Virginia B. Wood's on her way to the Southern Foodways Alliance symposium in Oxford, Miss., but she still finds time to take you out to dinner and a movie in this week's "Food-o-File."
Last year when guests departed after enjoying our five- course film feast, I stood in the lobby of the Alamo Drafthouse North (2700 Anderson, 476-1320) asking what other food movies they might like to see this year. The most frequent responses were Babette's Feast and Like Water for Chocolate, and those wishes are our command. This year's food movie series offers three Monday nights of cinema very tasty with menus prepared by talented local chefs, all benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank. All screenings will be at the Alamo Drafthouse North at 7pm. Second screenings of each movie will be scheduled only if the first screenings sell out in advance, so make your reservations online now at www.drafthouse.com. On Monday, October 28, join us for Like Water for Chocolate, Mexican director Alfonso Arau's lyrical romance where food tells the story. The aphrodisiac Quails in Rose Sauce and patriotic Rellenos en Nogada will be prepared by El Méson and served with sangria and Mexican beer, $50. On Monday, Nov. 4, we'll eat our way through Francis Ford Coppola's Mafia epic, The Godfather, right along with the familigia Corleone. Vespaio will prepare Connie's Wedding appetizers, and a representative from the Niebaum/Coppola winery will be on hand to introduce their sparkling wine, Sofia, created by Francis Coppola for his own daughter's wedding. We'll serve Coppola red table wine with Clemenza's sausage and peppers when the guys go to the mattresses, and we'll definitely "leave the gun and take the cannoli," $50. The series ends on Nov. 11 with Babette's Feast, the classic art film featuring a transcendent French meal. Chef Jean-Luc Salles and students from the Texas Culinary Academy will prepare the legendary opulent menu, complete with Blini Davidoff, Quails Stuffed With Foie Gras and Truffles in Puff Pastry, Baba au Rhum, and fine wines will be served with each course; $75. See them all.
By press time, I'll be in Oxford, Miss., for the annual Southern Foodways Alliance symposium, and miss another weekend loaded with good food events here at home. I'll be back next week with a full report on barbecue, Deep South style. This Saturday, Oct. 19, at 6:30pm, the Austin Czech Historical Association presents its Sixth Annual Celebration of Czech Culture with an authentic Czech meal, music for dancing and entertainment, and a silent auction at the Lakeway Inn (101 Lakeway). For information, reservations, and $30 advance tickets, contact the chapter president, James F. Van Bibber, at 255-6994, or Happy Almaguer at 892-1385... The Merry Maltsters have returned from their wildly successful trip to Scotland and will meet at Opal Divine's Freehouse (700 W. Sixth, 477-3308, www.opaldivines.com) at 7pm this Saturday, Oct. 19, for a regional tasting of 17-year-old single malt scotches; six whiskeys, and a buffet for $40. Seating is limited, call now... Doug Foreman and the folks at the original Old Alligator Grill (3003 S. Lamar, 444-6117, www.alligatorgrill.com) invite you to their first annual Oysterfest on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 1pm. The free event will offer live music and family entertainment, plus oyster shucking and oyster eating contests in both restaurant and amateur categories. Registration fee to participate in the contests is $15, and winners in each category will take home $250 cash prizes, T-shirts, and trophies. Y'all come shuck a few!... Look for the distinctively yellow, nationally famous Round Rock Donuts (www.roundrockdonuts.com) to be available any day now in Pflugerville. The brand-new shop is located at 1202 FM 685, Ste. B, and they'll be serving coffee drinks and ice cream in addition to the addictive doughnuts.