This Week in Food: St. Hubertus Dinner, Movember Meatballs, Oyster Shucking Class

St. Hubertus Dinner
Prime Meats (465 Court Street, Brooklyn)
Tuesday, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Prime Meats is celebrating the patron saint of hunters with a menu dedicated to wild game. Offerings include pheasant, boar, and Scottish roe deer, with wine and cider pairings available. Reservations are $110 per person. Reserve your spot here.

Movember Ball
Refinery Rooftop (63 West 38th Street)
Wednesday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Refinery Rooftop is hosting a meatball competition with NYC chefs, including Harold Moore of Harold’s Meat and Three. The contest will be judged by the Meatball Shop’s Daniel Holzman and special guest judge Dominic Chianese (of The Sopranos). Admission includes unlimited tastings and an open bar. Reserve your $60 ticket here.

An Evening of Learning and Climbing
Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge (23-10 41st Avenue, Queens)
Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Clif Bar’s director of environmental stewardship will lead a discussion on the company’s path toward sustainability. Afterward, guests can scale the walls at Brooklyn Boulders, too. Tickets ($10) include craft beer, bites, and an optional climbing pass. Secure yours here.

Anniversary Party
Treadwell Park (1125 First Avenue)
Thursday, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Upper East Side beer hall Treadwell Park is hosting a one-year anniversary party featuring complimentary beer tastings and new rare beer offerings. The party will also include prize giveaways and snacks (think smoked-pork nachos).

Oyster Shucking Class
Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. LIC Market (5-43 48th Avenue, Queens)
Thursday, 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Greenpoint Fish and Lobster Co. is offering a hands-on oyster shucking class. The class ($45 per person) includes drinks from Bluepoint Brewing Co. as well as light bites. Reserve your spot here.


Best Weekend Food Events: Fare Share Friday, Perilla’s Final Hour, and Late Night Oysters

Fare Share Friday, St. Bart’s, 325 Park Avenue, Friday, 4 to 9 p.m.

Chefs from the Waldorf, New York Lotte Palace and Four Seasons are teaming together to help prepare a meal for New Yorkers in need. The Thanksgiving-style menu includes a pear salad, roast turkey, stuffing, and traditional sides. There’s also a dessert buffet with tiramisu, pies, and pastries. Seatings – which pair the city’s homeless with residents all at the same table – take place at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Proceeds go towards supporting the soup kitchen, homeless shelter and food pantry of Crossroads Community Services. Tickets are $100 for those able to contribute, secure them here.

One Last Meal, Perilla, 9 Jones Street, Friday through December 5 (Closed Sunday)

Though Kin Shop is officially closed, New Yorkers can grab a final meal from chef Harold Dieterle at Perilla, the first restaurant he opened after winning the first season of Top Chef. Guests can enjoy signature dishes like spicy duck meatballs, grilled Hampshire pork chops, and a chocolate soufflé for two. The restaurant will be closed for service Sunday, November 29 and will officially close after service December 5.

Late Night Oysters with Chef George Mendes, Aldea, 31 West 17 Street, Friday, 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Chef George Mendes will step behind the bar beginning this Friday and shuck oysters for late night dwellers. Guests will receive a complimentary oyster – this week features shigoku with crispy potato and cucumber – along with one special cocktail. Mendes will plan to feature a different oyster and cocktail pairing for each following Friday night.

Regional Ramen Weekend Lunch, Ganso Yaki, 515 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, Saturday and Sunday, 12 to 4 p.m.

Ganso Yaki is offering five unique ramen on a new weekend lunch menu. The menu highlights ingredients across Japan and includes a Tokyo style soy sauce-based ramen with pork; shio (salt-based) ramen, and a Japanese take on Sichuanese dan dan noodles.
The menu will also offer small plates and an array of Japanese dishes.

Queens Holiday Market, The Shops at Atlas Park, 8000 Cooper Avenue, Queens, Saturday through December 20

Although Danny Brown Wine Bar and Kitchen is temporarily closed, an offshoot of the Michelin-starred restaurant will be serving hungry shoppers during the holiday season. Other Queens food-fair stalwarts like Sam’s Fried Ice Cream and the Arepa Lady will also be whipping up favorites.


Best Weekend Food Events: Candy Making, Boozy Cupcake Tasting, and Chili Takedown

Union Square Holiday Market Opening Weekend, Union Square, Friday through December 24

Grab a cat-shaped macaron from Meow Parlour or pick up any number of food gifts at the brand new Urbanspace Provisions pop-up at Union Square’s annual holiday market, with ready-to-eat bites from the likes of Delaney Barbecue. This year, The Children’s Museum is also setting up a crafts booth where kids can make their own ornaments. A full line up of participating food focused businesses as well as holiday hours can be viewed on the Union Square Holiday Market web site.

How to Make Magical Healing Candy with Sweet Saba’s Maayan Zilberman, Fort Gansevoort, 5 Ninth Avenue, Saturday and Sunday, 12 to 2 p.m.

This two-day workshop lets students make candy from scratch, while teaching them how additives and oils can turn candy into cough drops. After students have molded their candy and returned for day two, the class will cover how to use food dyes for decoration. The class includes a mold to take home as well as goodie bag of treats from Sweet Saba; reserve your seat for both days – $264.74 per person – here.

Lexy’s Cupcake Tasting, Lexy’s Cupcake BarBlue Jean Studio, 149 West 24th Street – Suite 5B, Saturday, 5 p.m.

Enjoy cupcake and cocktails? Want to be on the ground floor to give feedback on flavors? Sample a variety of two dozen different alcohol-infused sweets (wine and soft drinks will be available too). Cupcakes also come in non-alcoholic flavors like pineapple-upside-down and caramel cinnamon apple, with other booze-infused creations like strawberry margarita and Bailey’s Irish Cream-infused vanilla.Tickets are $10; reserve them here.

Brooklyn Chili Takedown, The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club, 514 Union Street, Brooklyn, Sunday, 12 p.m.

Grab all-you-can-eat bowls of homemade chili and vote on which chef’s secret recipe will take home the top prize. Over 25 chefs will offer spicy, savory, and sweet chilis to enjoy, with drinks available for purchase. Tickets are $20 and can be secured here.

Oyster Pairing and Restoration Talk, Lighthouse, 45 Borinquen Place, Brooklyn, Sunday, 5 p.m.

Have an hour to kill this weekend? Then enjoy it with an hour of oyster and beverage tastings along with conversation with Pete Malinowski, director of the Billion Oyster Project. Guests receive a half dozen oysters with beverage pairings — three different oyster preparations teamed up with a cocktail, beer, or wine. Afterwards, guests will learn about the role of recycling oysters in New York’s restoration efforts as well a better understanding of the farming process, courtesy of guest speakers from the Fishers Island Oyster Company. Tickets are $30; score them here.


This Weekend’s Five Best Food Events – 9/12/2014

With a slight chill in the air, fall is fast approaching. So break out a scarf and check out a few of this weekend’s best food events.

New York Oyster Week, multiple locations, Friday through September 28

City streets are about to be filled with shellfish. Oyster farmers, foragers, and shucking champions will all be on hand to speak with guests about their lives and what to look for when taking advantage of $1 oyster happy hours. Events scheduled throughout the festival include a regatta bash and a party on the waterfront at Grand Banks in Tribeca; check out the full line-up and tickets on the festival’s website.

Taste Talks, multiple locations, Friday through Sunday

Interested in learning if your online review really matters? Or hearing about London chef Lee Tiernan’s fondness for deviled kidneys? Spend a day in Williamsburg at locations like the Wythe Hotel as these matters and more are discussed, and consider checking out the All Star BBQ featuring Danny Bowien and Eli Sussman on Sunday afternoon. See the schedule and buy your tickets on the Taste Talks website.

Barbounia Cooks Jersualem Festival, Barbounia, 250 Park Avenue South, Friday Through September 20, 5 p.m.

For a taste of the old country, guests are invited to step into this Mediterranean restaurant’s newly transformed dining room, which will be modeled after the famed Shuk marketplace of Jerusalem. The kitchen will offer a variety of special dishes — available a la carte as well as part of a $59 prix fixe — including a mixed grill and a homemade Jerusalem-style bagel. Check it out during dinner service until September 20; contact the restaurant directly to secure a table.

NORTH Nordic Food Festival, multiple locations, Friday through September 19

This weeklong festival has several opportunities to learn Nordic cooking, as well as a few deals. Norse coffeeshop BUDIN will offer its $10 Lakkris Latte for $5 through duration of the festival, and several chefs will hold cooking demonstrations throughout the weekend. Local chefs and food personalities participating include Oceana’s Ben Pollinger and head brewmaster Garret Oliver from Brooklyn Brewery. A full schedule and tickets can be found on the festival’s website.

End of Summer Lobster Bake, Kings County Saloon, 1 Knickerbocker Avenue, Brooklyn, Sunday, 4 p.m.

Summer technically lasts until September 21, so you might consider attending one last lobster bake in Bushwick. For $30, you’ll get a full lobster with corn on the cob, sides, and dessert. For $50, you can add unlimited booze to the deal: endless drafts, domestic bottles, and well drinks. Purchase tickets in advance, and BYO Nantucket red pants.


The Four Best Food Events in NYC This Weekend

Need a reprieve from April showers? Check out one of our four favorite events this weekend.

Mystery Basket Class, The Brooklyn Kitchen, 100 Frost Street, Brooklyn, Saturday, 2 p.m.

This unique cooking class comes packed with friendly competition dramatic enough for a primetime TV show. Students who sign up for the $75 class will receive a basket of ingredients, and they’ll have one hour to create a shareable dish on which they’ll be judged. High marks will be bestowed for creativity and problem-solving, and beers await all the hardworking chefs upon completion. Additional information and tickets can be found through The Brooklyn Kitchen’s website.

All You Can Eat Oysters, Brooklyn Crab, 24 Reed Street, Brooklyn, Saturday, 4 p.m.

For $75, enjoy three hours of unlimited oysters and craft beer at this Red Hook waterside retreat. Shuck as much as you can and then check out the backyard full of games like cornhole, shuffleboard, and mini golf. Reserve your tickets for food and drink.

A Persian Feast, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

Combine art history and eating via this tour, which explores the role of gastronomy in Middle Eastern culture and culminates with a feast inside a professional kitchen. Tour leader Maite Gomez-Rejon, an art teacher and former private chef, will cover the museum’s exhibit and then lead a cooking demonstration for guests. Tickets are $150 and are inclusive of museum admission, transportation, and dinner.

Foraging Tour, Prospect Park – Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, Sunday, 12:30 p.m.

Foraging isn’t just for chefs looking to open Nordic restaurants. Author Leda Meredith will lead urban explorers on a tour through Brooklyn’s largest park, discussing the varieties of wild edible and medicinal plants that you might come across. The tour will cover how to locate, harvest, and prepare these free ingredients for your next dining experience. Tickets are $20.


Drink Cheaply at Atrium, Dakota Roadhouse, The LCL: Bar and Kitchen, and Bench Sports Bar

We’ve barely closed the door on summer, but we’ve already spotted holiday-themed commercials–which makes us keen to save a buck or two in anticipation of the spending to come. Here’s where to eat, drink, and be merry on the cheap this week.

Atrium, 15 Main Street, Brooklyn

Now that the months whose names include the letter “r” are here, oyster season is officially underway, and a new happy hour featuring fall’s favorite bivalve has arrived on the Brooklyn waterfront. From 5:30 to 7 p.m., guests enjoy $1 oysters from renowned harvest grounds like Prince Edwards Island while sipping reduced-priced drinks. The bar has a reputation for its innovative cocktails–olive oil and lavender are some of the ingredients you’ll find floating in drink choices–which is reason enough to hang around after you’ve shucked all you can.

Dakota Roadhouse, 43 Park Place

If the Megamillions wasn’t in your favor this week, Dakota Roadhouse’s happy hour might make you feel like your luck has improved. From 5 to 7 p.m., with every drink you order you’ll receive a random card that may tell you to pay full price–or may net you a drink on the house. If lady luck isn’t on your side, there’s always the pool table in the back. Helpful hint: Bring cash; credit cards aren’t accepted.

The LCL: Bar and Kitchen, 212 East 42nd Street

From 4 to 6 p.m., those searching for a healthy drink can order select Organic Avenue-based cocktails for $7. Patrons can order up fresh-pressed classics like tom collinses and gin rickeys; the bar rotates specials to reflect seasonal changes. Supplement your cocktail with regional beer and biodynamic wines, which range from $5 to $7 during happy hour.

Bench Sports Bar, 8812 Third Avenue, Brooklyn

$3 drafts, $4 sangria, and $4 wine served from 3 to 7 p.m. help fans practice for Wednesday trivia at this Bay Ridge one-stop shop for sporting events. A variety of cheap eats like $7 sliders and $5 appetizers are made for sharing with teammates, though you may want to hold out for the Wednesday all-you-can-eat rib special ($15.99) if you think better on a full stomach.



Our 10 Best Restaurants for Oysters in NYC

Lucky for those of us who crave raw bar offerings in this city’s summer heat, oysters are now offered at almost all restaurants of a certain echelon that are worth their salt. We demystified the source of the shellfish in last week’s Village Voice, and now we’ve rounded up the 10 best spots for eating oysters in NYC. For ultimate usability, we’ve compiled the list superlatively, high school yearbook-style. Read on for steals, deals, splurges, and scenes within New York’s massive mollusk market.


Best Bucket-List Oyster: Aqua Grill, 210 Spring Street

If you’re serious about oysters, Aqua Grill is a must. Chef Jeremy Marshall stocks one of the city’s best selections of bivalves culled from waters around the world, amassed into a list that changes on a daily basis. The mollusks are shucked before your eyes if you’re at the bar and served with finesse by a friendly, knowledgeable staff.

Best Hole-in-the-Wall Oyster: Upstate, 95 First Avenue

This tiny, no-reservations First Avenue spot houses a long bar with just a few tables squeezed in for good measure, but it boasts a killer oyster selection. Choose from over 20 varieties, and don’t miss the happy hour special: $12 for a half-dozen oysters and a pint of craft beer. As a bonus, the spot serves complimentary whiskey cake, a sweet treat to finish your meal.

Best Oyster to Eat and Run: Grand Central Oyster Bar, Grand Central Station, 89 East 42nd Street

This classic midtown oyster haven keeps it classy with solid service, serious ambiance (see the Gustavino tiled arches for proof), and dozens of varieties of oyster, listed with helpful descriptors so that you can easily differentiate between Blue Points and Malpeques. The bar provides good reason to come early and slurp down a dozen before you board a train, though this restaurant is also a worthy destination in itself.

Best Oysters for the Hype: Maison Premiere, 298 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn

This Bedford Avenue hotspot–with its sexy, 19th-century French Quarter ambience, friendly waitstaff, and absinthe on tap–has received a lot of buzz since it opened in 2011. If you can snag a table, you’ll find its oysters definitely live up to the hype: Maison Premiere stocks a well-edited list of hard-to-find varieties. Having trouble deciding? Opt for the five species selection, chosen on the spot by the chef.

Best Oyster Deal: Fish, 280 Bleecker Street

This West Village eatery, with a cute but no-frills interior and solid service, doesn’t stock a huge variety of oysters, but it makes up for a lack of breadth by offering one of the best deals in town: An $8 all-hours special that nets you a half-dozen oysters plus a glass of house red or white or a PBR.

Best Rooftop Oyster: Brooklyn Crab, 24 Reed Street, Brooklyn

On Mondays and Tuesdays, the Crab offers $1 house oysters (usually Blue Points) and $2 Naragansett drafts all day, which makes it a fun cheap date early in the week. Best of all is the rooftop, where you can grab a table and watch the sun set over the harbor. Just arrive early, because the dinner rush is a mob scene.

Best Scenester Oyster: John Dory Oyster Bar, 1196 Broadway

April Bloomfield’s Ace Hotel seafood spot doesn’t take reservations, but with an extensive and rotating variety of the freshest oysters $3 can buy, aficionados would be foolish to skip it. Plus, drinking with the Manhattan hipsters and bridge-and-tunnel types that swarm the hotel lobby bar as you wait is a worthy experience in humanity, and there’s always a bauble to buy at the adjacent Opening Ceremony.

Best Red-Tape Oyster: City Hall Restaurant, 131 Duane Street

If you’ve spent your day in court or gnashing your teeth at some city agency over permitting or parking tickets, step into City Hall Restaurant’s coolly civilized dining room for a simple platter of oysters from the extensive raw bar, or splurge on a shellfish tower, which is one of the best in town. This spot’s been around for years, and it’s a reliable snag for a last-minute date reservation. It’s also great for groups and parties, making it a prime spot to gather after a City Hall wedding.

Best Oyster Family: Mermaid Inn and Mermaid Oyster Bar; 96 Second Avenue, 79 MacDougal Street, 568 Amsterdam

With a daily oyster happy hour (5 to 7 p.m. uptown and Second Avenue; 4 to 7 p.m. in the West Village) and outdoor seating at Second Avenue and uptown, this ever-growing NYC oyster standby is always a reliable catch. The list divides the mollusks between East Coast and West Coast, which gives you a chance to compare and contrast.

Campiest Oyster: Sammy’s Fish Box, 41 City Island Avenue, Bronx

With over-the-top nautical, neon, and airplane-themed décor, Sammy’s looks and feels a bit like a carnival. But after a day carousing at City Island, it’s fitting and super family-friendly. Let the kids eat mac & cheese while you nosh on a plate of oysters (we’d go fried here). Highbrow it’s not, but after 47 years in business, it must be onto something.

Hungry for more? Find me on Twitter @findthathannah.


A Boozy Welcome at FiDi’s Charming Dead Rabbit

One of the best things about The Dead Rabbit, a delightful little pub and cocktail bar tucked away in the Financial District, is that a swallow of punch arrives a few moments after you’re seated in the parlor upstairs.

It’s like the liquor world’s version of an amuse bouche–a few sips from the evening’s punch bowl, served in a little porcelain teacup. Much like an amuse sent from the kitchen, the “welcome punch” is the bar’s greeting and a taste of what’s to come.

From there, you can explore Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry’s vast and delicious menu of punches, flips, cobblers, and slings. Though I won’t recommend any of the hot food I tasted, if you visit between 5 and 7 p.m. on weekdays, there are $1 oysters from Fisher’s Island, and you can’t go wrong with a dozen of those.

The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog, 30 Water Street; 646-422-7906


Sephardic Passover at Back Forty West Tonight, Plus Vermouth and Cheese Pairings!

Tuesday, March 26
Sephardic Passover Dinner at Back Forty West
Forget cooking, or even catering, and make a reservation at Back Forty West for Passover. Owner Peter Hoffman will host a Sephardic Passover dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday evening. Seder plates and “written thoughts on the holiday” will be provided. A four-course menu costs $55 and includes a Moroccan mezze platter, matzo ball soup, house-smoked chicken, and Turkish flourless chocolate cake. 70 Prince St.

Tuesday, March 26
Oysters and Cocktails at Evelyn Drinkery
Village Fishmonger, a community-supported fishery, will host a “boat-to-table” oysters and cocktail event at Evelyn Drinkery in the East Village. A $30 ticket will get you a dozen freshly shucked oysters and one cocktail from the bar, or go with a friend and pay $55 for two dozen oysters and two cocktails. Oysters and clams will be available to purchase separately by the dozen or half-dozen. Reserve your tickets at Shucks Again. 171 Ave. C

Thursday, March 28
Vermouth and Cheese Pairing
Cheese and wine? Definitely. Cheese and beer? Yes. But it’s not often you see cheese paired with vermouth. But Murray’s will do just that, pairing cheese with Atsby vermouth and other local spirits on Thursday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at 254 Bleecker St.

Friday, March 29
Cupcake Decorating With Ovenly
Untitled at the Whitney and Greenpoint bakery Ovenly are hosting a cupcake-decorating class for parent-child duos. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., bring your child to the Whitney’s restaurant to make art out of baked goods and get a frosting demo. Tickets are $45 and can be reserved online. 945 Madison Ave.


The Best Food Gifts for Valentine’s Day, No Edible Panties!

Did you leave it till the last minute? Well it’s not too late to buy one of these gifts for the food lover(s) in your life, ranging from $20 to $50:

A box of chocolates is still the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, but you won’t score any points with trashy, gloop-filled truffles on plastic trays. Justine Pringle’s hand-dipped caramels at Brooklyn’s Nunu’s are a great standby (12/$20) with a wonderfully chewy texture and dark caramel with just a touch of smoke. Not ready for that kind of commitment? Check out Robert’s appraisal of the cheesy heart-shaped boxes in every drugstore this week.


Luxardo’s marasco cherries are dark, dense orbs, ideal for classic cocktail-making (or deluxe snacking; try them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream). They’re sweet but full of flavor, and far more sophisticated than the tasteless hot-pink maraschinos that used to bob around in your Shirley Temples. The cherries can be hard to find, but Court Street Grocers has them in stock this week ($20/jar).


There’s something quite cheeky about offering someone you like a hunk of culatello, a glorious salami made from the pig’s upper thighs. Find a good piece from Salumeria Biellese at Murray’s.


You don’t have to be a high roller to enjoy fish eggs. Buy trout roe (125g/$35) or salmon roe (125g/$25) from Russ and Daughters, and enjoy them simply with crème fraîche on toast and a bottle of cold vodka. Years from now, when you’re dropping $1,000 on the good stuff and licking it off mother-of-pearl spoons, you’ll remember this fondly.


This collection is edited by poet Kevin Young (you might have seen his sexy poem, Leftovers, as part of the subway’s Poetry in Motion series) The Hungry Ear, Poems of Food and Drink ($25) is a slim book full of classic and contemporary food-inspired poetry, from Adrienne Rich on onions, to Elizabeth Alexander on butter. Read them out loud.


I love the work of Vera Balyura, a Ukrainian jeweler based in the East Village. Her strange, beautiful collection includes a brass ring decorated with a wee pig ($48). It’s perfect for the omnivorous food lover: The ring is delicate, but the pig looks like a legit, paunchy heritage type.


Forget all that aphrodisiac nonsense. Fresh oysters are always a good way to start a meal, and if you don’t already know how to open one, don’t be frightened away. Walrus and Carpenter delivers to the city and offers a free shucking lesson when you pick them up, or you can direct your questions to an oyster expert at Wild Edibles. (A basic oyster knife with a thick plastic handle will only set you back an extra $10.)