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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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FOOD ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES

Favorite Dishes #55: Underwest Donuts’ Halva

Retail space is limited, and coveted, in New York these days, and some small businesses are so small that they’re opening inside of other businesses. That’s how Underwest Donuts (638 West 47th Street, 212-317-2359) wound up a stone’s throw from the Intrepid Museum, tucked inside a car wash flanking the West Side Highway.

The brainchild of fine-dining veteran Scott Levine, Underwest traffics in superlative, charmingly whimsical cake donuts — the halva variety in particular. Levine loads the batter with tahini and also uses the silky roasted sesame paste in a glaze. Crowned with shredded halva, the treat wears strands of ground sesame seed confection with enough flair for a couture runway show, melting with each bite. It’s surely the nuttiest, moistest donut in the entire city.

The Village Voice is counting down to our Best of New York City issue in October. We’re combing the city every day, one dish at a time, to guide you to the most delicious food in NYC. These are our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2015, in no particular order, save for the top 10. To read about previous dishes, browse our 100 Favorite Dishes page.

Here’s our countdown up to now:
#100: Laminated Blueberry Brioche at Dominique Ansel Kitchen
#99: Egg Shop’s Golden Bucket Fried Chicken
#98: Ramen Lab’s Torigara Shoyu
#97: Cannoli at Ferdinando’s
#96: Breakfast Sandwich at Dimes
#95: Banana Royal at Eddie’s Sweet Shop
#94: Fletcher’s Burnt Ends
#93: Almayass’s Mante
#92: Empellon Taqueria’s Fish Taco
#91: El Rey’s Sardine Tostada
#90: General Tso’s Pig’s Head at the Cannibal
#89: The Vegetarian at Meat Hook Sandwich Shop
#88: The 21 Club’s Creamy Chicken Hash
#87: Deep-Fried Olives at Via Carota
#86: Pougi at Loi Estiatorio
#85: Pearl & Ash’s Smoked Bread with Chicken Butter
#84: Gluten-Free Pizza at Rossopomodoro
#83: Perry St’s Chocolate Pudding With Candied Violets
#82: Whit’s End’s ‘Fuckin’ Bluefish Dip’
#81: Morgenstern’s Salt and Pepper Pine Nut Ice Cream
#80: Levain Bakery’s Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie
#79: Delmar Pizzeria’s Pizza
#78: Cafe Cluny’s Avocado Toast
#77: Brooklyn Star’s Cinnamon Bun
#76: Pork Belly Cotton Candy at Carnem
#75: Ippudo’s Pork Buns
#74: Mission Chinese Food’s Oil-Cured Anchovies
#73: Johnnycakes at LoLo’s Seafood Shack
#72: The Starving Artists Steak at Belle Reve
#71: The Spotted Pig’s Gnudi
#70: Xi’an Famous Foods’ Tiger Vegetable Salad
#69: Crème Brûlée Truffle at Kee’s Chocolates
#68: Pok Pok’s Muu Paa Kham Wong
#67: Cacio e Pepe at Upland
#66: Pulpo at Toro
#65: Junior’s Something Different
#64: Duck Carnitas at Cosme
#63: Banana Miso Ice Cream Sandwich at Neta
#62: Breads Bakery’s Chocolate Babka
#61: Braised Lamb Neck at the Gorbals
#60: Dough’s Passionfruit Doughnut
#59: Uncle Jesse Bao at Baohaus
#58: Patatas Bravas at El Colmado
#57: Lupulo’s Razor Clams
#56: Bar Masa’s Spicy Dancing Shrimp