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This Week in Food: Sour Ales, LUCKYRICE Festival, New Taste of the Upper West Side

Cascade Brewing’s Sour Ale Event
As Is (734 Tenth Avenue)
Tuesday, 6 p.m. until close

Cascade Brewing (of Portland, Oregon) is bringing its sour ales to Hell’s Kitchen’s brand-new beer bar, As Is. The event marks the first time Cascade’s sour ales have been available on tap in New York, and a selection of Cascade’s bottled beers will also be available.

Lady Jay’s Social Club
Morris-Jumel Mansion (65 Jumel Terrace)
Wednesday, 8 p.m.

Head to the Morris-Jumel Mansion for a Roaring Twenties–style party complete with food, cocktails, and casino games. The museum’s recent conservation work will also be unveiled. Tickets start at $100 and include access to an open bar, bites, and casino game credits. Reserve yours here.

LUCKYRICE Festival’s New York Feast
Industry City (233 37th Street, Brooklyn)
Thursday, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Fill up on regional Asian bites including specialties from Vietnam, Laos, and China at the annual LUCKYRICE festival. This year’s event — hosted by Dale Talde — includes tastings from more than thirty chefs ranging from fine-dining restaurants to under-the-radar, mom-and-pop delights. The V.I.P. lounge includes one-hour early access to the event as well as a dumpling bar, cocktails, and seating. Tickets start at $88 for general admission and can be reserved here.

New Taste of the Upper West Side’s Surf and Turf Event

O’Shea Schoolyard (Columbus Avenue and West  77th Street)
Friday, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Dive into summer-inspired bites from more than 45 restaurants and chefs including April Bloomfield, who will debut a few sample bites from her upcoming restaurant. Guests can also enjoy bites from new neighborhood-area restaurants like Playa Betty and Han Dynasty, with old favorites like Shake Shack returning this year. Ticket offers start at $92.50 for a pair. Reserve them here.

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This Week’s Five Best Food and Drink Events in NYC – 4/13/2105

This week, you can learn the secrets to being a beekeeper or explore a museum while tasting sake. Check out our five best food and drink events in NYC.

The Brisket Sessions with Jake Silverstein, editor-in-chief of the New York Times Magazine, Hill Country Brooklyn, 345 Adams Street, Brooklyn, Monday, 6:30 p.m.

Want to know what Jake Silverstein, former editor of the Texas Monthly, really thinks about NYC barbecue? Head out to this casual discussion, which will cover topics ranging from where to find proper brisket to changes taking place at the Times. Tickets include one beer, margarita, or soda; reserve one for $5.

Intro to Beekeeping at Brooklyn Grange, BLDG 92 at Brooklyn Navy Yard, 63 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Learn how to make your own honey — or at least how to appreciate bees — at this interactive workshop led by Stone Barns beekeeper Dan Carr. Guests will learn the basics of beekeeping safety as well as the tools needed to start their own honey business, and the event will conclude with a tasting of honeys from around the world. Tickets are $40 and can be reserved through BLDG 92’s website.

Sake Dinner & Tasting, Dassara Brooklyn Ramen, 271 Smith Street, Brooklyn, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Decode the world of sake at this tasting, which also matches the rice wine to food. For $20, guests receive a sake flight paired with beets, longbeans with house-made tofu and kimchi, chicken meatballs, and Alaskan pollock skewers; ramen is also available for an additional $10.

Culture Salon: Rice Wine and Sake, American Museum of Natural History, West 79th Street & Central Park West, Thursday, 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Stick around this museum after hours and learn about the history of sake. Sommelier Chris Johnson will educate visitors on the distillation process as well as discuss the popularity of rice wine, and seven varieties of sake will be available for tastings. Tickets are $45 and can be reserved through the museum’s website.

Malbec World Day, The Dream Hotel, 355 West 16th Street, Friday, 6 p.m.

Celebrate Argentinian wine and try more than 120 Malbecs at this informational and interactive tasting. Wine talks, live music, and Argentinean dishes like empanadas and steak sandwiches are all included with the purchase of a ticket.

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Recipe: The Boulevardier Is for Those Who Can’t Decide Between a Negroni and Manhattan

Tim Harris, owner of Manhattan Cricket Club (226 West 79th Street, second floor; 646-823-9252) and Burke & Wills (226 West 79th Street; 646-823-9251), can thank his family for his line of work. The native of Australia started working in restaurants at eight years old, and he has held every job imaginable in the restaurant industry, from his early days bussing tables at his parents’ place to learning how to tend bar at a classic Victorian hotel. Through all of those experiences, he’s come to appreciate classic things, like the boulevardier.

Having learned the trade from a woman who was “very specific about classic cocktails,” says Harris, he came to New York in 2007 on an adventure and has found a home away from home. Knowing how to make boozy libations helped him establish himself at New York’s Australia-themed spots, like the Sunburnt Cow and Bondi Road. However, if not for a natural disaster, Harris may not have been in the position that he finds himself today. “When the hurricane [Sandy] knocked out the Sunburnt Cow, it sucked the life out of other businesses,” says Harris. That’s when Harris moved uptown to the Upper West Side and took over the lease at his current location.

That’s also when Harris met veteran mixologist Greg Seider of The Summit Bar, who had a profound impact on his taste buds. Seider made Harris a boulevardier, and it became an instant member of Harris’s go-to cocktail arsenal.

“When Greg first made it for me, it fell right into my wheelhouse,” Harris says. “My classic go-to was always the manhattan, and that came from my grandfather.” The boulevardier also felt like a personal connection: Harris’s mentor in Australia was Italian and championed the power of the negroni, another cocktail made with Campari.

“[The boulevardier] is the lovechild of a negroni and a manhattan,” he says. “It’s a great drink for someone who likes whiskey but doesn’t want it full on as a manhattan. It’s been around since the Twenties. It’s evolved a little bit. You can twist on it really nicely. It still holds the major elements.”

A boulevardier is typically one part whiskey, one part Campari, and one part sweet vermouth, but Seider and Harris have played with the recipe a bit for the version on their menu. Harris enjoys putting a little more emphasis on the whiskey when making the drink to let it shine through more, which can help mix up the flavor profiles and possibilities. After the duo was introduced to Cappelletti, an Italian aperitivo, the bitter element the spirit brought to the drink could not be replaced.

Harris recommends the drink for those who appreciate spirit-heavy bold flavors, and those torn between negronis and manhattans. In addition to Summit Bar, he enjoys grabbing a classic cocktail at Maison Premiere.

Boulevardier of Broken Dreams

2 dashes orange bitters
3/4 oz. Dolin Rouge Vermouth
3/4 oz. Cappelletti Aperitivo
1 1/2 oz. Knob Creek Small Batch Rye

Place all ingredients in a mixing glass. Fill with ice and stir about 50 times.
Strain over a single large ice cube into a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a large orange peel.

When not in the mood for boulevardiers, Harris also has a few go-to cocktails he uses to test out bartenders. “If someone can make a really good daiquiri and old-fashioned..if they can do those well, I’m going to stay for a few hours,” he says.

Old-Fashioned

2 dashes orange bitters
2 dashes aromatic bitters
1/4 oz. agave syrup (50/50 light agave nectar/water)
2 oz. High West Double Rye

Place all ingredients in mixing glass. Fill with ice and stir until very cold (approximately 30 to 45 seconds). Strain over a single large ice cube in a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a thick slice of orange peel.

Sick of your usual call drink? Try something new. In this series, we’re asking the city’s bartenders to name their current drinks of choice.

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This Week’s Five Best Food Events – 2/9/2015

Mother nature has been a beast these last few days — time to throw on another layer and head out to eat and drink. Consider one of these five events.

Cutting Edge Food Trends, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, Monday, 7 p.m.

Is matcha the next big thing? When will bugs join bread as a must-have when visiting the grocery store? Andrew Zimmern brings his culinary expertise to the Upper East Side for a discussion on food trends. The traveling gourmand will also be joined by Food & Wine editor in chief Dana Cowin as well as food historian Francine Segan. Reservations are $30; secure them through the Y’s website.

Beer, Pickles & Cheese, Jacob’s Pickles, 509 Amsterdam Avenue, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.

Spread the love pre–Valentine’s Day with a fundraiser organized by the West Side Campaign Against Hunger. Guests can snack on pickles, cheeses, and a variety of beers from Long Island’s Barrier Brewery during the tasting. Tickets start at $50; secure yours through the event website.

Beard on Books, James Beard House, 167 West 12th Street, Wednesday, 12 p.m.

Food academic Dr. Libby O’Connell explores how dietary cravings have been shaped by cash, technology, and social innovations during this informal gathering. The discussion includes trivia, recipes, and complimentary snacks and beverages. A suggested donation of $20 is encouraged.

A Chocolate Love Affair, The Access Theater: The Gallery, 380 Broadway, Thursday and Friday, 8 p.m.

Who needs an intermission when a chocolate tasting is part of the show? This interactive performance led by chocolatier and artistic director Megan Sipe allows guests to move around the theater and become part of the show. Most importantly, it explores the impact of chocolate on the five senses. Chocolate will be served by dancers at moments throughout the night. Tickets start at $30.

Tiki Night, Spirited, 638 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, Friday, 7 p.m.

Airline ticket to Hawaii too expensive? For $20, guests receive a tiki cocktail and pupu platter, and can purchase additional tiki cocktails for $10. Cocktail aficionados can also chat up the authors of Brooklyn Spirits: Craft Cocktails and Stories From the World’s Hippest Borough. You’ll need to make a reservation.

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This Week’s Five Best Food and Drink Events – 1/26/2015

As everyone hunkers down for the blizzard rapidly approaching New York City, we’re plotting our next meal. Here are five events worth braving the snow to attend.

Republic Day, Savoury, 489 Columbus Avenue, Monday, 5 p.m.

Start the week off by celebrating India’s Independence Day at Savoury, which is offering a special $50 three-course prix fixe dinner focusing on Anglo-Indian-inspired dishes. Starters include mulligatawny soup, aloo papri chaat, and onion fritters; there are six entrees to choose from, including chicken tikka masala and mutton curry. The dinner includes a complimentary glass of beer or wine as well as naan and traditional side dishes.

In the Kitchen at Grace’s Marketplace: Winter’s Bounty, Grace’s Marketplace, 1299 Second Avenue, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

This longtime Upper East Side Market, which recently moved in to a new space, is kicking off its new culinary classes by focusing on food that warms our body and soul. With a focus on traditional and modern Italian recipes, classes include a chef-guided tour of the market to talk ingredients, a front-row seat to a cooking demo led by chef Joe Trama, and a freshly prepared meal. Reservations are $55.

Romance and Revenge: Aphrodisiacs and Female Poisoners, Littlefield, 622 Degraw Street, Brooklyn, Wednesday, 8 p.m.

Not all food and drinks are created with the same intent. For this month’s installment of “Masters of Social Gastronomy,” Sarah Loman and Jonathan Soma take on the history of aphrodisiacs in food culture, exploring why chocolate and tiger privates can help set the mood better than a Barry White song. If this Valentine’s Day brings nothing but misery about the life you could have had with Mr. Not Really Right, on the other hand, take solace in the duo’s discussion of Victorian-age poison. The event is free to attend.

Chef Wylie Dufresne at the National Arts Club, National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, Thursday, 8 p.m.

What’s Wylie been up to besides running Alder? Find out as the chef-scientist dives into molecular gastronomy, the state of modern American cuisine, and what he wants to tackle next. Although the event is free to attend, guests must RSVP in advance by contacting artandtech@thenationalartsclub.org

Whiskey Writer Lew Bryson at Kings County Distillery, Kings County Distillery, 63 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, Friday, 6 p.m.

Instead of heading to happy hour to drink the same old cheap shot special, consider educating your palate by meeting up with whiskey writer Lew Bryson. The man has traveled the world in search of great whiskey, and he will talk about his experiences as well as answer any questions guests have. The free event includes a tasting led by Bryson as well as a book signing.

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Never the Train: That Poor Dream Goes Off the Rails

Metro-North’s commuter line from Grand Central to New Haven passes through some of the wealthiest suburbs and poorest cities in America. That Poor Dream, a “reimagining” of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations by the Assembly Theater Project, takes place aboard an old-fashioned railroad car making this journey. Pip — Dickens’s rags-to-riches protagonist — now goes to Columbia and lives in an Upper West Side penthouse. He learns the truth about his anonymous benefactor en route to the leafy suburban dwelling of his hard-hearted love, Estella. (Actors’ roles are not specified in the program.) Video shows the locomotive’s progress, with towns and stations passing by.

This ensemble-created adaption goes off the rails, owing to the combined effect of glibness and earnestness. Part of the problem lies in the forced equivalencies: Affluent Fairfield County and struggling New Haven in 2014 aren’t the same as Victorian Britain, and the implied comparisons are gratingly simplistic. Like a lot of company-devised work, That Poor Dream (directed by Jess Chayes) suffers from flat dialogue and inert, unstructured scenes. And the young troupe has taken the most unsuccessful element of its previous show, home/sick — reality-TV-style confessions made by the performers, about themselves — and extended it here. It makes for a slow and frustrating journey.

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This Week’s Five Best Food Events – 9/2/2014

Recovering from a long weekend away can be tough. Here are five events to help ease you into fall.

VeggiePalooza, Brooklyn Navy Yard, 63 Flushing Avenue — Building 3, Brooklyn, Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.

Celebrate harvest with fresh veggies and sourdough courtesy of Scratchbread at this rooftop dinner and drinks celebration. Brooklyn restaurants including Northeast Kingdom will contribute select menu items like carrot cake. Tickets are $85 and include beer and wine.

$10 Tasting — Shiner Beers, Idle Hands Bar, 25 Avenue B, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Now that fantasy football drafts are over, get ready for kickoff with a $10 deal on beer and whiskey. Representatives from Texas’s Shiner Brewery will be attendance to discuss three of their favorite products, and shots of whiskey will also be available for really friendly and well-behaved customers. Guests can also enjoy the start of the NFL season with the Packers-Seahawks game on Thursday; Houston Texans fans will find a home here all season.

Williams-Sonoma All-Clad TK Launch Event, Williams-Sonoma, 10 Columbus Circle, Thursday, 6 p.m.

Join Per Se chef Eli Kaimeh and Bouchon pastry chef Alessandra Altieri as they showcase Williams-Sonoma’s new cookware line featuring Thomas Keller recipes. The complimentary event will also feature a raffle to win an entire cookware set for free, and attendees who make a purchase will receive a free copy of Chef Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home cookbook.

From BBQ to Braai — South African BBQ Comes To America, Studio 450, 450 West 31st Street, Thursday, 7 p.m.

This traveling series stars South African chef Hugo Uys, who explores his home country’s barbecue traditions and Braai cuisine. Guests can expect a variety of seafood and meats grilled over a charcoal fire, as well as a variety of South African wines. Tickets are $35.

Drunkle Vanya, The Gin Mill, 442 Amsterdam Avenue, Thursday, 8 p.m.

What happens when you pair Cards Against Humanity with vodka? You can find out this Thursday, at this adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya.” You’ll play games and drink, plus partake in the practical jokes that are part of this live production. The show runs through September, and tickets are $15.

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This Weekend’s Five Best Food Events – 8/29/2014

If you’re not the barbecue and beach type — or, perhaps, if you’d prefer not to be stuck in traffic — check out one of these activities, the best food and drink events happening around town.

North Brooklyn Farms Harvest Carnival, North Brooklyn Farms, 329 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn, Saturday, noon

Take part in a watermelon eating contest or square dance the afternoon away at this family-friendly affair, which also offers carnival games for all ages. The event will also have food and drink available for purchase, with a flea market and hayrides scheduled to take place, too. Though the event is free to enter, the best move might be to purchase a ticket for $10, which gets you unlimited access to games and field day activities.

Sweet Spot Festival, Pier 1 Riverside Park, West 70th Street at Riverside Boulevard, Saturday, 2 p.m.

The final fiesta this summer offers attendees a great excuse to break out the picnic blanket and enjoy a free afternoon of live music. Feast from food trucks, explore a vintage market, and take in an amazing view of the water, or partake in a few planned fitness sessions.

New Orleans Jazz and Gumbo Brunch, St. Mazie Bar & Supper Club, 345 Grand Street, Brooklyn, Sunday, 11 a.m.

This Brooklyn bar turns into a Big Easy retreat on Sundays. Tuck into $5 bowls of gumbo — courtesy of a rotating cast of chefs — and wash the food down with pitchers of bloody marys and Pimm’s cups for $35. Live bands play throughout the day, and after brunch, guests are invited to partake in swing dance lessons. Reservations are complimentary.

Roberta’s Inaugural Jerk Off & Bikini Bike Wash, Roberta’s, 261 Moore Street, Brooklyn, Sunday, 1 p.m.

The devious minds at Roberta’s are offering up their infamous wood burning pizza along with a set by DJ Spliffington at this eclectic event, a bikini bike wash for those in need. The event also includes some old-fashioned jerk barbecue and is free to attend; the festivities run until 9 p.m.

Back to Skool Trivia Night, Katch Astoria, 31-19 Newtown Avenue, Queens, Sunday, 7 p.m.

If you’re a teacher facing the pain that is the beginning of the school year, brush up on your trivia expertise over two-for-one SingleCut brews. Teams can enjoy the beer special from 7 p.m. to midnight. Katch’s regular beer list will be available, too, in addition to a full menu of pub grub.

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This Week’s Five Best Food Events – 8/11/2015

What’s the best way to spend your free time this week? How about taking a class on urban gardening, sampling Italian-Jewish cuisine, or twisting and twirling some sausage? Here are the five best food events happening in NYC.

Enlightened Eaters, James Beard House, 167 West 12th Street, Wednesday, noon

Authors Ernie Zahn and Ron Williams will be in attendance at the James Beard House to discuss their book Fair Tomatoes, which showcases the struggle of tomato workers in Florida. Topics covered include an in-depth look into working conditions of select farms as well as a lesson on how to become a more sustainable consumer. Refreshments including chocolate, coffee, and tea will be served, and a suggested donation of $20 is recommended for non-students.

Sausage Making Class, Fleisher’s at #323 on Pier 41, 260 Conover Street,
Brooklyn, Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

Get a jump on Labor Day barbecue duty and join Fleisher’s in Red Hook for an evening of sausage making — and drink a few Belgian ales, too. The class also includes a whole hog butchering demonstration and a beer pairing from Brooklyn Brew Shop. Tickets are $75.

Jewish Italy: Food, Culture, and Travel, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, Thursday, 7 p.m.

Italy is home to the world’s oldest Jewish settlement, a tradition translated today through cuisine. In this class, guests will sample a few classic dishes while learning about the history of foods with stories centered on fried artichokes and goose salami. The talk will also include a virtual tour of historic Jewish sites like the Tuscan village known as Little Jerusalem. Tickets are $45.

Urban Gardening Class, New York Vintners, 21 Warren Street, Friday, 1 p.m.

Join experienced horticulturist Renee Giroux of David Bouley’s Bouley Botanical for an afternoon discussion of urban farming. This class, geared toward home and professional chefs, will cover how to grow herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Tickets are $30.

Indian Independence Day, Savoury, 489 Columbus Avenue, Friday

To honor Indian Independence Day, chef Lala Sharma is offering a five course meal for $50 which also includes a complimentary glass of wine or Indian beer. Guests receive two entrees, two appetizers, and a dessert, with accompaniments like naan and basmati. The restaurant also plans to extend the celebration through the weekend by offering its 1947 (the year India gained independence) beer for $3.

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Here Are NYC’s Best Happy Hour Deals This Week

It might not feel like it today, but summer’s here (or, at least, the pools are open, and school will be out soon). Celebrate with a cheap drink at one of these four happy hours.

Bar Rique, 103 West 70th Street

This place keeps the math simple by dishing out $7 cocktails, wine, and tapas for a happy hour that lasts from 5 to 7 p.m. The bar has a serious selection of wines by the glass, and tapas range from olives to pan-seared shrimp. Cocktails include relaxing choices like watermelon mojitos and the Oaxacan breeze made with pineapple cider, so plan to stay awhile to take advantage of all the bar has to offer.

Oxcart Tavern, 1301 Newkirk Avenue, Brooklyn

Two happy hours means this Flatbush spot is the perfect post-work and late night destination if you’re seeking a burger and brew. From 5 to 6 p.m. and again from 10 to 11 p.m., $4 nets you a draft beer, glass of wine, or well drink. The locale sports a burger board from which guests can enjoy a half-pound patty — including turkey, veggie, and fish — with an assortment of combinations of toppings like fried egg and alfalfa sprouts. If you’re really lazy, the bar also offers takeout — including draft beer.

McGee’s, 240 West 55th Street

If you don’t know what time of day you might need an emergency beer, this is your place. This bar features an all-day $4 beer-of-the-month, in addition to more specials form 5 to 9 p.m. During that time, mixed drinks and select glasses of wine are $5, and you’ll also find daily deals on vodka and frozen drinks.

The Dead Poet, 450 Amsterdam Avenue

If you’re looking for literary inspiration, head uptown to this beer-centric oasis. On Wednesday, canned beers are $4 apiece, while other craft beer and shot specials can be found throughout the week.