This Week in Food: Lao New Year, Hamburger Talk, and Chicken Biscuit Battle

Lao New Year
Khe-Yo (157 Duane Street)
Monday through Saturday

Celebrate Lao New Year with a special tasting menu ($68 per person) featuring dishes like poached black bass, and pork belly with quail eggs. Each table will also receive a selection of vegetables, sauces, and spices to accompany each featured dish. Chef Soulayphet Schwader’s mother will give a traditional blessing prior to each meal at each table, and guests will receive a special bracelet to cleanse the spirit for the year ahead.

“Street Food in New York City Past and Present”
The New School — Starr Foundation Hall University Center (63 Fifth Avenue)
Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.

Explore the history of street food in New York City during this panel discussion — with Anneke Geyzen, Dave Cook, and Fabio Parasecoli — which examines the development of public policy and the social impact of street fare. Tickets ($40 for general admission) include snacks. Reserve yours here.

The Great American Burger Book Reception
PowerHouse Books (37 Main Street, Brooklyn)
Tuesday, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Hamburger expert George Motz will host a launch party featuring plenty of patties, to celebrate the release of The Great American Burger Book. His book spotlights regional hamburger styles and cooking tips — from Southwestern tortilla burgers to Hawaii’s loco moco–style burgers. A reception featuring a burger-slinging food truck will follow Motz’s discussion and book signing. Guests should reserve a spot by email.

Battle of the Chicken Biscuits
Root & Bone (200 East 3rd Street)
Friday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Chefs Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth are breaking out their best recipes and inviting a few out-of-town friends for a chicken biscuit battle. The lineup includes chefs from North Carolina favorites the Asbury and Heritage Food and Drink. Chicken biscuits will be $5 each and drinks will be available for purchase.

Malbec World Day
The Gallery at Dream Downtown (355 West 16th Street)
Friday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Try over 150 different Malbec wines from 25 Argentinian wineries at this walk-around tasting. For four hours, guests can sip on unlimited pours and feast on bites like empanadas and steak sandwiches with chimichurri. Tickets are $55. Reserve them here.


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.


This Week’s Five Best Food and Drink Events in NYC – 3/2/2015

New month, same weather. So if your plans to join that outdoor kickball league have been put on hold, here are five ways to fill your time with some good food and drink.

The Traveling Chef: Seeking Inspiration and Innovation From Home and Abroad, NYIT Auditorium, 1871 Broadway, Monday, 6:30 p.m.

Plan on taking a food tour this year? Sit in on a panel featuring chefs Wylie Dufresne, Ivan Orkin, and Richard Kuo as they share tales of global and domestic cuisine adventures. The trio will also address the evolution of cuisine and where their inspirations may take them next. Tickets start at $30.

An evening with Jeremy Oertel and Natasha David, Mulberry Project, 149 Mulberry Street, Tuesday, 6 p.m.

As part of a new guest bartender series, Jeremy Oertel of Donna and Natasha David of Nitecap will sling classic cocktails at Mulberry Project alongside the bar’s beverage director, Aaron Polsky. Additional bartenders will be appearing throughout the month. A $20 ticket includes two cocktails from the daily menu, with plenty of additional drinks — as well as food — available for purchase. There’s also a $55 reservation, which includes three appetizers along with two drinks; both reservations can be secured on the event website.

Monumental Muscadet — Dinner With Winemaker Fred Niger, Fort Defiance, 365 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Winemaker Fred Niger is bringing his renowned arsenal of Muscadet — plus a few other varietals, like Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon — to Red Hook this week as part of a five-course dinner hosted by chef Matthew Fleming. Niger’s Muscadet wines — much like those of his mentor Guy Bossard — are made from vines a half-century old and are certified organic and biodynamic. Fleming’s menu includes Long Island duck, oysters, and seared scallops; reservations start at $90.

A Taste of the Old World: Jewish Food and Memory, Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

Join food writers, purveyors, and restaurant owners as they come together to discuss Jewish cuisine and its ability to transcend generations. The list of participants includes New York Times reporter Julia Moskin and Mile End’sNoah Bernamoff. A full lineup of panelists and tickets can be viewed on the museum’s website.

First Fridays, Tenement Museum, 108 Orchard Street, Friday, 6:30 p.m.

This month’s installment of the Tenement Museum’s First Fridays has guests playing the role of old-school housing investigators. Discover the mysteries inside 97 Orchard Street and find out whether the building is up to code — or if its landlord needs to receive the hammer of justice. Afterwards, enjoy a drink and bites. Tickets are $40 and can be reserved through the museum’s website.

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This Weekend’s Five Best Food and Drink Events in NYC – 2/20/2015

Too cold to do anything but look at your computer from the confines of your cozy bed? Fair enough. Here are five delicious events to keep you occupied.

$18 Weekend Brunch, Au Za’atar, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.

If brunch is the only reason worth leaving the house, why not seek out an affordable option that includes a complimentary drink for your troubles? The French-Arabian bistro’s new $18 prix-fixe weekend brunch includes choices like a vegetarian falafel benedict, mussels, and a breakfast platter to accompany a brunch cocktail of your choosing. There’s also an à la carte menu highlighted by chili shakshuka baked eggs and a kafta burger.

From Vine to Bottle: Talking Wine at Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar, Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar, 34 Downing Street, Saturday, 1 p.m.

Beginning this Saturday, Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar will hold a total of three two-hour wine classes designed to help educate both the novice and advanced wine drinker. For the first discussion, the use of oak to age wine will be examined, with guests receiving three tastings each of red and white wine aged in oak barrels. Subsequent classes will cover the meaning of the term “dry” and how it relates to sugar and acidity, with the final discussion centered around pinot noir. Reservations are $140 for all three classes (they are not available individually); secure them here.

Brewnity at The Bell House, The Bell House, 149 7th Street, Brooklyn, Sunday, 1 p.m.

Feeling thirsty? New York’s homebrew community will offer attendees the chance to sample over 50 different styles of beer for four hours, with proceeds going to support City Harvest. Homebrew clubs from Queens to Jersey City will be represented should anyone wish to participate in a cross-state beer tour. Tickets start at $25; secure your pass to homebrew heaven here.

A Sunday Session: Brewers Round-Table at DBGB, DBGB, 299 Bowery, Sunday, 4 p.m.

Why have New York–based breweries become so prominent in restaurants these days? Find out why at this panel discussion, which includes Kelso Brewery owner Kelly Taylor and Bronx Brewery’s brewmaster Damian Brown talking shop with DBGB management. If all that talk is making you thirsty, not to worry; tickets include three beers such as a nut brown lager and IPA. Snacks will also be served, in addition to the hopped-up conversation; secure a $25 reservation here.

Academy Awards Viewing Party, Espoleta, 334 Bowery, Sunday, 5 p.m.

Fans of Bradley Cooper and Birdman alike are invited to watch the Oscars on the big screen while enjoying a special $38 prix fixe menu, as pizza speakeasy SRO will be serving up pies for guests watching the show in the neighboring Espoleta dining room. The offer includes three beverage pairings along with a choice of pizza, appetizer, and dessert.

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Espoleta Offers a New Challenge for Seasoned Pizzaiolo Giulio Adriani

Giulio Adriani spent a lifetime perfecting pizzas, so it may seem like a bit of a shock when you walk into his new restaurant Espoleta (334 Bowery; 212-466-3300) and find goat picadillo empanadas on the menu. Espoleta, like the name of its predecessor Forcella, means wishbone, but that is where the similarities between the two restaurants come to a close. Espoleta is a fusion tapas restaurant drawing on Mexican, Spanish, and Italian cultures. The venture also marks the return of Sue Torres to the dining scene after a brief hiatus.

“Something more refined, that was my idea,” says Adriani about the revamp of his Neapolitan pizza-focused abode. He settled on a wine bar and tapas concept to best accommodate the needs of a changing landscape on the Bowery. He acknowledges that the change was hard: “My flavor profile is strongly Italian, so to be able to honestly distinguish and appreciate another cuisine…the mindset [I needed] to reach was very hard.”

He called upon chef Torres, who made her name at Mexican restaurant Sueños, as a mentor to collaborate on the dishes he envisioned serving.

“To succeed as a woman in the kitchen is hard,” he says. “You need to be tough in terms of personality…To see her successful and that personality was impressive.” Thanks to the teamwork, Espoleta’s menu is a mixture of cultures. Italian flour is used to make goat picadillo empanadas, while a tamarind glaze is in the recipe for hanger steak. Familiar words like croquettes appear, while artichoke fondue consists of Spanish cheeses. The menu is broken up into traditional categories such as pintxos, cheeses, and tapas; larger plates are also available.

Adriani also focused on making his location a place people could come and just grab a drink at the bar. One major component of the restaurant is the half-glass serving size available for wines. The idea is that smaller portions equal a greater opportunity for experimentation, especially when you have a variety of small plates to choose from. The wine list currently offers 30 by-the-glass selections, and wine director Ariel Lacayo also plans to expand the Sherry and Cava offerings to explore “the best of every region of Spain.”

Another adjustment guests will notice is the change in music and decor. The restaurant’s brick walls are now lined with shelves displaying bottles, while the sounds of acoustic guitar and Spanish voices blast throughout the dimly lit room, serenading cozy couples at two-tops and groups hidden away in booths. The new dining room offers seating at the bar as well, in addition to table service.

Wine by the half glass will be in abundance at Espoleta
Wine by the half glass will be in abundance at Espoleta
Goat stuffed empanadas
Goat stuffed empanadas
Shaved brussel sprouts, honeycrisp apple, pomegranate, pecan, citrus vinaigrette
Shaved brussel sprouts, honeycrisp apple, pomegranate, pecan, citrus vinaigrette
Hanger steak with tamarind glaze, celery root gratin, local greens, smoked salt
Hanger steak with tamarind glaze, celery root gratin, local greens, smoked salt
A look inside Espoleta
A look inside Espoleta



This Weekend’s Five Best Food Events – 11/14/2014

Need a calm before the storm that is Thanksgiving Day travel plans? Here are five events that’ll put your mind and body in a delicious place.

Meet NY’s Legendary Cronut™ creator, Dominique Ansel, Williams-Sonoma, 10 Columbus Circle, Saturday, 12 p.m.

Instead of braving the line at his bakery, sign up to meet Dominique Ansel without having to wait in the cold. Though Cronuts won’t be served, guests can meet the prolific pastry chef and walk away with a signed copy of his latest cookbook, Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes. Attendees will learn more about Ansel’s background in classic French technique as well as discuss some of the chef’s most treasured recipes; you’ll need to reserve ahead of time.

Ninth Annual Thanksgiving Workshop, Bottlerocket Wines, 5 West 19th Street, Saturday, 1 p.m.

Selecting the right wine for your Thanksgiving meal — or drunk uncle — can be a challenge. This class is designed to help you choose the perfect red or white to accompany your turkey and its trimmings, with guests being able to taste holiday dishes paired with 12 wines and spirits. Tickets are $20.

Amphorae-Aged Wine, Anfora, 34 Eighth Avenue, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Want to drink like a gladiator? Consider visiting Anfora this week, where owner and wine enthusiast Joe Campanale will lead guests through a private tasting tour on amphorae-aged wines, which are aged in clay vessels as opposed to barrels. Sip samples while Campanale discusses ancient wine-making techniques. Tickets are $55.

Out to See, South Street Seaport, 19 Fulton Street, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.

This two-day festival celebrates the vibrancy of the seaport with art, music, and plenty of food. After taking a 3-D self-portrait, festivalgoers can enjoy artisan chocolate from Lululosophy or look into designer cakes from Cake Heights. Participating restaurants include Nelson Blue and Fresh Salt.

Brooklyn Chili Takedown, The Bell House, 149 7th Street, Brooklyn, Sunday, 2 p.m.

If you’ve missed out on other opportunities to stuff your face with chili, consider this weekend’s chance to battle the arctic blast with hot sauce. Guests will have the chance to sample varieties of chili from all across Brooklyn, and Caleb’s Kola cocktails will be available to put out mouth fires. Interested chefs can email for more information on how to participate in this year’s event; tickets are $20.


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.