Further proof the Fort Worth dining scene is hot, hot, hot: We are heading west for This Week in Gluttony, specifically to the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival and Empty Bowls benefiting Tarrant Area Food Bank.
However, if you just can't bear the drive down I-30, there is plenty to please your palate in Big D, not the least of which is an entire festival dedicated to the humble mudbug. Bring your bib.
Wednesday, March 26
Relic Wine Dinner at Ellerbe Fine Foods
Relic produces complex and vibrant wines from some of the best sites in Napa Valley and the Sonoma Coast. Relic's Mike Hirby shares his expertise during this exclusive four-course dinner with dishes prepared by chef Molly McCook. Seatings are available at 6:30 and 7 pm. Cost is $150 per person. Make reservations by calling 817-926-3663.
Dry Creek Vineyards Wine Dinner at Olenjack’s Grille
Olenjack’s Grille is partnering with Dry Creek Vineyards for a four-course dinner featuring selections such as Fume Blanc Sonoma, Russian River Chardonnay, Merlot and a limited release 2007 Soleil paired with dishes such as potato gnocchi with mushrooms and lamb ragout, New England chowder with smoked trout, and game hen with potato fingerling salad. Dinner begins at 7 pm and costs $65 per person. Call 817-226-2600 for reservations.
Taste of One Arts Plaza
Embark on a food journey with selections from Tei An, Fedora and Jorge's while learning about the good work of Helping Hands for the Family Place. Each restaurant provides small bites as well as drink specials. The event is free for members and $20 for nonmembers. The fun starts at 6 pm.
Thursday, March 27
Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival Kickoff
The 2014 Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival kicks off at Billy Bob's Texas with creations from a long list of participating chefs, including Jon Bonnell, Lanny Lancarte, Tim Love, Molly McCook, Blaine Staniford and Dena Peterson. Also enjoy craft beer by Rahr & Sons, Revolver and Martin House; Texas wines from Braman, Brennan and Llano Estacado; and Lone Star spirits such as Firestone & Robertson, Treaty Oak, Gompers Gin and Tito’s. Stoney LaRue provides the tunes. The event runs from 7-9 pm; Stoney goes on at 9:30. Cost is $65 per person, and you can buy your tickets as well as check out the full lineup of Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival events (March 27-30) here.
Perrier Jouet Dinner at Tei-An
This four-course dinner features seafood and spring vegetables paired with Perrier Jouet, of course. Ariane Bouron, a Champagne ambassador of Pernod Ricard, guides attendees through four great sparklings. The night begins with a 7:30 pm reception followed by dinner at 8. It costs $155 per person plus tax and gratuity. Seats are very limited and can be reserved by calling 214-220-2828.
Empty Bowls at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth
Fort Worth restaurants donate delectable soups and desserts and Cowtown artisans donate ceramic, glass and wood bowls for the 12th annual foodie fundraiser benefiting Tarrant Area Food Bank. Participating restaurants include La Madeleine, Max's Wine Dive, Clay Pigeon, and Grace/Little Red Wasp. The event takes place from 11 am to 1 pm and costs $50 for regular admission and $130 for early admission. Tickets are sold in advance only, so call 817-332-9177 x. 13.
Friday, March 28
Dinner and Conversation with Gerald J. Ford at Garden Cafe
Nothing like a little small talk with Gerald J. Ford to get your weekend off to a good start. As part of a new "Dinner and Conversation" series, Garden Cafe brings in the financial guru for a Q&A following the meal. The event begins with a reception at 6:45 pm, followed by dinner at 7:30. Cost is $50 a person plus tax and gratuity, and the event is BYOB with no corkage fee. Call 214-887-8330 for reservations.
Saturday, March 29
Mudbug Bash Crawfish Boil at Main Street Garden
Downtown Dallas Inc., 105.3 The Fan and Jack FM present the second annual crawfish fest, which also includes games and live music from Jonathan Tyler, Jay-B & the Zydeco Posse and the Inner City Allstars. Cost is $25 for admission plus two pounds of crawfish; admission only is $10. The event begins at noon, and you can buy tickets here.
Tim Byres Cooking Class at Williams-Sonoma Plano
Chef Tim Byres of Smoke and Chicken Scratch presents recipes from his James Beard-nominated cookbook Smoke: New Firewood Cooking, which provides innovative ideas for using smoke in your everyday kitchen in dishes such as salsas and cured meats. Chef Byres prepares recipes from his cookbook and discusses various cooking methods. The event runs from 3-4 pm. To reserve your spot, call 972-964-5838.
Sunday, March 30
35th Annual Barrett Havran Memorial Big Taste of Fort Worth
The impressive roster of participating restaurants — AF+B, Blue Mesa Grill, Bob’s Steak & Chop House, Eddie V’s, Fireside Pies, Grace, Hacienda San Miguel — is rivaled only by the popular wine tasting portion of the evening, which features countless varietals for sampling. The main tasting portion begins at 6 pm, with open seating tickets available for $125 each. There is also a VIP wine tasting option from 4:30-6 pm offered for $200 a person, which provides admission to both the VIP wine tasting and the main tasting. Call 888-887-BIGS for reservations.