Top-rated restaurant The Pass is offering a multi-course dinner on Thanksgiving Eve to spotlight the very best wines of the underrated French wine region.

chef gallivan at the pass
Credit: Courtesy of Ralph Smith

Beaujolais Nouveau release night dinners are always good fun, particularly when you're at a properly good, not too formal French restaurant, somewhere convivial, candlelit—but you're never really there for the wine, are you. Made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France, and traditionally intended as a way of celebrating the end of the harvest, Beaujolais Nouveau is bottled and released just weeks afterward. It's bright, brash, immature; it's also strangely fun to drink.

the pass exterior shot
Credit: Courtesy of Ralph Smith

Maybe it's the season—maybe quaffing a bottle of this light, frivol of a wine that's best served slightly chilled, transports us out of the beginning of the darkest period of the year to somewhere sunnier, less dreary; maybe it's just that drinkable, and there's no need to overanalyze.

Terrence Gallivan, co-chef and wine buyer at The Pass, one of Houston's top-rated restaurants, isn't looking to rain on anyone's parade, but why not, he wondered, take the region's annual moment in the spotlight, and use it as an opportunity to introduce a wider audience to some of its very best wines?

chef gallivan and seth gardner
Credit: Courtesy of Ralph Smith

"Beaujolais is sort of like a layman's Burgundy, when it comes to the price point," Gallivan says. "The region has become more lauded, you have a lot more people talking about it, but the wines are still very, very affordable. From a cook's perspective, they're very food friendly, they're very versatile wines. The bang for your buck is there, and the fact that they're easily paired makes it a no-brainer."

The fact that Beaujolais is located just north of Lyon made deciding what exactly to pair the wines even easier for Gallivan and co-chef Seth Siegel-Gardner—they'll be serving up a seven-course dinner of haute cuisine classics, from squab to pate en croute to suckling pig. (And, of course, Lyonnaise potatoes.)

interior of the pass
Credit: Courtesy of Ralph Smith

The dinner, being held for the second year, will be offered on Wednesday, November 22, at 6:30 p.m., the menu and wine list are available here. Tickets ($150 per head) can be purchased by calling (713) 628-9020.