Visit an Underground Pig Feast, Learn About Lobster, and Enjoy a Taste of Haiti

Black Chef Summer Series, Blujeen, 2143 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Monday, 6 p.m.

This weekly Monday-night series, which runs through September 7, highlights the culinary talents of African-American chefs from across the country. Each dinner focuses on a different aspect of the guest chef’s culinary inspirations, with a portion of each dinner going to that chef’s charity of choice. Tickets are $65 and include a multiple-course dinner as well as signature cocktail; secure your seat here.

Underground Pig Feast, Saxon + Parole, 316 Bowery, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Enjoy unlimited beer and roasted pig at this newly launched monthly series, which plans to feature additional animal-focused feasts at future installments. Tickets are $65 per person and include all the trips to the keg and carving table you can handle; reserve them here.

Free Hot Dogs, Gansevoort Plaza, Little West 12th Street and Ninth Avenue, Tuesday through Thursday, 7 p.m. through 9 a.m.

Help Tyler Florence try and set a new Guinness world record for the “Longest Team Barbecue Marathon” by coming out and grabbing a free Ball Park hot dog. The celebrity chef will also lead recipe and grilling demonstrations during the attempt. Register for the event here.

Sustainable Lobster Workshop with Luke’s Lobster,  Brooklyn Grange Navy Yard Farm, 63 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Luke’s Lobster co-founder Ben Conniff will lead a rooftop discussion on environmentally friendly fishing practices as well as touch upon the best methods to cook and break down fresh lobster. Afterwards, guests will have their chance to put their newfound knowledge to the test and enjoy their own lobster dinner; copies of Luke’s latest cookbook, Real Maine Food, will also be available at a discounted price. Tickets are $65 and the event will be held rain or shine; secure your RSVP here.

Taste of Haiti, New York Vintners, 21 Warren Street, Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

Taste a selection of Haitian dishes for a good cause and end the night with Blue Marble Ice Cream at this charity event, with proceeds going to support the launch of an “ice cream social enterprise” in Port-au-Prince. The evening also includes a selection of red and white wine tastings, with some surprises in store too. Tickets are $75; secure your opportunity to help a good cause here.


Where to Find Five Great Lobster Dishes in NYC

Half lobster pibil at Cosme

June 15 is National Lobster Day, a holiday that purports to celebrate the sturdy crustacean in all its exoskeletal glory. While food holidays usually lead us into a blind rage, lobster lends itself to enough varied preparations so as to keep things interesting. Chilled, grilled, or simply steamed, when it’s cooked right, lobster earns its status as one of the most luxurious aquatic proteins. Here are five great lobster dishes in NYC perfect for honoring that diva of the briny deep:

5. Half lobster pibil at Cosme (35 East 21st Street; 212-913-9659)
At Enrique Olvera’s buzzy progressive Mexican restaurant, several dishes have emerged as “must-orders,” including flabby duck carnitas and that most Instagrammable of desserts, the corn husk meringue. Another often overlooked plate that’s been on the menu at Cosme since day one is the half lobster pibil. The kitchen plunks down chunks of slow-roasted claw and tail meat into a puddle of black-bean chorizo purée, ruddy with ground avocado leaf, resulting in a playful combination of oceanic sweetness and deep, earthy flavors.

4. Lobster rolls at Red Hook Lobster Pound (284 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn; 718-858-7650; 16 Extra Place, 212-777-7225)
Of the many lobster rolls available in this crustacean-mad town, the bulging specimens at Ralph Gorham and Susan Povich’s Red Hook sea shanty (back and better than ever in its renovated digs) take the cake for their succulent hunks of lobster meat dressed with either mayonnaise (Maine-style) or butter (Connecticut-style.) Extra points for the buttered, top-split hot dog bun, which allows for easy eating.

3. Lobster Catalan at Santina (820 Washington Street; 212-254-3000)
Mario Carbone takes the lead at this snazzy, jazzy coastal Italian restaurant set inside a glass box underneath the High Line. His menu’s full of light and playful dishes (like flat chickpea pancakes and the massive, decorative vegetable crudité), but the lobster — halved, grilled, and served in the shell in a sauce made from sea urchin and lobster coral — makes for one of the restaurant’s more substantial offerings.

2. Lobster dumpling kao soy at Ngam (99 Third Avenue; 212-777-8424)
At this modern Thai restaurant, chef Hong Thaimee is constantly tinkering with traditional recipes. Her version of kao soy, the aromatic curry noodle soup popular in northern Thailand, melds yellow curry with hand-rolled egg noodles, pickled mustard greens, lobster dumplings, and a Maine lobster tail in the shell. The maritime tweaks turn this already heady stew into something deeper and more aquatically funky. Cut open the ravioli-like dumplings to find tender chopped meat, perfect for soaking up the broth.

1. Seafood Hot Pot at Sik Gaek (49-11 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens; 718-205-4555)
Tucked under the 7 train in Woodside, this bustling Korean tavern boasts a repertoire of adventurous eats for the would-be Bourdain crowd. Skip the wriggling live octopus; instead, go for a multifaceted seafood hot pot. The giant cauldron arrives at the table bursting with the ocean’s bounty and crowned with a split live lobster, which cooks in the broth while you eat around its mortal coil.


How to Score Free Beer at Luke’s Lobster

An authentic Maine lobster roll is tough to beat. The success of Luke’s Lobster (multiple locations), which just opened its thirteenth Northeastern eatery, is a testament to the enduring allure of New England’s culinary staple. But with a new happy-hour deal, the popular seafood shack has stumbled upon a way to amplify something awesome into something legendary: free beer.

Luke’s has always offered optional chips, soda, and pickle with its three signature rolls (lobster, crab, and shrimp) for a $3 upcharge. Recently, though, the chain started running a special from 4 to 7 p.m. daily, during which you can sub a draft beer for that non-alcoholic beverage. And not just any old cup o’ suds; Luke’s specializes in craft offerings from Maine, naturally.

With only half a dozen lines at its Park Slope location, Luke’s currently devotes no fewer than five taps to beers from the land of lobster. This is in addition to several canned selections from Maine’s Baxter Brewing, including a refreshing session IPA brewed with green tea. If you must keep it local, the solitary non-Maine tap typically runs off-centered ales from Brooklyn’s own Grimm. A maritime-themed flight, served on a plank, allows you to sample your way through most of it.

But the best way to maximize Luke’s happy hour is with the $23 Taste of Maine platter. It consists of a half-portion of each of the three signature rolls, two crab claws, a pickle, Cape Cod potato chips, and a twelve-ounce pour of your choosing. For lovers of light, easy-drinking ales, pair it with the Allagash White — an undeniable crowd-pleaser and the restaurant’s biggest seller, by far. Hopheads will prefer the slightly bitter finish of Peeper Ale by Maine Beer Co., and if you have a more caramelized, malt-craving palate, request the Export from Shipyard.

Lobster lovers wading below the drinking age can still enjoy a notable array of alcohol-free offerings from the Pine Tree State. Ginger Spicy Brew from Maine Root Handcrafted Beverages is a standout. It’s a crisp tongue-tickler built around a sturdy foundation of herbaceous spice.


Here Are This Week’s Five Best Food Events – 7/7/2014

Mondays after a holiday weekend are brutal. Thankfully, there are plenty of mood boosters to look forward to this week; see the lobster, Riesling, and other treats on this week’s event line-up.

Lobsterpalooza, Louro, 142 West 10th Street, Monday, 7 p.m.

At this lobster-only dinner, David Santos will prepare a variety of crafty crustacean-based dishes, including bouillabaisse, salad, and grits. The $75 five-course dinner is BYOB; reserve by contacting

National Gourmet Institute Open House, National Gourmet Institute, 48 West 21st Street, Tuesday, 6 p.m.

If you’re seriously considering taking your amateur talents in the kitchen to the next level, check out this cooking school’s open house this week. The event includes a cooking demo from a chef-instructor as well as a Q and A session. Refreshments will be served, and all interested attendees will receive a tour of the school as well as a chance to meet and speak with fellow cooking enthusiasts. The event will cover the school’s chef training program as well as public classes for those seeking to brush up on select skills.

Summer of Riesling Boat Cruise, The Jewel — Party Yacht, 2430 FDR Drive, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Another summer of Riesling is underway, and this annual cruise is a great way to get in on the fun. Guests will enjoy bottomless Riesling along with a live concert by Black Taxi and a DJ, while food from Terroir will be available for purchase. Tickets are $45.

Tales from the Vault, Brooklyn Historical Society, 128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn, Thursday, 6 p.m.

Dive into Brooklyn’s history with map cataloger Lisa Miller and grab a few Brooklyn brews while you’re at it. This complimentary discussion will center on the rise of Brooklyn industries and the rise and fall of neighborhoods. A party in the museum’s beer garden, where you’ll be able to buy $5 beer and $2 food tickets, kicks off at 7 p.m.

Le Fooding Beach Club Presents San Pellegrino Fruit Stock, Rockaway Beach 97, 97-01 Shorefront Parkway, Queens, Friday, noon

This is the ultimate summer picnic: For $40, guests can enjoy a three-course al fresco meal from Ivan Orkin, Christina Tosi, and the guys from Rockaway Taco. Look for bites like cornmeal crostini sopes along with mocktails and other non-alcoholic beverages. The festivities continue on Saturday and Sunday, and a portion of each ticket sold will go to the Graybeards charity in helping to restore the Rockaways. Tickets can be purchased through the event’s website.


5 All-American Ways to Celebrate the Fourth of July and Keep the Party Going All Weekend

From sea to shining sea, Americans love celebrating Independence Day–especially since it gives us a completely legitimate reason to indulge. If you’d rather not man the grill this Fourth of July weekend, here’s a round-up of five ways to get festive–while letting someone else will do the cooking–and keep the midsummer party going after the last fireworks explode.

New England-Style Clambake, The Fourth, 132 Fourth Avenue, Thursday

New Englanders are great at taking edible things–like lobsters and oysters–out of the sea. Celebrate that skill at the Fourth, where, for $36, you’ll receive the usual clambake suspects: corn on the cob, steamed potatoes, chorizo, and a steamer pot of mussels, clams, and lobster. Patriotic-inspired cocktails include a Citrus Gin Rickey and a Blackberry Pancake libation made with Tennessee whiskey and bacon. Reservations can be made by calling 212-432-1324.

Fourth of July Menu at James, James, 605 Carlton Avenue, Brooklyn, Thursday, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Like the fireworks, the Independence Day menu at this Prospect Heights eatery is a one-day-only affair, and it will offer an array of American-inspired dishes including duck and pork corn dogs, a grass-fed black Angus burger, and sweet potato fries. Last year’s event was popular, so best call for a reservation at 718-942-4255 or head to the restaurant’s website for more info.

New-England Lobster Dinner, L & W Oyster Co., 254 Fifth Avenue, Saturday

Starting this weekend and continuing every Tuesday and Saturday evening for the rest of the summer, this new Kips Bay seafood sanctuary is offering up a Maine lobster special. For $29.50 per person, a two-pound Maine lobster comes with corn on the cob, potato salad, and house-made cheddar goldfish. Guests also receive a shot of “boozy” strawberry lemonade. Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling 212-203-7772.

4th Annual Brooklyn Ice Cream Takedown, The Bell House, 149 7th Street, Brooklyn, Sunday, 2 p.m.

Thirty local ice cream aficionados compete to be the next Ben and Jerry at this sweet event, now in its fourth year. Unlimited tastes as well as complimentary Pama cocktails are included in the $18.88 ticket price.

Ladies-only BBQ Eating Competition, Hell Gate Social, 12-21 Astoria Boulevard, Queens, Sunday, 6 p.m.

Ladies’ Night takes on a whole new meaning in Astoria as participants battle for ultimate barbecue-eating bragging rights. For $15, entrants receive one and a half pounds of The Strand Smokehouse’s beef brisket, as well as a beer to wash it down; the first to finish without throwing up will be crowned the winner. The competition is limited to 10 participants, and entrance is determined on a first-come, first-bibbed basis.


Eat a $2,000 Plate of Pasta in Midtown

Turning 25 is kind of a big deal. You’re in a quarter life crisis. You’re watching lots of Girls and wondering why Lena Dunham got a multi-million dollar book deal when you’re, like, totally as talented as she is. But Bice in midtown is celebrating its quarter century by serving a special bowl of pasta for $2,013. (Get it? Like it’s 2013 so that’s how much your pasta should cost.)

Gothamist reported that the dish is made up of a 2 lb. lobster, shaved season black truffles, and other mushrooms. And diners get to keep the very special gold -leaf plate designed by the late Gianni Versace that the pasta is served on.

Get it through February 15 if you dare.



Greenpoint’s Lobster Joint Plants Flag On Houston Street

Greenpoint’s Lobster Joint has officially commandeered 201 Houston St., the former home of semi-outdoor Lina Frey. Bob Levitt, one of the owners, said they should be up and running in the middle of December.

Bowery Boogie reports that the red and white sign was installed last night and that the literal lobster joint will join the onslaught of new Lower East Side seafood restaurants like Grey Lady and Ed’s Lobster Bar.

Levitt said they’re going to expand their Greenpoint menu and possibly add a few seafood towers. “I can’t unleash any specials just yet. But we’re going to become more experimental and have a much broader selection.” They’ve already tried a winter-themed lobster shepherd’s pie and crab cake dinners that they’ll be bringing across the river.

Executive Chef Justin Ernsberger is no stranger to the area and was formerly at the Mermaid Inn, another seafood spot in the East Village. Once the weather gets warmer, Levitt said they’re going to start serving lobster and crab rolls through window service. “It’ll be reminiscent of what we did during the Rockaway service,” he said, referring to their pop up last summer, where they served rolls on the Rockaway Beach Club Boardwalk.

After gaining a liquor license, Levitt also confirmed that the Lower East Side location will have 12 draft beers instead of Greenpoint’s four.



Caviar And Lobster Burgers At Wendy’s… In Japan

[See More Absurdity: Hot Dog Chips | Rats for Dinner]

We’ve reported on fine dining at chain restaurants before…but nothing as gourmet as this: Wendy’s new caviar and lobster burgers.

Of course, like most of these deals, it’s not available in the United States. This one is in Japan for a limited time only. According to, both sandwiches feature Omar lobster meat imported from Canada and each sandwich is priced at approximately $16.28 (Reasonable, considering how much other places charge for gourmet burgers).

The new menu additions are the Lobster Surf & Turf Burger and the Premium Caviar & Lobster sandwich.


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$49 Three-Course Lobster Menu at Vai

To celebrate National Lobster Day (June 15 everyone, mark your calendars), Vai on the Upper West Side will launch an three-course Lobster Menu for $49 available from today to Sunday, June 17.

Executive Chef Vincent Chirico

Here’s the menu:

National Lobster Day Menu
Chilled Lobster, heirloom tomato carpaccio, micro basil
Sautéed Lobster Fricassee, chanterelle mushrooms, sunchoke mousseline
Surf & Turf grilled Maine lobster tail and veal duo, preserved lemon, brown butter