CULINARY OCCASIONS
National Hot & Spicy Food Day!

We all know that one spicy food person. You know, he's the one who basically got a Sriracha IV on constant drip. She's the one who eats jalapeños like apples. This may be a spouse, a family member, a friend, or, hell, it may even be you, but in any case, you've undoubtedly got a spicy food fanatic somewhere in your life.

As we mentioned in our article about National Spicy Guacamole Day, there are chemical reasons why people love food that sets their mouths on fire. What you might not know, however, is that today's spice worshippers are actually part of a long line of similar spicy-food-loving proclivities that has actually been a surprisingly defining part of human history. Evidence has indicated spice use as early as 3000 BCE, which is very likely a conservative estimate of how long we've been chasing the spicy burn as a species. In truth, spices have flavored human life since the beginning of civilization. Once we figured out we liked a kick in our food, we realized we really liked that kick: ever since, the quest for spices and their value once aquired inspired and propelled exploration, travel, and trade that both made and broke kingdoms, carving trade routes and generating battlefields throughout the world that shaped the course of the human world.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Happy National Spaghetti Day!

January 4th marks National Spaghetti Day, a day to celebrate everyone's favorite Italian dish! Originating from Sicily, Spaghetti or Spaghetto in Italian is a pasta dish made from semolina, flour and water. Since it was brought here to the U.S. Americans have adopted this Italian dish by eating it the classic way with tomato sauce and cheese or putting their own spin on it! So whether you love it with some red sauce and meatballs at grandma's on Sunday or you're willing to try something unique and fresh, spaghetti is one pasta dish that is just timeless!

We rounded up some of the best places to grab some spaghetti today around the U.S. so go ahead and enjoy this comfort food today by twirling some spaghetti on your fork and digging in!

CULINARY OCCASIONS
National Eat Outside Day!

One spot we love for picnics is the High Line. Stop by Chelsea Market on your way west for an almond croissant or a scrambled egg sandwich at Sarabeth’s Bakery. If you’re in the mood for something more lunch-oriented, pick up some killer Bánh mì at Num Pang. You can also find a great assortment of local cheeses at Lucy’s Whey while you’re shopping around.

75 9th Ave New York, NY 10011

21 W 17th St New York, NY 10011

200 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

37-11 30th Ave New York, NY 11103

174 Bleecker St New York, NY 10012

269 Columbus Ave New York, NY 10023

DAILY BITES
Summer Sign-Off: Hit Up These Places

These last few days of summer are precious so take advantage and do all things summer: enjoy the outdoors, bqq, and cool off with something cool 'n' sweet. Check out all of these New York City restaurants offering up just what you need!

Folks who want to relax in Washington Square Park should order pizza picnic boxes from Pizza Roma on Bleecker Street in the West Village. These clever carryout containers, named after parks in Rome, are filled with the restaurant’s signature Roman-style pizza al taglio (square pizza by the cut), Paninis, fresh summer salads, and more.

To host a barbecue feast near the East River Esplanade or in your own backyard, turn to Neely’s Barbecue Parlor on the Upper East Side. The restaurant offers hefty picnic baskets to feed three ($89) and an even larger option to feed five ($149), both of which come with items like chopped beef brisket sandwiches, spicy pinto beans with burnt ends and warm peach crisp.

GET THE PARTY STARTED
Fun Things Happening in NYC Right Now

With so many options out there it can be hard to pick just one thing to do in NYC. Luckily for you, we've narrowed it down to some awesome upcoming events and specials that you should not miss!

Gotham Burlesque is at it again...this time with special guest star Dirty Martini. September 1st at 10pm brings you the spiciest Labor Day Weekend around with New York's sexiest show. Headliner Angie Pontani is sure to bring the house down with her sultry moves, along with fellow dancers Peekaboo Point, Bettina May, Nasty Canasta, Medianoche, Pinkie Special, and Albert Cadabra. The show will be hosted by *Bob*, with special appearance by Dangrrr Doll. Head to The Triad for a night to remember. Ticket prices range from $35-$45 and can be purchased here.

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.
DAILY BITES
Celebrate Carmine's B-Day with Free Gifts

Times Square favorite, Carmine's, is celebrating its big 2-0 this month, but instead of receiving presents, they are giving YOU some! Twenty lucky people will win prizes from the restaurant. All you have to do for your chance to win is become a fan of Carmine's on Facebook to enter. They will randomly select one lucky winner each day until July 30th. Gifts include $50 gift cards to Carmine's, as well as the Carmine's Family Cookbook. Don't be a sore loser if you aren't one of the lucky chosen ones, just head to the resto to score some mouthwatering grub anyway!

LIQUID COURAGE
Get Patriotic with Tasty Fourth of July Cocktails

New York City is bustling with great watering holes so it's really not necessary to skip town for the holiday. If you're hanging around this week, check out this list of great 4th of July cocktails served up at great local bars. Sad to be missing out? Don't worry, we also have some DIY recipes for some patriotic 'tails.

Williamsburg’s MyMoon, serves a Red, White and Blue Sangria ($8 glass, $30 carafe) made with Maprecco Vinho Verde (white wine) and topped with strawberries and blueberries. The drink is also extremely aromatic thanks to the addition of Capel Pisco, a floral brandy made with Muscat grapes. Enjoy it on MyMoon’s sprawling outdoor patio.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Happy National Lobster Day!

National Lobster Day is here and summer is the perfect time to score the freshest shells. Check out these NYC restaurants and what delicious lobster dishes they will be serving, as well as a couple of recipes for Do-It-Yourself-ers!

Carmine's: Lobster Fra Diavolo

Vai: three-course National Lobster Day menu featuring dishes such as sauteed lobster fricasse