Things To Do

The State Fair, Omakase and Wine Tastings Lead Best Food & Drink Events for Sept. 29 – Oct. 6

Welcome back, Big Tex.
Welcome back, Big Tex. Kathy Tran
Each week we like to dig around and find unique, boozy and indulgent things to get into around Dallas. It might be a festival, a social gathering of like-minded imbibers at a brewery, a special dinner or a pop-up. Here's what we're excited about for the next week.

Friday is a day for the books: The State Fair opens and Elton John is in town. Bonus: the high on Saturday and Sunday is in the mid-80s, giving a true celebratory zest to this first weekend of October. Go have some fun and be sure to check out our frothy brewery guide or head to one of the events listed below.

Vino Fest
Eataly, 8687 N. Central Expressway (NorthPark)
5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29

Eataly is hosting a storewide Vino Fest on Friday with more than 30 Italian wines to mark the final days of the massive multi-level Italian grocer's Sale-tember event. Guests can chat with wine experts and nibble on some light bites made by Eataly's chefs. Vino Fest is free, but each tasting does, however, require a ticket, which are $3 each or $12 for 5, and up to 24 tickets for $45. There are also wine classes at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30.

Opening Weekend at the Fair
State Fair of Texas, Fair Park
Sept. 30 – Oct. 23

Howdy, y'all. Big Tex has his fancy pants starched and pressed and a new Shiner Beer belt buckle. The smell of corny dogs and funnel cakes is wafting over Fair Park. Gates to the State Fair open Friday morning and the annual event will run for 24 days, rain or shine, through Oct. 23. Check out the schedule of events and, most importantly, the map of the best of the fried fair food.

State of Ferris Wheelers
Ferris Wheelers Backyard & BBQ, 1950 Market Center Blvd.
Now – Oct. 23

This fair-like restaurant and bar on Market Center Boulevard is hosting a month of pop-ups in coordination with the fair. Think of this as junior college for the real fair. Ferris Wheelers is owned by This and That Hospitality, which has a knack for fun pop-ups and themes. For the next month, they'll have live music, midway games, Texas fair food vendors, themed cocktails, carnival entertainers and, of course, some Instagram-ready photo ops.

Sake Day and Omakase Tasting
Uchi and Uchiba
Friday – Sunday, Sept. 30 – Oct. 2

In celebration of World Sake Day (Oct. 1), which marks the start of the rice harvest in Japan, Uchi and Uchiba are rolling out a special omakase and sake tasting. Here's an interesting tidbit about sake culture from Peyton Walton, Hai Hospitality's sake sommelier: " ... when enjoying sake (...) you never want to pour for yourself. Keeping your friend's cup filled requires intentional attention to what is happening at the table. It forces you to be more engaged with the needs of your drinking companions, and that is what imbibing is all about – sharing a delicious moment with your friends." There are no tickets for this event, but you will want to make reservations on Uchi and Uchiba's websites.

Peticolas Brewing, 1301 Pace St.
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1

Backyard Pitmasters will be at Peticolas Brewing this Saturday for BrisketU. This class is "designed and formulated to teach the everyday meat lover how to work a pit and create the quintessential smoked brisket, the toughest piece of beef to master." Cost is $119 per person.

WhistlePig's Maple Sugar Shack
Trinity Groves, 3011 Gulden Lane
6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1

WhistlePig Whiskey is bringing its Mobile Maple Sugar Shack to Trinity Groves this Saturday to introduce Dallasites to the distiller's 100-proof bourbon and rye whisky. Signature cocktails will be on offer, along with live music, tailgate games, prizes and more. The first 100 people to the event will receive a prize pack with a limited-edition pig head pour spot.

Cook with Heart With Cindy Kleckner
Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road
Noon – 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2

Cindy Kleckner, author of DASH Diet for Dummies, is hosting a cooking class on Sunday at A Tasteful Place at the Arboretum. The menu includes grilled macadamia nut-citrus crusted salmon salad with roasted red peppers and capers with sherry vinaigrette, ancient grain salad with dried cherries, mint and feta and mixed berry walnut crisp. Tickets are $65 for members and $75 for all others.

Paso Robles Wine Tasting
On The Levee, 1108 Quaker St.
6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 6

As part of a tasting tour, more than 20 wine producers from Paso Robles, California, will take part in an event hosted by Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. With direct flights from Dallas to San Luis Obispo, which is near the Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande viticulture areas, the area is hoping to recruit wine drinkers by giving us a taste of what we're missing. We're game. Tickets are $65. See a list of participating vineyards. 
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.

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