: 713-868-4444

Planned Menu & Pairings:

  • Heirloom Tomato Confit – maple syrup, marinated mozzarella, toasted pine nuts, baby basil, white balsamic ice cream
    Wine: Stefano Farina, Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy</li>
  • Spice-Roasted Lobster – buttermilk and leek chutney, candied ginger
    Wine: Trimbach Riesling, Alsace, France
  • Roasted Quail – heirloom carrots, carrot purée, wild mushrooms, pearl onions
    Wine: Hahn Estate Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, California
  • Prosciutto-Wrapped Lamb – beurre noisette glazed potato, braised Swiss chard, beech mushrooms, Cabernet reduction
    Wine: John Anthony Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, California
  • Coconut Milk Chocolate Bar – cinnamon-dusted flourless chocolate cake, mocha ice cream, candied orange, caramel corn
    Wine: Morande, Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Chile

When: Wednesday, July 23
Where: Willie G’s Seafood and Steak House
Who: Chef Jose Parada
Price: $95
Reservations: 713-840-7190

Planned Menu & Pairings

  • Vichyssoise Martini – the finest of all cold soups
    Wine: Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc, Margaret River, Australia</li>
  • Crabmeat Stuffed Avocado Salad with Tomatoes – avocado, sea salt, fresh lime juice, green onions, romaine lettuce, olive oil, cilantro
    Wine: Chalone Vineyard ‘Gavilan’ Chardonnay, Sonoma, California
  • Halibut with Lemon-Butter and Crispy Shallots – seared to perfection and topped with crispy shallots and lemon butter
    Wine: Domaine Chandon Pinot Noir, Carneros, California
  • Chateaubriand and Veal Oscar – two roasted tenderloin and two veal cutlets topped with crab meat and béarnaise sauce
    Wine: Michael David Winery ‘Freakshow’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi, California
  • Willie G’s White Chocolate Bread Pudding – crowned with dark and white chocolate ganache
    Wine: Rosenblum Cellars ‘Désirée,’ California

When: Wednesday, July 30
Where: La Griglia
Who: Chef Luis Rubio
Price: $95
Reservations: 713-526-4700

Planned Menu & Pairings

  • Tortellini di Zucca – roasted butternut squash and sage
    Wine: Riesling “Vigna Costa,” Bruno Verdi, Lombardy
  • Panzanella di Bufala – marinated heirloom tomatoes, bread crumbs, olive oil and aged balsamic pearls
    Wine: Greco di Tufo, Feudi di San Gregorio Campania
  • Halibut in Cartoccio – roasted tomatoes, carciofi, marinated olives and Italian peppers
    Wine: Barolo “Lecinquevigne,” DaMilano Piemonte
  • Petite Veal Ossobuco – served over cauliflower purée and chanterelle mushrooms
    Wine: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Asinone”, Poliziano, Toscana
  • Italian Trifle – Limoncello custard, ladyfingers and chocolate
    Wine: Moscato “Dindarello,” Maculan Veneto

When: Wednesday, August 6
Where: McCormick & Schmick’s
Who: Chefs David Hernandez, Andrew Oliver & Ashley Hedgpeth
Price: $95
Reservations: 713-840-7900 (Uptown Park location)

Planned Menu & Pairings

  • Foie Gras and Cherries – torchon of foie gras, fresh cherries, pickled cherries, cherry coulis, caraway tuile, fennel oil and micro celery slaw
    Wine: Hugel et Fils Riesling, Alsace 2011
  • Apple Salad – hearts of romaine, Fuji apples, Roquefort cheese and bacon apple balsamic vinaigrette
    Wine: Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc-Viognier, Napa Valley 2013
  • Scallop and Clam Ceviche – sea scallops, cherrystone clams, three-citrus marinade, serrano chiles, fresh cilantro and mint, served on the half shell
    Wine: Mer Soleil ‘Silver’ Unoaked Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands 2011
  • Wild Hawaiian Opah (Moonfish) – fingerling potato and Portuguese sausage hash, heirloom tomato salad, Hawaiian hearts of palm and sea asparagus
    Wine: Louis Jadot Pinot Noir, France 2010
  • Prime New York Roast – loaded celeriac purée, blackberry fig demi and pea shoot salad
    Wine: Cain Cuvée Red Blend, Napa Valley NV9
  • Riesling Poached Pear – Texas honey and sea salt gelato with Texas pecan brittle
    Wine: Flat Creek Estate Blanco Brio Muscat, Marble Falls, Texas 2012

The Grand Finale Dinner will feature all Signature Group Chefs. Guests at the Finale Dinner will be greeted with hand-crafted cocktails followed by live music and a locally sourced menu prepared by nine of the Signature Group Executive Chefs and Executive Pastry Chef, Eunice Grassa. Each of the chefs will weigh in with their favorite selections. Tickets to the Grand Finale Dinner can be purchased on-line.

When: Wednesday, August 13
Where: Vic & Anthony’s
Who: All Signature Group Chefs to be featured
Price: $150
Reservations: 713-228-1111

Landry’s, Inc., wholly owned by Tilman J. Fertitta, is a multinational, diversified restaurant, hospitality, gaming and entertainment company based in Houston, Texas. Each dinner is priced and reserved through the host restaurant separately. Prices listed do not include tax and gratuity. Patrons are encouraged to make their limited-seating reservations now, as places are filling up.

We plan to be at the July 30th La Griglia dinner, and hope to meet some of you there.

Cheers!

The WineWonkette