Category Archives: Manhattan

‘Maifest’ in the works at NYC’s Pier 81

NEW YORK — It’s nearly “Maifest” time, when each year World Yacht turns Pier 81 into an outdoor beer garden for the afternoon.

The event is scheduled for noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12, rain or shine, and will include beer, food and live music.

But, what good is being on the water without being … well, on the water? So, an optional hour-long cruise on the Hudson River from 2 to 3 p.m. will be available.

“Maifest” is a German festival marking the celebration of spring. German beers such as Paulaner and Hacker-Pschoor, including Mai Bock, will be available along with German-inspired foods such as sausages, classic and chicken bratwursts, hot dogs, hamburgers and uber pretzels.

Music will be provided by Die Spitzbaum, and the professional German dance troupe Schlierachtler Stamm will perform.

Tickets for pier admission only are $15, tickets for pier admission and the cruise are $20. They can be purchased online. Food and drink tickets will be available for purchase onsite.

Pier 81 is located on West 41st Street on the river.

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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Beer Event, Manhattan, NYC


Manhattan Cocktail Classic is gearing up

NEW YORK — Dresses are being purchased and suits pressed as drinks fans get ready for the 4th annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic.

The decentralized program will offer more than 100 events in celebration of cocktails and culture from Friday, May 11, through Tuesday, May 15, at various venues throughout the five boroughs.

The term “various venues” certainly applies. Among scheduled sites are bars, art galleries, restaurants, theater, museums, libraries and many others.

The event is run by Lesley Townsend and is not affiliated with any suppliers, distributors, media channels, or other entities.

The opening night gala once again will take place at the main branch of The New York Public Library and the five-day Industry Invitational will take place across the street at the Andaz 5th Avenue Hotel.

The events run the gamut from educational to experiential, such as the light show shown above. Ticket prices vary depending on the specific event. The Gala will be $150; others will range from $25 to $150. They are available exclusively online.

[Photo courtesy of Belathée Photography]

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.


Noteworthy drinks deal at Manhattan’s Oceana

NEW YORK — Most of us are always on the lookout for bargain deals, so this one should resonate with a lot of people.

The seafood restaurant Oceana has come up with a special “Wine & Dine” offer for Sunday visitors.

Begining at 4 p.m., the restaurant offers unlimited wine or beer for $25 per person when ordering from the three course pre-theater menu at $49 per person or purchasing any entrée. (You can see all the current menus here.) This might be an even more tempting offering when the Oceana Patio opens this Sunday.

The restaurant also has a new, ongoing event as well as a fundraising offer.

Every Saturday night is “Hot Jazz,” with bands playing three sets from 9 p.m. to midnight. Two-drink minimum for those who show up just to listen rather than dine. This Saturday will feature the Ryan Hayden Trio featuring Stacy Dillard.

Oceana also is offering the “Heartland Julep” cocktail ($12) through Kentucky Derby Day (May 5) to benefit the American Red Cross to aid those affected by recent tornado devastation in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. Kentucky-based Michter’s has donated the whiskey that will be used. The cocktail includes Michter’s American Whiskey, Sicilian pistachio liquor, pineapple juice, lime juice, mint, a splash of house-made chipotle syrup.

Oceana is located at 120 West 49th Street in the McGraw Hill Building, between 6th and 7th avenues. Phone: (212) 759-5941.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Cuisine, Manhattan, NYC


‘New York Drinks New York’ begins today

From The Wall Street Journal

NEW YORK — For the next several days, the streets will be awash with Riesling from the Finger Lakes. Or if not exactly awash, at least there will be lots of places where it will be given away.

That’s because several dozen vintners from all over the state will be donating their time — and their wine — to a cause called “New York Drinks New York.”

The drinking officially begins Friday [today] at various retailers around town and culminates in a grand tasting at Astor Place Wines on Monday night that will feature dozens of wineries pouring a couple hundred wines. Tickets to the grand event cost $25, but the tastings around town are free and information on the various wineries as well as the list of participating retailers in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn (alas, there are none on Staten Island or in the Bronx) can be found at online.

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Posted by on March 9, 2012 in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Marketing, Queens, Wine


Manhattan condo offers 24-hour veggie juice bar

From The

NEW YORK — Apartment buildings in New York are famous for their crazy luxuries. But, with doormen and gyms now de rigueur, new offerings need to turn things up a notch if they want to get noticed. And to that end the new Madison Jackson building, once upon a time P.S. 12 in the LES, takes the (vegetarian) cake. Because in addition to “a 24-hour doorman, concierge, organic laundry, and alteration services” as well as a gym offering “cranial sacral therapy,” the building has its own “24-hour vegetarian organic room service.” Yes, really.

Of course the building, a block below the Williamsburg Bridge at 371 Madison Street, isn’t just about juice bars and organic laundry. There are duplex 700- to 1,500-square foot loft-like apartments (starting at $542,000) to sell here! But considering the building took nearly 30 years to go from school to condo, you’d think the developer would have made the actual apartments sound more appealing. If you don’t mind low-ceiling sleeping lofts (“not suitable for basketball players”) and cheaply finished kitchens (“to keep costs low”), this one is for you. And who needs a Viking range, anyway? You can always order a juice!

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Posted by on February 13, 2012 in Manhattan, Non-alcoholic Drinks, NYC


• NYC Whole Foods adds tap room

NEW YORK — As of today, Whole Foods can underline the world “whole” when it comes to its Time Warner Center location.

On Tap, a new room offering 10 beers and eight wines all on tap, opened today at the 10 Columbus Circle spot. It also is offering sandwiches, olives, fresh-baked pretzels and other small edibles.

If you’re reading this today, you have until 8 pm. to get there for free samples of food and drinks.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

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Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Beer, Manhattan, NYC


• ‘Joy of Sake’ offering 300+ labels

NEW YORK — Curious about sake? What is billed as the largest sake tasting outside Japan is coming to town.

“The Joy of Sake” will be held Friday, October 21, offering 326 varieties, 171 of which are not available in the U.S. It features premium sakes submitted as entries to the U.S. National Sake Appraisal, a rigorous blind tasting held every year with 10 judges from Japan and the U.S.

The event also will include a selection of traditional and contemporary Asian cuisine tastings, with appetizers presented by 12 New York restaurants.

Tickets are $90 per person, available by phone at (888) 799-7242 or online. The venue is the Altman Building at 131 West 18th Street in the Chelsea neighborhood.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

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Posted by on October 6, 2011 in Manhattan, NYC, Sake, Tasting Event


• ’21’ Club revamping cocktail lounge

NEW YORK — The revered ’21’ Club is in the process of converting its current lounge area into a 10-seat bar with what management says will be a “casual vibe.”

The project is expected to go into high gear in August when ’21’ is closed for its annual summer vacation. The mid-September opening of Bar ’21’ will have more than a new look. For the first time ever, the restaurant will serve tap beer, and patrons will be seated on bar stools instead of the usual upholstered chairs.

The history of ’21’ Club is a true New York one. According to the establishment, construction of the townhouse at 21 West 52nd Street got under way in 1871. On December 31, 1929, speakeasy-operating cousins Jack Kriendler and Charlie Berns unhinge the wrought iron gate that had been the portal to No. 42 and installed it three blocks north at 21 West 52nd Street. They open Jack and Charlie’s ’21’ Club in the wee hours of New Year’s Eve.

On December 5, 1933, Prohibition is repealed. In 1934, Charlie creates ’21’ Brands, a liquor importing/distilling/distributing company. Its first salesman is then-aspiring English actor David Niven. Over the ensuing years, the restaurant/nightclub becomes a New York classic, drawing the cream of show business.

In 1985, ’21’ is sold for the first time, to financier Marshall Cogan. Ten years later it is sold to Orient-Express Hotels. In 1997, its famous Wine Cellar is remodeled, becoming a major private dining rooms in the city. In 2002, the new Upstairs at ’21’ restaurant opens on the first floor.

’21’ Club still is located at 21 West 52nd Street in Manhattan. Restaurant reservations: (212) 582-7200.

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Posted by on July 31, 2011 in Manhattan, Nightclub, NYC


• $50 Four Seasons martini for charity

NEW YORK — You’ve got just three weeks to get a $50 martini at the iconic Four Seasons Hotel.

Why, you ask, would you want to? Simple.

The hotel bar Bar is marking the 50th birthday of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts by offering a handcrafted Imperia Vodka Martini decorated with 24K gold leaf, served in a Steuben Verve crystal martini glass for $50. You get to keep the glass and know that $25 of each cocktail will be donated to GrowNYC.

That’s a hands-on non-profit agency that works to improve city life through environmental programs that transform communities block by block and empower all New Yorkers to secure a clean and healthy environment for future generations. For 40 years, GrowNYC has been providing access to fresh local food for all New Yorkers as well as creating and maintaining green spaces and community gardens.

The Four Seasons is located at 57 East 57th Street. Phone: (212) 758-5700. The promotion will end on Sunday, August 14.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

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Posted by on July 24, 2011 in Cocktails, Fundraiser, Manhattan, NYC


• Saison-style beer tasting in NYC

NEW YORK — Saison style brews originally were low-alcohol pale ales made seasonally in farmhouses in the French-speaking region of Belgium during harvest season. Modern versions, made in some parts of Europe and in the U.S., generally have an average range of 5-8% abv.

If you’re interested in trying this comparatively rare style, The Stag’s Head at 252 East 51st Street will be serving a sampling of saison-style beers, including Sierra Nevada’s Abbey of New Clairveaux collaboration, Ovila Saison, North Coast’s LeMerle, Ommegang Hennepin and Pretty Thing’s Jack D’Or, paired with summer snacks.

The event is set for 6-8 p.m. Wednesday (July 20). Tastings are free. Regular-size pours of the beers will be available for $6-$7.

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Posted by on July 17, 2011 in Beer, Manhattan, NYC, Tasting Event


• The return of the Copacabana

NEW YORK — OK, first things first. It’s not on East 60th where the original was. And, it’s not on 34th Street and 11th Avenue where it once was. But, dammit, the Copacabana is back!

For those of us of a certain age, the Copa was the height of New York nightclub fashion back in “the day.” The headwaiter, Manny, lived across the street from me in a Long Island suburb, and his status was as great as that of any rock star in those days before the term “rock star” was the epitome of fame. His wife, Eleanor, ran the coat check concession and even she was at least a minor deity.

The Copa dancers, the fascinating orchestras, the pretty-good-for-a-nightclub food, the fantastic cocktails … . It was all a whirl of colors, flavors and fashion. Barry Manilow’s anthemic “At the Copa” hit some years afterward captured a bit of the excitement.

Last night, the Copacabana officially opened in its new Times Square location with Willie Colón as the headliner.

This spot at 268 West 47th Street, in the former China Club space, is the fourth Copa reincarnation. It’s on the fourth floor with a dance club, restaurant, rooftop cocktail/dining space. A VIP room is scheduled to open in September.

The Copa dates to 1940, when it opened at 10 East 60th Street, welcoming such performers as Frank Sinatra, Nat “King” Cole, Tito Puente and others over the years.

The new Copa is offering live Latin music nights on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and has revived its famed Copa Dancers, guys and gals specializing in everything from salsa to merengue to bachata and cha-cha-cha.

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Posted by on July 13, 2011 in Manhattan, Nightclub, NYC


• French cheese and hard cider tasting

NEW YORK — The noted cheese buyer Martin Johnson, owner of Joy of Cheese, will offer a class with tastings of prime French cheeses and hard ciders at the 92nd Street Y on Thurday.

Attendees will explore a line of alcoholic ciders ranging from dry to sweet and with geographic backgrounds from Upstate New York to England to the Basque provinces, matching each cider with an appropriately summery cheese.

The 92Y Uptown is located at Lexington Avenue and 92nd Street. Reservations for the class, at $42 per person, may be made online

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Posted by on July 13, 2011 in Cider, Manhattan, NYC, Tasting Event


• Belgian Beer Fest set for Manhattan

NEW YORK — To many beer fans, Belgium is the motherland of brewing. For them, and others interested in the genre, the inaugural Belgian Beer Festival will be a go-to event.

Get Real NY, an event production company, will present the two-day festival on Friday and Saturday, July 8-9, at the historic Altman Building.

It will include all-you-care-to-consume Belgian-style brews and homebrews, live music, interactive tasting panels and Belgian food. It will feature more than 100 brews from domestic and foreign craft breweries at home and abroad — Lambics, Sours, Trappists, Dubbels, Tripels, Quads and Gueuze.

General admission is $85, which includes a souvenir glass, unlimited tasting pours, a fest beer guide, unlimited food sampling, live music and tasting panels. VIP tickets at $115 will include that plus one-hour early access to the festival, admission to a VIP tasting room featuring several rare and hard-to-find beers and access to brewery tasting panels and discussions.

The beer and food lineup will be continually updated on the festival website. The Altman building, located at 135 West 18th Street, is a special events space that long housed the now-defunct B. Altman department store.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.


• Iconic Elaine’s closing up shop

NEW YORK — Elaine’s, the iconic Manhattan bar and restaurant that was known as much for its clientele as its food, is closing next week.

Founder Elaine Kaufman died on December 3, 2010. Diane Baker, the restaurant manager, inherited the business and said she would try to maintain it as long as possible. That effort lasted barely six months.

Elaine’s was located at 1703 Second Avenue. Among its regular patrons was Woody Allen (shown with her at right), one of numerous celebrities — many in the literary world — Kaufman protected from paparazzi who seldom bothered anyone because of her admonitions.

“It’s kind of a cliché, but it really is the end of an era,” Stephen McFadden, a regular at Elaine’s and an owner of another bar, McFadden’s Saloon at 800 Second Avenue, told The New York Times. “It was a full-blooded clubhouse. There isn’t a place in town that I think comes close to it right now, and as hard as the waiters and everyone tried to keep it going, it was like a wonderful candle that went out.”

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Posted by on May 18, 2011 in Bar/Tavern/Lounge, Manhattan, NYC


• ‘UK Beer Weekend’ an unusual event

NEW YORK — There are certain countries where brewing is so deeply embedded in the culture and history that they can’t be pried loose. The United Kingdom is one of those.

Jimmy’s No. 43, located at 43 East 7th Street in Manhattan, will be offering a broad range of Brit brews during the “UK Beer Weekend” scheduled for Friday and Saturday, June 11-12. More than 20 small-production English and Scottish beers will be featured, including limited vintage and cask beers. Admission covers tasting of all the beers, as well as typical pub-style snacks such as cheeses, sausages, bacon, and bread.

Sessions to choose: Friday, June 10, 2 to 5 p.m.; Saturday, June 11, 1 to 4 p.m. The $35 admission is for one of the two events. Advance reservations are required.

The tasting lineup:

Firkins (more to be announced)

Harviestoun Old Engine Oil


Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted
Harviestoun Old Engine Oil
Thornbridge Hall Jaipur IPA
Thornbridge Hall Raven Black IPA


Burton Bridge Empire India Pale Ale
Burton Bridge Old Expensive
George Gale & Company Conquest Ale Masterbrew
George Gale & Company Millenium Brew
George Gale & Company Prize Old Ale
Hambleton Ales Nightmare Yorkshire Porter
Hambleton Ales Toleration Ale (Gluten Free)
Harvey & Son A. Le Coq’s Imperial Extra Dbl Stout
Harvey & Son Elizabethan Ale
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale in Calvados – Matured in Calvados Casks
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale in Lagavulin Casks – Matured in Lagavulin Casks
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale in Willoughby’s Finest Reserve Port – Matured in Reserve Port Casks
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale in Willoughby’s Rayoso Cream Sherry – Matured in Cream Sherry Casks
J.W. Lees Manchester Star 1884
J.W. Lees Moonraker
RCH Brewery Old Slug Porter
RCH Brewery Pitchfork Bitter
Thornbridge Halcyon Green Hop
Thornbridge Jaipur IPA
Thornbridge Kipling South Pacific Pale Ale
Thornbridge St. Petersburg Imperial Stout
Wye Valley Brewery Dorothy Goodbody’s Stout

Possible extras

Special vintage J.W. Lees Harvest Ales and George Gale’s Prize Old Ales

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.


• NYC beer crawl home-y affair

Beer crawls can be short or long. Seldom are they intimate. That’s why this posting on the Beer Menus website struck me as so interesting:

“Despite New York’s gnat-size apartments, NYC homebrewers refuse to let space limitations detract them from their mission: crafting some of the city’s tastiest beer. On this tour, you’ll venture inside the homes of three of Manhattan and Brooklyn’s finest amateur brewers, who will display their set-ups, discuss their craft and, most importantly, open up their stash of superlative beer. There will be several stops throughout the afternoon. Bring a Metrocard. And eat a big lunch. Your guide is NYC beer journalist Joshua M. Bernstein.”

Tickets are available online.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.


• Drinking in a lot of history

NEW YORK — If you like a little learnin’ with your drinkin’, the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden is hosting an event involving historic cocktails.

“Tavern Drinks & Diversions” is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12. The facility is located at 421 East 61st Street, between First and York avenues.

The program will involve historic cocktails and light tavern fare with Sarah Lohman, a “historic gastronomist.” Guests will be served three different drinks from the 1830s in the museum’s Gentlemen’s Tavern Room (right), including what it claims is “the original Cock-Tail.”

Cocktails will be accompanied by a typical light tavern supper of the period — cold meats, game, and fresh bread with butter, homemade pickled walnuts and mushroom ketchup . Tickets are $35 for the public, $30 for members, and only persons 21 or older will be admitted. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling (212) 838-6878.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.


• George Washington’s beer being revived


NEW YORK — First we had the re-creation of George Washington’s rye whiskey from his own recipe. Now we’re about to have his beer formula brought back to life.

The New York Public Library, which owns the beer recipe, announced today it is teaming up with the Coney Island Brewing Company in Brooklyn to make 25 gallons to celebrate the library’s centennial this year. It will be called “Fortitude’s Founding Father Brew.”

Unfortunately for fans of craft brews, it will not be commercially available. Fortunately, members of the public will be able to sample it on the beer on Wednesday, May 18, at Rattle ‘N’ Hum, a Manhattan bar, and at the library’s 100th birthday gala on Monday, May 23.

The handwritten recipe is part of a collection of Washington documents housed at the library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue.

“We are thrilled to transform Washington’s recipe into an even more complex and flavorful robust porter using a delicious array of the best small batch dark malts and hop varieties to produce a truly spectacular celebration for the contemporary beer connoisseur,” said Jeremy Cowan, founder of Shmaltz Brewing Company, the parent of Coney Island Brewing Company.

Here’s the first president’s recipe “To Make Small Beer” (letters in parentheses have been added for clarity):

Take a large Siffer [Sifter] full of Bran Hops to your Taste. Boil these 3 hours then strain out 30 Gall[ons] into a cooler put in 3 Gall[ons] Molasses while the Beer is Scalding hot or rather draw the Melasses (sic) into the cooler & St[r]ain the Beer on it while boiling Hot. let this stand till it is little more than Blood warm then put in a quart of Yea[s]t if the Weather is very Cold cover it over with a Blank[et] & let it Work in the Cooler 24 hours then put it into the Cask—leave the bung open till it is almost don[e] Working—Bottle it that day Week it was Brewed.”

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Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Beer, Brewery, Manhattan, NYC


• Hotel suing Oak Room and Bar tenants

UPDATE: It was reported today (May 6) by several New York newspapers that the Oak Bar and Oak Room will close at the end of July under their current management. No further details were yet known. Earlier story follows.

NEW YORK — Many of us who enjoy the iconic pleasures of the Big Apple may be saddened to hear that the famous Oak Room and Oak Bar at the Plaza Hotel isn’t what it was supposed to be when it reopened in 2008.

The old-fashioned elegance that permeated the mural-covered bar area and the wood-paneled great dining room was supposed to have been rekindled by the Gindi brothers, who leased the space from the hotel, located on Central Park South in Manhattan.

But, the hotel says the Gindis have ushered in not a resurrection of the fabled sophistication, but, allegedly have let the Oak Bar — founded in 1907 — spiral into a sleazy den for drugs, loud music, vulgar conduct, tabletop dancing and burlesque acts.

In addition, the Oak Room recently earned a grade of “C” — the lowest possible — from the city’s Department of Health. Among the violations: “Hand washing facility not provided in or near food preparation area and toilet room” and “Hot food item that has been cooked and refrigerated is being held for service without first being reheated to 165º F or above within 2 hours.”

In response to the hotel’s $33.3 million lawsuit, the Gindi brothers’ lawyer, Robert Lynn, says there has never been any illegal drug use, and that The Plaza has been trying to kick them out for months. “Probably the owners of The Plaza would do better regulating who goes into their hotel rooms,” Lynn said. “They really are reaching to find a breach of the lease.”

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• Manhattan Cocktail Classic lining up

NEW YORK — The Manhattan Cocktail Classic is a de-centralized celebration of spirits, with more than 100 related events spread over the city’s five boroughs,

The five-day event, scheduled for May 13-17, is in its third year. It is an independently-run project that says it is not affiliated with any suppliers, distributors, media channels, or other entities ” and has no agenda, political or otherwise, beyond encouraging the world to drink better cocktails.”

The opening night gala will take place at the spectacular main branch of The New York Public Library. The official bar and educational seminars will be at the Astor Center at Lafayette and East 4th. The overall program includes seminars, tastings, parties, pairings, workshops, lunches, brunches, dinners, dances, cruises, concerts, fashion shows, art shows, film screenings, walking tours and croquet tournaments.

All events except the Gala are individually ticketed at $50 per event. The Ace Hotel at 29th and Broadway in Manhattan is offering discount lodging, subject to availability. When booking online, enter the promo code MANHATTAN. If booking by phone at (212) 679-2222, mention the Manhattan Cocktail Classic.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Cocktails, Manhattan, NYC, Tasting Event


• From NYC ramp martinis to Hudson festival

T‘is the season for ramps, those wonderful members of the onion family that spring forth in …well, spring, and cause all sorts of chefs and bartenders to get inventive. Take these events for example:

• If you’re in Manhattan, you can take part in a ramp dinner with ramp martinis and ramp wine next Tuesday at Hearth Restaurant, 403 East 12 Street at First Avenue. It’s $120 per person, including tax and tip. Reservations: (646) 602-1300.

• Beginning Monday, and lasting as long as the ramp season does, the restaurant Marc Forgione at 134 Reade Street in Manhattan will offer a seven-course ramp menu for $89 per person plus beverages, tax and tip. Reservations: (212) 941-9401.

• And, in the Capital Region, a dozen chefs from the Hudson Valley and NYC will provide the food — accompanied by a cash bar — for Ramp Fest Hudson 2011 in Columbia County. It’s set for 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Basilica Hudson, 110 South Front Street in Hudson, opposite the Amtrak railroad station. Tickets are $40 for adults, $20 for children 5 to 11. You can get them online.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.


• Money for ice? That’s nothing new

For a cutting-edge city and a jump-on-the-fad newspaper, the latest mini-flap in New York City’s drinking world is really old news.

Here’s the opening salvo in a Daily News report:

“The case of a trendy Manhattan eatery and bar charging extra for ice is becoming a tempest in a shot glass.

“The drama began at downtown hotspot The Darby after a patron noticed a $2 surcharge added to the already hefty price tag on his $13 Grey Goose. The receipt, with the charge “Rocks: $2″ was then published on the food blog Eater, which called the tab an outrageous rip-off.”

This, however, is nothing new. Way back in July 2006, I mentioned in a restaurant review of a riverside restaurant in Upstate New York:

“When we prepared to settle the bill, I noticed an oddity.

“I have enjoyed adult beverages in more than a dozen countries and in more than several dozen states, have a website and a nationally distributed weekly column all devoted to the world of alcoholic beverages, yet I have never run across the drink-pricing practices of the Lighthouse: Order a cocktail “up” rather than on the rocks and you’re charged an extra $1 per drink.

“I consulted several colleagues, checked local sources and conducted a quickie e-mail poll of food editors in other states. Everyone involved expressed amazement at the practice. Next time I may simply order a cocktail on the rocks plus a spoon to scoop out the ice, assuming there is no spoonage surcharge.”

The more I received comments from food and beverage writers, restaurateurs and mixologists around the country, the more I got into the topic. After writing about it in a column distributed nationally by the Hearst News Service and the New York Times News Service, I was interviewed by several national radio and TV shows and the topic become a mini-craze. Until, of course, it quickly dissipated as more important things caught the attention of the all-consuming media.

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Posted by on March 29, 2011 in Cocktails, Manhattan, Media, NYC


• ‘Whisky Live’ links to Tartan Week

NEW YORK — St. Patrick’s Day is behind us, but Tartan Week is just ahead in this season dear to the hearts of Celts everywhere.

“Whisky Live New York” returns to Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers on Wednesday, April 6, as part of the city’s Tartan Week festivities. It will offer an evening of whisky and food tastings, plus live music.

Specially-priced tickets for Friends of the Tartan Day Parade will be available. A portion of each ticket sold will be donated to the National Tartan Day New York Committee in support of the parade.

There are several different ticket packages. Full details are available online. And, you can go to the official Whisky Live website and all the details of what’s scheduled.

Pier 60 is located on the Hudson River at 23rd Street in Manhattan.

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Posted by on March 26, 2011 in Manhattan, NYC, Tasting Event, Whiskey


• Craft Beer & Food Fest unveils lineup

NEW YORK, NY — The centerpiece of the Get Real NY Craft Beer & Food festival will be the Cask Bar. Beer lovers who have been anxiously awaiting for details can now relax.

The event, which will be held March 19-20 at the Altman Building, will offer more than 80 cask ales from sources ranging from craft breweries to home brewers. Among them: Sierra Nevada Harvest, Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA, Sixpoint Righteous Rye, Dieu de Ciel Peche Mortel, Green Flash Le Freak, Firestone Walker Union Jack, Firestone Walker Pale 31, Lagunitas Brown Shugga, Ridgeway Quercus, Dieu de Ciel Corne Dia, Great Divide Oak Yeti, Great Divide Hercules Double IPA, Great Divide Belgica, Victory Yakima Glory Ale, Blue Point 10th Anniversary IPA, Fuller’s ESB, Fuller’s London Pride, RCH Old Slug, Greenport Harbor Disorient, Williams Bros. Fraoch, Williams Bros Session, Lagunitas Imperial Stout, Lagunitas Censored, Sixpoint Bengali Tiger, Blue Point Old Howl, Geary’s Hampshire, Green Flash Hop Head, Green Flash West Coast IPA, Green Flash Double Stout, Defiant Long Shadow, Ballast Point Calico, Ballast Point Sculpin IPA and Sixpoint Diesel.

Food tastings will be provided by Anfora, Luke’s Lobster, Fatty Crab, Cascabel Taqueria, Cafe D’Alsace, Brother Jimmy’s, Loreley Williamsburg, Mexicue, Frites ‘n’ Meats, Murray’s Cheese, MexiQ, L’asso Pizza, La Bella Torte, Petite Abeille and several others.

The festival also will have a “Locals Only” section featuring local beers from Brewery Ommegang, Brooklyn Brewery, Greenport Harbor Brewing, Kelso of Brooklyn, Empire Brewing Company & Sixpoint Craft Ales, as well as several New York City beer-focused bars such as Rattle N Hum, Jimmy’s No. 43, The Stag’s Head, Brickyard Gastropub, Idle Hands Bar and Manchester Pub, who will be at the festival serving up specialty beers and some bites.

Attendees can expect food tastings from some of the city’s top restaurants, bars, food trucks and food artisans, including Anfora, Luke’s Lobster, Fatty Crab, Cascabel Taqueria, Cafe D’Alsace, Brother Jimmy’s, Loreley Williamsburg, Mexicue, Murray’s Cheese, L’asso Pizza, South Houston Restaurant, The Delta Grill, Frites n’ Meats, Lucy’s Whey Cheese Shop, Orwasher’s Bakery, Rick’s Picks, My Friend’s Mustard, Kings County Jerky Co., Meze Grill, MexiQ, Frites ‘n’ Meats, Grandaisy Bakery, La Bella Torte and others.

Mary Izett and Chris Cuzme of the New York City Degustation Advisory Team will be working with local beer sommeliers, including Gianni Cavicchi of Cafe D’Alsace, to pair the food tastings with the craft beer selections. Get Real NY has teamed up with Flying Dog Brewery to create growlers for the festival to allow guests to take some of their favorite craft beer home. Empty growlers will be available for purchase.

The all-you-care-to-taste event will take place during two sessions each day: noon to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Each $65 general admission ticket also covers a souvenir glass, unlimited food sampling, admission to brewery discussion panels and live music; $80 VIP tickets also will include one-hour early entry, admission to a VIP tasting room, and access to additional brewery tasting panels and discussions.

Tickets are available online here and here.

Get Real NY, a festival production company, will donate a portion of the ticket proceeds to the New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH) to assist in its mission to meet the immediate food needs of low-income New Yorkers.
focusing on the celebration of the best craft beer and food available. Get Real NY has plans for a Belgian Beer Festival and an All-American Beer Festival later this year.

The Altman Building, a special events space where the festival will be held, is located at 135 West 18th Street.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

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Posted by on March 4, 2011 in Beer, Cuisine, Manhattan, NYC, Tasting Event


• Kosher Whisky Festival coming up

NEW YORK — The next Kosher Whisky Festival is nearly upon us. The event, set for Sunday, March 6, will be held in the newly renovated ballroom of the West Side Institutional Synagogue.

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with an hour of passed hors d’oeurves and an open bar featuring an array of single malt whiskies from around the world. That will be followed by a five-course glatt kosher whisky-pairing menu created by whisky enthusiasts Ari and Gemma White of Gemstone Catering.

Among the whiskies scheduled to be available are Port Ellen, Highland Park, Four Roses, Maple Hill, Caol Illa, Ardbeg, Glenrothes, Glenburgie and Edradour.

Admission is $150 per person in advance, or $180 at the door. Reservations may be made online or by calling Gemstone at (917) 584-2310.

The West Side Institutional is located at 120 West 76th Street.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

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Posted by on February 25, 2011 in Cuisine, Manhattan, NYC, Tasting Event


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