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CULINARY OCCASIONS
Happy National Rice Pudding Day!

In honor of National Rice Pudding Day, you should without a doubt check out some of the best rice pudding dishes around the city. Rice pudding has been around for thousands of years, so why not have a whole day to celebrate it!? Originally, rice pudding was used by ancient Middle Easterners medicinally, but now we know the best way to use rice pudding is to eat it. Enjoy!

Costanera Cocina Peruana, located in Montclair, NJ, serves patrons a delicious Peruvian rice pudding. The Combinado Clasico ($5) is a parfait of vanilla and Arborio rice pudding with golden raisins, Peruvian purple corn pudding, pineapples, apricots, and papaya.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Celebrate The US Open at The First Annual Evian Wood Racquet Cup Party

Come one, come all, to the First Annual Evian Wood Racquet Cup. The West Side Tennis Club will play host to this fun-filled day of retro tennis-themed celebrations in honor of Evian's 25+ years of being the official water of the US Open. The event will take place on August 18th from 12-5pm and is open to the public. Come drink unlimited Evian, enjoy a curated wood racquet tennis tournament, listen to live music from the Hungry March Band, and test your skills the courts open for public play and table tennis games.

CULTURE CLUB
Get Jazzed Up at Kitano

The Kitano Hotel has introduced its newest venture, Jazz at Kitano, an enjoyable supper club located in a historic townhouse next to the hotel. The venue, which has received top reviews by The Wall Street Journal, features nightly jazz performances along with Pan-Asian cuisine.

Delectable dishes such as the famous Pupu Platter and assorted sashimi, pastas, and meats are all available for hungry patrons, along with a selection of specialty cocktails.

Seductively named 'tails include Between the Sheets (Bacardi dark, brandy, Cointreau, lemon juice) and the Millionaire (Meyer's Jamaican rum, apricot brandy, sloe gin, lime juice), but you can also order up your standard Negroni and a draught beer. Whether you are interested in a jazzy dinner during the week or a Sunday brunch, Jazz at Kitano caters to every schedule...just look at all their options above!

Check out the full schedule and more information here.

ALL ACCESS PASS
Elan Lea is Ready For Some American Love

You may not have heard of Elan Lea yet, but chances are, you will soon. This singer/songwriter hails from his native South Africa and has recently made quite a splash in the UK. Elan is getting ready to debut his US project, Conversations Over Time. Elan is a protege of the late Robin Gibb and his highly successful Universal Records album My Only Excuse was released in 2009. So be the first of your friends to check him out and learn all about his new album and his transition to the US music scene below!

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Specialty Brews and Foods at Alobar

This Thursday, Long Island City's Alobar Restaurant will be hosting their monthly beer dinner at 5:30pm.

The evening will be featuring Stoudts Brewery beers from Pennsylvania. Chef Ian Kapitan will be whipping up a splendid five course dinner to pair with five savory brews chosen by beverage manager Chess Lankford.

For the true beer connoisseurs, a Stoudts representative will be in attendance to talk about the lagers and ales in detail. The dinner is $50 per person, with $10 flights of beer also being offered.

DO-GOODERS
The LIT Fund to Save Small Theater in NYC

The LIT Fund (League of Independent Theater), which launched August 1st, brings together over sixty independent theater companies in New York City to create a new funding source for off-off Broadway shows. The Fund will be used to establish an endowment for independent theater, create an Emergency Fund for independent theaters, companies, and artists, and provide unrestricted grants to participating companies and venues beginning August 1, 2013.

Broadway stalwart Norbert Leo Butz says, “I have done most of my work on Broadway. I have won two Tony awards and been in a total of 8 Broadway shows. So why do I support the LIT fund? ‘Cause I can't afford to go see plays unless I am in them, that's why. I think we are discovering that the economic model for commercial productions above 34th street (and several below) has become, at best, obsolete, and, at worst, unethical. Thank God for our little theatres!!! Who else is gonna provide the city with honest and undiluted theatrical voices? I have to work mostly uptown, but when I want to SEE theatre, I head Off-Off Broadway. Everyone knows that's where the real action is!”

CULTURE CLUB
Summer Delight: NYC Theater Edition

Summer in the city can be tough...annoyingly humid days followed by torrential downpours, no one in sight on the weekends, and the same ol' shtick going on every day. Do something a little different from hitting the nearest bar and binge drinking all night -- check out one of these six great shows going on throughout the month of August. And if you still feel the need to drink till you pass out, well, at least you got some good theater in before the lights went out.

The Moth Storyslam: Listen to true personal stories at The Bell House at this epic open mic night. The storyslam will feature 10 stories by Brooklyn's general public. If you want to participate, come prepared with a five minute story and put your name in the hat and hope to be chosen! Peter Aguero will host the evening, beginning at 7:30pm on August 6th. There will be 10 stories, 3 judges, and one winner. Come prepared!

CULTURE CLUB
Try Something New: Classic Brunch Matinee Shows at Canal Park Playhouse

Canal Park Playhouse has just announced their line-up of shows for their Classic Brunch Matinee series for the 2012-2013 season. Brunch and dinner fare is available at the theater's Waffle Iron Cafe before and after the shows, with menu items such as smoked chicken sausage frittatas, Belgian waffles, salads, and sliders. Tickets for the shows are $20 and can be purchased here. Check out what's coming up on their agenda below!

Saturday, September 8 – Sunday, September 30
SARAZAD AND THE MONSTER-KING
Saturdays and Sundays at 1 PM & 4 PM
Return engagement! Join Sarazad and her adorable sidekick Aminal as they travel though Storyland and attempt to tame the wild Monster-King.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Happy National Watermelon Day!

Today we pay homage to the melon of all melons...watermelon! Restaurants and bars around the city are whipping up dishes and libations made specially from your favorite fruit.

Two very special dishes will be added to Anthony Ricco's menu at Spice Market in celebration of this special day. Try out their Thai-inspired Watermelon Gazpacho ($8.50) with watermelon, Thai chilies, tomatoes, cucumber, and red wine vinegar. They are also serving delectable Chocolate Covered Watermelon Slices ($8) dusted with crushed, spiced almonds.

LIQUID COURAGE
The Greatest List of Olympic-Worthy Cocktails Ever

Go USA! Every four years the summer Olympics glue us to our TV's as we root for our team. Amp up your night by trying out some of these medal-worthy cocktails!

Gold Medal Screwdriver

2 oz. Russian Standard Gold
2 each Mango Slices
1 each Lime Wedge
.5 oz. Ginger Simple Syrup
Juice from 1 whole Orange

In a highball glass, muddle the mango, lime and ginger simple syrup. Fill with ice and add Russian Standard Gold and freshly squeezed orange juice. Garnish with an orange wheel and enjoy!

Brother Jimmy’s Cuervo “Gold” Margarita Kosher salt for rimming the glass (optional) 2 ounces Cuervo Gold 1 ounce triple sec 1 ounce Rose’s Lime Juice 2 ounces store-bought sour mix (we prefer Lemon-X brand) Splash of orange juice Lime wedge for garnish If you’d like a salted rim, rim a 16-ounce mason jar in salt. In another glass, add ice, and then the tequila, triple sec, and Rose’s Lime Juice. Add the sour mix and orange juice. Place a shaker on top of the jar and shake well. Pour into the rimmed glass and garnish with the lime wedge.