Houston Symphony Opening Night Concert And Gala’s Grand Style


By Jennifer Roosth      Photography by Priscilla Dickson and Daniel Ortiz

THE SETTING: Recently, over 300 guests, donning their finest black tie attire, attended the Houston Symphony’s Opening Night concert and gala. Upon arrival at Jones Hall, partygoers enjoyed champagne and hors d’oeuvres on the Mezzanine level before making their way into see concert. The evening featured Juraj Valčuha leading the orchestra and Houston Symphony Chorus, alongside soprano Ana María Martínez, mezzo-soprano Marina Prudenskaya, tenor Jonathan Tetelman, and bass Dmitry Belosselskiy. Following the performance, guests were transported to the Corinthian Houston for a spectacular seated dinner catered by Jackson and Company. Following dinner, guests enjoyed musical entertainment by the David Caceres Band.


THE STYLE: The Corinthian ballroom was donned with crystal chandeliers and greenery cascading across the balcony, all designed by The Events Company. The elegant tables that filled the room, covered in green linens, were topped with varying high and low-profile floral arrangements in shades of white and green.


Dinner began with an Italian butter lettuce salad with fresh herbs, gulf shrimp terrine, chives, and pickled mustard seed vinaigrette topped with a toasted chickpea crouton and three radish slaw. The main course included a gremolata and breadcrumb crusted black cod, with charred leek and artichoke white wine emulsion, alongside summer squash and white corn rösti, and Romano beans and button chanterelle sauté.  Accompanying the meal were wine pairings provided by Spec’s Wine, Spirits, & Finer Foods. After dinner, the dessert was a trio that included coconut sorbet verrine, tiramisu profiteroles, and hazelnut macaroons.


THE PURPOSE: The annual Houston Symphony Opening Night concert and gala, chaired by Drs. Susan and Dennis Carlyle, celebrated the opening of the 2022–2023 season and the tenure of Juraj Valčuha as the Houston Symphony’s 16th music director and holder of the Roy and Lillie Cullen Chair. This year’s event raised more than $540,000 for the orchestra’s industry-leading Education and Community Engagement initiatives. ConocoPhillips served as the Concert Sponsor and Lead Gala Corporate Underwriter for the 36th year.   



Houston PetSet Raises Record $1.1 Million

By Jennifer Roosth Photography by Priscilla Dickson

THE SETTING: More than 700 animal lovers packed the Post Oak Hotel ballroom to see Cole Hauser and Forrie Smith, stars of Showtime T.V. favorite, Yellowstone. However, the animals were the true winners of the 18th annual Fierce and Fabulous Soirée.  Houstonians came out in full force for a fierce and fabulous charitable evening of cocktails, dinner, luxury auction items, and a rocking after party. They opened their hearts and wallets to make this year’s event a resounding, fierce and fabulous success.


THE STYLE: Mistress of Ceremonies Deborah Duncan provided the audience with much laughter and banter from the podium. Sidney Faust was applauded for all her hard work and charitable generosity to the community. There were plenty of one-of-a-kind auction experiences. For one example, tennis great John McEnroe hosted guests at his seats at Wimbledon, for the women’s and men’s finals, which included an invitation for an after party at his house. Then there was the Cole Hauser experience for an afternoon horse ride in Montana, DeBoulle generously donated a Rolex timepiece for the raffle, and I-Touch donated a beautiful ruby and diamond ring.


PURPOSE: Leading the helm of this sold-out event were chairpersons Tena Lundquist Faust, Tama Lundquist, and Sue Smith. The event raised an unprecedented amount of $1.1 million for the animals. Houston PetSet is a non-profit organization providing grants to over 70 Houston area charities that benefit animal welfare and are committed to spaying, neutering, rescuing, adopting, and transporting the homeless pet population.  



Italian Cultural and Community Center’s Annual Fashion Show And Luncheon

By Jennifer Roosth   Photography by Michelle Watson

Erika Myers and Owen Conflenti

THE SETTING: A beautiful, sold-out crowd of more than 300 guests recently gathered at the River Oaks Country Club, for the Italian Cultural & Community Center Annual Fashion Show and Luncheon. They were delighted to see a runway packed with chic Italian fashions from Neiman Marcus and a dazzling display of raffle prizes, including glittering baubles from Tenenbaum Jewelers. È stato fantastico!

Rose “Rosie” Carrabba and Johnny Carrabba

THE STYLE: Themed Celebrating the Jewels of Italy, the event offered amusements for guests, including an Italian aria performed by soprano Bailey Bower, a silent auction, Prosecco sipping, and the fashion show, which Jeanne Ruberti produced.

Hannah Swiggard and Chiara Casiraghi

Honoree Rosie Carrabba was introduced by her proud Italian son, restauranteur Johnny Carrabba. He had the audience laughing and crying as he voiced his admiration for all the roles Rosie plays as wife, mother, grandmother, restaurateur, and Houston icon. Rosie thanked the audience and her son, while the crowd roared with laughter at her humor and humility, before a video tribute from her friend Steve Tyrell.

Sandra Porter and Gina Gusemano Leck

THE PURPOSE: Sandra Porter and Gina Gusemano Leck chaired the event. KPRC TV 2’s Owen Conflenti served as master of ceremonies, and the Italian Center Executive Director Erika Myers was already wondering aloud how the organization would top this event next year. All luncheon proceeds benefitted the center’s scholarship programs for college students studying here and abroad in Italy. Bellissimo!

Chris Hendel and Katherine Warren



With everyone returning to restaurants like never before, there are a plethora of new, beautiful ones to try, as well as favorites to try again, according to our savvy eatery devotees, Rob Giardinelli (Austin), Cynthia Smoot (Dallas), Rob Giardinelli (Houston) and Alexandra del Lago (San Antonio).


So Well Done Austin Salad


Located in Westlake, Neighborhood Vintner offers over 1,000 wine bottles for retail purchases at varying price points, along with wines available in the store by the glass, all of which pair exquisitely with their charcuterie menu. The locale is perfect for meeting a friend after work, as the first stop on a night out, or to obtain a last-minute host gift en route to a dinner party.

At NeighborhoodVintner.com.

The Lolo Austin Texas wine bar


Dean’s Italian Steakhouse is a classic American steakhouse with Italian expression that has recently opened its first Texas location. Located downtown on the ground floor of the JW Marriott Austin, Dean’s offers the best cuts of steak, market fresh seafood, and house-made pasta…and a killer happy hour menu to boot.

At DeansSteakhouseAustin.com.

Rebel Cheese Austin Texas


Brought to Austin by Tex-Mex restaurant company Trudy’s, Trudy’s Del Mar recently opened in the former South Congress Café location. It offers a nod to its iconic predecessor by continuing its beloved brunch menu while serving unique and exciting seafood dishes inspired by traditional recipes from Mexican Coastal living.

At Trudys.com.


pastry from La Tarte Tropézienne dallas texas


Known for its take on Pan-Asian cuisine and craft cocktails, Alice recently launched new menu offerings. The refreshed menu by Ashkan Moeinearaghi, their executive chef, offers memorable dishes centered around sushi, sashimi, and nigiri plates.

At AliceDallas.com.

Georgie Dallas Restaurant


Located inside the Hilton Anatole, SĒR Steak + Spirits is a contemporary American steakhouse with unparalleled views of the Dallas skyline. They have reopened with a new executive chef, a globally- inspired menu, and a dining experience that ignites the senses.

At SerSteak.com.

Food from Rise & Thyme Dallas tTexas


Running September 30–October 23, this year’s State Fair of Texas is themed Treats Of Texas and there’s no tastier treat than a Fletcher’s Original Corny Dog slathered in mustard. Get your Fletcher’s fix at one of seven stands scattered throughout the fairgrounds. Can’t make the Fair this year? They ship nationally through Goldbelly.

At FletchersCornyDogs.com.


Bottled Blonde Pizzeria + Bier Garden


A hit since it opened for happy hour and dinner service this spring, The Warwick recently added lunch to its stellar dining repertoire. The New American fare, with a Southern Twist lunch menu, features culinary classics such as Shrimp Po’ Boy and Cajun pasta, as well as a delectable Cobb salad.

At WarwickHouston.com.

Chocolate Crepe Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café


Recently opened in Rice Village, Hamsa is a Modern Israeli restaurant featuring elevated classics from the Middle East. Shared plates are recommended, and the space also features a six-person chef’s table, called Yalla Yalla, where culinary connoisseurs can sample a curation of the chef’s top selections. At HamsaHTX.com.

Adair Restaurant Houston


Opening its first location in Houston, California-based Daddy’s Chicken Shack offers a wide range of scrumptious chicken offerings that are a fusion of American South and Southeastern Asian flavors. The menu also features breakfast and vegan offerings so the whole family can enjoy.

At DaddysChickenShack.com.


Salad from Jardin San Antonio


Sugar Factory American Brasserie, the eatery known for its over-the-top dishes and treats, has opened its second Texas location in downtown San Antonio. The world-famous, family-friendly, high-energy celebration destination has been designed to give guests an interactive experience filled with memorable moments.

At SugarFactory.com.

Los Azulejos San Antonio


The much-anticipated Carriqui at the Pearl aims to honor its past and usher in the next chapter with the very best offerings that create a space for joyful gathering. Named after the green jay of South Texas, it features fresh seafood from the Gulf, Rio Grande-inspired botana platters, pit-cooked barbacoa and brisket, a masa program, and a robust cocktail and beverage program.

At CarriquiTX.com

Sandwich Best Quality Daughter San Antonio


Located at the Pearl, Full Goods Diner serves scratch-made, seasonally-driven food for breakfast and lunch. In addition, it serves comforting and familiar everyday food to connect the restaurant  to its central and South Texas roots of Mexican and American fare. The design also embodies the warm and welcoming environment with rich wooden accents, plenty of natural light, and a greenhouse-style entry.

At FullGoodsDiner.com.



Hermann Park Conservancy Raises Funds For Green Spaces

By Jennifer Roosth        Photography by Priscilla Dickson

THE SETTING: Due to the ongoing Covid-19 safety measures, this year’s Evening in The Park event for Hermann Park Conservancy looked a little different than in the past. To make up for lost time due to the prior gala’s cancellation, instead of dinner, dancing, and the program under one big tent at the Molly Ann Smith Plaza, the event was socially distanced and progressive. The dinner was served in tented pods placed along the Mary Gibbs and Jesse H. Jones Reflection Pool.

THE STYLE: Guests were welcomed with cocktails  while they perused photographs on view in Lindsey Plaza. Then, to add an element of fun, many guests opted to take the Hermann Park Railroad from Lindsey Plaza to the Molly Ann Smith Plaza, passing through the beautiful native plants and grounds of the upcoming Commons site. Upon arrival at the Plaza, Conservancy board chair Kristy Bradshaw spoke about the Conservancy’s endeavors including play spaces, natural habitats and plantings, public art installations, gathering areas, and the McWilliams Dog Park. The dog park was the focus of this year’s gala celebration and one of the most requested features by the community. Dinner was then served, and each party headed to their respective pod to enjoy a meal created by City Kitchen. Then, tunes were provided by DJ Mav at the Pioneer Obelisk as guests danced the night away to celebrate an Evening in the Park’s two years in the making.

THE PURPOSE: Event co-chairs Jo and Jim Furr, along with Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell and Derrick Mitchell, worked tirelessly to ensure guests had an entertaining and safe night. This year’s event surpassed its goal and raised $650,000 for the care and improvement of Hermann Park. Thanks to the generous $1 million gift from Laura and Brad McWilliams, this year’s honorees, funds raised at the gala, and a slew of additional donations directed towards the dog park, the Conservancy is $100,000 shy of its $2 million capital campaign. The honoree of the prior canceled Evening in The Park event, Marley Lott, was also in attendance and recognized.