The Ten Best Food Events This Weekend: October 25 to 27

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       This weekend will be so spooktacular. | DeusXFlorida

It's Halloween! Sort of. Since All Hallows' Eve falls on a Thursday, lots of places are celebrating this weekend. We're not complaining -- we'll celebrate all next week if they let us. So get your costume ready for the many spook-tastic contests. Read on for our food-related recommendations.

See also: The Precinct Changes "Officer Down" Eating Challenge After Police Officer Backlash

Friday (Oct. 25):

Howl-O-Ween Party @ Endangered Wolf Center

The Halloween celebration is a family-friendly campfire party with a costume contest, and of course, lots of candy. There will also be a short hike down Howl Road where you can actually howl with the werewolves. Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for kids age 4 to 14. Reservations required; call 636-938-5900. 7 p.m.

14th Annual Taste of Restaurant Tuesday Halloween Spooktacular @ Crowne Plaza Hotel

The annual event benefits seven children's charities by way of the Carney's Kids Foundationa. Costumes are encouraged (don't worry, there's an open bar) plus food from LoRusso's Cucina, Pappy's, Sidney Street Cafe, Cleveland-Heath, Scape and more. There will also be entertainment from local comedians. Tickets are $75 per person or a table of ten for $675, available here. 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

South Grand Creepy Crawl @ Participating South Grand Restaurants

"Enjoy drink specials and entertainment at a number of favorite South Grand watering holes. Start with select martini and beer specials set to a villainous theme at Absolutli Goosed, drop sake bombs at Sekisui in a setting dedicated to the Super Mario Brothers, and sip on "Malibu Boo" punch amongst sultans and belly dancers at Cafe Natasha. Wear a costume, too! Wristbands including six drink tickets for the event cost $25 per person. Call 314-772-5750 for advance ticket information. 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m."

Saturday (Oct. 26):

Grand Opening Party @ The Precinct by Jim Edmonds

The revamped steakhouse-cum-cop hangout opened a few weeks ago, but its celebrating with a grand opening Saturday night. Try out the menu -- maybe even the Hot Pursuit wing challenge -- and stay for Dogs of Society, and Elton John cover band. The party starts at 5 p.m., but cover is $10 once the band takes the stage at 9.

Fresh Hop Beer Festival @ Schlafly Bottleworks

Fresh, wet hops from Washington State get used by a number of area breweries in this unique competition. Try fresh brews from Alpha Brewing Co., Carbondale Craft Beer, Crown Valley, Exit 6 Brewery, Ferguson Brewing Co., Square One Brewery, Urban Chestnut and Schlafly (duh). Admission is $25 per person at either Schlafly location in advance; $30 at the door. You'll get a commemorative tasting glass, samples of all the beer and live music from Colonel Ford. Noon to 4 p.m.

Great Godfrey Haunted Corn Maze @ Robert E. Glazebrook Park

Yes, the corn maze has been going on for a while, but Oct. 26 is the last night of the haunted corn maze! Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for kids 6-11 and free for kids 5 and under. The haunted maze starts at sundown and ends at 10 p.m.

Central West End Halloween @ Central West End

"This, the dress-upping-est month of the year, causes a fair amount of anxiety for folks who aren't natural-born costume-wearers (yes, we're looking at you, but not in a judge-y way or anything). Sure, you may be frightened each Halloween season by the prospect of showing up at your friend's house party in your full dinosaur regalia -- face paint and tail and everything -- only to discover that everyone's just wearing snarky T-shirts with "This is my costume" printed on them. Weak. So skip those silly types of shindigs this year, avoid any potential humiliation, dress up with gusto, and head to the Central West End's Halloween extravaganza. During this street-party affair, weirdoes are the only ones who aren't dressed up, the costumes are elaborate -- people are competing for $3,000-plus in cash prizes, after all -- and the fun times roll on through the day and night. The festivities begin at 11 a.m. with a costume parade for children, which is followed by trick-or-treating, and then there's a puppy dog costume competition and parade at 1 p.m. The adult fun goes down in the evening hours, with the party and costume contest scheduled for 8 p.m. To get in on this action, head to Maryland and North Euclid avenues, the CWE's Halloween epicenter (though all of the bars and restaurants in the area seem to get in on the fun), and check out www.cwescene.com to learn more." Admission is free.

Sunday (Oct. 27):

A Harvest Farm to Fork Celebration @ Chaumette Winery

Chaumette Winery is teaming up with Annie Gunn's to celebrate its chef Lou Rook's new cookbook, Rook Cooks: Simplicity at its Finest. Chaumette's chef, Adam Lambay, and Rook will create a simple, locally sourced dinner with hors d'oeurves and four courses served family style. Several receipes will feature Jones Heritage Farm Berkshire pork, and the courses will be paired with Chaumette wines, of course! Tickets from $75, reservations required. Call 573-747-1000. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Oktoberfest @ Hidden Lake Winery

Celebrate the last weekend in October with German beer and food like sauerbraten, made from a traditional family recipe. Enjoy live music from George Portz and the Friends of Bluegrass. Hidden Lake's wines will be available, too, of course! Admission is free. Noon to 7 p.m.

Martini Championship @ The Royale

In case you missed it, there's been a vintage martini showdown going on for months, and 64 vintage martinis have been voted down to two finalists: The Waldorf and The Astoria, both of which, wouldn't you know it, come from the Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book (as did all the martinis), which has recipes from early twentieth century New York. The winner gets a spot on the Royale's menu. Martinis are $6 each. 9 p.m. to midnight.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at nancy.stiles@riverfronttimes.com or follow her on Twitter.





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