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Black Truffle & Blue Crab Cheesecake (recipe)

Posted on: January 13th, 2016 by fcasio

The Second Annual Truffle Chef Charity Challenge was held this past Monday and benefitted the scholarship programs of Les Dames d’Escoffier. We didn’t come home with a win but the entry was so good, we had to share the recipe.

YIELD 1 – 10″ Cheesecake, 12 Servings
Black Truffle & Blue Crab Cheesecake

Black Truffle & Blue Crab Cheesecake


  • 2 cups crumbled Homestyle Cornbread
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 1/2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 7 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
  • 1 1/2 pounds goat cheese, softened
  • 2 oz chopped Black truffle


  1. Prepare Home-style Cornbread; reserve until needed.
  2. Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine cornbread and butter.
  4. Press mixture into bottom of a buttered and floured 10-inch spring-form pan; set aside.
  5. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese, goat cheese and sour cream until soft and fluffy; scrape down sides.
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl after each addition.
  7. Fold in salt, pepper, Truffle & lump crabmeat.
  8. Pour goat cheese/cream cheese mixture on top of cornbread.
  9. Set spring form pan on an 18-inch square of heavy-duty aluminum foil; crimp foil up sides of pan to prevent any moisture from seeping into crust. Bake in a water bath 60 minutes, or until cheesecake feels firm in the center.
  10. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled or freeze before cutting with a hot, clean serrated knife.

A Garden Party Celebration – Megan and Danny’s Vow

Posted on: August 9th, 2013 by fcasio No Comments

Republished – Original Post: OneFabDay Blog

○ 9 August by

To round off the week, we have something more than a little bit special for you this morning: our first ever Vow Renewal. And it’s an amazing inspiration for those of you married readers (we know you’re there 🙂 who might be wishing for a special moment to celebrate your marriage. Since their elopement ten years ago, Megan and Danny have been through a lot together: a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, a cross country move for treatment, a clean bill of health, and the adoption of their daughter. They had always planned to renew their vows, so when the dust settled, they did just that. We’re excited to show you photos from Awake Your Soul Photography from their wonderful garden party vow renewal – it’s gorgeous!

wedding signage

Megan and Danny met when Megan’s staffing firm was hired to find employees for Danny’s company in Chicago…Megan was not overly successful at finding employees but she was excellent at flirting with Danny. Despite her poor professional showing, the flirting was enough to lock down the account, and months later, a husband. Sounds like a win-win!

wedding hair dressers

These custom shirts from Claridge and King are a great idea for the bridal party on the wedding day – they’re classy and also unbutton easily so you won’t mess up your hair and makeup. You can even have the pocket monogrammed, making a sweet pajama top for years to come.

bride getting her hair done

wedding stationery

jewel bridal clutch

gold strappy sandles by DSW

lace weddign dress hanging in tree

BHLDN lace dress with satin ribbon

pink flowers and lace wedding dress

When it came time to plan the vow renewal, Megan knew she wanted a rustic garden party vibe. She chose a pretty lace dress from BHLDN, and the rest of the details started falling into place. Megan’s dress is just exquisite and suits a vow renewal perfectly because it isn’t too dressy but still has a hint of bridal with the cream colour and the lace. It would also suit a bride who’s looking for a dress that’s a little less traditional.

wedding signage

Megan chose Brennan’s restaurant in Houston, Texas, as the venue for the vow renewal because it suited her garden party theme perfectly….Brennan’s outdoor space has a lot of greenery, exposed brick, and is overall very quaint – perfect for a garden party feel.

whimsical wedding stationery

Because Megan is a writer, the vintage books that adorned the dessert table were especially meaningful.

Awake Your Soul - Brennans Houston 20

peach roses and foliage bouquet

Megan worked with stylist Alyson Fulcher of Mimosas in the Morning, to put together the garden party. They were able to source bouquets from their local grocery store in Houston, Texas. Can you believe these blooms come from a grocery store? They’re stunning and we love the wild tendrils on the bride’s bouquet.

peach pink and cream bouquet

They even managed to squeeze in a few succulents into the flower arrangements – we love this trend!

flowers and vintage books

 peach and orange flowers

bride and bridesmaids in short dresses

Megan’s mini blusher veil was also from BHLDN, and it just suits the occasion perfectly. Her maids wore dresses in soft peach and gold which created a beautiful palette along side Megan and her cream lace dress.

pink white and orange bouquet

garden party wedding table

peach rose and vintage props

This is a sweet take on the vintage book trend we see frequently in table decor – prop open a book and tuck in a little poesy of flowers. It adds an interesting element and another way to showcase fabulous florals.

flower table centre pieces

chair decorations using colourful flowers

 flowers used for chair decor

gold cutlery with thyme and ribbon

The place settings were beyond simple, but just so lovely. Layered white plates, a textured linen napkin, and a sprig of rosemary tied with a piece of ribbon to the silverware. Such a lovely little detail!

raspberry wedding favours

 peach pink and c ream bouquet

Megan and Danny’s tables also included little goblets filled with fresh berries. These added to the garden party feel, but they also make a sweet snack for your guests!

garden party

wedding toast

garden party table setting

Here’s another fabulous way to set up your place settings – a folded napkin and a sprig of herbs. Simple but so sweet.

peach pink and white flowers

 vintage table centrepieces with flowers

peach pink and white flowers for table centre piece

Cream cake with silver floral detail

Cream cake with silver floral detail

desert table

peach wedding cake and cake topper

pink and white wedding cake

The cakes from Silver Cake Studio are just amazing, aren’t they? We love that Megan and Danny let them speak for themselves – the dessert table has a few decorations, but it’s not overcrowded. And of course, lace bunting to tie in perfectly with Megan’s dress!

bridesmaids bouquets

Garden Party Wedding

bride with birdecage veil

Danny’s outfit suits the garden party to a tee – a little green in his sweater and pink in his shirt, but not overly fancy.

baby flowergirl

We think this little girl quickly stole the show! Her little lace romper is beyond adorable.

bride with lace BHLDN dress and birdcage


vintage wedding decor

blackberry and raspberry wedding favours

bride and groom wedding signage

wedding signage

These frames are such a lovely touch for the signage on the day. You could DIY something similar using charity shop frames, spray painted gold.

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom garden party

groom with pink shirt

Megan has a little advice for those of you who might worry you can’t afford the wedding of your dreams at the moment. If you can’t afford nor do you want to do a big wedding day to start, you always have the option to go all out in years to come with a vow renewal ceremony.  So true. If you aren’t able to have the celebration of your dreams today, that doesn’t mean it can never happen. We love that Megan and Danny put together a day to celebrate all they’ve been through in their marriage and have the garden party celebration they’ve always wanted!

Thanks, Megan and Danny for sharing your beautiful love story and your gorgeous vow renewal with us. And thanks to Awake Your Soul Photography for sharing these stunning images.

All the Details: 

H-Town Chefs Rock Austin Fest

Posted on: April 25th, 2013 by fcasio No Comments


Robin Barr Sussman | Photo: Courtesy Image | April 22, 2013

Attention foodies and chef followers! Top Houston toques will join national celebrity chefs like Susan Feniger and Andrew Zimmern this weekend, April 26-28, for the Austin Food & Wine Festival by Food & Wine Magazine.

Chefs Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrance Gallivan of The Pass and Provisions

Guests will mingle with food and wine luminaries as they cook, shake cocktails, pour hundreds of wines, and enlighten guests on all things epicurean. Live music included! For tickets and a complete schedule, visit austinfoodandwinefestival.com. Can’t make it to ATX? Hit up their H-Town restaurants for these new spring menu items and events.

1. Chef Danny Trace of Brennan’s (3300 Smith St., 713.522.9711) is bringing his Texas-Creole culinary swagger to the party Friday night as a participant in the Taste of Texas Kickoff event. If you miss the fun, there’s always something brewing at Brennan’s, including the last of the Courtyard Series, Mudbug Madness. Or spring for the new Digging Texas Creole Vegetable menu.

2. Chefs Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrance Gallivan of The Pass and Provisions (807 Taft St., 713.628.9020) will both grace the Austin Taste of Texas Kickoff event and dish out samples of their whimsical thought-provoking creations. Back at The Pass, look for a new spring tasting menu of meticulously composed “potato bread” with a lobster roll and corn; eggplant carpaccio; pork crackling, nori bucatini and more.

3. Houston-born Philip Speer, executive pastry chef and culinary director of nationally buzzed Uchi Houston (904 Westheimer Rd., 713.522.4808) and Austin, will wow guests with amazing treats in a demo called Classic Desserts in a Modern Kitchen. Back in H-Town, Feast, a dinner series by Blaffer Art Museum Houston, pairs Houston artists with Uchi for unique wine dinners created in the private homes of Houston collectors, which runs through August.

4. Lauded Underbelly chef Chris Shepherd, recently named this year’s 10 Best New Chefs by Food & Wine Magazine, will strut his stuff this weekend at the Taste of Texas Kickoff Event in Republic Square Park. At Underbelly, (1100 Westheimer Rd., 713.528.9800) look for this new menu dish among others: smoked pork with grapefruit BBQ sauce and fried green tomatoes.

5. Chef Jamie Zelko of Zelko Bistro (705 E. 11th St., 713.880.8691) is all about local and sustainable, so get in line at the weekend fest for her New American comfort fare with a fresh twist. New this spring to her Houston bistro menu: Verlasso farm-raised sustainable salmon, known for fabulous flavor and texture. Slow-baked salmon with grilled fennel, garlic spinach and Meyer lemon aioli anyone?

Freeman Wine Dinner

Posted on: April 3rd, 2013 by fcasio No Comments

Freeman WineryA Message from the Wine Guy

April brings Ken Freeman of Freeman Wines to Brennan’s for an intimate wine dinner. A few tickets remain for this great opportunity to both meet Ken and try the wines. We will be pouring pinot noir from the great vintages of 2007 and 2009, along with some current vintage pinot noir and chardonnay. Ken gets fruit for his wines from some of the best vineyards in California, including Charles Heintzand Keefer Ranch. If you like the wines of Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast, or just want to become more familiar with them, here is your chance!

Jason Sherman, Wine Director / Wine Guy

Brennan’s chefs will kick off the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair

Posted on: March 27th, 2013 by fcasio No Comments

REPUBLISHED: YourHoustonNews.com

Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 7:57 am

Brennan's Crawfish Shortcake

Brennan’s Crawfish Shortcake


I can remember going to Brennan’s as a kid. The opening of their Houston location more than 40 years ago was a big deal in our household. We always knew it was a special occasion if we were going to Brennan’s.

H-town’s culinary scene has certainly changed since then, but one thing that hasn’t changed — Brennan’s is still a beloved spot by so many. Some of our city’s best chefs hail from the iconic restaurant’s kitchens, and four are them are planning a delicious reunion!

Their “Family Affair” will kick-off the 10th anniversary of the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair, a week-long event for food and wine enthusiasts on April 24-28. The event will be on the grounds of the historic Imperial Sugar Factory in the Gallery Furniture Pavilion.

Brennan’s current executive chef Danny Trace and former chefs Randy Evans of Haven, Mark Holley of former Pesce and Jon Hebert of Houston City Club will unite to create an incredible wine pairing dinner featuring premier vintages from Sterling Vineyards, Far Niente Winery, Iron Horse Vineyards, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and Frank Family Vineyards among others.

For a preview of what could be included in the evening’s incredible fare, Chef Trace shared Brennan’s delicious recipe for Breaux Bridge Barbecue Crawfish Shortcakes with Goodtaste.tv. (http://goodtaste.tv/recipes/ showrecipe/ display/breaux-bridge-barbecue-crawfish-shortcake)

The savory barbecue sauce is incredibly rich with just the right amount of kick thanks to the hot sauce he adds. Chef Trace garnishes the dish with a St. Arnold’s beer aioli.

One of Chef Randy Evan’s most popular dishes at Haven is also a Cajun favorite–his wild-caught Gulf shrimp with stone ground grits. You can watch Chef Evans prepare the dish and get the recipe at Goodtaste.tv. (http://goodtaste.tv/recipe/wild-texas-shrimp-with-house-made-worcestershire-meuniere)

All proceeds from the five-day Sugar Land Wine and Food Affair will support a permanent scholarship endowment at the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.

For more great recipes and wine pairing ideas, head to Goodtaste.tv. While you’re there sign up for our newsletter for exclusive recipes and chances to win fabulous prizes.

Tanji Patton writes about food and restaurants for HERE. She may be reached via email at: goodtaste@tanjipatton.com.

A Texas-Sized Mardi Gras

Posted on: February 12th, 2013 by fcasio No Comments

Republished from The Local Palate:


Posted in News & Events on 12 February 2013

Written by Sydni Hebert
Photos Courtesy of Brennan’s

It’s Carnival season ya’ll! A time for eating, drinking and catching beads at the parades. That is, if you are lucky enough to live in a place that actually celebrates Mardi Gras. If not, you should order a King Cake and throw on your purple, yellow and green to get you feelin’ festive. For our friends in Texas, a special treat is in store for you. Brennan’s of Houston will be hosting their very own Texas-Sized Mardi Gras Extravaganza on the big day. The event promises to be an authentic New Orleans-Style Fat Tuesday celebration, complete with a faux float, live jazz band and fortune teller.

Guests will feel like they are in the French Quarter as they indulge in Executive Chef Danny Trace’s Texas Creole favorites. Highlights of the prix fixe menu include BBQ Breaux Bridge Crawfish Shortcake served with a buttermilk biscuit, NOLA-style barbeque sauce and St. Arnold’s beer aioli, and Lamb Chops Tchoupitoulas with Creole mustard crusted Colorado lamb chops, lamb debris meat pie, lamb sausage jambalaya and Mint Julep Tchoupitoulas sauce. And since no Mardi Gras party is complete without King Cake, Chef Trace has cooked up his own version, appropriately named Mardi Gras Mambo King Cake. It will be accompanied by Bulleit Bourbon praline caramel, Imperial sugars and Creole cream cheese mousse. Specialty cocktails will also be flowing (to make sure you really get in the Mardi Gras mood).

So if you’re feeling blue because you can’t make it down South to participate in the festivities, head to Brennan’s and enjoy a NOLA-style Mardi Gras deep in the heart of Texas. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Brennan’s of Houston.

Don’t forget to say “throw me something mister!” and let the good times roll!

web Brennans photo 3

Valentine’s Day Romance at Brennan’s

Posted on: January 25th, 2013 by fcasio 2 Comments

Enjoy a Three-Course Dinner at an Iconic Houston Restaurant on February 14, 2013

What: This Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013, keep the romance alive with an indulgent, three-course prix fixe dinner in the cozy atmosphere of Brennan’s of Houston. The landmark restaurant is offering your choice of starter, entree and dessert for $75 per person.

Valentine's Day at Brennan's of Houston

Menu highlights include:

Louisiana Blue Crab & Caviar Crepe
English peas, melted leeks and Maitake mushrooms with St. Andre cheese fondue and Petrossian caviar

Lamb Chops Tchoupitoulas
Creole mustard crusted Colorado lamb chops, lamb debris meat pie, lamb sausage jambalaya and mint julep

Honey Peanut Butter Cup
Lebelle Ranch honey peanuts, TCHO chocolate, Tabasco peanut brittle, 24 kt gold leaf and Kahlua liqueur

Extensive seasonal wine and cocktail lists are available to complement the dinner and Brennan’s knowledgeable servers offer superb recommendations on pairings.

For the complete menu, please visit Brennan’s 2013 Valentine’s Day Page.

When: February 14, 2013 from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Cost: $75 per person excluding drinks, tax and gratuity

Reservations: Required, please call 713.522.9711 or visit Brennan’s Reservations page.


Bridal Shower by Kimberly Chau Photography

Posted on: August 8th, 2012 by fcasio 1 Comment

If you’re looking for a little wedding inspiration, Hope’s bridal shower has ideas bursting at the seems. Thank you to Kimberly Chau Photography for sharing such beautiful photos!

Originally published on Kimberly Chau Photography blog.

Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography

Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography

Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography

Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography
Photos by Kimberly Chau Photography

Chocolate Mendiants | Burdick Chocolate
Venue | Brennan’s of Houston
Flowers | Bergner & Johnson
Menu & Invitations | Chelsea Petaja “Oh My Deer Handmades”

Top it Off with Bacon Tomato Jam

Posted on: August 3rd, 2012 by fcasio No Comments

If you missed Chef Danny this morning on Fox, here is the recipe for his Tomato Bacon Jam that we’re topping off our Creole Filet with during Houston Restaurant Weeks.

Bacon Tomato Jam

Yields: 1 Pint

4            Roma Tomatoes

4 oz      Agave Syrup

2 oz      Rice Wine Vinegar

1 Tbl     Crush Garlic

2 Tbl    Bruniose Shallots

2 Tbl    Cooked Crumbled Bacon

2 oz      White Rum

1 Tbl     Grapeseed Oil


  1. In a saute pan on medium-high heat, add grapeseed oil.
  2. Add garlic and toast being careful not to burn.
  3. Add shallots and saute until translucent.
  4. Remove the pan from flame and deglaze with rum being careful of the flame.Cook to burn off alcohol.
  5. Add vinegar and agave.
  6. Bring to a boil and add tomatoes and cook until jam consistency.
  7. Season with salt, pepper and Tabasco to taste.
Creole Filet Topped with Tomato Bacon Jam

Creole Spiced West Texas Filet of Beef

Giving Thanks

Posted on: November 21st, 2011 by fcasio 23 Comments

We’re getting into the holiday spirit and wanted to say thanks to all of you. Just to let you know how thankful we are, tell us what you’re most thankful for and automatically be entered to win a $100 Gift Certificate. Winner will be announced tomorrow (Tuesday) morning at Noon.

Thank you all for sharing with us what you are most thankful for and warming our hearts.  In a random drawing, Angela is the winner of the $100 Gift Certificate. Please email Fern Casio at info@brennanshouston.com with your mailing address.

"thanksgiving day"

We wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!