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Sample Ready: See’s Candies Finally Arrives in NYC

Last June, without any fanfare, West 8th Street quietly welcomed the 96-year-old California-based chocolatier See’s Candies, the brand’s signature striped awning the only sign of its arrival. Any ensuing buzz surrounding the beloved west coast chain’s arrival came courtesy of its fans: Alec Baldwin and Martha Stewart professed their excitement on social media, and early online reviews trickled in from the populace, rhapsodic from stumbling upon a local outpost.

“See how this is happening?” asks Bill Rhodes, the bowtie-wearing gentleman behind the candy counter, pointing out the female pedestrian stopped outside the shop windows. “Four hundred times a day, all day long people walk by, [then stop] and get excited, scream, cry, take a picture, send it to mom. It’s very exciting—people are thrilled!” Rhodes is president and CEO of Travis Melbren, Inc., and partnered with the 96-year-old chocolate company to bring it to the Big Apple.

“I’ve always thought there really needs to be a See’s Candies in New York,” explains Rhodes, whose past includes a history with brands like Cartier and Harry Winston, and spills that a Saudi Arabian princess staying at the Plaza recently called in an order for 20 cans of toffee-ettes. “I’m here to bring it in a 100 percent full way [as] there are so many caveats to New York City that make it an anomaly, and make it an amazing place. We can bring in [this experience] at the level it should be at.”

At the trademark candy counter at the West Village store, customers can choose from from the 80-plus varieties on display, some of which include notes or even remnants of the sage honey the company favors for the rich, unexpected way it sweetens the chocolate. The Bordeaux, a brown sugar buttercream, is the bestseller with the perplexing name; the Scotchmallow features honey-marshmallow, caramel and dark chocolate; and the special of pure coconut flakes and honey coated in dark chocolate. The candies have a creamier mouthfeel than most chocolate, which Rhodes says is from its freshness and the lack of preservatives, wax or paraffin. “We place orders on Sunday, and they’re air-freighted in by Thursday or Friday, so there’s constant turnover.” assures Rhodes, who was formerly a jeweler to the friends and families of Berkshire Hathaway and refers to their CEO as “Mr. Buffett.” (Berkshire Hathaway purchased See’s in 1972.)

So what took so long for this Buffett-backed company to come to NYC? Legend in California had it the See family wouldn’t allow it to expand, citing concern for quality control, and thus making it the chocolate equivalent of In-N-Out Burger and a very popular gift. Rhodes, a New Yorker since 1994, says he’s dreamt of bringing See’s to his hometown for the last 10 years.

“This is an old great amazing candy company, and when you walk in here, it needs to bring [that] all together,” says Rhode’s of the company’s decision to open downtown. “Nowhere best represented the dichotomy of [old and new] New York than West 8th Street. If it were in Midtown or Times Square, it would take on a whole different feel.” Kiosks of the company-owned chain are also found at retailers like Lord & Taylor’s and Macy’s, which carry limited packaged candies.

“Chocolate shouldn’t last,” says Rhodes, about how See’s focus on freshness sets the brand apart. “Ours is meant to be eaten fresh. Once customers taste it, they know it. It’s a difference you can taste.”

See’s Candies
60 West 8th Street @ 6th Avenue
212.602.1886
sees.com

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Instead of Eating This $2000 Pizza, Actually Go Out Into The World And Help People

These are indeed trying, ravenous times. Disconcertingly, 2017 looks to be the year that tastelessness and casual bigotry of all shameful stripes seek their slimy resurgence. Here in Donald Trump’s birthplace, we’ll soon see the return of the Playboy Club, giving everyone the chance to experience the cheap thrill of objectifying women just like our 45th Commander in Chief. And right now, if you call two days in advance, a South Street Seaport restaurant will sell you a squid ink-stained gray circle of baked dough layered with enough random fancy ingredients to apparently justify charging the monthly price of a Financial District studio apartment rental.

“The ingredients are sourced from all over the world” the press release extolls about this absurd stunt item, which debuted during 2016’s holiday season. The trumpeting continues, checking off a Carmen Sandiego-esque country-hopping grocery list that jumps from French foie gras and truffles, to English stilton cheese, to Ecuadorian gold leaf, and Ossetra caviar “from the Caspian Sea.” With its mishmash of rich people catnip, Industry Kitchen’s rarefied round may very well be the Donald Trump of pizzas: a whole lot of bluster and grotesque spectacle for an ultimately hollow experience and gaudy display of wealth. You don’t have to stretch your imagination much to guess that this $2,000 orgy of cheese, liver, and fish eggs on bread likely doesn’t add up to more than the sum of its prohibitively expensive parts. New York is no stranger to outrageous menu items. This is the land of $100 gold-covered doughnuts, $1,000 omelets loaded with lobster and caviar, and ultra-costly dishes and drinks that come with actual jewels, after all. Even so, this monstrosity is particularly gauche, ostentatious in a way that almost feels untoward in this cultural climate, when there are looming assaults on civil rights, the environment, and, some might argue, the very concepts of decency and decorum.

Faced with such indignities, we’re far hungrier for opportunities to help others, especially in light of last night’s freeze of the second muslim ban. Grassroots protests — like last month’s A Day Without Immigrants, observed by numerous businesses nationwide — are proving to be forces for positive change and communal altruism. In turn, we’ve sought out ways that the city’s restaurant and food industries are aiding New Yorkers who want to support causes that benefit those in need. Bonus: none of them need set you back two grand (unless you’re feeling especially generous).

Raise Awareness at Dinner, Take a Socially Conscious Food Tour, or Grab a “Banned Food” Map

In the wake of the first disastrously implemented and belligerently conceived muslim ban, a group of local food writers and tour guides banded together to form Breaking Bread NYC, a collective that aims to connect “communities through cuisine.” Scott Weiner, a co-founder who runs the popular Scott’s Pizza Tours, tells the Voice that the first excursion, which brought more than 80 people to five Syrian and Yemeni food purveyors in Cobble Hill, went swimmingly. “The response was incredible,” he says of the crowd, whose donations benefitted the Council on American-Islamic Relations. They’ve hosted a Sephardic lunch and stroll down Kings Highway in Brooklyn, and even taken their mouthwatering crusade cross-country, organizing a meal at an Iraqi restaurant in Dallas. Coming up on Thursday, March 23rd, they’ll host dinner at David’s Brisket House, a Yemeni Muslim-owned Jewish deli in Bed-Stuy. If you’d rather explore on your own, a $10 donation will net you a weekly changing map of venues serving food from the seven countries named in the now-defunct initial ban (also benefitting CAIR).

Eat Out for a Good Cause

Order one ($4.75) or two ($6) scoops of justice at Fany Gerson’s ice cream and paleta shop La Newyorkina, where the Mexico City-born chef is raising money for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund with a multicolored sorbet made to mimic the Mexican flag. Available through March, “Mi Corazon” brings together stripes of hibiscus-berry, mezcal-lime, and cactus-pineapple.

New York City chefs including Paowalla’s Floyd Cardoz, celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson (Red Rooster), Manish Mehrotra of New Delhi import Indian Accent, and L’Appart’s Mina Pizzaro, will join forces with the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) for a benefit dinner at Tribeca Rooftop on Thursday, April 13th. The ritzy event, hosted by Gail Simmons, honors Ruth Reichl’s storied career in food and begins with a cocktail hour celebrating immigrant cuisines and their contributions to NYC’s food landscape alongside drinks inspired by Eighteenth Century taverns courtesy of MOFAD founder Dave Arnold. The extravagant, multi-course dinner that follows expands on that premise. Tickets, on sale now, start at $750 per person, and funds go to furthering MOFAD’s goal of building a standalone food museum.

Donate to a Local Food Charity

Citymeals on Wheels, which delivers meals to homebound seniors

Added Value Farms, a “farming and food justice” non-profit based in Red Hook and staffed by volunteer youth.

City Harvest, which “rescues” restaurant food waste and redistributes it to more than 500 programs, including many local food pantries.

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Celebrating the Lunar New Year With the Museum of Chinese in America

 

Last Wednesday, before the blizzard buried downtown New York, several hundred hungry revelers gathered at the Bowery Hotel to celebrate New Year’s. But if it was still February 2017, outside, here at the Bowery it was the twelfth night of the traditional fifteen days reserved for celebrating the Chinese lunar new year, in this case 4715. Clad in a sleeveless, elegant red shift — the unofficial color of luck and happiness in Chinese culture — Nancy Yao Maasbach greeted the partygoers: “Have you eaten yet?” The president of the Museum of Chinese in America (our hosts for the evening), she repeated her question, a literal translation of a colloquial Chinese greeting (Ni che la ma?), prompting cheers and applause from the crowd standing and eating at the museum’s first-ever “Night Market” new year’s feast. Under paper lanterns and in rooms adorned with fire-rooster imagery — this year’s Chinese zodiac sign — takeaway small plates of Chinese, Taiwanese, and Chinese-American food were dished up by a lineup of Chinatown superstars and newcomers to the city’s Asian food scene.

“We tried to come up with a balance of different dishes to showcase not just the restaurants, but Chinese [cuisine] in a sense,” says the event’s co-chair, Kian Lam Kho, the IACP award–winning cookbook author and James Beard Award–nominated blogger. “They all came up with suggestions.”

Proceeds from the evening went to the museum’s educational programs about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. “Immigration is on everybody’s mind,” says Herb Tam, curator of the museum’s popular current exhibition Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy: Stories of Chinese Food and Identity in America, which was recently extended through September 10, 2017. “It’s really important right now for visitors to the museum to learn that Chinese were once excluded from coming to America. Obviously, it resonates with the Muslim experience now. A lot of people don’t know this history, and I think maybe if they knew more about what happened to Chinese way back when, it might affect how they think about the current political situation.” 

 

The breadth of variety here would pass muster with any Chinese food critic, as there were jianbing from Mr. Bing present (an omnipresent street food of a crepe-like pancake folded with scrambled eggs, scallions, sesame seeds, hoisin, and a habit-forming chile paste), poached chicken congee shots from Nom Wah Nolita, and mini rice bowls with minced pork from Taiwan Bear House. The cool kids from the city’s Chinese food scene were present: Jonathan Wu of Fung Tu piped a Sichuan eggplant relish onto house-made yucca chips, and the self-dubbed ‘Asian White Boy’ chef, Scotsman Paul Donnelly of the aptly-named Chinese Tuxedo (the restaurant is housed in a former opera house in Chinatown) served roast duck laced with Chinese celery and lychee dressed in a sweet-sour black vinegar dressing. Wu was aware of the cultural significance of this event: “I’m so excited there’s been a boom of Chinese-American chefs. It gives me a great sense of pride. This generation is pushing the envelope. They’re respecting traditions and building on them, but also being dynamic and doing different unexplored things.”

Kho was heartened as well. “It’s satisfying we’re giving recognition to the immigrant story of the Asian population. For many years, we’ve been invisible in a way, so I think it’s great to see now that the younger generation is a little bit more active. And as far as food is concerned, it’s really amazing how young chefs are rediscovering their roots.”

The young owners of Junzi Kitchen are hoping to replicate their success from introducing their hometown flavors from northern China to the local food scene at Yale University, where they met as students. The NYC outpost of their New Haven-based restaurant will open up by Columbia University in early spring. “[Chef Lucas Sin] is from the dongbei (northeastern) region, and they’re doing some really exciting stuff,” says Kho. Indeed, one of their Night Market dishes was a Jowl Lettuce Cup using wild rose vinegar and coastal sweet fern—perhaps noteworthy additions for 2017’s list of ingredients to try.

The other newcomer on the scene was Birds of a Feather, slated to open in Williamsburg next month, which offered a crisp-chewy bite of savory-sweet duck tongue slivers on a nest of fried shoestring-cut yams. The owners are behind Tribeca’s China Blue and Midtown’s Cafe China, both of which received acclaim for their authentic Shanghainese and Sichuanese cuisine, respectively, with their moody, romantic interiors inspired by 1930s Shanghai.

“We usually do a banquet-style event [to celebrate the Lunar New Year],” says Tam, about the new year’s feasts the museum has hosted since 2014. “We wanted to do something a bit more casual and informal this year, as there’s a different understanding of Chinese food now. Rather than the sit-down banquet or, on the other end of the spectrum, the fast-food takeout of Chinese-American food, this speaks to the growing popularity of the diversity of Chinese food that’s available in Asia.”

Kho credited the standard night market in Asia with bridging the gap between fun and delicious for this lunar new year event. “We could bring in not just the food, but the ‘feel’ with all the festivities and activities,” he says. Tam described the aesthetic of the hotel as “not at all Chinese” but noted that lanterns and swaths of red fabric and tassels made it “festive the way Chinese new year can be.” A noodle-pulling demonstration kicked off the night’s festivities, followed by a traditional lion dance that mosied through the rooms, clanging loudly as it went, flirtatiously batting its eyelashes and chasing away the ghosts of last year. The earlier portion of the evening was decidedly more wholesome—a caricaturist was stationed across from Chinatown Ice Cream Factory with the music contained mostly to quiet jazz and big band. As the night went on, the caricaturist left, more young people joined, and a DJ took over the sound system.

“I’m first-generation,” points out the Singapore-born Kho. “I feel very fortunate that I was able to come in and contribute what I can to America. We’re very short-sighted if we don’t look at the future and all these other future contributions an immigrant can bring into this country. The immigrants are what make America strong—not just someone [saying] we’re going to be great again.”


The Museum of Chinese in America
215 Centre Street
mocanyc.org
855-955-6622

 

 

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Delicious Scenes From the 2016 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party returned to Madison Square Park on June 11 and 12. People from all over the New York City area flooded the streets to try out dishes from over a dozen pit masters at the event. From smokey brisket and whole hogs to fried peach pies and crawfish boils, anyone who stopped by for a bite to eat was more than satisfied. 
Photos by Emily Tan for the Village Voice

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After Thirteen Years of Winning Awards, Public Does the Unthinkable — It’s Starting Over

Menu overhauls are nothing new, but when a Michelin-starred restaurant like Public (210 Elizabeth Street; 212-343-7011) shakes up its roster — not to mention its service and design — it’s difficult to ignore.

Every restaurant dreams of reaching its one-year anniversary, but this year, Public is celebrating thirteen years on Elizabeth Street. The idea that one space is so beloved — especially by a city with endless options — is reason enough to perfect a menu and leave it alone. Yet after more than a decade of defending a reputation rewarded by Michelin stars and James Beard designations, Brad Farmerie and AvroKO are wiping the slate clean at Public.

Why? Farmerie’s personal dietary revolution.

“Everyone grows over the years,” explains Farmerie. “Thirteen years in, we had grown as a group and as individuals, so we kinda wanted to explore where we were all going. I personally have been eating very differently than I did back then, and so I think we want to reflect all of that in the new menu.”

Charred carrots with lemon yogurt and dukkah
Charred carrots with lemon yogurt and dukkah

Although Public always had a forward-thinking kitchen — the restaurant made it a point to offer gluten-free and vegan-friendly dishes from day one — a sense of perspective can only be achieved after lessons learned. Farmerie and his team noticed racking up awards has a downside. Despite Public’s attempt to offer a casual dining atmosphere, an aura of formality developed over the years, as one might imagine.

“We started with the intention of having it super fun and crazy… the place people could come back to every week instead of every month or once every year,” says Farmerie. “I think with some of the awards we garnered — the Michelin star — it was very much appreciated and exciting, but I think that it became a little bit more of a formal restaurant. So, we wanted to make it a little more approachable… more interesting on the menu. We thought if we wiped a blank slate, we could start back exactly the way we want.”

Warm crushed sunchokes with capers and cornichons
Warm crushed sunchokes with capers and cornichons

The “Game, Guts, and Off Cuts” tasting menu, a hallmark of the restaurant’s early notoriety, is no longer front and center. Tastings had become hour-long marathons, and Farmerie decided that once the rest of the restaurant world jumped onto the craft-butchering bandwagon, change was in order. White plates and individual portions became a thing of the past.

Now, quinoa flatbreads and gluten-free potato bread with sunflower seed hummus lead off the dinner menu. There’s no longer the option to add sweetbreads to the carrot and coconut soup; instead, a curry laksa with vermicelli has taken its place. Dishes at Public are designed to be shared and admired — the curry laksa is poured by guests from a teapot, while the aforementioned bread plate is served on a cake stand.

Ollie's banana Knickerbocker glory: Chamomile ice cream, fresh bananas, dulce de leche, and whipped cream
Ollie’s banana Knickerbocker glory: Chamomile ice cream, fresh bananas, dulce de leche, and whipped cream

Though the changes may seem subtle, Farmerie and his team are doing what any good restaurateurs must: staying ahead of the game.

“When we first opened, we were all looking to prove something. I had never lived or worked in New York; nobody knew who I was,” says Farmerie.

With his reputation now firmly intact and anonymity part of his past, Farmerie has earned the right to restart from scratch. The kangaroo carpaccio has hopped off the menu, but a hemp-crusted salmon has been reeled in. A Moroccan-style braised lamb shank and grilled chimichurri skirt steak complete Public’s new list of shareable entrees. Those looking for decadence will still find it — especially in the dessert section, where an ice cream sundae comes with a sparkler to mark the glorious end to a hearty yet casual meal.

A selection of new, juice-driven cocktails
A selection of new, juice-driven cocktails

Likewise, Public’s bar adapted its menu to focus on zero waste and healthy ingredients. The Caramelized Kumquat Sazerac cocktail features the whole fruit (however diminutive), and bee pollen appears in the Pollen Pisco Sour, a modern riff on the Bee’s Knees. “You can’t really have [drinks] take too much time. That’s what I’m working on. That Caramelized Kumquat Sazerac takes twenty seconds to make, which I think is pretty cool,” explains head bartender Brett Hughes, who coordinated the menu alongside Eben Freeman.

Another change guests can now take advantage of? Stopping in to Farmerie’s own office, which has been relocated to Public. There, the chef and his team have created a parlor where guests can visit and take a sip of homemade cherry brandy while they wait. After thirteen years, you can only read so many comment cards.

Burrata with roasted grapes, salted savory granola, and maple vinaigrette
Burrata with roasted grapes, salted savory granola, and maple vinaigrette
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Dos Equis’ ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’ Auctions Off His Treasures

After throwing a wild party at Wall Street last November, the Most Interesting Man in the World has decided to say goodbye to earth and take a one-way trip to Mars. Lucky for us, he decided to leave his most prized possessions behind for all his fans.

Dos Equis held an estate auction of the Most Interesting Man’s “Coveted Collection” at 632 on Hudson on April 13. Some of his lavish items included a leather elephant, a prized art piece, and a gigantic crest to the people with the most “dositas.” While guests enjoyed endless Dos Equis and specially made cocktails, auction winners were also surprised with a special gift that went with each item including luxurious spa day, twenty-course meal, and two orchestra seats to Hamilton. One lucky individual also walked away with an adopted elephant care of the Impact Plan.

Photos by Emily Tan for the Village Voice

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Square Meals: How to Eat Your Way Through NYC This Spring

A Square Meal

“It took over our lives,” Emily Hyland tells the Voice, reminiscing about launching Emily, the quirky pizzeria that she and husband Matt opened in Clinton Hill as first-time restaurateurs two years ago. Now the Hylands are gearing up to open Emmy Squared (364 Grand Street, Brooklyn, pizzalovesemily.com), a sibling pie parlor in Williamsburg. The couple has teamed up with pizzaiolo Lou Tomczak, formerly of Greenpoint Neapolitan haven Paulie Gee’s, to develop a menu of fluffy and crunchy Detroit-style square pizzas, as well as Italian-American sandwiches including chicken, meatball, and eggplant parmigiana. This rarely encountered (in New York City, at least) regional pizza style flips the craft on its head, layering cheese and other toppings directly onto the dough before finishing things off with a generous ladling of sauce. Cooked in a traditional gas deck oven, the Detroit pie assumes a serious char on the edges while the inside remains yeasty and soft. And though their Williamsburg space has room for fifty, a stark contrast to the original’s intimacy, Emily maintains that the new digs will be steeped in just as much kitschy comfort: Decorations, she says, will likely come from “raiding our parents’ houses for cool antiques and wall art.” The second location also features an expanded bar area and 23 beers on tap, so expect bar bites like gochujang-spiced wings and the likely appearance of the famous Emmy burger. “We know people would really like burgers,” Matt says, referring to one of our favorite patties around town, which boasts dry-aged beef and a pretzel bun. — Zachary Feldman

 

Bacon and Beer Classic
April 22–23
Citi Field, 123-01 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens, baconandbeerclassic.com 

Anticipate porcine-centric bites from more than forty local restaurants and suds from fifty regional breweries including Gun Hill Brewing Co., Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, and Bad Seed Cider. Look, too, for Jenga, a bungee run, a bacon-eating contest, and a photo booth. (Three sessions spread across two days are intended to mitigate long lines.) A panel of judges is awarding winners for Best Overall Bacon Dish; the chosen few will compete against one another in this year’s World Food Championships in Kissimmee, Florida. — Sara Ventiera

Vegetarian Food Festival
May 7–8
Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, nycvegfoodfest.com

At this plant-based gathering, join celebrity chefs and vegan advocates, including Chopped contestant Charles Chen, Vedge chefs-owners Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby, and Vegan Roadie Dustin Harder. In addition to restaurants and cruelty-free vendors, the event features a series of TED-style talks with authors, physicians, and nonprofit representatives. — Sara Ventiera

Harlem EatUp!
May 19–22
Various locations, harlemeatup.com

Honoring the cuisine and arts scene of its namesake neighborhood, this four-day fair — spearheaded by co-founders Marcus Samuelsson and Herb Karlitz and honorary chair Bill Clinton — hosts collaborative dinners as well as a two-day outdoor tasting at Morningside Park. Alex Guarnaschelli, Jacques Torres, and Nyesha Arrington are among the guest chefs. — Sara Ventiera

Claus Meyer
Claus Meyer

Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen
115 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, carlahallsouthernkitchen.com 

Nashville native and host of The Chew Carla Hall is bringing her hometown’s infamous poultry dish to Cobble Hill. Inspired by hearty Sunday dinners at her grandmother’s house, Hall is highlighting cayenne-coated bird along with meat-free renditions of southern sides (think smoked onion and paprika-infused collards and potato salad). After numerous construction setbacks, the place is now slated to debut in April. — Sara Ventiera

Sen Sakana
28 West 44th Street

Peru’s large population of Japanese immigrants has made an indelible mark on the country’s cuisine. Sen Sakana — opening in April — celebrates this union. Led by executive chef (and Peruvian descendant) Mina Newman and Japanese-born Taku Nagai, the concept features sushi, ceviche, anticuchos, and items from a robata grill. — Sara Ventiera

Agern + Great Northern Food Hall
89 East 42nd Street

Noma co-founder Claus Meyer is launching his first U.S. ventures with a bang. In April, his Nordic-influenced American endeavors commence with Agern, a seasonally driven restaurant and bar helmed by executive chef Gunnar Gíslason, previously of the Reykjavik fine-dining mecca Dill. Agern is adjacent to Meyer’s Great Northern Food Hall (set to open in May), a 5,000-square-foot space with five food pavilions and a bar, in Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall. — Sara Ventiera

 

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Get Your Village Voice Brunch Eats Presale Tickets Now

What’s better than breakfast for dinner? Breakfast for dinner on a boat. And we can help that become a reality for you.

This year, the Village Voice is proud to kick off the inaugural Brunch Eats, where you can chow down on bacon, eggs, donuts, and more while on the historic Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s Flight Deck. From 8 to 11 p.m. on May 11, join us as we invite more than twenty of New York City’s hottest restaurants on board for the ultimate brunch bash.

We even have a few of the restaurants lined up for you already, including Butter & Scotch, Le Fond, Nha Minh, Osteria Cotta, Streets BK, and Underwest Donuts. Stay tuned for our expanded list of eateries participating in the event later this spring.

General admission tickets ($60) to Brunch Eats will get you access to the full event, where you’ll be able to sample all those tasty eats and sip on complimentary beverages. You’ll also be able to explore the museum and enjoy live entertainment on the ship. Meanwhile, V.I.P. tickets ($85) will get you all that…plus access to the exclusive Space Shuttle Pavilion, so you can nosh on frittatas and hash browns next to the Enterprise. And you’ll get a killer swag bag.

Word to the wise, get your tickets now. Our last delicious event, Choice Eats, sold out before we even opened the doors. Without further ado, here’s how you can get your presale tickets to Brunch Eats:

When: Wednesday, March 23, at 10 a.m. until Tuesday, March 29, at 11:59 p.m.

Where: www.bruncheats.com

How: Use our handy presale code, BRUNCHED, to nab your spot on the ship.

The Village Voice‘s First Annual Brunch Eats
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
8—11 p.m.
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Twelfth Avenue & West 46th Street
For more information, visit the Brunch Eats website.

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High Street on Hudson Is Getting Ready to Serve Dinner

Last month, chef Eli Kulp and his partner Ellen Yin debuted High Street on Hudson (637 Hudson Street, 917-388-3944), the sibling spot to their popular all-day-dining restaurant in Philadelphia, High Street on Market — and their first foray into NYC.

This Wednesday, Kulp and Yin are set to launch dinner service, featuring main dishes like grilled nebrodini mushrooms with Minnesota wild rice, chestnuts, sunchokes, and mustard apples; Long Island duck with soured oats, charred leeks, and turnips; and seaweed-infused bucatini pasta with seafood, topped with ‘nduja sausage and breadcrumbs, adding to a breakfast/lunch menu centered on regional farm produce.

At this point, many of the menu offerings resemble those served in Philly, but a spokesman for the team says that as the restaurant evolves, they will adapt the dishes to highlight what’s available in the New York area, especially while sourcing local grain for the bread they bake in-house and for other menu items, like fresh pasta.

To go with the food, there’s an American-focused natural-wine and craft beer list to choose from.

Coming soon, diners will have the option to experience a “Leave It to Us” tasting menu, which will seat them in view of the restaurant’s open kitchen, in the hands of culinary director Jon Nodler and chef de cuisine Taylor Naples.

Dinner hours are from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

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The Top 10 Most Popular Village Voice Food Stories of 2015

In New York, there’s no shortage of dishes and drinks, legendary chefs, and fascinating stories from the kitchens of your favorite eateries. As we count down the hours to 2016 (with a glass of bubbly in hand, natch), here are the tastiest tidbits from the Voice‘s restaurant coverage in 2015:

10. Luksus Will Take Its Michelin Star Back, No Questions Asked
People swipe stuff from bars all the time. Pint glasses with fancy logos, delicate stemware, Spuds MacKenzie posters, coasters, and self-worth are pocketed every night. Some bars and restaurants screw stuff right onto the walls, but Daniel Burns, chef and partner of Tørst and Luksus , the Scandanavian restaurant and bar in Greenpoint, didn’t think he had to take extreme measures when it came to a simple plaque noting a prestigious achievement by his restaurant: the awarding of a Michelin star. Read more about Luksus’s missing Michelin star…

9. Two Entrepreneurs Set Out for War-Torn Yemen in Search of a Brew That Could Change Coffee Drinking Forever
The small fishing boat carrying two Americans and a local captain bounced and skidded across the choppy waves of the Red Sea. As they sped away from Yemen toward the African nation of Djibouti, Andrew Nicholson and Mokhtar Alkhanshali kept a close eye on the heavy suitcases they had tucked away beneath a protective blue tarp. Inside was the cargo they had driven for seven hours, past Houthi rebel checkpoints and Saudi Arabian airstrikes, to bring back to the United States: ninety kilos of Yemeni coffee beans. Facing violent waves and a waterway stalked by Somali pirates, Nicholson and Alkhanshali could only hope their cargo would end up in American coffee drinkers’ cups, and not at the bottom of the sea. Read more about Andrew Nicholson and Mokhtar Alkhanshali’s quest for Yemeni coffee…

8. Brooklyn Whiz Kids’ Chef’s Knife Is Blowing Up on Kickstarter
A newly launched online kitchenware company, Misen — pronounced meez-en (as in mise en place) — sparked into being with an intent to create affordably priced, essential cooking tools “to get people back into the kitchen.” It’s the brainchild of Brooklyn-based co-founders Josh Moses and Omar Rada, along with Peter Müller, an industrial designer from Chicago. The trio of self-described avid home cooks, designers, and entrepreneurs launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $25,000 to finance the manufacture of their first product: a professional-quality eight-inch chef’s knife. It took them all of one hour to reach their goal. Read more from our interview with Josh Moses… 

7. These Vegan Chicharrones Converted Carnivorous Chef Tracy Obolsky
“I was a little nervous when I saw that most of the menu was vegan. I’m slightly anti-vegan, being a pastry chef and all. But I’d been hearing about these vegan chicharrones, and I couldn’t quite believe they’d be as good as people were saying they are.” Read more about Tracy Obolsky’s venture into vegan territory…

6. At Nearly 80, Jacques Pepin Keeps On Educating and Entertaining
With photos of his family and their gatherings, Jacques Pépin’s new book outlines his idea of a great get-together. He talks about his entertaining ethos: “The first requirement for anything I serve at my house is that it taste good. No compromises!” He explains his favorite game, boules (bocce), and what to drink while playing — Pernod or rosé. Pépin recalls foraging with his parents and older brother in Bourg-en-Bresse and describes how he’s continued the tradition with his daughter — and, now, granddaughter — in Connecticut. It’s all enough to make you wish you were part of the Pépin brood. Read more from our interview with the legendary Jacques Pépin…

5. The Best Bacon in NYC Could Be at This Queens Butcher Shop
One of these fine types of bacon is a crusted slab known as “white bacon” or slana. Pure fatback (all fat, no meat), it’s heavily salted and smoked (the store advises that the salt should be washed off before eating). You wouldn’t typically describe bacon as “delicate,” but this diaphanous specialty is just that, more akin to the buttery richness of fresh sea urchin than something on a BLT. Read more about this shop’s incredible bacon… 

4. NYC Enacts Styrofoam Ban; World Does Not End
On July 1 New York implemented a controversial citywide ban on Styrofoam. Pursuant to Local Law 142 of the city’s administrative code, the new policy does away with single-serve foam cups, beach coolers, takeout containers — even those pesky packaging peanuts. Because these items can’t be recycled, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office estimates the ban will remove up to 30,000 tons of annual waste from landfills and waterways. Sounds like something we can all get behind, right? Not exactly. Read more about NYC’s new styrofoam ban…

3. In the Per Se Kitchen With Executive Sous-Chef Matt Peters
This legendary restaurant in a shopping mall has secured iconic status as one of the most unimpeachable homes of high-level cuisine, committed to creating a dining experience unlike any other. In the morning, the mall is dead, but the chefs have been cranking it out since before sunrise. Read more about our behind-the-scenes look at Per Se…

2. GMOs are Haunting in New Thriller Consumed
Consumed is the first dramatic film to present the GMO debate onscreen, pitting those who believe that GMOs in our food are extremely safe against those who believe they’re contributing to chronic health issues. Offscreen, in real life, no long-term studies have been done with enough clarity to shut down either side. Small farmers fight huge farming corporations. Health companies fight food producers. Politics and economics muddle research. Of course, this kind of material runs the risk of being snore-inducing when projected onto the big screen. But filmmakers Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones were prepared for that. Read more from our chat with the filmmakers… 

1. Here’s the Recipe for Junior’s Original New York Cheesecake
Over the years, Junior’s has changed quite a bit, but its soul has remained the same. And its famous cheesecake recipe, painstakingly developed by Allen Rosen’s grandfather in the mid 20th century, is exactly the same, though new toppings have been added and some older ones have changed. Read more about Junior’s and cop their cheesecake recipe…