Every year the editors at Bon Appetit compile their top 10 restaurants in America. Then they hold a grand ol’ chef and food insider party celebrating their list. If rubbing elbows with the Foodie elite is your thing or you just like the idea of eating the best food in America, according to one of those aforementioned tastemakers, then the Bon Appétit Hot 10 Party is totally your scene. Snapping up a tier 1 ticket gets you unlimited food and drinks which is a great start BUT if you’re attending you might as well really go big. The VIP package gives you a special entrance (no queuing), early access to all the food, some mingling time with the chefs so you can drop that sous vide story you’ve been dying to use and a special Hot 10 alumni restaurant in addition to the 2018 team. That should hold you over with stories when commanding your next dinner party. If you just want to party and forget the food (which we’re not sure why you’d choose that) a quick $25 bucks gets you into the after party. October 17th at 6:30 in Brooklyn, NY.
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If we stand for anything, it’s dinner. The more special the more better. When we discovered Mark Ladner, pasta making magician of Del Posto and Lupa fame, was celebrating his one year anniversary of his fast-casual Pasta Flyer with a supper series we we’re psyched to say the least. An already high-rotation, week day, post-workout, dinner for us because of the incredible value Mark and team bring to the literal table…Secret best meatballs in city, secret great wines by the glass…he’s crafted this dinner series with some of his best chef friends. From the likes of Mario Carbone to Maialino’s Nick Anderer to Barbara Lynch (who has the best oyster bar in Boston amongst her food dynasty) the menu creations are bound to be off the chain. We’re not sure what we’re most excited about. Two Italian’s in the same kitchen or a food storyteller augmenting the current Pasta Flyer menu. It looks like this was a Resy and Applestone collab too. Props to them as we recently were swooned by the 24/7 butcher. Tickets will undoubtedly go quick so make a move briskly. September 26th through November 7th in NYC.
We love robots so much we all carry one in our pocket. Creator has invented the first burger making robot and it’s freaking awesome. Currently staged as more of a POP-UP in San Francisco than an actual full-fledged restaurant, patrons buy tickets to the restaurant waiting their turn to build their own burger OR rather, tell the robot what burger to build. A stunning store design with the visual “making” front and center (obviously) makes for a communal and interactive experience. The founder and CEO, Alex Vardakostas, says he employs the same amount of people as traditional restaurant the difference is that more staff can focus on the customers instead of cooking. The robot has that covered. As long as the team is friendly and engaged, unlike some NYC Duane Reade employees I’ve recently suffered through, this model is an amazing potential for bringing the human experience back into a app driven, delivery and pick up riddled existence. We always thought food should be fun and shared. Creator might just have invented the backlash to quick, autonomous, fast-casual, food service. August in San Francisco.
Knights of the Raj NYC is an immersive peek into the history of NYC curry cuisine. To understand why this is a fascinating visit to Brooklyn’s MOFAD that will feed your mind as well as your stomach, we need to back up to the origins of the Knights of the Raj and the curry uprise in Britain. The “Knights” started as an homage to those who are responsible for bringing curry to Britain in the first place, the Bangledeshis. aka, the East Pakistanis or British Indian Muslims, depending on what year you are focused on when discussing the topic. A short history of India seems necessary. The British Raj, as Britain was known, occupied India between 1858 and 1947 until “partition” emancipated India and Pakistan from British rule. The handy work of Brit Cyril Radcliffe drew new borders with the goal of dividing Pakistan and India so that the Muslim and Hindu populations were not disturbed. FAIL on Cyril’s part. Known as the Radcliffe line, this ridiculous re-bordering made a split country of Pakistan creating two wings, east and west, with India in the middle. This also caused 14 million Muslims and Hindus to flee across new borders when they discovered they were in the wrong country. This duo of Pakistans only lasted until 1971 when a revolution in East Pakistan due to civil disobedience led to the war of independence resulting in the new state of Bangladesh. Whew, ok…That brings us back to Banglideshis migrating from their newly formed country that was experiencing famine, poverty and military coups to Britain. Along with this they obviously brought their food and curry started to make its way into the British culture as an exotic dish. Fast forward to modern day and Britains national dish declared curry and rice, you can image the impact the Knights of the Raj have had in a short 50 years. With 30,000 Indian restaurants in the UK, The Knights stories start with the first Bangladeshis settling in Birmingham and spreading across Britain. Curated by artist Mohammad Ali The Knights of the Raj NYC is a continuation of the British story and Bangladeshis landing in New York. Included in the visit are Immersive Arts Experiences, Walk-In Diorama, Live Performances, and a Three-Course Sampler Menu of Bangladeshi Street Foods and British-Style Curries. July 20th – August 5th from 6:30 to 9:30 pm in Brooklyn, NY
From what the organizers have said, The Pizzadelphia Pizza Festival is at least partially to put Philly pizza on the map. Now, as a New Yorker, you know Naples is the only city that even matters but that’s like saying France wins the world cup again. Update: that actually happened. Well maybe Philly is Croatia. Maybe they beat out Chicago in an upset and they are now in the finals. With slices from Pizzeria Vetri, Pizza Brain and the illusive Beddia, the line up is solid and the party is set to sauce mode. Some of Philly’s best DJ’s make it loud and the Vetri Community Partnership makes it good. If you are a pizza freak this weekend at the Navy Yard has your shirt stain waiting. Saturday, July 14th from 12 to 5:30pm in Philadelphia.
We’ve been talking a lot about tomatoes this month on the socials. The Killer Tomato Festival takes all that juicy, sweet talk and packs it up with an impressive chef line up and a musical act seemingly named for this convergence of nightshade lovers, G.Love and Special Sauce. By impressive we mean 33 local chefs and 4 visiting chefs all making tomato based dishes for you to taste. The food is backed by 20 mixologists from Atlanta’s best bars keeping this whole party well lubricated. The best part of the entire angry tomato theme is that in partnership with Georgia Organics, who’s mission is to connect organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families, they are helping locals eat better at home instead of just in restaurants. The king pin on the vine for all this is Chef Ford Fry who, besides his Atlanta restaurant dynasty tearing up top 10 lists for years, he has the distinction of Esquire magazine’s Best New Restaurant of the Year. Not shabby on the kitchen chops we’d say. If you’re thirsty for some ‘matos and you’re local or visiting Atlanta, this might be your Sunday move. Sunday, July 15th from 1:00 to 5:00 P.M in Atlanta.
We’ve loved the McKittrick Hotel since our first sneak peek before the fames Sleep No More ever performed once. The Punchdrunk team has now opened up The Attic and invited us to The Last Supper, a surreal time warp back to the 1960’s that boasts a hypnotic experience. Knowing this theater companies flair for the eerily awesome, there’s no doubt this night will be a head spinner you will remember for a solid decade. A few early reviews are available but leave a lot to the imagination. Our advice is not to click and be completely surprised by the journey that lies up in the attic. The dinner only runs until July 21st so you have to grab tickets as soon as you can. Don’t forget to wear your mid-century best or summon your inner Don Draper. Dressing the part always makes for more immersive fun. Now through August 4th in NYC.
The most impactful journey of my recent travels was meandering through Cuba in 2016 just as the country started opening up it’s doors to mass US travel. The Havana Film Festival New York’s closing film, Cuban Food Stories, touches a nerve and floods back many of those memories. The director, Asori Soto, calls it “a road-trip adventure all around the island to discover the most authentic flavors and stories behind the Cuban cuisine.” With access to remote parts of this culturally rich island nation, Asori goes beyond the cliches, Ropa Viejo and cigars to show us the kind of Cuba Cubans know. Beyond this film, there’s a whole incredible week of programming. In collaboration with Havana’s International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, Havana Film Festival New York showcases Cuba, Latin American,Caribbean and Latino creators and their films in a light that makes for a multi-cultural experience for the Latino culture and more importantly, beyond. In other words, if you like film, this is for you. If you like food and film, closing night is on order. April 6th-17th in NYC. Cuban Food Stories is April 17th at 6:30PM in NYC
The World’s Fare is not only the best food pun for an event we’ve heard in a while. It’s a proper Queens food in Queens celebration of everything this glorious borough has to offer. Meaning the single most culture dense square footage in perhaps the world. With your ears and your tongue as your guide, the Fare will treat you to as many international bites and sips as you can muster while you listen to music from all corners of the globe. We’re talking Don Ceviche with a Modelo, D’Abruzzo and a Red Stripe or Rib-in-a-Cup and a New Belgium. If that’s not enough it’s going to be under a giant metal globe. Now you get the pun right? No Will Smith and giant alien bugs this time just tasty bites for 2 straight days. Snap up some tickets because this is bound to be the best trip around the world without leaving your backyard boro. April 28th-29th 12pm-9pm at Citi Field in Queens.
NYC Food Truck Fest promises a crazy line up of belly treats despite the out like a lion this month persists on roaring. Hosted by the largest curated market in New York, The Grand Bazaar NYC, they know a thing or two about bringing together amazing vendors, the trucks are so good we have to drop the list right here. Big D’s Grub Truck, Cousins Maine Lobster , Cupcake Carnivale, DUB Pies, The Empanada Sonata, Gorilla Cheese NYC, The Guac Spot, HAPA Food Truck, Los Viajeros Food Truck, Mac Truck, Meatoss Truck, Neapolitan Express, Saravana Bhavan NY, Stuf’d truck and Toum Food Truck will be prepped and ready to deliver tasty to your tongue all day. While you digest between truck visits there are over 80+ non-food vendors you can shop. Think antique and vintage dealers, artists, designers, craft-makers. We’re sure you’ll find a few goodies to stock up on in the massive indoor/outdoor sprawl. The good doesn’t end there. We dug a little deeper into this event and discovered the mission behind The Grand Bazaar and it only made us want to explore and buy more. The market profits benefit the 4,000 children in the neighboring four schools. It provides these kids with enrichment programs, books, supplies, teaching assistants, sports and chess programs. And, we love chess especially when there are sandwiches involved. This makes it eating you can be proud of. Hell, we’ll take it a step further and call it eating that makes a difference. Make a difference this weekend and stuff yo face like the great, kid loving, citizen you are. Sunday, March 25 at 10AM – 5:30 PM in NYC
The name Village Schmaltzy really says it all but incase you’re not hip to the tribe we’ll break it down. The Jewish Food Society has mashed up Forking Tasty Suppers with The Moth under the lens of excessively sentimental Jewish tales. They say it best, dubbed kibbitzing and eating. MC’d by Mitchell Davis and programmed with 5 stories paired with 5 dishes, the night will be anything but guiltless. To prep your ears and palette consider an Egyptian Sofrito and story from Nir Mesika of Timna Restaurant, Pastrami Egg Rolls from Ed Schoenfeld of Red Farm OR Kasha Varnishkes from Stacey Harwood-Lehman. I think it’s safe to say their chutzpah will make us all more of a mentsh then when we arrived. Monday, November 6 from 7pm – 9pm in NYC
Washing down a big bite of food with a comparable gulp of wine has long been a top pastime of the whole FT Crew. So much so that we’ve come to know the difference between a 2 Buck Chuck and a grape grown in Montalcino. Although they both have a place in our wine cellar (read closet), learning more never hurts. The Brooklyn Wine Fest does this learning thing in the non-snooty, approachable, fun kind of way. I guess you’d expect this from a Brooklyn born wine festival but the legacy of stodgy wine makers is still a hard ship to turn. The organizers have broken these stalwarts down and curated a producers list that will make everyone punchdrunk happy. In addition to the 50+ wineries repping their grape juice there’s some on point food to help coat that belly. Heavy hitters like the Mac Truck, Luke’s Lobster and the Brooklyn Oyster Party, just to name a few, will help you savor every wine wheel tagged sip. Time management alert, the day is broken up into two sessions. (12-4 and 5:30-9) Our advice is, BIG brunch, go early, pace yourself, no spitting and stay until the sun is gone. You’ll be fine. Enjoy yourself and stop by Dandelion Wines post fest to try your new knowledge out. Lily and team will be waiting to help. Saturday, October 28th from 12-9:30 in Brooklyn.
Bitten is a conference, an event series, a pop up video series and a food story blog. All things we LOVE. Their “big show” takes place in a few weeks in NYC. It’s line up boasts some up and coming names in the food game. The likes of fellow supper club runner, Brian Bordainick (Dinner Lab) will be in the house along with Kimberly Chou (Food Book Fair) and heavy hitters like Dana Cowin, best known for her two decades as Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine Magazine. Coupled with all this food talk is a conversation on how it touches everything from high fashion to pop culture to insects lives. Think intellectual foodies soapboxing and waxing poetic in the best way possible. Friday, October 27th 8:30 – 4:30
In it’s 11th year the Food Film Festival never disappoints us. It’s not just because we get to eat and watch at the same time but because the films are always stellar both in story and production value. The idea that food pairs with movies just warms our hearts in way that only an ex-Dinema Supperclub runner could love the Food Porn Party, sorta just like it sounds. October 19th-22nd in NYC.
For 7 years now, The Jamaican Jerk Festival has brought together some of the best in island music and food. In a time where music/food festivals seem to hop the bullet train to corporate run monsters, this little indie festival guarantees true local flavor. Even though the title sponsor is one of the largest producers of West Indian food products, you can’t rattle the “real” out of the 5 borough Caribbean community. This year will be the biggest, best and booyakasha of all years with Barrington Levy anchoring the vibes and a quarter mile of jerk stands to spice up the day. Appropriately hosted by our new home borough in Roy Wilkins Park, take the E train to Jamaica center and then get cozy up on the Q5 bus. We promise a Sunday adventure in sound, culinary and transit. Sunday, July 23rd from 12-8pm in Queens, NY.
Ever since the discontinuance of the Turkey Leg Ball I haven’t had a convo with The Infatuation that didn’t start or end with, “When are you bringing back events?” When EEEEEATSCON was announced I had a mini imaginary umami party to rejoice, then I realized it was in LA. Not to worry because tons of you live there and they now make a thing called an airplane. The non-food festival promises, in true Infatuation prose, to be everything you want and none of the stuff you don’t. What that literally means is a mash-up of speaker series, band stage and food hall all inside a retro airplane hanger. More detailed programming was recently announced starting with the inventor of the “celeb chef”, Shep Gorden” talks with Stang (Infatuation co-founder). The Knocks play a set while the food pavilion rages with the likes of Badmaash, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse and chi SPACCA to name just a few of the mouth-watering lineup. May 20th from 12am-9pm in Los Angeles.