Yanni’s hosts hurricane fundraiser

Yanni’s manager Alex Zenteno, hostess Tina Schopp and owner Yannis Pihas invite diners to a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fundraiser Dinner at Yanni’s Bar & Grill on Monday, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m.

Yanni’s hosts hurricane fundraiser

Scripps Ranch residents who have been looking for a good way to help victims of the recent hurricanes that hit the southern United States have a very good opportunity this Monday. Yanni’s Bar & Grill is holding a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fundraiser Dinner on Sept. 18 at 6 p.m.

Longtime Scripps Ranch resident Yannis Pihas, owner of Yanni’s Bar & Grill, is providing a free gourmet meal with wine tasting for citizens who wish to attend this special event. Those wishing to attend should make reservations as soon as possible by calling (858) 527-0011, and bring a check for the minimum suggested amount of $75 or more made out to the Houston Food Bank.

Those participating will be treated to a sumptuous meal and sample five different wines. Yanni’s Bar & Grill will serve the meal for free, and will send the entire amount of the donations to the Houston Food Bank. None of the money from the fundraiser will go to the restaurant, and each donation is tax-deductible.

Guests participating in the fundraiser may donate to a different charity than the Houston Food Bank, or donate to victims of Hurricane Irma if they would rather.

“We’ll open it up if they prefer to give to a different charity, they are welcome to do so,” Yannis said. “But we came up with the Houston Food Bank because they are the ones that make the best use of the money. From what we found out, they have 95 percent or more of the money going straight to take care of the needs of the people who need it … That is why we chose the Houston Food Bank.”

Yannis has held three similar disaster fundraising events in the past. One was to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. The other two were to help victims of the devastating wildfires that ravaged parts of San Diego in 2003 and 2007. The fires in 2003 destroyed more than 300 homes in Scripps Ranch.

“We’ve been through major fires ourselves over here in Scripps Ranch twice and we’ve done exactly the same thing when we had the fires. We were very fortunate not to lose our house. We are Scripps Ranch residents,” Yannis said. “We did the same thing for Katrina and, of course, we’ll do the same thing for Texans. We know we are all in this together, so everybody needs to do their share. … It’s a tradition.”

While Monday night’s special event is a fundraiser, Yanni’s Bar & Grill will not skimp on the fare; quite the opposite. Guests donating to the cause will be treated to a detailed and delectable menu that night.

First of all, two wine purveyors who work with the restaurant have helped out by providing wines.

“There is going to be a wine tasting, as well,” Yannis explained. “There will be five very nice wines. It’s going to be a very nice event.”  

The dining will start with sparkling wine and hors d’oeuvres, beginning with smoked salmon and caviar bruschetta. There will be several different dips served with pita chips, and a couple more types of bruschetta, according to Yannis. Arancini risotto balls will also be served.

A dinner buffet will follow starting with three different salads. There will be beef tenderloin skewers, and rosemary shrimp skewers wrapped in prosciutto. In addition, guests will feast on salmon over penne pasta with a creamy tomato sauce and capers, sweet basil and white wine.

Yanni’s Bar & Grill will then provide samples of homemade mini desserts including the signature chocolate budino, cheesecake, tiramisu and baklava.

Yanni’s Bar & Grill will be open to regular diners not participating in Monday’s event. The dining room, bar and lounge, and the front patio will all be open as always for regular guests.

The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fundraiser Dinner will be held in the other open patio and heaters will be available in case the night’s weather brings a chill. 

Yanni’s Bar & Grill is hoping to host 80 guests for the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fundraiser Dinner, and plenty of open seats remain. It’s important to RSVP so the establishment can prepare enough food.

Phone (858) 527-0011 to reserve seats. For more information, visit Yanni’s Bar & Grill on Facebook: facebook.com/YannisBarGrill/.

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