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Boozy picnics, frisbee games, and straight loungin’ on Sheep Meadow: warm weather days are finally here, and there’s no better place to enjoy the great outdoors (or just take a break from crazy city life) than in beautiful Central Park.

jams
There are dozens of awesome eateries within walking distance of the perimeter, from old-school delis to high-end restaurants to casual burger joints. My latest Thrillist article showcases great go-to spots (organized by location) around the Park—check out the full list here. Skip the dirty-water dog vendor and get after it.

Jams image courtesy of Jen Davidson & Blair Campion

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2014 Time Out New York Food & Drink Awards

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 01:03 PM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

It was another exciting year for the New York City dining scene, with new spots boasting everything from amped-up Asian to seductive Spanish to reimagined Italian. And last night, Time Out New York held their annual industry awards to honor the very best new restaurants, bars and chefs.

Taking over Marquee nightclub, the 2014 Food & Drink Awards presented by Stella Artois paid tribute to the city’s culinary finest in a grand celebration attended by top toques, restauranteurs, mixologists and industry insiders. Guests sampled signature dishes from nominated spots, including Toro, Pearl & Ash, Betony, Bunker and Dominique Ansel Bakery, and sipped craft cocktails created by Golden Cadillac, Betony, Attaboy and The Long Island Bar.

TONY readers voted for their faves to determine ten winners in the Readers’ Choice categories—top honors included Best New Restaurant (Carbone), Chef of the Year (Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi), Best New Sushi (Sushi Nakazawa), Best New Cocktail Bar (The Dead Rabbit), Best New Southeast Asian (Uncle Boon’s) and Best Brand Extension (Lafayette). Additionally, ten Critics’ Picks were presented, in aptly named categories ranging from the Dirty Disco Award (Golden Cadillac) and the “Soy, Vey!” Award (Ivan Ramen) to the Global 180 Award (Mission Cantina) and the Mad Scientist Cooks At Home Award (Alder). All twenty coveted awards were handed out during the event and the full list of this year’s winners can be found here.

Many congrats to all the talented 2014 winners and nominees!

Related: My Time Out New York Food & Drink Awards coverage from 20132012 2011. Images courtesy of Time Out New York.

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Spike Up Your Holiday Season

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 09:12 AM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

Since appearing on season 4 of Top Chef, life has been pretty hectic for Spike Mendelsohn. Besides opening an empire of restaurants in the Washington, DC area—including Good Stuff EateryWe, the Pizza and new Capital Hill French bistro Bearnaise (slated to debut in late February)—the celebrity chef can be seen delivering funny one liners on Bravo’s Life After Top Chef and competing in Food Network’s Next Iron Chef.

As if his plate wasn’t already full, Spike has recently teamed up with Captain Morgan to create unique recipes featuring the spiced rum and their newest signature liquor, Black Spiced Rum—a bold flavored Caribbean rum blended with natural spices. So how’d this new partnership come about? “I’ve always been a fan of Captain Morgan, so for me it was an exciting opportunity to partner with them. As a chef, it was kind of an adventure to create these new food and cocktail recipes for the brand. It’s been really interesting and a very fun campaign.” Spike shared with me.

And how he got creatively inspired? “Literally, I pictured myself in a pirate’s outfit on a pirate ship, sailing around the Caribbean and being inspired to create some really delicious food and drinks that incorporate Captain Morgan.” he mentioned. Aye aye, Captain Spike.

Spike was kind enough to share a few of his exclusive recipes, which are sure to spice up all your holiday celebrations. Enjoy!
 

 
Captain Morgan Spiced Sweet Potato Marshmallow Casserole

  • 10 baked sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup  brown sugar
  • 1 cup  butter
  • 1 teaspoon  cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon clove
  • 1 dash nutmeg
  • 1 dash allspice
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup Captain Morgan® Original Spiced Rum
  • One (1) 16-ounce bag of mini marshmallow
  •  
    Bake sweet potatoes on 375°F for 25-30 minutes, until tender. Remove pulp with a large spoon and place in a large bowl. Stir together the sweet potatoes, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg allspice orange juice and Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum. Salt and pepper to taste.  Next, butter a casserole pan and layer sweet potato mixture then marshmallows. Do as many layers as you can, finishing off with the remaining marshmallows. Lastly, sprinkle brown sugar on top. Bake at 350°F for 20 – 30 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.

     

     
    Black Apple Harvest

  • ¾ cup apple sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 dash allspice
  • 1 dash nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon crushed ginger
  • Juice from one lemon (save the rind)
  • 0.25 ounces apricot liquor
  • 1.25 ounces Captain Morgan® Black Spiced Rum
  •  
    In a shaker, add ice and shake it like your momma taught you. Fill a rocks glass with ice, take a lemon rind and rim the glass. Next, take a thin slice of ginger and rim the glass and then put both garnishes in the glass. Pour cocktail through holes of the shaker. Cocktail should still have some apple sauce texture, but shouldn’t be thick. Lastly, drizzle with honey.

    Note: If you don’t have apricot liquor on-hand or don’t want to make a run to the store, feel free to try without it.

     

     
    Port Royal Punch (serves 25)

  • Two (2) 46-ounce cans of pineapple juice
  • 3 cups mango juice
  • 1 750 mL bottle of Captain Morgan® Original Spiced Rum
  • 4.5 ounces of grenadine
  • 3 oranges sliced thinly and quartered
  • 3 cans of Sprite for fizz
  •  
    In a punch bowl or large serving vessel, add the above ingredients and stir. Serve over ice in a punch glass – or glass of your choosing.
     

    Additional recipes can be found on Captain Morgan’s Facebook page.

    Images courtesy of Taylor Strategy and Kraut Rocks

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