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RESY's Yurt Villages

Dinner | Themed

Winter dining in RESY’s Yurt Villages

It’s getting cold. It’s getting dark. And, we’re all wondering what this shift to winter is going to do to our new found love of outdoor dining. Enter RESY’s Yurt Villages, a pop up restaurant city at your favorite restaurants around the country. We assume they will be heated because, well, they are yurts and its freezing. American Express card members had access for the last two days but today it opens to everyone at 11am so grab a spot before they’re gone. New Yorker’s will see some of their favs like Lilia and Crown Shy yurting it up. In DC, Fiola. In Philly. ZahavKann in Portland and Canlis in Seattle rep the pacific northwest. By now you must be envisioning that glamping spot you could never secure on airbnb BUT this reservation food is included. So lace up your redwings, grab your best made axe and head down to the yurt village for a night in the round. Second though, leave the axe at home.

petite pasta restaurant

Experience | Party

Secret Pasta Restuarant Inside 100 Year Old Pasta Store

I’ve been going to Raffetto’s for as long as I can remember to stock up for our traditional Italian Sunday suppers. My father grew up just a few blocks away on Thompson Street and when I moved to the city in the 90’s I was at Rafetto’s every week. Over the years a lot has changed around the neighborhood but Raffetto’s still has the simplicity and old-world charm of doing one thing really really well. I don’t think the pasta chart has changed since I was a kid. Pick a flavor. Pick a size. Done. One thing that has changed at Raffetto’s is Sarah Raffetto, the fourth generation great-granddaughter of Marcello Raffetto. She grew up and opened a pop-up pasta restaurant inside the shop. With her partner Emily Fedner, of @foodloversdiary, they offer intimate meals on Sunday and Monday when the retail shop is closed. Dubbed Petite Pasta Joint, the experience is a food and story filled evening hosted by the two carb fanatic founders. We expect nothing short of the fresh and perfect Rafetto’s pasta paired with some equally delicious sauces and sides. Currently, it seems events are by inquiry only. We can only imagine COVID restrictions are to blame.

Feed the Polls

Dinner | Charity

Free Meals on Election Day While You Wait to Vote

This is the most important election our life, and probably yours too. No matter which way you lean, your voice is needed and important to truly understand what we stand for and care about. To that end, voting is not as easy as you’d think and getting to the polls even harder especially with the pandemic. Amplifying the already growing food insecurity faced in our country, getting to the polls versus waiting on a food line is a choice that most likely leads to your vote not being cast. To combat this The Infatuation, Zagat, and The Migrant Kitchen have joined forces and launched Feed the Polls, an effort to bring the maximum amount of voters to the polling stations by using free meals as the incentive. The hope is to help every American have a voice, which is what we want, now more than ever. Helping is simple, a $10 donation buys one meal.

eeeeeatscon

Talk | Panel

EEEEEATSCON 2020

These days events are, well, not really events at all. With social distancing still the norm the shoehorning of events into virtual versions is the best we can do. Add food to that challenge and you really need to innovate to make it awesome. The crew at The Infatuation gets our applause for their All-You-Can EEEEEATScon success. We’re only one week in but the Bagel + Lox debate was fierce, informative and most importantly  a lot of (virtual) fun. Let’s break it down. First off, the name. All-You-Can in front of their live event name makes it inclusive and makes us think of the buffet at the Bellagio. Both great. Second, instead of two days of concentrated food debouchery they set up a 4-week schedule with a major moment each week. We already mentioned the schmear schmearing. Coming weeks tease a BBQ, pizza and dessert debate. All prefaced with the adjective GREAT. Alluding back to the fun you’ll have but also winking an eye at the definitive nature of the outcome being referenced for years to come. Third, and maybe our favorite, they nailed it on the how to make virtual feel physical by partnering with Goldbelly. For those living inside your pantry, Goldbelly is the food delivery company that brings you iconic food from the best of the best right to your door. For the Bagel + Lox debate a Russ & Daughters spread was the recommended food companion for debate noshing. Assorted bagels, Nova lox, cream cheese, coffee and even a chocolate babka comes with a branded tote and mug from the old school, mainstay, New York bagel shop. In addition to all of that you get to see a lot of food fans all in one place. For now this is how it has to be. Sure we’d rather be in person but I’m looking forward to the next three weeks of great food debates and food deliveries. Register for free and get ready for BBQ next. July 22-Aug 12 at 7pm in Zoomland

Anthony Bourdain Auction
Anthony Bourdain Auction duck press
Anthony Bourdain Auction Michelin statue

Experience | Panel

Anthony Bourdain Auction

An auction of Anthony Bourdain’s personal collection made us excited and disgusted at the same time. A chance to own an artifact from our number one food culture hero was enticing. We immediately jumped on the silent auction and found some favorites like the duck press from his Paris episode of The Layover. Currently bid up to $9500. Or, a Michelin statue given to Bourdain by Marco Pierre White. Currently $4300. An early version of Kitchen Confidential for $3700. A Simpsons script for “The Food Wife” signed to Anthony by the cast for $3300. We even found a clash of ultimate fanboy dreams with this framed photo and note from Billy Joel to Anthony Bourdain dating back to a visit at Les Halles in 2005. Currently at $4300. But, as we perused the over 200 lots, things took a turn for the worse. His zippo lighter. Some jackets he wore. A pair of cufflinks. Even his Rolex was up for bid. The idea that people would be walking around, quite literally, in our idols shoes while we were not even finished mourning his loss seemed off the mark. We thought maybe the profits would help better raise his daughter but that only temporarily quelched our cerebral discomfort. Digging deeper we realized a large amount of the proceeds would go towards the Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarship at his alma mater, The Culinary Institute of America. We rest more easy but still don’t love the idea of wearing our faithful traveling culture professor’s clothes. Based on current bids, there are plenty who don’t share our slightly morbid view. For nothing else then a peruse through Tony’s passions give a click and a scroll. The items are categorized around the things he loved; film, art, cooking, travel, writing and his obsessive observation of culture. It served as a recap his television escapades via personal artifacts many which we remember from seeing on screen. You can visit in person Monday-Saturday, October 9th-30th from 10am-4pm in New York, Savannah or Texas.

Eater Young Guns Summit 2019

Experience | Competition

Eater Young Guns Summit

Everybody loves a young gun. You know, those underdogs that are full of hustle and grind. The ones that have everything to prove but nothing to lose. Back in my MadMen days the Young Guns were Art Directors putting out the best creative they could muster. This isn’t that different in the “best” and “creative” departments. The plus up is, you can eat all this creativity. The Eater Young Guns Summit is set up to showcase, educate and head-to-head some of the best up-and-comers in the biz. Paired with some snacks by the likes of Pies and Thighs, King David Tacos and a handful of others the programming is top notch tasty. A roster of conversations are also part of the day. Amy Sedaris, Alison Roman, Marcus Samuelsson, Michael Solomonov and Ruby Tandoh will be doing some soap boxing on the future of dining and restaurant culture and most likely eating along side you. Saturday, July 27 from 10:30am – 7:00pm in Brooklyn. 

Kraken Perfect Storm Dinner

Dinner | Themed

Kraken’s Perfect Storm Dinner

Kraken Rum decided to serve dinner during a Caribbean storm that they created from scratch. Outlandish experiences that also resonate with the core of a brand are few and far between in the days of color museums and monochrome candy galleries. When I was a kid my parents orchestrated a Halloween/Birthday party that might have sparked my love of experiences. (My Birthday is end of October) The crescendo peaked with a “ghost story” that included a full-blown storm. My dad recorded the shower running and then played it back through his speaker system. He used a piece of sheet metal to simulate thunder and his Nikon flash popped every few seconds to create lightening. All this while my mom told the ghost story dressed as a witch. I will never forget this as long as I live. Those details make a huge difference and turn something simple into a remarkable moment. Kraken had a bigger budget than my parents in bringing their storm to life. We think eating inside their dark storm is going to be epic. When we say dark we actually mean black. The darkness rain show that kicks off the evening gives up a little when you reach the storm’s eye, then dinner is served…all black. Nori rolls, squid ink linguini and black garlic gnocchi accompany their iconic black octopus. The storm only lasts a few nights so Londoners grab your seats before they ship off. Sorry, a sailing pun was inevitable. July 12th and 13th in Charing Cross, London.
Dabba Drop

Experience | Delivery

Dabba Drop

The term “No time to eat” is running the hashtag circuit. A report released the other day reported 80% of millennials concede to eating meals quickly and alone. These two statistics are alarming and not the way we like to open posts on FT. So, we’ll get back to that in just a minute. Two mums in East London have started Dabba Drop, an innovative Friday night dinner service using a century-old method of delivery. If that sounds contradictory, it is, but Indian culture has plenty of those. Let’s start with Dabba, the Hindu word for box. You’ve probably seen the metal, stackable, interlockable containers Indians use for food at lease once. What you might not know is that everyday 200,000 home cooked lunches are delivered to Mumbai workplaces in these tins thanks to a service known as DabbaWallas or TiffinWallas, depending on who you ask. Aside from the incredibly complex yet 99.99% accurate operation, Indians are eating hot, homecooked meals for lunch at their place of business. Enter Anshu and Renee and their Dabba Drop service. Inspired by the Dabbawallas, they created a brilliant Friday night meal subscription that’s prepped and dropped for you like Mumbai clockwork. With curry being the unofficial national dish of Britain their mission “to change the way Britain does Indian takeaway” is brilliant. Back to those stats at the top, eating together is one of the reasons this blog exists. If it wasn’t for our upbringing and the maturity those meals provided us as kids we wouldn’t be who we are today. To have the majority of a generation saying they eat alone removes the ancillary, yet equally important, reason for eating. Socialization over meals is a critical and profound bonding moment for us all. Dabba Drop is doing it’s part to ensure that we continue that behavior which we greatly applaud. We just wish they expanded to New York sooner than later so we can stop dealing with inevitable GrubHub mistakes. All the details on the currys they deliver are here. We really don’t think it matters what you choose, they are all delicious homemade specialties that you will crave once you get a taste.

Olmsted Backyard BBQ Fundraiser

Dinner | Charity

Olmsted Backyard BBQ Fundraiser

The chefs and owners at Olmstead and Maison Yaki have graciously set up a fundraiser dinner to support a woman’s right to choose. Along with Greg and team they’ve invited some of their best chef friends to participate in making the Yellowhammer Fund charity meal extra delicious. There are two seatings and we think these tickets will go fast. A seat gets you all the food and drink you can consume plus a whole lot of feel good for your donation. Plus, you get to hang in a restaurant filled with a like-minded community all night. June 24th in Brooklyn at 5pm and 7:30pm seatings.

Taste of Bushwick

Experience | Festival

Taste of Bushwick

As newish Queens residents, Bushwick is our Brooklyn backyard and they just kicked a ball over the fence that we need to bring back to those hipster kids. That ball looks like Taste of Bushwick, strutting into its 6th year, bringing such a strong line up that we just pasted the whole food linkage below. Archie’s Bar + Pizza, BKE Kombucha, Brooklyn Cider House, Brooklyn Crafted, Bushwick Food Cooperative, Bushwick Grind, City Bear BK, Dock Asian Eatery, Elisa’s Love Bites, Fine & Raw Chocolate, Glazed & Confused, Guadalupe Inn, GuS Soda, House Of Kava, House of Yes, Interboro Spirits & Ales, Kings County Brewers Collective (KCBC), Le Garage, Pine Box Rock Shop, Precious Metal, Queen of Falafel, Sally Roots, The Sampler, Sazon Nuñez, Sea Wolf, Sey Coffee, Superlost Coffee, Syndicated, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Tony’s Pizzeria & Restaurant, The V-Spot. That list fully covers every food base there is except maybe the Aperol Spritz itch (Mixed reviews. Thumbs down. Thumbs up.) but they have been banned in Bushwick since 2015 anyway. If that’s not enough for one day, the after party rolls on at Pine Box Rock Shop after nine. Slow your roll and hang with the cool kids until way past your Upper East Side bed time. June 10th from 5:30-9pm in Brooklyn at The Brooklyn Cider House.

The Infatuation #MemorialStay Party

Experience | Party

The Infatuation #MemorialStay Party

There is nothing better than a city party when the city people have left the city limits. If that party is thrown by some of our favorite food authorities things get even better. Mix in a few chalices’ of Stella sponsored brews and hard to open, easy to eat bi-valves and the shindig is lit. To push this rundown into Epicville, it’s on an island. Internet sticker it with a fancy hashtag and you’ve got The Infatuation #MemorialStay Party. Share with your friends fast because they rented out all of Oyster Island and are bringing in some BBQ to go with the seafood. These spots will go fast, if they are not gone already. Pack up your Hershel and grab a Babe for the ferry ride, unless you are planning on showing up with legendary swagger on your private yacht charter. Ohh you baller you. Sunday, May 26th from 2-6pm on Governor’s Island.

the worlds fare 2019

Experience | Festival

The World’s Fare 2019

This weekend The World’s Fare comes back to its Citifield home for year two. We loved it last year. It continues to be a heartthrob now with 100+ food vendors representing what we think is almost as many countries. For years we’ve toyed with the idea of a world tour without leaving the five NYC Boros and The World’s Fare brings that vision closer to reality each year. In addition to the culturally focused food, there’s a World Market Bazaar hawking wares from around the globe, international music and dance performances and an international craft brew pavilion boasting 60+ selections. Some of the big hits we’re looking forward to are Balkin Bites, Mangalista and, of course, The Arepa Lady. She’s been a Queens staples for over 2 decades now, or at least it feels that way. Our favorite part of all this is that it sits adjacent to the old world 19xx world’s fairgrounds. A mostly abandoned set of structures often seen from you LIE jitney ride out to Long Island or of Men in Black fame. On the contrary, those willing to explore will find much more than ruins. The Queens Museum has lots of awesome things to see. My favorite is the miniature Manhattan on display. I can stare at it for hours picking out my old apartment buildings and hangouts. We recommend, load up on some snacks and then take a walk over, by the time you get back to the Fare you’ll be hungry enough for your round two. May 18th + 19th from 12pm-9pm at Citi Field in Queens.

Backyard chef series

Dinner | Themed

Franks’ Backyard Chef Series III

I love a good backyard party. The fact is, I have not been throwing nearly enough of them in the past few years ever since my Brooklyn deck turned into a Queens backyard. That is not to place blame as much as it is to publicly say I am bringing them back this summer. If you don’t get an invite or if you prefer the professional chef version of this American past time, I have great news but it’s unfortunately not directions to my house. The two Franks, yes those Frankie Spuntino legacy guys, have just announced their 3rd annual backyard chef series. For those of you who live under a rock (aka. Deep Queens or the Upper West Side) Frank and Frank did some remodeling last year. They closed Prime Meats, their German steak house, and converted it into Franks. Confusing I know. Their reinvented spot is split between a wine bar and a trattoria. They also expanded the Frankie’s Spuntino dining room which allows for a new and improved backyard scene. All this means that this years line up has some new space and some new ingredients, or accouterments, to play with. The guest chefs include some of my favs like Angie Rito from Don Angie’s and Greg Baxtrom of Olmsted. A few out-of-towners are in the mix like the talented Kristian Baumann from Copenhagen’s Restaurant 108. The best part of all this is the entire evening is communal. From the welcome drinks to the long dining table you’ll make new friends at, things will get intimate. The spots at the table will fill up fast so make sure you pick a chef and grab up some seats before your only option is a useless attempt at a remake in your friend backyard alley, a $6.99 Walmart mini- bricket bbq and a 6-pack of canned rose. May 15th thru September 25th in Brooklyn.

NYC Hot Sauce Expo 2019

Experience | Festival

NYC Hot Sauce Expo 2019

The NYC Hot Sauce Expo returns this weekend to heat up the borough once again with 50+ craft hot sauce makers. As always there is far more than the next hot sauce tasting to keep your burning tongue distracted. Aside from their marquee event, Guinness Book of Records Carolina Reaper Pepper Eating Contest, there will be more chihuahua’s under one roof than a Mexican cartoon kennel at the Chihuahua Beauty Pageant. Maybe the most off beat event at any food focused festival we’ve attended. We’re especially looking forward to finding out what the Volcanic Peppers Spicy Pizza of DOOM Challenge is and how we conquer it without killing ourselves. The event list deepens with everything from Hottest Ramen to Slaytanic Burrito contest to the prestigious Hot Sauce Hall of Fame inductions. We covered this back in 2016 and High River Sauces, the event sponsors, growth clearly has been massive, and inherently hot. With two full days of pepper craziness, prepare yourself. Fill your camelbak with some cold milk and pick up a jumbo loaf of Bimbo as you head to Greenpoint for the mouth burning mania. April 14th and 15th from 10am-6pm in Brooklyn.