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THE HOT SPOT
The Beach is Back: Beekman Beer Garden Re-Opens

Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club is officially re-opening its proverbial doors tomorrow, April 14th. The beach club, right next to South Street Seaport, will be open Fri-Sun for the rest of the month, and beginning May 4th, it will thankfully be open seven days a week from 12pm-3am. This outdoor summer hub will be launching a new menu with additional beers on tap, as well as a slew of fun events.

Beekman has two 25 and 60 foot bars, fire pits, flat screen TVs, foosball, and ping pong tables to ensure your never-ending amusement. Beekman Beach will now have its own private entrance and bar for exclusive events and on May 27th (Memorial Day weekend), the venue will launch its first Bikini Brunch Beach Party, which will take place every Sunday for the summer. Get decked out in your best swimwear and enjoy music from NYC's top DJs.

DAILY BITES
Tea Time: Blu Tavalon Cafe

On April 4th, Blu Cafe by Tavalon, the popular e-commerce premium tea purveyor officially opened their first US tea bar (in addition to 2 cafes in South Korea). But this ain't your average tea party. Some of the unique bevvies on the menu include tea sodas, which are house made tea syrups infused into soda water, with flavors such as peachy oolong, summer fruits, crimson punch, and jasmine dream. They even offer up tea floats, comprised of tea soda and tea-flavored froyo. Other unique creations include the Upper West Side Detox (NYC breakfast tea with Korean ginger slices), Breakfast Cereal Tea (ground Job's tears grains infused into hot frothy milk), and a Roiboos or coconut mate latte for the caffeine-crazy. Iced tea options are also available, with flavors including the MoTeajo (iced green tea with lemongrass, peppermint, or lime) and can be transformed into bubble tea for an additional charge.

CULTURE CLUB
The Secret Garden Debuts in Queens

Relive your childhood fantasies with a performance of classic The Secret Garden. For a limited time only, from May 5th- 19th, the Astoria Performing Arts Center will fascinate audiences with the tale of Mary and her secret, magical garden.

Taking place in 1906 at a lonely manor, Archibald Craven is saddened by the loss of his wife and his crippled son. All this changes when he must take in young Mary, whose parents passed away. The union will change their lives forever.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Easter Specials to Get Your Grub On

Still don't know where you'll be grubbing this Sunday? Even if you don't celebrate the holiday, there are some killer food specials to celebrate EATING. Catch our drift?

Wall & Water is hosting an Easter Sunday brunch and feel free to bring the kiddies! The resto will convert their private dining room into a Children's Lounge, where kids can participate in coloring, egg painting , holiday cartoons, and other fun activities.

From 11:30am-2:30pm, Wall & Water will be offering their special brunch menu for $50 a person (1/2 price for kids age 6-12 and free for kids under 6). The farm to table brunch includes:

  • "The Larder"- oysters, shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon, cheese and charcuterie, caesar and green salad, grilled veggies, croissants, pain au chocolat, fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola.
  • "The Open Kitchen"- leek and potato soup, truffle croutons, mustard crusted boneless leg of lamb, boulangere potatoes, rosemary lamb jus, Long Island duckling seared breast, leg confit, sauteed curly kale, sour cherries, walnuts, sweet onion and gruyere quiche.
  • "The Sweet Extravaganza"- selection of sweets and cakes.
CULINARY OCCASIONS
The Winning Dishes of Tasting Brooklyn 2012

After much success last year, Tasting Brooklyn came back for round two. A diverse collection of restaurants and foodie havens were serving up some prime bites last night and not to worry - we will let you know which ones were the cream of the crop. Attendees included:

An Nhau, Arancini Bros, Benchmark Restaurant, Cheryl's Global Soul, D. Coluccio & Sons, Egg, Fornino Park Slope, Fort Reno, Kiwiana, Littleneck Restaurant, Loreley Williamsburg, Maison Premiere, Palo Santo, Robicelli's, SoCo Restaurant, Stone Park Cafe, Sweet Loren's, Tchoup Shop, The Chocolate Room, The Meatball Shop, The Saint Austere, The Sunburnt Calf BK, and Wild Rise.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Get Spooked at The House of Ghostly Haunts

For a limited time only, you can get chills up your spine courtesy of Cardone the Magician and his weekly spook show, the House of Ghostly Haunts. Following the footsteps of classic spook shows of yesteryear, the Canal Park Playhouse kindly revives this chilling entertainment for your enjoyment. The show begins with trailers from classic cult horror films of the 1950's and then Cardone takes the stage for a truly unique magic show.

You must be at least 7 years old to attend, so youngsters beware! Watch Cardone (and his crazy 'stache) as he swallows razor blades, channels the dead, and gets beheaded. He will even teach and show the audience how to escape the elusive straitjacket!

ALL ACCESS PASS
Interview: Eric Dill of Click Five Gives us the Scoop on Going Solo

Eric Dill is the former lead singer for the popular band Click Five. He has since ventured out into a solo career and we got a chance to snag him for an interview about his upcoming album. Get the scoop below!

Joonbug: How has it been transitioning from a member of a band to a solo career? What do you like and dislike about it?

Eric Dill: My artistic endeavors, when considered, have always been born of my own volition. I have found players my whole life to perform with but never felt artistically connected or bound to them. My best collaborative efforts are in live performance, songwriting and production and this I enjoy doing a la carte. As an artist, nothing is more deadening than being controlled. To become a music entity beyond myself would be tying my hands and diluting vision.

DAILY BITES
Spice Market's New Prix Fixe Lunch Menu

Spice Market always pleases, and now, they are updating their fabulous $24 prix fixe lunch menu to kick off the Spring and Summer seasons! The menu will rotate every two weeks to reflect chef Anthony Ricco's favorites and showcase what's in season. You will now be able to eat the prix fixe menu items on their outdoor patio and watch NYCers go about their day. The current menu is as follows:

Spice Market Prix Fixe Lunch Menu - Spring 2012

1st course
-Chilled Cucumber Broth, Soba Noodle and Mint

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Attention NYC: Cognac Tasting Tomorrow

Nicolas Palazzi of PM Spirits, who specializes in sourcing rare spirits, will be leading a tasting of Pineau des Charentes and Cognac with specially paired cheeses tomorrow, March 29th from 6:30-8:30pm. Nicolas was born to a family of winemakers in Bordeaux. He learned the art and science of Cognac under the tutelage of his grandfather's best friend, whose family started distilling around 1702.

During the event, Nicolas will guide you through a tasting of old Pineau des Charentes, a combination of Cognac and unfermented grape must (both red & white). These Pineaux are harvested by hand and some are made with six year old cognac and are bottled only when the right proof is achieved naturally. These libations will be paired each with a different cheese, selected carefully by artisan organic cheese importer, Seymour Pond of Pondini. Next, Nicolas will take you through some of the best cognacs and explain the distillation process and how different styles are created. All of the cognacs will also be paired with specially selected cheeses. What's on tap for the evening? Check out exactly what will be served below:

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
The Hunger Games and Then Some

It's time for Twi-hards to move over because The Hunger Games have officially started! And to celebrate, Nitehawk Cinema will not only be showing the highly-anticipated movie, but they will also be showing its predecessor.

That's right, Battle Royale (2000) takes place in Japan, where the government captures a class of 9th grade students and forces them to fight to the death. Sound like a familiar plot? Battle Royale is directed by Kinji Fukasaku and based on the novel of the same name.

It is still banned in many countries, but has won three Japanese Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Too bad these children don't have peppy Effie Trinket to keep their spirits up!

So, will you be entering the games?