Categories
FOOD ARCHIVES Neighborhoods NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES

Get a Taste of Korea — and Egypt — at Long Island City’s Green Street

The city lost a piece of its raw creative soul when the spray-painted buildings that made up Long Island City graffiti haven 5Pointz were surreptitiously whitewashed overnight in November 2013, a precursor to their demolition almost a year later. (A pair of mega rental towers are now being constructed in their place.) “It’s so sad that it’s gone now,” Katherine Oh laments, explaining how she commissioned the site’s curator and most vocal champion, the graffiti artist Meres One, to design a custom mural for her five-month-old juice bar and table barbecue restaurant, the Green Street. “I wanted the old red 7 train because that’s what reminds me of Queens, my childhood, and 5Pointz,” Oh continues. More than just a nod to the neighborhood, the vivid Redbird locomotive takes up most of the Green Street’s hundred-foot exterior wall. Splashed with anthropomorphic lightbulbs (Meres’s signature), the artwork injects some tangible old-school character, in its own small way, back into a neighborhood that, like so many around New York City, is changing faster than some would like.

“The older Long Island City was filled with factories and warehouses. I wanted to re-create that feel,” says Oh, and from the looks of it, she’s done a bang-up job. The deep building she and her fiancé, Bassem Soliman, took over, tucked along a sleepy stretch of 47th Road, boasts high ceilings, bare cement-block walls, and lofty paned windows that fill the dining room with seraphic beams of sunlight. Oh, a project manager with her father’s construction company for the past eighteen years, repurposed raw materials from her day job for the venue. Take the steampunk shelving system, made from demolition-site plumbing pipes and accented by a cascade of interlocking gears, which sits behind the bar and makes a fun backdrop for sipping Korean liquors like soju and makgeolli, the cloudy fermented grain beverage that goes down like a fizzy nigori sake. It’s here where a row of barstools fitted with wheels made me momentarily question whether one woman had pulled up for a drink on her unicycle. Oh’s also cloaked her open kitchen in embossed metal panels, and grill pits with stealthy induction exhaust systems are embedded into the dining room’s handsome wood tabletops.

While the surroundings suggest gritty, “old” New York, the Green Street’s ingestible offerings are decidedly new-age. Oh, who grew up spending time at Flushing’s Hwajun and Manjo, the Korean joints her parents owned in the Nineties, cops to eating mostly gluten-free and paleo-friendly meals at home and saw an opportunity to incorporate some of those practices here. So she uses agave and coconut sugar to sweeten her unexpectedly palatable smoothies, protein shakes, and juices — like the “Wild Caribbean,” which melds fresh guava, mango, papaya, pear, and coconut milk — and starts all of her marinades with a foundation of organic tamari, industrial soy sauce’s mellower, wheat-free cousin. A mix of almond and tapioca flours turn cubed tofu, paleo fried chicken, and shrimp-studded pajun pancakes shatter-crisp. Even banchan, the often gratis small plates that typically kick off Korean meals, are rechristened “organic vegan paleo vegetables,” yours for $4 a pop or $10 for a choice of four. Don’t balk — it’s easy to justify the cost when napa cabbage kimchi has this much snap and zest, and when garlicky eggplant gets cooked down until it glistens, spiced yet cooling and almost jellied.

The banchan are included as part of the Green Street’s barbecue sets ($69–$79), which encompass a wide range of meats, vegetables, and side dishes and will feed two or three people. Vegetarians get their due with an assortment of organic vegetable skewers, a personal favorite being the nutty and bulbous king oyster mushrooms. Soliman’s Egyptian mother provided the recipes for the conventional tastes that make up a Mediterranean sampler that begins with tahini-drenched cauliflower and crunchy fava-bean falafel and crescendoes with oniony grilled beef kofta and wild Spanish octopus tentacles. K-town aficionados will feel right at home with Oh’s more traditional Korean procession, which includes meltingly tender grilled pork jowl and short ribs, soft steamed eggs shot through with chopped scallions, an appropriately sinus-clearing spicy tofu-seafood stew, and a truly captivating cast-iron skillet of parmesan-shrouded brussels sprouts charred under the broiler. The key to the latter’s smashing success? A double salty dose of anchovies and the fermented soybean paste known as doenjang, which lends a more persistent umami kick than miso. While you can mix and match on your own with various cuts — wagyu ribeye, ginger-marinated chicken thighs, thick-cut pork belly — from virtuous supplier Meat Dorks, who source their grass-fed beef and pork from Montana — the prix-fixes are the way to go here unless dining solo. (I do wish they’d find room for their excellent marinated tongue in one of these sets. As it stands, the kitchen will only slip it to you as a standalone platter.)

In keeping with the theme, sweets come from Rawsome Treats, a raw vegan dessert company started by Oh’s pal, photographer and Muay Thai fighter Watt Sriboonruang. Stick to either of the two faux-tiramisus, which pair chewy cashew-almond-date sponge cake with cold brew– or green tea–infused coconut cream. As these kinds of saintly, healthful desserts go, they pack a surprising kick — much like the baker who made them.

The Green Street
10-39 47th Road, Queens
646-681-1109
thegreenstreetlic.com

 

Categories
Bars FOOD ARCHIVES NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES THE FRONT ARCHIVES

New York Chili Fiends Gather this Weekend to Chow Down (and Get Heartburn)

 

Chili-fans should make their way over to Hill Country’s 2nd Annual Amateur Chili Cook-Off this Saturday, February 25th, from 1 to 3 pm. An admission fee of $10 will buy entrance to the event located in the downstairs Boot Bar, a spate of chili tastings, more Lone Star snacks than a Longhorns tailgate, and the right to vote for the coveted People’s Choice Award. Proceeds from the event will go to City Harvest.

Seven amateur teams—comprised of kids, adults, and even the esteemed firefighters from midtown’s Ladder Company 2—will present their best chili to a panel of judges including Artesia Wine Bar’s Mandy Oser, Eater’s Nick Solares, and Kurt Decker, known in some circles as the head camera man for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and known in other circles as a true chili fanatic. Hill Country’s own Pit Master Ash Fulk will emcee the festivities and help crown the winner of the Best Original Homestyle Chili.

Chili devotees may want to leave room for Hill Country’s limited-edition, regionally-inspired chilis on offer only during their week-long “Chilifest,” which wraps up this weekend. EAK’s Bowl of Red is a bean-less, meaty stew made with sausages (from Texas hill country stalwart Kreuz Market, no less) and native Texas chilis; the Chili Trail Chicken Chili is a white chili made with beans and pit-smoked chicken. For those who can’t decide, their Chili Duo & Beer Flight option nabs you samples of both along with some Shiner Bock to wash it all down.

Hill Country Barbecue Market

30 West 26th Street

(212) 255-4544
hillcountry.com

 

Categories
Bars Datebook FOOD ARCHIVES Listings NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Best Weekend Food Events: Flushing Night Market, Aquaponics 101, and Mezcal BBQ

Flushing Night Out
Flushing High School (35-01 Union Street, Queens)
Friday, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Downtown Flushing is hosting a night market which will encompass the neighborhood’s diverse selection of ethnic eats and feature live entertainment. Participating restaurants include Snowdays, Karl’s Balls, and Dosa Hutt among others. A selection of live music and performances will take place throughout the evening, and admission is free.

Oko Farms’ Aquaponics 101
Moore Street Farm (104 Moore St, Brooklyn)
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m

Learn the basics of aquaponics from the founders of Oko Farms, the city’s largest outdoor aquaponics farm. The class will cover design, harvesting, and sourcing elements for those interested in creating their own home aquaponics farm. After class, students will harvest vegetables and fish for a meal prepared on the farm. Participants must wear closed-toed shoes and are advised to have cash on hand for snacks during the seminar. Tickets are $135 per person and include produce to take home; reserve a spot here.

Mezcal BBQ
Esme (999 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn)
Saturday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Esme is hosting a mezcal-themed barbecue featuring treats from neighborhood favorites like Oddfellows and Duke’s Liquor Box. Representatives from Bruxo Mezcal will be on hand to lead guests in a mezcal tasting, with mezcal popsicles and lamb barbacoa among the items available on the menu. The event is free to attend and all food and drink options range from $3 to $10.

Beer: The Ultimate Muse Creative Writing Class
Q.E.D. (27-16 23rd Avenue, Queens)
Saturday, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

During this creative writing class for grownups, attendees will receive a flight of four beers, which they’ll then use as inspiration for developing four unique characters. Both novices and experienced writers are encouraged to attend. Tickets are $35 and include the cost of beer; snag them here.

Rockaway Beach Dinner

Off Season Backyard (92-12 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Queens)
Saturday, 7 p.m. to Sunday, 12 a.m.

Celebrate a day at the beach and the food of the Rockaways.  La Cevicheria, Brothers, Goody’s, Whit’s End,  and beer from Rockaway Brewing Co. will all be served at this backyard dinner party. Tickets are $75, and a portion of the cost will be donated to Rockaway Rising; reserve them here.

Categories
Bars Datebook FOOD ARCHIVES Listings NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

This Week in Food: Sumo Stew, Yacht Cruise, Vegan Butcher Launch Party

Reel Food Screening and Discussion: Food, Inc.
Brooklyn Historical Society (128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn)
Monday, 6:30 p.m.

Catch a screening of the documentary Food, Inc. and explore the topic of corporate farming in the United States. The Executive Director of Brooklyn’s Added Value Farms will introduce the film and lead a post-screening discussion. Refreshments will be provided by Whole Foods, and guests are encouraged to reserve a spot in advance, as seating is not guaranteed. RSVP here.

Masters of Social Gastronomy
Old Stone House (336 3rd Street, Brooklyn)
Monday, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m

Learn all about the history and science of barbecue, from Spanish barbacoa to Texas brisket. Take a deep dive into the low-and-slow cooking method and discuss pork versus beef barbecue’s popularity. Beer, wine, and food will be available for purchase. There is a five-dollar suggested donation for entry to the event.

SUMO STEW 8

The Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street, Brooklyn)
Tuesday, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Sip on huge bowls of sumo stew (a/k/a chankonabe) and cold beer while watching sumo matches live from Japan. Bento boxes with goodies from EN Japanese Brasserie, Ramen Burger, and more will be available to nosh on, too. In addition to Brooklyn Brewery’s usual drafts, whiskey, sake, and other spirits will be available. Tickets are $50 and include food, one beer token, and two drink tickets. Reserve your spot here.

Manhattan Cricket Club’s Yacht Cruise

SkyPort Marina (23rd St. and FDR Drive)
Thursday, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Manhattan Cricket Club is hosting a $75 all-inclusive private cruise that includes cocktails, Blue Point oysters, and Australian-themed bites courtesy of Burke & Wills. The signature cocktail lineup includes a smoked-cinnamon old-fashioned and the Rhum Around, a rum and agave drink flavored with pistachio mist. Reserve your ticket here.

Vegan Butcher Shop Launch Party
Exhibit C. (88 Eldridge Street)
Friday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Celebrating the launch of New York City’s soon-to-debut vegan butcher shop, Kols Staem & Eséé Ché, the shop’s owners will host a twelve-course tasting menu. The dinner includes vegan versions of chicken masala, beef short ribs, cold cuts, cheeses, and cheesecake. Tickets are $125. Reserve yours here.

Categories
FOOD ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES

Unorthodox ‘Cue: In Brooklyn, Izzy’s and Joeper’s Smokers Are on Fire

The kitchen’s saloon doors swing open and out walks the counterman, a steer skull looming overhead behind him on the wall. He’s holding a tray of intensely pink-edged “dinosaur” beef ribs, their meat clinging to colossal bones. It’s a scene you’d expect to see in Austin or Lubbock, or at any one of our city’s growing number of barbecue joints. But in Hasidic Crown Heights?

‘Round these parts, “low and slow” beef cookery typically means flanken or pot roast. Not so at Izzy’s Brooklyn Smokehouse, where enthusiast turned pro pit-master Sruli “Izzy” Eidelman smokes beef, lamb, and poultry over oak and cherry woods, often for the better part of a day. “That combination of hard and fruit woods makes for an amazing flavor,” the 28-year-old Eidelman relays to the Voice. He’s not joking, either. His ribs (both beef and lamb) are ideal; heavily padded with blackened salt and pepper “bark,” they drip with melted fat when pulled apart — the lamb especially. As Texas-style barbecue goes, it’s divine.

Like the majority of his customers at this cozy, year-old carnivore’s oasis, Eidelman observes the Jewish dietary discipline of kashrut. That means vegan mac ‘n’ cheese and dairy-free desserts (go with the peanut butter pie); closing for business on the Sabbath; and of course that pork, pulled or otherwise, is out of the question. It makes sense, then, that Eidelman would gravitate toward the barbecue stylings of the Lone Star State, which favors brisket in all its beefy glory. Eidelman’s is remarkable — and it’d better be, at $40 per pound. Enticingly tender, it’s coated in so much spice that it hardly needs the restaurant’s piquant tomato-based barbecue sauce. (Eating the fattiest cuts was almost as much of a religious experience as my bar mitzvah.) In March, Eidelman took second place at the third annual Brisket King of NYC competition. The man who bested him? His mentor, Texas-born Ari White of roving kosher barbecue outfit the Wandering Que.

Eidelman uses his smoker for just about everything, relying on a 24-hour crew to help tend the flames. Chickens come as sweetly glazed wings, or halved and saddled with pickles and slaw, though they’re better fried, stacked onto pretzel rolls, and slathered in creamy horseradish. The kitchen gets creative, piling sauced-up shreds of pulled beef into empanadas and tacos, while roasted sweet potatoes are served “candied” alongside sugary pecans. Arrive for dinner and you can approximate a full Texan Thanksgiving, supplementing your spuds with slices of smoked turkey.

The pulled pork sandwich at Joeper’s
The pulled pork sandwich at Joeper’s

As restaurant mascots go, the giant cannibal pig statue stationed atop Joeper’s Smokeshack in Marine Park is captivatingly wacky. It stands guard over the single-story building bare-bottomed and guffawing as it brandishes a rack of its brethren’s ribs. Inside the diminutive takeout joint, which only has space for three stools, owner Joe Pandolfo graciously wears pants, though the pig theme continues with illustrations and figurines that fill the room.

Take the not-so-subtle hint and order Memphis-style ribs smoked in Pandolfo’s custom-built pit for over four hours until their dry rub is almost blackened. The autodidact’s technique produces juicy, highly porky meat. And at $22 for a whole rack, they’re a serious bargain that, by themselves, warrant the trip to this corner of southern Flatbush Avenue. Spicy burnt ends, cut from the tip of the brisket, make nearly as memorable an impression. Both cuts need no help from a trio of barbecue sauces, inspired by the Carolinas and Texas — two of them pack chile and mustard heat, respectively, and a third is loaded with cumin. Save them instead for thin slices of Kansas City brisket or slightly timid pulled pork (or just order the latter in a sandwich, sauced and topped with coleslaw).

Sides are all over the map, both geographically and not. The bacon in a gooey mac ‘n’ cheese does nothing for the flimsy noodles, though chicken wings have an unmistakable (and appealing) smokiness. The small loaves of cornbread are pleasingly dense, while hushpuppies and catfish nuggets are fried to a satisfying, brown crisp.

Like Eidelman, the Brooklyn-born Pandolfo, a former boiler mechanic, turned his obsession into a career. Both men have striven to master their craft and share their passion with their communities. It’s a good thing they answered the call of the ‘cue.

Izzy’s Brooklyn Smokehouse
397 Troy Avenue, Brooklyn; 347-425-0524
izzyssmokehouse.com

Joeper’s Smokeshack
2085 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-677-4225
joeperssmokeshack.net

 

Categories
FOOD ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES

Behind the Brisket: A Night With the Pit Masters Before the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

It was six o’clock on Madison Avenue and 27th Street, and pit master Sam Jones looked relaxed.

The first ten of his twenty whole hogs – weighing in at about 180 pounds each – were smoking away over oak and hickory coals pumped up a bit by charcoal briquettes. For the next sixteen hours, those coals would continually get refortified, the skin of the animals parching to a thick chip texture. Come 11 a.m., the loin, belly, ham, and skin would be cleaved together into a pile of juicy, sweet meat topped with his signature Heinz tangy Carolina BBQ sauce.

The sixteenth annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party would be loud and hot, and frantic. But for now, the third-generation pit master from North Carolina’s Skylight Inn and Sam Jones BBQ didn’t seem concerned.

“Big Apple Barbecue is the grand stage, a who’s who of barbecue,” Jones tells the Voice. “The people who do a good job at every single style of barbecue are here, so when they first invited me, it blew my hair back. Now, it’s like a reunion. Tonight, there will be a ton of alcoholic beverages consumed, a ton of lies told, stories from old, and the making of new ones for next year.”

Walking south on Madison proved Jones’s words to be too true; seated a few feet back from his own smoking whole hogs, Pat Martin of Martin’s Bar-B-Que sat in a circle of camp chairs, drinking beers and shooting the shit with Kenny Callaghan, a founding organizer of the party and, as the former chef of Union Square Hospitality’s Blue Smoke, one of the most visible and involved faces of the weekend.

Callaghan immediately jumped up for hugs and to share stories: what had already been set in motion, whose trucks were still en route somewhere in Baltimore, and which smokers were well underway. He ran off to put out a fire (as in a problem to be fixed, not one of the dozen flames breaking wood down around the park), and Martin jumped up to show off his hogs, too.

Pat Martin's whole hog
Pat Martin’s whole hog

Weighing in at two hundred pounds each, six of his twelve 100-percent Berkshire pigs were already split and had been smoking on his steel hog pits since midday. He’d pulled them with a one-ton pickup on a forty-foot gooseneck trailer up the nine hundred miles from Nashville. “When Kenny and Danny [Meyer] invited me the first time, I thought, ‘This is a big stage.’ I had to show up on the stage. So I had this thing built for it,” Martin says.

Slightly larger than the eastern North Carolina hogs, the meat on Martin’s would be pulled out from under the skin in the Tennessee-style tradition, and therefore yield slightly less meat, so he’d also smoke forty twenty-pound shoulders to meet demand. In his eighth year participating, he credited the event’s success to the prestige of the group in attendance, and the fact that “Big Apple is not a competition – it’s truly a festival, and truly about the family and love of barbecue. And that’s why New Yorkers come back every year for it. There’s no one in barbecue that doesn’t want to be invited to this. We’re one of the fortunate few who are.”

The hogs would continue to smoke long after Martin left to rest up for the next day, a few of his crew staying overnight to keep the fires stoked. After 24 hours at around two hundred degrees, they’d be served up and replaced by the next lot.

Dustin Blackwell of Hutchins BBQ, McKinney, TX
Dustin Blackwell of Hutchins BBQ, McKinney, TX

Meandering to the corner of Madison and 26th, Tim Hutchins and Dustin Blackwell of Hutchins BBQ had just started their briskets’ 14-hour smoke in the rotating smoker they’d hauled the 22-hour, 1,500-mile drive from McKinney, Texas. As the only first-timers of the festival this year, they hadn’t yet begun their drunken pre-game revelry. Instead, they made sure their team of fifteen employees was ready for the biggest catering job they’d ever had.

That job meant 500 briskets, their raw weight of 10,000 pounds smoking at 225 degrees for fourteen hours before sitting warm at 150 degrees for another three hours. “Then it’s game-time,” Blackwell tells us. “You’ve got the biggest and best names in the industry here. It’s a huge honor. We’re excited to build camaraderie with other places, to shake some hands and see how they do barbecue. And we’re far from home, so meeting customers from New York and getting their feedback’s gonna be really important to us.”

Further south and nestled against the park, Hometown Bar-B-Que’s Billy Durney was astounded by the love the out-of-towners had brought. “It’s one big happy family,” he said. “I don’t even know the guys from Salt Lick BBQ, but when our wood truck came up, three of their guys immediately came over to help us unload. There’s a new family that we’ll bond with now. This is what this event is about.”

Billy Durney of Hometown Bar-B-Que, Brooklyn, NY
Billy Durney of Hometown Bar-B-Que, Brooklyn, NY

As Durney continued to get his Heritage Creekstone Farms beef plate short ribs butchered, salt-and-pepper-rubbed, and set on that white oak wood, friends kept stopping by. There was Doc Sconz, the photographer who offers “musings on food and life” along with his photos. Shane McBride – the Balthazar chef and competitive barbecuer who co-founded Brooklyn’s Pig Beach with Ed McFarland, Matt Abdoo and Rob Shawger – stepped in for some good-natured ribbing. The two noted with pride that New York barbecue is unique in that it doesn’t have to stick to the traditions set for regional styles: Both of their menus include touches of non-American cuisines that make New York City so great.

And the other pit masters have taken notice: “What Billy’s doing in Red Hook is as good as anything you’re gonna get in Texas or anywhere else in the country,” Martin promised.

The Salt Lick people couldn’t be found at their tent; they’d moved their party to Ubons around the corner on 26th Street. There, the father-daughter team of Gary Roark and Leslie Roark Scott would be serving 1,800 pounds of pork shoulder over the course of the weekend, smoked low over hickory for ten to twelve hours, topped with their molasses-tinged Ubons barbecue sauce and served with slaw.

But while those shoulders were smoking away, the team had a far more pressing meal getup: the fifteen pounds of Polk sausage, hundred and fifty chicken legs, and a few dozen whole chickens being grilled and fried for the fifty-plus guests milling around, hungry and downing beers and Bloody Derbys (that’s a Bloody Mary with bourbon).

David Rosen of Ubons making Bloody Derby's
David Rosen of Ubons making Bloody Derby’s

“The first few years we did this party, we sent invitations,” says Roark Scott. “This year we haven’t invited anybody, and people still show up! Over the years of our participation, we’ve made many friends who’ve become a part of our family.”

The Salt Lick folks showed up toting folding chairs, with cardboard signs dangling from their necks scrawled with “Judge 1,” “Judge 2” and so forth, as Operations Director Miriam Wilson raucously brought a mason jar of moonshine to the lips of anyone who crossed her path, blessing them “in the name and spirit of barbecue.” McBride swore to us: “There’s a lot of moonshine going around this park that you guys don’t even know about.”

Ubons may have had the largest party on the block, but small clusters of friends gathered around most of the tents, sitting lazily, springing into action to shovel another load under a hog or set some more wood atop a fire, then resting again as it smoldered down.

“It takes a lot of heart, passion, and patience to barbecue,” said Blackwell back at Hutchins. “Cook times are so long. You really have to baby it, and it takes a lot of focus, a lot of passion, a lot of effort, and a lot of good people around you to make it great.”

“Most of us don’t look at it as a job – it’s a true way of life. We’d starve to death if we had to do something else for a living,” said Jones. “We don’t know another way. As long as I can breathe air, I’m gonna cook whole hog barbecue over wood.”

Gary Roark of Ubon's Barbecue, Yazoo City, MS
Gary Roark of Ubon’s Barbecue, Yazoo City, MS

Maybe it’s that kind of steady passion — the hauling of the smokers north and east, the time it takes to split logs and burn them down to briquettes, the hours of loading coals and smoking meat low and slow, and the time spent sitting around shooting the shit with friends old and new — that comes through the most at the festival, where lines build 100 folks deep and people wait in the blistering sun. Maybe it’s the “grand stage” of New York that so pushes the pit masters to serve their best. Maybe it’s the generations of conflict that many of them recognize.

“The South is [a place] of positives and negatives regarding culture,” Martin offered, ruminating on the journey of most of the pit masters to New York. “But the South brought so many beautiful things — in music and barbecue. This is our food as Americans.”

“For us, hospitality means bringing people in like we would on our front porch,” says Roark Scott. “Mississippi has a hard reputation right now of not being the friendliest state, and we want to counteract that. We want to prove that barbecue is a great equalizer — at the table, everyone is equal. So we like proving, over and over again, that our version of Mississippi welcomes everybody.”

Maybe it’s all those things. But, on Friday night at least, as hickory, oak, and ash smoke flew up Madison and 26th Street and through the trees of Madison Square Park, all were welcome. All were family. All were fed. And all were ready for the weekend and 100,000 new faces.

Smokin’.

Categories
Bars Datebook FOOD ARCHIVES Listings NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

This Week in Food: Polynesian Cuisine, Winemaker BBQ, and Dinner With Coloring Books

From Island to Island: Celebrating Polynesia in New York City, 48 Lounge, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, Monday, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Sample modern Hawaiian bites courtesy of Noreetuh, along with cocktails from master mixologist Julie Reiner, during this dinner affording a taste of the Pacific. The event includes a performance by slack-key artist Andy Wang and a traditional Tahitian dance ceremony. General admission tickets are $100 and can be reserved here.

California Winemaker BBQ Bash, Astor Center, 399 Lafayette Street, Wednesday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Meet California winemakers at this informal barbecue meal, where over 35 varietals, from orange wine to fruit-focused zinfandel blends, will be offered. Dinner ($53.74 per person) includes traditional barbecue dishes along with cheese and charcuterie. Reserve a ticket here.

One Year Anniversary Party, City Kitchen, 700 8th Avenue, Thursday, 5 p.m.

Snack on shrimp rolls from Luke’s Lobster, sliders from Whitman’s, or doughnut holes from Dough at this celebratory birthday bash. All City Kitchen food stalls will offer a select complimentary bite, plus there will be cake and entertainment at this anniversary party.

Coloring City Bakery, City Bakery, 3 W. 18th Street, Thursday, 8 p.m.

Who says coloring books are just for kids? For $40, Coloring City Bakery guests will get prints to color at dinner, with adult-coloring-book giveaways planned throughout the evening. (Don’t worry, markers and colored pencils will be provided.) This family-style dinner includes roast chicken, macaroni and cheese, kale salad, and baby beets. City Bakery’s hot chocolate and cookies will be served for dessert. Guests can RSVP here.

Dining and Social Positioning from Delmonico’s to the Four Seasons, Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, 417 E. 61st Street, Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

Learn about the history of scene-stealing restaurants like Delmonico’s. Yale University history professor Paul Freedman will discuss the evolution of upscale restaurants over the years, and their role as places to display status and exhibit social standing. He’ll also be discussing and sampling 19th-century restaurant dishes such as purée of potatoes à la Benton, cheese crusts, and anchovy-butter canapés. Tickets are $40 for general admission. Reserve them here.

Categories
Bars Datebook FOOD ARCHIVES Listings NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Funky Barbecues, Vintage Cocktails, and Hot Dog Eating: Epic Ways to Celebrate Fourth of July Weekend


Funk N’ Cue,
Governors Island, 10 South Street, Friday, 5 p.m.

George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic host this holiday eve barbecue, which offers guests the chance to funk-up Governors Island in full view of Lady Liberty. The menu includes summer favorites like pulled pork, barbecue chicken, burgers, hot dogs, and grilled corn, with additional dishes available for purchase. Additional musical guests include several members of the band (not the vegetable) Lettuce and Fonky Kong. A cash bar will also be on hand. Tickets start $35 for general admission and do not include food or drink; reserve them here.

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, Nathan’s Famous, 1000 Surf Ave., Brooklyn, Saturday, 10 a.m.

The Super Bowl of competitive eating is taking place this Saturday. Though you might eat hot dogs a little differently, this Fourth of July tradition which started in 1916 is a fun for all ages event. Local New Yorkers “Crazy Legs” Conti and Yasir Salem are a few of the participants looking to take the title belt from returning champion Joey Chestnut, while “The Black Widow” Sonya Thomas looks to maintain her championship status.

Fourth of July Clambake Extravaganza, Extra Fancy, 302 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, Saturday, 12 p.m.

Grab a glimpse of the fireworks at Extra Fancy’s backyard patio or head to the nearby Williamsburg waterfront after filling up at this all you can eat clambake. Chef Sean Telo’s version offers guests littleneck clams, Bangs Island mussels, sausage, and shrimp to feast one, with a can of Budweiser thrown in as part of the $40 per person offer. The bar will also have plenty of cocktails on hand including a line up featuring the new Patrón Citrónge mango tequila for fans of seasonal drinks. Tickets will also be available for $45 at the door, though guests can save in advance by purchasing a ticket here.

Mad Men Vintage Cocktail Series, Alder, 157 Second Ave., Saturday and Sunday

Fans of Mad Men can unleash their inner Don Draper thanks to a new cocktail series by Alder’s beverage director Travis Brown. The bar purchased spirits based off those used on AMC’s Mad Men, and is creating special cocktails with them; available nightly for $25. The menu includes a Manhattan made with Four Roses bourbon as well as a martini rosso vermouth, with drinks including the martinez and daiquiri also making an appearance this summer.

Gospel Brunch, Melba’s 125, 163 W 125th St. – 3rd Fl., Sunday, 12 p.m.

If your Fourth of July celebration means a slow start to your Sunday, recuperate with an all-you -an eat gospel brunch. For $19.99, guests can dine on chicken and eggnog waffles, omelettes, and a selection of select Southern-inspired entrees.  Drinks and dessert are available for an additional cost; reservations can be made by contacting hello@silvertint.com or by calling 212-864-7717.

Categories
Bars Datebook FOOD ARCHIVES Listings NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Live Well This Weekend With Chorizo Tortas, Pintxos, and $2 Happy Hours

BBQ and Cocktail Party, Jake’s Handcrafted, 559 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, Saturday, 4 p.m.

If you’re looking to explore a new kind of barbecue experience, this south Park Slope pad is hosting an authentic goat and beef cheek barbacoa smoke-out with tequila cocktails. A fifteen-pound baby goat will be smoked with mesquite chips and avocado leaves based on a Northern Mexican traditional method. For $15, guests receive a plate of meat, roasted vegetables, tortillas, and sauce. Chorizo tortas and chilaquiles are also available for an additional cost. To drink, Blue Nectar tequila-spiked flavored shaved ice and a selection of Mexican beers will be offered at the cash bar. The event is walk-in only, with additional barbecues scheduled for Saturday, July 25, and Saturday, August 22.

$2 Beer All Day Happy Hour, Potatopia, 378 Sixth Avenue, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.

Running through August 31, grab a cold brew for just $2, any hour of the day, at this West Village fast-casual spot. Guests can opt for any draft beer on the menu, and can choose to pair brews with myriad potato creations if desired. The offer is valid for dine-in guests only.

Meet Bryan Voltaggio,  Williams-Sonoma Columbus Circle, 10 Columbus Circle, Saturday, 12 p.m.

Executive chef Bryan Voltaggio is signing copies of his first cookbook, Home, which offers recipes focused on Mid-Atlantic cuisine like Baltimore crab cakes. The Maryland native covers a variety of meals from brunch to family favorite snacks, plus a few holiday favorites for those seeking inspiration for their Fourth of July parties. Tickets — which include a copy of the signed book — can be reserved in advance here.

Pintxo Happy Hour, Toro, 85 Tenth Avenue, Saturday, 4:30 p.m.

A recently launched pintxo happy hour from 4:30 to 7 p.m. gives guests a taste of the Basque country for less. Beginning at 5 p.m., guests can add to their three-dollar select beers or other drink of choice by choosing pintxos ranging from one to five dollars. Offerings include escabeche, tostas, and fried pig ears for adventurous eaters. The offer runs Monday through Saturday.

Gail Simmons Guest Pitmaster, Hill Country Brooklyn, 345 Adams Street, Brooklyn, Sunday, 5 p.m.

Top Chef’s Gail Simmons is kicking off a guest pitmaster series with smoky Asian-style spare ribs, succotash, and bourbon bread pudding at the Brooklyn location of Hill Country this weekend. The bar is also offering Simmons’s smoky mezcal cocktail with charred grapefruit and smoked salt to mark the occasion. Half of the proceeds from the special menu will be donated to City Harvest, with the menu offered through July 3.

Categories
Datebook Events FOOD ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES

Why You Should Head to Hill Country for the Brisket Sessions

Pop by Hill Country Barbecue Market in Brooklyn (345 Adams Street, Brooklyn; 718-885-4608) tonight, April 13, 2015, and you can have a drink with New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein. Well, sort of — if you reserve a $5 spot ahead of time, you’ll get a beer or margarita, which you can sip while you listen to Silverstein detail his rise through Texas Monthly, where he hired the country’s first barbecue editor, and his move to New York City. The informal chat, moderated by LinkedIn executive editor Dan Roth, is part of an occasional Hill Country series known as Brisket Sessions.

These chats are meant to bring together influential people in the fields of arts, media, politics, and business, says Hill Country CEO and founder Marc Glosserman. “It was an organic thing,” he says. “Dan was having lunch at Hill Country sometime last fall, and we were talking about the process of cooking barbecue as a slow-smoked, casual thing — we were comparing that to slow-cooking conversation over barbecue.” Roth and Glosserman began exploring holding casual, moderated conversations with leaders in various fields.

Brisket Sessions launched with Seth Meyers, an old friend of Roth’s and Glosserman’s. Via an interview with Roth, Meyers talked about his rise through television and divulged some behind-the-scenes secrets of Saturday Night Live. “It was really successful, and we’d like to continue to do them,” says Glosserman.

Roth will employ the same interview setup with Silverstein, who will discuss barbecue and the media industry. Attendees will be able to ask questions at the end. “It’ll be great to talk to him about his experiences,” says Glosserman. “He has these great tie-ins with barbecue and New York.”

Expect the first 45 minutes of the conversation to be the moderated interview, after which will come the open call for audience questions.

Glosserman says there’s no plan to make Brisket Sessions a regularly scheduled series, but Hill Country will offer these conversations intermittently. “It should be casual, fun, and interesting,” he says. “And delicious.”

Doors open at 6 p.m., and the talk begins at 6:30.