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Cheers to NYC’s Second Annual Champagne Week

Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 01:10 PM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

Bring on the bubbly! Last year, my friend and CitySip founder, Blaine Ashley, organized New York’s first-ever Champagne Week—and now it’s back. Bigger, better and bubblier than ever. From November 3-7, exciting events will be taking place all over the city including a Champagne and spirits cocktail competition, exclusive tastings and sparkling happy hours.

bubbles
Experience boutique bubbly brands to world-class favorites during the ultimate, multi-day Champagne celebration. Get your tickets here so you can sip away and uncork all the indulgent fun! Here’s a list of NYC Champagne Week festivities you can attend:

A Complimentary Taste of Champagne Drappier 
Monday, November 3rd | 8-10 pm | Vin Sur Vingt NoMad

Kick off the Second Annual New York Champagne Week in high-style with Founder, Blaine Ashley, and Champagne Drappier. Enjoy a complimentary glass of Champagne Drappier’s impressive 15-liter, $4500 bottle of bubbly! Various Champagne Week specials will also be available.

Flight Night at The Bubble Lounge
Thursday, November 6th | 7-10pm | The Bubble Lounge

Join the iconic Bubble Lounge in Tribeca for a special New York Champagne Week Flight Night. For just $50, guests will enjoy Champagne Cocktails paired perfectly with an appetizer, a flute of Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve with a small plate pairing, and a glass of Nicolas Feuillatte’s Demi-Sec Rose with dessert.

The Bubble Bash at The Hotel Americano
Friday, November 7th | 9pm-12am | The Hotel Americano’s El Privado Lounge

At this ultimate closing bash, enjoy Aperitif-style Champagne Cocktails featuring Lillet and Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, unlimited Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve and Brut Rose by the magnum bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, and a sultry soundtrack. In a second room, guests will find a Hudson Whiskey Champagne Punch and Cocktail den with more food and fun times. Tickets are $65/person, get them here.

Stay connected to all the bubble-filled happenings on Facebook and Twitter. Hope to see you there. Sante!

Image courtesy of real-champagne.com

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All Aboard! Village Voice Holiday Spirits Tasting Event

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 03:10 PM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

It’s time to get into the holiday spirit. And there’s no better way than to set sail for The Village Voice Holiday Spirits 2nd Annual Tasting Event on November 20th.

holiday spirits
During this three-hour booze cruise, partygoers can sip spirits, wine, and specialty holiday cocktails from more than 30 distilleries and wineries in New York City and beyond—including Brooklyn Gin, Tanteo Tequila, Brooklyn Winery, Cooperstown Distillery, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Owney’s OriginalBreuckelen Distilling, Catskill Distilling Company, and many more.
holiday spirits

This festive fête also includes a voyage around New York Harbor, complete with dazzling skyline views, tasty hors d’oeuvres, and a soundtrack from DJ Tim Martell along with a live jazz quartet.

VIP and General Admission tickets on sale now! Don’t miss your chance to join the fun-filled festivities. Holiday Spirits will take over the Hornblower Infinity Cruise Ship from 6-9pm (boarding begins at 5:30pm at Pier 40 @ West Houston Street).

Purchase your tickets here and use promo code EAT for $10 off!
 
Image courtesy of The Village Voice

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Tasting Table: 5 Secret Burgers You Need to Order Now

Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 09:10 PM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

That menu in your hand? Throw it on the ground. Some of the best burgers around the country are off-the-menu orders that only restaurant regulars or industry folks know about.

secret burgers
Welcome to the wonderful world of secret restaurant burgers. Here’s where to get the best of the bunch:

Holeman & Finch Public House in Atlanta
It’s 10 p.m. For chef Linton Hopkins, “It’s burger time!” His wife, Gina, threw out the idea of having a late-night, off-the-menu cheeseburger. “It’s not a gimmick,” Hopkins explains. “A handcrafted burger takes a lot of time to prepare correctly.” Every night, he dishes out exactly 24 of them, which you can reserve ahead of time. Your reward for planning: a double-patty burger topped with American cheese, griddled red onions, house-made mustard and bread and butter pickles, all stacked on a house-made bun.

Heirloom Cafe in San Francisco
Sometimes stoned conversations with your roommate can lead to great ideas. “Great” meaning grinding deliciously pungent, unpasteurized, brandy-washed Époisses cheese into your beef patty. That’s the story behind owner (and celebrated sommelier) Matt Straus’s cheeseburger. He eschews the usual ketchup and mustard for onion jam, lettuce for wild arugula, and buns for a locally baked English muffin. And of course, it doesn’t come with fries–pickled carrots, all the way.

Gramercy Tavern in New York
And you thought chef Michael Anthony took his Japanese cooking seriously. He makes everything in-house for his lunch-only burger, from the freshly ground Adirondacks Grazer beef patty to the buns made from German butterball potatoes. Anthony sends out only about 25 burgers a day, so listen to your waiter: That verbal rundown of the specials is your ticket to bacon-topped, clothbound cheddar crowned goodness. And, the greenmarket-loving chef has a very of-the-moment rotation of condiments, including mushroom-caramelized onion jam and pickled and raw onions.

Quinn’s Pub in Seattle
The foie gras- and duck egg-topped Ultraburger “takes extravagance to the extreme on the ultimate everyman’s food,” says chef Jeremy Ravetz.  “It’s a little too decadent to order every day.” Simply ask for the burger and Ravetz goes to town: He takes a typical burger on the menu–Painted Hills beef with bacon, white cheddar and horseradish-Dijon mayo–and adds the aforementioned accoutrements and a few changing flourishes, like pork sausage, braised cabbage and apple butter. Bonus: The Ultraburger comes covered in Bordelaise-infused fonduta sprinkled with shaved or seared foie gras.

Alden & Harlow in Boston
You need a secret code word to order chef Michael Scelfo’s off-the-menu burger. Well, as secret as a Tweet can be. “It started off as a way to interact with people via social media–something just for fun,” Scelfo says. Every Friday, Scelfo tweets out the secret burger code word. The current Secret Burger is a blend of freshly ground Creekstone Farms brisket, short rib and beef plate, grilled then crowned with little gem lettuce, a Cabot cheese tuille, and salted onions (“Salting draws out the acidic qualities and gives it a nice savory crunch,” says Scelfo). It’s dressed with his famed No-Name sauce, his grandma’s hybrid sauce of Caesar and Thousand Island dressing. Stay tuned: Scelfo most recently teased a peanut butter and pancetta “stoner” burger for loyal Twitter followers last week.

Original feature on TastingTable.com. Image courtesy of Esquire.com

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Eat, Drink & End Hunger at NYCWFF 2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 09:10 AM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

New York’s most mouthwatering weekend is almost upon us. From October 16-19, the 2014 Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival will be taking the Big Apple by storm and tickets are still available for some of the most anticipated events and food-fueled festivities. Don’t miss out on the chance to experience world-class cuisine, wine and spirits, while mingling with culinary legends, superstar chefs and your favorite TV personalities.

trisha yearwood
Presented by Food & Wine, this four-day epicurean extravaganza is the only place where you can take down tacos and tequila with Bobby Flay, party in a pastry wonderland with Dominique Ansel, belly up to brunch and Bloodys with the Chopped judges, tailgate with Joe Namath, Mario Batali and the NY Jets, and rock ‘n’ roll with Morimoto and friends at a late-night karaoke and sushi soirée.

nycwffSnag still-available tickets to savor Southern-style brunch with Trisha Yearwood, crush pizza with (my Jersey girl crush) Jon Bon Jovi at La Sagra Slices, and curb every craving imaginable at the Saturday and Sunday Grand Tastings.

There are events to please every palate and at every price point—with locations from Manhattan’s West Side to Queens. And the best part is: proceeds from the festival benefit the Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength‘s No Kid Hungry campaign. Tickets are going fast—grab yours today and get ready to wine and dine to help end hunger.

Check out my coverage from previous NYCWFFs here, and let me know which events you’ll be attending. Hope to see you there!

Image courtesy of NYCWFF

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Do Chicago Gourmet Like A Boss

Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 03:09 PM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

This weekend, September 26–28, marks the seventh annual Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet—one of the nation’s premier culinary festivals. To help guide event-goers through the weekend-long epicurean experience in Millennium Park, Bon Appétit Editor-in-Chief Adam Rapoport shares his expert advice on tackling the weekend like a pro.



This year, Adam will be leading the Hamburger Hop burger battle, the official Chicago Gourmet kick-off event, and serve as emcee of three interactive seminars over the weekend: The Mexican Takeover with Rick Bayless; The Whole Fish with Masaharu Morimoto; and Carla’s Comfort Foods with Carla Hall from ABC’s The Chew.

adam rapoportHere are Adam’s top five insider tips for navigating the festival in style:

Pack Your Sunscreen. You’re going to be eating, drinking and hanging out in the sun (yes, it’s going to be sunny) all day. Play it safe with SPF.

Explore. Reach beyond your boundaries, meet different chefs and try foods you haven’t tasted before. One of the great things about Chicago Gourmet is that the festival features restaurants from all across the country. So use your afternoon in Millennium Park to try all those restaurants you normally don’t get to.

Be Punctual. Be the nerd who gets there early. That way you can eat everything before everyone arrives, then hit your favorites for a second time.

Get Prepared. Know who’s going to be cooking and where, then map out a plan of attack. Download the official Chicago Gourmet app for Android and iPhone for the ultimate smartphone companion.

Learn Something New. Take your wine, beer and spirits cred up a notch by attending the interactive seminars. Your knowledge will dazzle all at your next dinner party.

Hungry for more advice? Follow Adam’s exciting culinary adventures on Twitter and Instagram.


Image and video courtesy of Bon Appétit

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Dine Out to Make a Difference This September

Monday, September 1, 2014 at 12:09 PM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

Did you know that one in five children struggles with hunger in America? No child should ever grow up hungry. This September, you can help the cause just by dining out.

do good. dine out.
The average person eats 90 meals during one month, and that means 90 chances to help end childhood hunger in America. All month long, you can dine at participating restaurants nationwide supporting No Kid Hungry, make a contribution, and take advantage of promotions and rewards in return for doing good.

And if you can’t dine out, you can still make a donation here. Every dollar raised feeds a child in need up to 10 nutritious meals, including the most important meal of the day: breakfast. Please join me in raising a fork for the initiative and let’s help end childhood hunger once and for all!

No-Kid-Hungry-LogoFor more information and to find participating restaurants, visit NoKidHungry.org. Share your experience with your social network, follow @NoKidHungry on Facebook and Twitter, and join the #90Meals conversation to end childhood hunger, one meal at a time.


Image courtesy of NoKidHungry.org.

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Savor Summer with Apricot Rice Pudding Pops

Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 05:06 PM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

Who doesn’t love a good popsicle? Summer’s ultimate frozen treat that’s fun to eat, easy to make, and reminds us of scorching hot days when we were young—probably with the melting sugary pops running down our faces. Happy as can be.

apricot-rice-pudding-pops-6461
For a grown up twist on everyone’s favorite childhood chiller, try these creamy Apricot Rice Pudding Pops. And find more mouthwatering recipes for ice pops, paletas, and popsicles in boozy, bold, and fresh fruit flavors at BonAppetit.com.

Apricot Rice Pudding Pops
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer layer removed, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons short-grain rice (such as arborio)
  • 1/4 cup quartered pieces of dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • Combine milk, coconut milk, cream, lemongrass, ginger, nutmeg and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to a boil; remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place rice and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl; let stand for 10 minutes (to soften and release some starch). Drain.

    Strain coconut-milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium saucepan. Add rice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer (do not stir or rice will become too starchy) until rice is very tender, 30-35 minutes. Let cool slightly.

    Stir in apricots and sugar. Divide mixture among ice-pop molds. Freeze until beginning to set, 30-45 minutes. Insert a stick into each pop. Freeze until firm, about 1 hour longer. DO AHEAD: Pops can be made 2 weeks ahead. Keep frozen. Image courtesy of Bon Appétit.

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