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Post from Cheap Eats In Houston
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It's not even the season of gift giving yet, and restaurant groups and chefs are preparing to present Houstonians with the gift of new places to dine.

Actually, lots of restaurants open each week in the Greater Houston. Some open under the radar, while others, in a grand fashion. So why is it a big deal about restaurants opening this fall?

Besides the exciting new options being added to the city's very eclectic dining scene, it's your chance to be apart of what seems like a secret underground society where a chosen few are always invited to restaurant previews and grand opening parties.

Prior to a restaurant opening, they'll host a series of mock services. This helps the kitchen and waitstaff work out any kinks for a smooth first day of service, while invited family, friends, and media usually can sample complimentary items from the menu. Before opening day, grand opening parties are sometimes held too. Invited guests can receive a sneak peek, meet the staff, and indulge in complimentary foods and drinks.

Sounds fun right? It can be. While many grand opening parties are strict invite only, you don't have to be a chummy with the chef or owner to receive an invitation. Many restaurants are embracing social media and using it to extend an invitation to such events.

Don't wait for the "now open" sign to be alerted of new restaurants in the city, when you can be an "insider". Be on the lookout for the following openings and how you can attend the pre-opening and grand opening festivities.

NABI: Neighborhood Restaurant is Montrose's lastest restaurant to open. They're having a grand opening party tonight, November 19th, where you can sample select complimentary items from the Asian-inspired menu that include Braised Brisket Potstickers, Roasted Suckling Pig, Mini Bahn Mi, Fried Chicken Skewers, and a few other treats. Select specialty cocktails will be available for $5 all evening. Didn't receive your invitation to RSVP? Reservations aren't needed. The grand opening is from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

NABI Houston
1517 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 526-8866

Photo courtesy of Diego's Cantina/FacebookChef Brandon Fisch has been cooking up amazingly delicious dishes since his day most notably at Yelapa Playa Mexicana, and as the sous chef at Xuco Xicana, a position accepted back in August. Now he's the Executive Chef at the soon-to-be-open Diego's Cantina Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar in Sugar Land.

You can receive a sneak peak of the restaurant's Latin-infused menu Sunday, November 20th. Diego's Cantina is extending an open invitation to sample items from the menu and complimentary cocktails crafted by mixologist, Jay Lippincott, head of the tequila bar. The preview will begin at 5:30 p.m. Seating is limited. Call (281) 240-0936 to make a reservation.

Diego's Cantina Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar
1531 Highway 6
Sugar Land, TX 77478
(281) 240-0936

The folks behind Pub Fiction has opened another fun bar concept in Midtown, where every is a St. Patrick's Day celebration. Celtic Gardens will officially be open on Tuesday, November 22nd and they're throwing an opening party in honor of the occasion. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. with complimentary appetizers and plenty of whiskey specials until 2 a.m. There will be a DJ and yes, a live bag pipe band playing. For an early holiday gift, Celtic Gardens will give one lucky person a weekend getaway to the San Luis in Galveston.

Celtic Gardens
2300 Louisiana
Houston, TX 77006

Photo courtesy of Torchy's Tacos/FacebookHouston is getting another dose of weirdness (in a good way), as an Austin import makes it was to the Bayou City. Torchy's Tacos announced this summer that it will open in the fall, where Greatfull Taco once was. The Austin favorite serves up not just good tacos, but damn good tacos that you can try for yourself before the restaurant opens to the public in early December.

Be among the lucky few to score an invite to the grand opening shin-dig where can receive a meal on the house. Follow Torchy's Tacos blog for details in the coming days to win an invite to the opening.

Torchy's Tacos
2411 South Shepherd Dr.
Houston TX 77019

In a city where barbecue and steaks are kings, Houstonians definitely have a soft spot for burgers of all kinds. The Refinery Burgers & Whiskey is hoping to be a go-to burger option for those seeking to sink their teeth into a juicy, well-seasoned patty sandwiched between a soft buttery bun. The soon-to-be-open bar will open in the Midtown/Downtown area where 702 Patio Bar was once located. Want to attend their opening? Join their mailing list and watch out for an invitation.

The Refinery Burgers & Whiskey
702 West Dallas
Houston, TX 77019
(832) 573-6922

Great Greek Grill is a casual Greek restaurant opening several locations in the Houston area soon. The first location will open in the Upper Kirby area before 2012. There will be a grand opening celebration before the restaurant officialy opens to the public. Sign up for Great Greek Grill's newsletter to receive an invitation once the opening nears.

Great Greek Grill
3419 Kirby
Houston, TX 77098

Catch a Sneak Peek of Bars and Restaurants Opening this Winter

Several restaurants are gearing up for openings at the start of 2012 by giving sneak peeks of what's to come. While your budget may not include splurging on preview dinners like the ones being held monthly in anticipation of Triniti Restaurant, there are more affordable ways of being privy to the new restaurants that will be making buzz soon. Check out which eateries are offering sneak peaks and how you can be apart of it.

Have an extra $2,000 laying around? If so, that will pay your way into the exclusive members only restaurant/lounge, Dorsia. It's one of the many new nighttime options cropping up along Upper Kirby. The average person doesn't have that type of money to spend on a membership, but there's still a way to see what the lounge offers, up close and personal.

Dorsia is hosting several events leading up to its grand opening in January 2012. Some of those events include complimentary wine tastings. Those wanting to attend, can become preferred guests, which grants entry into the lounge during one the special events held. Once the grand opening arrives, the doors will only be open to those who have a membership. Send an email to request a preferred guest form.

3200 Kirby Drive
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 523-3600

Something good is brewing in Houston for beer lovers and it's courtesy of City Acre Brewing Co.. The brewpub won't be open until 2010, but that's not stopping them from giving antsy fans a preview of their new digs and brews. Sign up for their newsletter and receive notices of upcoming previews. There's a preview coming in December. Follow City Acre Brewing Co. on Facebook or Twitter for a chance to win entrance into the sneak peek party.

City Acre Brewing Co.
3421 Folger
Houston, TX 77093

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