Valentino's All-You-Can-Eat Summer Sashimi Event

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Photos by Mai Pham
Ahi tuna sashimi with spicy aoili
If you weren't there, you missed out. More than 100 people attended Valentino's all-you-can-eat Summer Sashimi event last Thursday night, an extravaganza that included sashimi, more sashimi, and a bottomless selection of four wines -- a Riesling, a Chardonnay, a Sauvignon Blanc, and a Pinot Grigio -- for just $25.

For the hour-and-a-half-long event, Valentino opened up the entire main dining room and private wine room for attendees. Two stations were set up buffet-style, where patrons could pile their plates with as much sashimi as they pleased. Patronage was a mix of different generations, some business people, some young enough to be students.

Initially, people were timid, selecting one piece each of every fish selection. As the evening wore on, however, the timidity wore off completely, and people were taking several pieces at a time before returning to their table. The kitchen kept up well with the demand. No sooner had a plate been taken away than a new one, teeming with slices upon slices of fish, would appear.

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Tuna tartare wrapped in prickly pear sorbet, wasabi cotton candy, by Michael Pellegrino at Max's Wine Dive
Each of the sashimi platters was different, and the kitchen mixed things up for presentation and also variety. There was ahi tuna with a lemon aoili, hamachi with a spicy aoili, escolar with passionfruit, tuna tartare, salmon with creme aoili, and much more. I really enjoyed the escolar with passionfruit and the salmon with creme aoili, the passionfruit and escolar an unexpected yet pleasing combination.

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Selection of hamachi, salmon, ahi tuna sashimi with different sauces
The fish was fresh and plentiful. While there was a bit of a traffic jam early on while people lined up to get their fish, there was plenty of sashimi to go around, and by the time the event ended at 7 p.m., people could be seen sitting back and enjoying their wines.

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Four different wines were available for the event, Shown here, a Chardonnay
I particularly enjoyed the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand that they poured. The bouquet was beautiful on the nose, grassy, floral and tropical, and the taste on the tongue was crisp and fruity. It was just a lovely wine to pair with sashimi or to drink by itself.

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Happy hour sign
We lingered well after the event was complete, and it was only as I was leaving that I noticed the new Happy Hour placards on the bar, advertising four crudo and wine pairings for just $14. Essentially the same menu that had been served for the Summer Sashimi event, the crudo/sashimi pairing is available Mondays through Fridays in the Vin Bar from 4 to 7 p.m. It may not be an all-you-can-eat experience, but you can still try their wines and sashimi for a steal of a deal.

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Location Info


Valentino Houston & Vin Bar (Hotel Derek)

2525 W. Loop S., Houston, TX

Category: Music

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Valentino plans to continue these Happy Hour tasting events. We will be featuring our Tapas menu on September 15. We will let Mai know when we have the menu details. 


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Ginny Braud
Ginny Braud

So pretty! Wanna eats it all and I'd loooove to try that HH out!


Valentino?Then wouldn't that sashimi be 'crudo'?

Mai Pham
Mai Pham

Haha, I attended with friends. The cost was $25. I had misgivings about how it was going to turn out since it was their first event. I imagined long lines and ppl fighting to get food, but they did a a great job and it was an awesome event. I don't mind saying so.

Mai Pham
Mai Pham

Yes, it's crudo. But they called it the "Sashimi Summer" event, probably because sashimi is a more familiar term.

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