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Drink in Hunt Lodge Vibes at Jersey City Cocktail Den the Archer

It’s been a good year for resurrecting the lost soul of Newark Avenue’s Ox, the forerunner to Jersey City’s downtown dining boom. Earlier this fall the restaurant’s former chef and partner, Ed Radich, made a return to Jersey City (you can find him cooking up paella down the block at Raval), and last month — after years in spiritual purgatory as Asian fusion joint Box — the former Ox space was reborn as The Archer (176 Newark Avenue, Jersey City; no phone).

Partners Jesse Weeks and Kent Baker’s hunting lodge–cum-saloon feels decisively local, with the original back bar restored to its former bottle-stocked glory and boasting a spirituous drinks list designed by Dutch Kills’ tiki queen Natalie Jacob, and ambitious wild game plates developed by chef Justin Antiorio, a veteran 21 Club cook, who also now runs the kitchens of Hoboken’s Bin 14 and Anthony David’s. “We came up with Coney Island–meets–hunter cuisine,” says Antiorio of the venison corn dogs and wild boar sloppy joes. “And now that we’ve got a Berkel slicer in here, we’ve turned Box’s sushi station into a charcuterie bar.”

They’ve also added a fireplace.

Jacob's Bijou gives a lemon twist to gin, sweet vermouth, and green chartreuse.
Jacob’s Bijou gives a lemon twist to gin, sweet vermouth, and green chartreuse.

But with the prospect of the unseasonably warm weather continuing unabated, don’t expect a throwback to Ox’s pots of boozy hot chocolate just yet. If Jacob had her way, the Archer would be in full-bore Christmas pop-up mode right now, pouring candy-cane-infused bourbon old-fashioneds to pair with winter-weight plates of duck confit poutine and smoked turkey pot pie.

“We want to do a hot drinks menu for January and February — a hot mai tai, a hot buttered rum, mulled cider, a hot toddy,” says Jacob. Over the holidays, two fully decorated Christmas trees were stationed at both ends of the bar (boasting locally sourced ornaments from the dollar store across the street), with a wreath-wearing stag’s head, rescued from the junk bin of an Alphabet City consignment shop, positioned over the hearth.

Jacob’s opening cocktail menu showcases her passion for rums and for Laird’s Applejack; the latter features in the Van Vorst Park Swizzle, enriched with sherry and cinnamon. “I’m very excited that I get to do something that I love doing, in New York, in my own neighborhood; I’ve lived here forever,” says Jacob, who was raised near White Manna and has long commuted to mix drinks at Flatiron Lounge, Painkiller, and Lani Kai. “I like using ingredients that are classic and tropical, that tie in my two backgrounds.”

Dutch Kills bartender Natalie Jacob, a Jersey City native, developed the Archer's cocktail menu.
Dutch Kills bartender Natalie Jacob, a Jersey City native, developed the Archer’s cocktail menu.

Antiorio, meanwhile, likes his ingredients local. For a plate of baby carrots glazed in Chairman’s Reserve spiced rum, he’s sourced his main ingredient from City Green Farm in Clifton, which sells him whatever’s left of its bounty after making the rounds at the local farmers’ markets each week. “And we’re doing our sausage from scratch,” he says. “We spice it, case it, we even smoke it here. Eventually we’ll start doing our own charcuterie as well.” Until then, he’s sourcing exotically cured meats from Smoking Goose in Indianapolis, which supplies the Archer with its Gin & Juice, a bracing lamb salami cured in juniper and orange zest that tastes more martini than meat.

“People are more receptive to different things in Jersey City — hence our menu,” says Weeks, who is maybe not the first person to sign a lease for this space to express that sentiment. “I don’t think what we’re doing would fly in Hoboken, but here people are more edgy, more experimental.”

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David Drake’s Vibrant Cooking Reemerges at Jersey City’s Light Horse Tavern and Greene Hook

David Drake, who took over the workhorse kitchen at the Paulus Hook spot Light Horse Tavern this summer, recently opened its casual offshoot just down the block — Greene Hook (70 Greene Street, Jersey City; 201-721-5062). “Jim Kennedy, who was the mayor of Rahway – he was my partner in my restaurant there – he comes to Light Horse a lot, so the owner asked him for my number,” recalls Drake. His eponymous Rahway restaurant shuttered during the recession of 2007, and it was the last time the chef has executed the French technique he mastered under David Burke at Brooklyn’s River Cafe and Craig Shelton at New Jersey’s Ryland Inn, when both of those chefs were cooking at their peak. 

House-made Parmesan gnocchi with mushrooms, from the menu at Greene Hook.

After serving bistro fare in Lake Hopatcong the past five years, Drake’s curiosity about Jersey City’s dining scene trumped his complacency in the suburbs. “I just felt Jersey City was the right thing for me,” says Drake, while acknowledging “there’s a lot of young people here, which is good and bad, because they don’t have disposable income.” Greene Hook makes Light Horse’s grown-up fare more accessible without dressing down the craft. Fried chicken by the bucket is cooked sous vide and sided with freshly-baked jalapeno biscuits; agnolotti is made from scratch, deviled eggs are dusted with paprika then dotted with caviar. “Otherwise it’s like putting on a tuxedo without a bowtie,” he says. “A lot of places, that’s fine, no one’s wearing a bowtie anymore, but that little final touch makes it fun.”

Drake describes Greene Hook’s menu as “unconventional fine dining” and to prove his point, the barroom’s dominated by a shuffleboard league twice a week, as much of a draw for the neighborhood’s junior executives as the nightly dollar oysters and heavily discounted drink specials that keep beer, wine, and cocktails under $5 after work.

“We’re still figuring out how to do it, but we’re humming all the time,” he says, relieved and mindful such waterfront success stories aren’t always the case. After Ryland Inn shuttered the same year as Restaurant David Drake, Craig Shelton helmed the kitchen of Skylark on the Hudson, an upscale diner a few blocks uptown in Jersey City’s Newport neighborhood, only to see it too shutter after Hurricane Sandy.

Sea scallops, golden beets and peas. Chef David Drake's vibrant aesthetic embraces the best of the changing seasons.

More conventional dining dominates the revamped menu at Light Horse, where Drake’s always happy to reinvent dishes as long as he has access to the finest produce and proteins available. “I can plate something seven different ways, but that doesn’t matter if I don’t have the right ingredients,” he says. Now he can confidently impart French flair to the former chef’s daily specials, like a dorade wrapped in phyllo that was previously hunkered down in an afterthought of chickpeas. “Now it’s stuffed with wild mushrooms, and rolled up like a giant joint,” he says. 

And just as Drake takes cues from younger customers, he also pays attention to his young cooks at Light Horse Tavern. Because authenticity is just as vital as quality, a pork belly dish is paired with one back-of-the-house employee’s mother’s secret kimchi recipe. “He was here when I came on, started as a dishwasher, and had no experience in a commercial kitchen,” he says of the cook who’s now worked his way up to garde manger while also lending a hand to revamping the dessert program.

“Honestly I should probably ask him if it’s okay, ” says Drake, before tweaking the recipe’s notes of garlic and Korean chile. “He takes such pride in everything he does.”

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Modcup’s 1969 Citroen Brings Craft Cold Brew to Jersey City

Modcup Coffee is on the move. Partners Justin Hicks and Travas Clifton are relocating their roasting operation to Journal Square later this year, opposite the Mana Contemporary arts center, and their mobile roasting truck, a retrofitted 1969 Citroen H-Van, is now in residence weekdays at the Hyatt Regency (2 Exchange Place, 201-469-1234). “The Hyatt found us on social media and said, ‘We like your truck, we like your brand image’ and asked if we could work together,” recalls Hicks. “At the same time we needed a spot for the truck, and we wanted to stay in Jersey City.”

Unlike the Intelligentsia coffee truck parked in the courtyard of Chelsea’s High Line Hotel, Modcup’s Citroen isn’t stationary, even as it entered this country in pieces. “Two years ago, Clifton found it in Normandy, France. He had it torn apart, put in a shipping container, and shipped here,” says Hicks. After taking it to a Citroen specialist near Toms River, the truck was reassembled, its ceiling raised to accommodate Clifton’s six-two frame, and retrofitted with vintage lever-pulled espresso machines reminiscent of their first Hoboken coffee cart, a Marco Ecoboiler for temperature-controlled hot water, and nitro tanks and taps for their Ethiopian Adado cold brew.

There’s an ice machine too, and fridges under the counter for milk, but Hicks insists their nitro cold brew, poured at 34 degrees, requires neither. “Stumptown went the opposite spectrum. Theirs is more light, like tea, while ours is heavier, creamier,” says Hicks. “The goal with nitro is to have something heavy-bodied like you have milk in it but don’t need it. I don’t know what Stumptown is doing, but we’re using a lot of pressure to achieve that texture.”

Another way Modcup separates itself from its competition is by only selling its cold brew in concentrate. “It’s better than bottling just cold brew — it’s more flexible,” insists Hicks. “Instead of saying this is all you get, we’re offering an elixir. You can see it in cocktails, you can hit it with hot water for instant coffee, hit it with milk. The drink is as limited as you are as an individual.” They’ve also seen customers apply the concentrate to barbecue sauces and to beer, which has spawned Modcup’s latest collaboration, with South Jersey brewery Forgotten Boardwalk. “We took half our nitro and half a can of their vanilla beer, and it’s unbelievable — it was like root beer. So we’re moving forward, tailor-roasting for a cold-brew concentrate they can use in their beer.”

Modcup Coffee's Justin Hicks pours a glass of Ethiopian nitro cold brew off the truck's tap.
Modcup Coffee’s Justin Hicks pours a glass of Ethiopian nitro cold brew off the truck’s tap.

The truck’s biggest feature, literally, is a 2.5-kilo mobile roaster. “The idea is to bring fresh coffee to the general public so they can experience the sight, smell, taste, and feel of freshly roasted coffee,” says Hicks, who plans to demo their half-dozen daily brews and give out samples.

And while it’s not a proper production roaster, those are about to reach a wider audience as well. Modcup plans to relocate its roasting facilities this fall, and launch a new mobile initiative as well. “We’re moving our entire roasting operation to Journal Square, to a brand-new condo complex opposite the Mana Contemporary arts building, but we’re doing something really unusual,” says Clifton. “We had wanted to have a roastery and café under the same roof, but we didn’t want to force people from Mana to come across the road.” Instead they’ve developed self-contained espresso bars on wheels they can push across the street for arts events, and around the city as well, taking the temperature of neighborhoods ripe for expansion in a way their Ecoboiler can’t.

Adam Robb is a food and travel writer based in Jersey City.

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Jersey City’s Battello Proves It’s More Than a Happy-Hour Destination

For anchor restaurants serving the waterfront office towers occupying Jersey City’s Newport neighborhood, business centers around the bar. At VB3, chef Mike Colletti found his niche with iced vodka taps and ladies’-night EDM Thursdays. Taphaus’s Chris Nirschel placates with maple-bacon bourbon and homemade pretzels under a wall of televisions. But unbeknownst to the nightly tide of happy-hour drinkers sipping High West Bourye sweetened with Caribbean falernum and aromatic Tiki bitters at year-old Battello (502 Washington Boulevard, Jersey City; 201-798-1798), it’s the pedigree of affable, analytic barman Ray Keane that keeps the sunset scene abuzz.

A veteran pastry chef turned mixologist, Keane’s experience includes the country’s most modernist kitchens and cocktail programs including wd~50, Princeton’s Elements, and Chicago’s Alinea and the Aviary.

“I don’t miss the kitchen. People ask me all the time,” Keane told us. “Even if I worked the same hours, it doesn’t feel the same. In a kitchen you don’t see how customers react. Now when they take the drink and I see a smile, I get that reward.”

And on weekends, he even does weddings.

It was the desire for a wedding venue at Newport Marina, the opposite of the small plates, pizza, and bistros that dominate downtown Jersey City one PATH stop south, that inspired Turtle Club owner Cory Checkett to transform the lagging Michael Anthony’s space into Battello, calling on HGTV star Anthony Carrino to redesign the venue and longtime friend Ryan DePersio to reboot the kitchen. And while the stigma of a wedding venue means Battello doesn’t bask in the same Jersey City hype as Thirty Acres and Talde, DePersio’s cachet as the chef behind Montclair’s Fascino has earned the restaurant statewide destination status, with glowing reviews from the New York Times and NJ Monthly in recent months.

DePersio's seasonal dishes include salt-baked beets with pistachio crumble and orange purée.
DePersio’s seasonal dishes include salt-baked beets with pistachio crumble and orange purée.

Still, the restaurant’s standout dishes either evolve with the seasons or vanish altogether. A late crop of spring produce only just found its way onto the menu, plates of chilled asparagus cozying up alongside coconut soup floated with pickled hearts of palm, and a grilled ribeye sweetened with marinated heirloom cherry tomatoes. Also new is a tuna rollatini that best defines DePersio’s philosophy of “Italian cooking without borders,” developed while cooking for Jean-Georges Vongerichten and David Bouley.

For pastry chef Joseph Gabriel, a veteran of Oceana, rave winter creations like powdered peanut butter over popcorn ice cream have given way to classics.

Classically influenced desserts by pastry chef Joseph Gabriel, an Oceana veteran
Classically influenced desserts by pastry chef Joseph Gabriel, an Oceana veteran

“I have the ability to push boundaries, but at the same token, because I’m getting older, I’m really loving the classics at this point,” Gabriel says. “I think a lot of chefs in general are going so modern they’re forgetting where modernism came from. You have to take a step back and do the classic first, reinvent, then push it forward.”

As for Battello’s status on the fringes of Jersey City’s dining scene, DePersio finds more than enough satisfaction cooking in what he describes as the Brooklyn of New Jersey. “My dream as a kid was to own a restaurant in New York, but then I opened a restaurant with my family, I started having kids, and even though I’m working all the time, being a chef and restaurateur in the state where I live, I can still have time for a life.”

Cooking in the Garden State also gives a second meaning to DePersio’s “Italian without borders” philosophy — he tells us “a lot of successful people move [to New Jersey] from New York to have families, and their friends will visit from the city and always look unhappy to be here. But by the end of their meal, they’re transformed.”


 

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Sex and Broadcasting Celebrates the Unlikely Story of WFMU

The title is a tease. Sex and Broadcasting, Tim K. Smith’s long-overdue documentary on WFMU — America’s most celebrated freeform radio station — isn’t at all sexy. (In fact, the film loudly flaunts the bodacious unsexiness of the Jersey City station’s variously overweight and grizzled DJs.) But Smith’s film, which premiered at Doc NYC on Saturday and plays once more this Thursday night, is a funny, woozy, infectiously cheery look at a still-persevering (though struggling) national treasure.

Unsurprisingly, WFMU’s shaggy-dog charm continues to be its saving grace. In the nearly 20 years since station manager Ken Freedman saved WFMU from its bankrupt owner — the now-defunct Upsala College — countless record labels have either shut down or stopped taking risks; avant-garde institutions have given way to condos; and the term “indie rock” has become synonymous with “fashion rock.” And yet just six miles west of New York City lies this unabashed monument to misfits, steadfast in its amorphousness. It’s a place where Japanese screamo punk can give way to elderly banjo pluckers in a matter of minutes — it’s not uncommon to hear two such disparate acts played simultaneously.

Sex and Broadcasting threatens, at times, to be mere hagiography. Roughly one-third of its 78 minutes is devoted to fundraiser footage, and the film itself is a sort-of fundraiser. If the station had gone under, the film might have been a throwaway piece of nostalgia.

But Smith, miraculously, captured the station during — and not after — its most tormented period, and he’s more objective than he initially lets on. For all the scenes that trumpet the grouchy wryness of WFMU legends like Tom Scharpling (host of the station’s once-hottest comedy offering, “The Best Show,” which ended a 13-year run in December), there are just as many that explore Freedman’s managerial flaws. (His hair seems to turn grayer on-camera after the third or fourth satellite malfunction.) Freedman’s creativity is inspiring — he’s shown broadcasting a show from a canoe — but he’s a tad self-pitying for a leader, and a few ex-DJs (including Jim “The Hound” Marshall) acknowledge that Freedman’s power trips drove them away.

There are a few glaring omissions. The found-footage clips of WFMU’s earliest star DJs are few and far between, as are excerpts of live music — perhaps the station’s most exciting component (though the acts shown here are delightfully obscure). And with this much attention paid to Scharpling, Smith could have managed to squeeze in some of his renowned banter with Jon Wurster, the Superchunk drummer/prank-calling mastermind.

But these are minor defects. Sex and Broadcasting is at once heartfelt, gritty, and informative, and you don’t really want it to end. But it does, in refreshingly rote fashion: Freedman, a little weary but ever stoic, shows up for just another day of work.

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This Weekend’s Five Best Food Events – 7/3/2014

Tropical storm or no, a long holiday weekend involving hot dogs and beer is still something to get excited about. Here are five food events that you should take into consideration if you’re sticking around.

Delaney BBQ to Go, Briskettown, 359 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, Thursday

If you’re in need of a last minute solution to an impromptu party, consider ribs and brisket by the pound. Daniel Delaney’s smokehouse is offering both via pre-order; food will be ready for pick-up at 11 a.m. on the 4th. Place your order today only on Briskettown’s website.

Jersey City’s Freedom and Fireworks Festival, Liberty State Park, 200 Morris Pesin Drive, Jersey City, NJ, Friday, noon

A long weekend is the perfect time to explore a new neighborhood, and Jersey City is rewarding visitors and residents with an all day festival that will culminate with the Grucci fireworks show surrounding Lady Liberty. Food trucks, carnival games, and a free concert are all part of the event; the fireworks show starts after 9 p.m.

Hot Dog Eating Contest After Party, Professor Thom’s, 219 Second Avenue, Friday, 7 p.m.

If you can’t make it to Coney Island, hot dog eating champ Joey Chestnut will be kicking back at this East Village bar. The bar is also celebrating the fireworks’ return to the east side with beer specials and is known to throw some pretty epic costume parties — so break out those American flag pants from college.

Oliver’s Astoria Summer Fundraiser — Inaugural Cornhole Tournament, Oliver’s, 37-19 Broadway, Queens, Saturday, noon

Loosen up the arm and be ready to flex some muscles — beer-drinking kind included — with a summer charity cornhole tournament. For $50, guests can play for cash prizes and attempt to claim the title of champion while enjoying happy hour specials like $4 brews and $5 appetizers. Don’t feel like playing? Stop by to cheer on or boo teams. Be sure to register in advance.

SingleCut Beersmith’s Independence Day Celebration, 19-33 37th Street, Queens, Sunday, 1 p.m.

Celebrate your post-holiday hangover with more beer and BBQ, as this Astoria brewery will be keeping the door open to anyone who wanders in looking in for a drink special. Eclectic East Village craft beer pairing expert Jimmy’s No. 43 is bringing its smoker to Queens for a grand cookout, and the brewery plans to run drink specials every hour until 5 p.m.

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These Are the Five Best Food Events in NYC This Weekend

Are you really going to celebrate Father’s Day with brunch and a bottle of whiskey? Consider these five fantastic alternatives to show dad you were “planning” his party all along.

Brewskee-Ball World Mug Parade, Full Circle Bar, 318 Grand Street, Brooklyn/additional locations, 9 a.m. Saturday

While most New York sports teams are floundering, the Brooklyn skee-ball team took home the Brewskee-Ball championship during the World Mug Team tournament. What that means for you is that there’s going to be a huge party in Williamsburg followed by a victory concert at The Knitting Factory. Full Circle Bar will be open bright and early for day drinking and bagels, and you’ll be able to take in additional musical performances and a screening of the team’s championship win.

Hamilton Park Festival, Hamilton Park, McWilliams Place and 8th Street, Jersey City, NJ, 10 a.m. Saturday

Explore Jersey City with a festival featuring live music, food, and a sports clinic for the kids — or really bad adult athletes. Nearby businesses like GP’s Restaurant and Bar will celebrate with refreshments like homemade limoncello and meatballs; afterward the festivities end, check out a seasonal outdoor bar like Surf City and take in the city skyline view.

Sixpoint Brewery and Brooklyn Crab present the Almost Annual Big Ten Block Party, Brooklyn Crab, 24 Reed Street, Brooklyn, 11:30 a.m. Saturday

For $30, sample five of Sixpoint Brewery’s offerings and receive a discount on Brooklyn Crab’s seafood or dry land specialties. Partake in free games of cornhole and mini golf while you imbibe. Drink tickets will be valid until 3 p.m.; you can purchase them in advance.

Brooklyn Farmacy & Cacao Prieto Ice Cream Social, Botanica, 220 Conover Street, Brooklyn, noon Saturday

If you’re in need of an ice cream break in between crabs and beer, take the short walk from Brooklyn Crab to Conover Street for some boozy shakes. Brooklyn Farmacy and Cacao Prieto are teaming up to talk about the history of the soda fountain and make some delicious beverages like bourbon and vanilla milkshakes. The event will also celebrate Brooklyn Farmacy’s new book, and its authors will be on hand to sign copies. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children.

The Duckathlon, Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, noon Saturday

Break out a beard, grab a few friends, and test your culinary mettle at this competitive event. Teams of four will engage in 25 culinary challenges — think naming pig parts — each of which is paired with a tasting. New York chefs like Anita Lo, Brad Farmerie, Francois Payard, and Jacques Torres will oversee activities and demonstrate tricks of the trade; you’re not required to complete every challenge, but winning teams will win prizes. Beer and wine are part of the entrance fee. Tickets are $54 for a team of four and can be purchased through the Duckathlon’s website.

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IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES

Aspiring writers know that sending out a manuscript can feel like throwing it into the void — grabbing a publisher’s attention is almost as tough as finishing your magnum opus. Which is why the Book Doctors, agent Arielle Eckstut and author David Henry Sterry, are here to teach you how to craft an irresistible pitch. Today they host Pitchapalooza at Jersey City’s WORD Bookstore, where 20 would-be writers are randomly selected and given one minute to sell their projects. A panel of judges provides some gentle critiques to help make pitches more alluring, and they’ll offer the winner a personal introduction to an editor or agent. Snagging that elusive in to the publishing world can make all the difference: Gennifer Albin, a past Pitchapalooza victor, went on to a lucrative three-book deal with FSG.

Thu., May 22, 7 p.m., 2014

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These Are the Four Best Food Events in NYC This Week

Now that the sun’s out, it’s time to break out the bike and start exploring. Here are a few destinations you might want to wind up at after a long ride.

Taste of Bayside, Castle Fort Totten Park, 208 Totten Avenue, Queens, Tuesday, 6 p.m.

This fest brings together the best of the Bayside food scene, and the line-up includes burger specialist Donovan’s, Tequila Sunrise, and Cajun dishes from Bourbon Street. The event will also feature cigars, wine, and spirits. Tickets are $35 in advance.

BBQ Blow Out with Ignacio Mattos & Turing Machine, Good Co., 10 Hope Street, Brooklyn, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Estela’s Ignacio Mattos will be behind the grill as the BBQ Blowout celebrates it’s seventh year of good tunes and sticky fingers. $10 gets you a plate of BBQ and a beer from Brooklyn Brewery, plus all the music you can handle courtesy of Turing Machine; be sure to reserve your spot.

Surf City, 1 Marin Boulevard, Jersey City, Thursday, 4 p.m.

The return of Surf City this week is worth the trip across the Hudson — even if you just want a reason to take a selfie in front of the Manhattan skyline. The seasonal super bar and restaurant offers 25 beers on tap, seafood, and frozen drinks. Enjoy all of that around a makeshift beach and fire pit.

Two Roads Beer Dinner, Whole Foods, 214 Third Street, Brooklyn, Thursday, 7 p.m.

Brooklyn’s first Whole Foods has a rooftop bar that’s a good escape for a cold brew. This Thursday, Connecticut’s Two Roads Brewery will feature a few of its artfully named favorites like Worker’s Comp Saison, which will be paired with a Thai curry crab spring roll. Additional menu items include bourbon-cured sea bass, blue cheese-stuffed pork, and a chocolate croissant bread pudding. Tickets are $50 and include five courses with beer pairings.

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Bacon Festival and Roti Making Class: This Weekend’s Events

Spring has sprung, and the weather is cooperating. So get out and do something. Here’s what’s on the docket this weekend.

Nowruz Dinner and Music, Cafe Nadery, 16 West 8th Street, Friday, 9:30 p.m.

Celebrate the beginning of the Persian New Year with an evening of Persian country music and dinner. The menu includes specialties such as roasted eggplant, halibut with green rice, and the Persian frittata kuku sabzi; a band will play throughout dinner beginning at 10 p.m. Tickets are $60.

The Ultimate Trinidad Roti Making Cooking Class, GoldJam’s Cafe, 1073 Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn, Saturday, 10:30 a.m.

This class will cover the basics of making a variety of Caribbean-style curry and proper kneading, rolling, and filling techniques for roti. The teacher will also tell you where you can find Caribbean spices around the city. The class includes a special beverage; tickets start at $115.

Vibrant Vegans Food Workshop, Atmananda Yoga Sequence, 67 Irving Place, Second Floor, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

If you’re curious about switching from meat to vegetables permanently, health coach Heather Loren is whipping up a few tasty treats to help make the decision easy. For $66, attendees will learn how to create vegan friendly items like tempeh tacos, yamburgers, and key lime mousse. Get more information or RSVP by emailing Heather@holisticsimplistic.com.

Spring Bacon Festival, Zeppelin Hall, 88 Liberty View Drive, Jersey City, NJ, Saturday and Sunday, 4 p.m.

From this weekend through April 1, bacon lovers can sample 13 different dishes featuring the crackling cured pork. The beer hall is offering creations like the bacon-bacon terminator burger and double smoked bacon mac and cheese. If that’s not enough bacon for you, the bar is also offering three hours of bottomless bacon strips from 4 to 7 p.m. Pair your pig with one of over 144 different types of beers.