Hold a Steady Stein, Try Blind Wine Tasting, and Toast New York State This Weekend

Battle of the Halls Oktoberfest Celebration, Clinton Hall and West End Hall, 90 Washington Street and 2756 Broadway, Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. till late both days

Grab a stein and try to outlast the competition at these sister beer halls, which are both holding competitions this weekend. German beers like Radeberger, Weihenstephan, and Hofbrau will be available, with prize giveaways for the winners. There’s also a cornhole championship taking place at Clinton Hall on Saturday for those of us too distraught to watch our fantasy team any longer.

Claire Ptak Ice Cream Party and Brunch, Achilles Heel and Estela, 180 West Street, Brooklyn and 47 East Houston Street, Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. until late/11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. brunch

London based baker and food writer Claire Ptak is flying across the pond for a weekend collaboration with locals Andrew Tarlow and Ignacio Mattos. On Friday, Ptak will host an ice cream party (with flavors like fig leaf and roasted quince) and will sign copies of her latest book The Violet Bakery Cookbook. Specialty cocktails will also be available, along with a live DJ and dance party. On Saturday, Ptak heads to Soho for a brunch collaboration at Estela, focusing on baked goods like bacon and egg buttermilk biscuits, cinnamon buns, and chocolate sandwich cookies with parsnip ice cream. Guests can secure a reservation or walk in for both events.

Wine on Wheels, Papillon Bistro, 22 East 54th Street, Friday, 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Improve your sense of taste this weekend as sommelier Yannick Benjamin and Wheeling Forward, an organization that supports the disabled, will host the second annual Wine on Wheels consumer blind tasting challenge. With a focus on the casual wine drinker, Benjamin and fellow sommeliers will offer over 20 wines representing the most common varietals as well as give tips on insider tasting techniques. The guest who is the most accurate upon completion of the blind tasting will receive a case of wine. Tickets are $55 and can be secured here.

NYC Craft Coffee Festival, Villain, 50 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn, Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sample over twenty different coffees from specialty roasters like Irving Farm and get to know more about what makes up your favorite morning blend. Additional coffee shops scheduled to participate include Sweetleaf and Cafe Grumpy, while plenty of pastries from Underwest Donuts and others are also included in the cost of a ticket. Secure one for $35 here.

Cheers NY, Industry City, 37th Street and 2nd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, Saturday and Sunday, 12 to 8 p.m/12 to 3 p.m.

Learn more about the local cheeses, wines, and beers that are being made in New York State at this two day festival, which features an additional marketplace stocked full of Brooklyn’s best menu items. There’s also an outdoor biergarten and games section. Ticket options start at $10 and can be reserved here.

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Almondine Reopens After Sandy, Sweetleaf Serving Coffee-Cocktails in Long Island City

French baker Hervé Poussot was forced to close his Dumbo bakery, Almondine, after Hurricane Sandy destroyed all the equipment in the basement’s production kitchen. Almondine, named Best Bakery by the Voice in 2008, finally reopened yesterday. The next few days will be “a sort of soft launch,” says Poussot, with limited production. 85 Water St., Brooklyn

Mira Sushi and Izakaya opened last week. Owen Wu of Nobu 57 oversees the sushi bar, while Brian Tsao of Telepan is at the helm in the kitchen. The menu is inspired by street food and traditional Japanese izakayas. A sloppy joe consists of kurobuta pork on a potato bun slathered in sour mustard. Other dishes from the sushi bar include appetizers like spicy tuna pizza. 46 W. 22nd St.

Sweetleaf, the coffee shop with locations in Long Island City and Williamsburg, is opening its third location in partnership with Richie Boccato of Dutch Kills. The new outpost, also in Long Island City, will serve coffee in the daytime and booze in the evening–and combine the two in coffee cocktails. The bar had a soft opening on Monday night and will be open to the public tonight. 46-15 Center Blvd., Long Island City

Grape & Vine opened on Monday in the Jade Hotel in Greenwich Village. The menu features an extensive raw bar, steak tartare, grilled duck breast, and classic “American” fare like a Cobb salad and bacon cheeseburgers. Dishes will change seasonally, and right now some of the ingredients come straight from Union Square Market. 52 E. 13th St.

Gabriel Stulman and partner Tien Ho, formerly of Má Pêche, opened Montmartre in Chelsea last week. The French-American bistro serves chicken-liver croustillant with scallions and blond miso, cassoulet, and braised short ribs. Pop art hangs on the walls and newspapers are stored on scrolls for guests’ perusal. 158 8th Ave.

The plywood has come down around the entrance to East 12th Osteria, and a sign on the door reads, “East 12th Osteria will open next week Wednesday, March 6.” Weekend brunch will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Robert Deiaco, the former executive chef at Armani Ristorante, owns this Northern Italian restaurant, and according to Flo Fab, will serve truffles and foie gras. 197 First Ave.

Ippin Sushi and Noodle Bar had a grand opening on March 1. The East Village restaurant is serving octopus, yellowtail, and shrimp ceviche, eight different types of ramen, and pork buns. To set it apart from other similar spots in the area, a samurai coat of arms guards the door. 141 First Ave.

Slide is now open in the West Village. Expect sliders, (boozy) milkshakes and cannoli from British restaurateur Madison Cowan. Specialties include a fried-chicken-and-cheddar waffle slider, a BBQ pork-belly option with fried brussels sprouts, and cherry-chocolate-chunk cannoli. 174 Bleecker St.