Now that most people are staying at home as much as possible, virtual events are taking up more and more time on the calendar. Everyone’s using Zoom for both work and play, and Houston restaurants are no exception.
Even though dining rooms are fraught spaces right now, with limited capacities and a vibe that’s decidedly different than pre-pandemic, virtual dinners and cooking classes are the new norm in connecting over a plate of really great food. . For those who are not yet comfortable with dining out and who have grown blasé of take out, virtual dining is a festive way for Houston restaurant enthusiasts to support their favorite establishments while staying safe.
From heaping plates of pasta paired with a full-bodied Barolo via a virtual wine dinner or cooking classes helmed by a James Beard Award winning chef, check out these 6 can’t-miss Zoom classes focused on food and cocktails.
This beloved Rice Village restaurant brings the magic and romance of Roma into the home via its weekly wine dinners, offered every Thursday via Zoom. The 3-course dinner includes 3 bottles of wine from a featured winemaker and is available for $89 for singles and $119 for couples. The next event, set for September 24, will feature Barolo wines and dishes like pumpkin-stuffed ravioli in butter-sage sauce and honey-glazed pork tenderloin. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a space.
Pondicheri chef Anita Jaisinghani’s virtual cooking classes are perfect for anyone who’s looking to get better in the kitchen while stuck inside. Known for her popular Upper Kirby restaurant and bake lab boasting a vast menu of Indian delicacies and desserts, Jaisinghani teaches lessons monthly on ingredients, classic dishes, and how to incorporate spices into daily cooking.
Upcoming classes include “Make A Masala” on September 26th and “An Inside Look at Curry” on October 17th. Visit Pondicheri’s website to view available classes and purchase tickets.
El Meson Restaurant
Spice up Wednesday evenings by partaking in El Meson’s weekly wine dinners via Zoom with Chef Pedro Garcia and his daughter and sommelier Jessica Garcia. Each kit, available for pick up after 4 pm on the day of the virtual event, includes a 3-course dinner with 3 bottles of paired wines for $99, with the option to tack on additional dinners and wines for more guests. Visit elmeson.com to check out future offerings and to register in advance.
Spend date night in, courtesy of Backstreet Café which offers weekly wine dinners on Saturday nights hosted on Zoom. 4-course dinner kits for two include wine and a custom cocktail by resident sommelier Sean Beck. Each kit is priced at $137 and can be picked up or delivered within a 3-mile radius, with items packaged and ready for a simple reheat. Call 713-521-2239 to reserve a space.
You don’t have to dress for success while learning from the best… don sweats and socks and log on to the next Zoom class offered by Underbelly Hospitality, while learning how to Upcoming classes led by Underbelly Hospitality’s expert chefs and bartenders focus on “basic bartending” and how to smoke the perfect ribs.
Scope out Underbelly’s website for details on purchasing tickets.
The Union Kitchen
With chef Ed Roberts at the helm, the Union Kitchen’s next virtual cooking class is focused on pizza. Scheduled for October, the DIY pizza kits are paired with wine, and will be available for pickup at all five of the Houston-born chain’s locations. Check out the restaurant’s website for more details on upcoming classes.