On Friday May 3, Pickwick and Frolic will launch the next chapter in its popular Murder Mystery Dinner Theater. Pickwick's newest interactive adventure is titled "Toga Party Terror." It's all fun and games at this wild toga party until a twist turns the bash into a deadly competition – let's just say that somebody is not making it to dessert – and diners get caught in the middle. And speaking of dessert: The $49.99 ticket price includes a choice of entree (prime rib, garlic herb roasted chicken breast, lemon herb tilapia, vegetation roasted mushroom pasta marinara), salad, roll and choice of dessert (cheesecake with a berry compote, gluten-free flowerless chocolate cake with berry compote). Seating begins at 7:15 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling or going online.
2035 E. 4th St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com
On Saturday, May 4, SOHO Kitchen & Bar in Ohio City will host its second annual Derby Day Porch Party, so bust out those fancy hats and pastel-colored suits. This no-charge Kentucky Derby-themed watch party kicks off at 4 p.m., leaving plenty of time before the run for the roses at 6:30 p.m. "We are going even bigger this year," says chef-owner Nolan Konkoski. Watch the ponies from inside or out (weather permitting) thanks to additional TVs. Snack on passed hors d'oeuvres and a derby-themed food menu featuring Southern specialties like as Hot Browns, derby pies and burgoo stew. Best of all: SOHO will offer four varieties of mint julep to keep you lubricated: traditional, peach, ginger and strawberry-rhubarb.
1889 W. 25th St., 216-298-9090, sohocleveland.com
On Saturday, May 4, Oak Barrel in Valley View will throw a double-header celebration. In addition to hosting its first ever Kentucky Derby Bash, the restaurant also will officially launch patio season. A massive outdoor 20-foot screen will provide nearly life-size action of the most celebrated two minutes in sports. The bash kicks off at noon and will feature DJs, live bands and a coolest hat contest. Kentucky beers will be featured including Kentucky Light, Kentucky Ale, Kentucky Bourbon Ale and Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout. Kentucky bourbon also will be showcased in drink specials like mint juleps and whiskey sours. No tweaks needed in the food department with regular items like Kentucky bourbon barrel onion rings, BBQ ribs and crispy chicken livers.
5975 Canal Rd., 216-520-3640, oakbarrel.com
On Sunday, May 5, Dewey's Pizza in Lakewood is hosting "Pizza School," which benefits the Ohio Buckeye Chapter of the National MS Society. Running from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the family-friendly event welcomes guests right into the kitchen. "Guests will come behind our glass and learn how to toss, top and cook their own pizzas that they create," says regional manager David Igel. Every dollar of the $25 cost goes directly to the MS Society. In return, participants get salad, their own 13" pizza and a non-alcoholic beverage. Call the Lakewood store for ticket information.
18516 Detroit Ave., 216-228-2299, deweyspizza.com
On Wednesday, May 8, Constantino's Market in University Circle is hosting a Maysara Estate Wine Dinner Event. Starting at 6:30 p.m., this five-course food and wine event will be prepared by executive chef Michael Fadel (Sage Bistro, Ciao Cucina) using strictly organic ingredients. Many of the farm-to-table ingredients will be coming straight from Case's Squire Valleevue Farms. "We love working with CWRU and the student farm," says general manager and partner Andrew Revy. Chef Fadel will use whatever seasonal produce and herbs are available – meaning the final dishes are still a mystery. The wines, too, are 100-percent certified biodynamic. The pairings offered will include pinot blanc, pinot gris and three estate pinot noirs. The event will be hosted on the mezzanine level. "This is a unique dining environment that overlooks the entire market," notes Revy. Cost is $55 per person and seating is limited.
11473 Euclid Ave., 216-721-6000, constantinosmarket.com