CULINARY OCCASIONS
NYC's Best Easter Eats
CULINARY OCCASIONS
Celebrate National Macaron Day with a Macaron Crawl

On March 20th, enjoy a day chalk full of free tastings, as you celebrate one of the world's greatest cookie, the French macaron. Yes, it's time for the best of cookie traditions, National Macaron Day, during which macaron shops across the city join together in celebration of this singular confection.

Simply go to any participating macaron shop and say you're there for Macaron Day and they give you a free macaron--that's all there is to it. They even prepared a convenient map of all participating locations, so you can pick the one closest to you or plan out your mad dash to get as many as possible.

SWEET TOOTH
Our Valentine's Day Sweets Gift Guide !

Valentine's Day is a day for love and romance, but more importantly, it is a day where you can stuff your face with chocolates, baked goods, and wine without judgement. So we're rounding up some of the most delightful, sexy, and lush sweets and other treats just in time for your V Day celebrations!

This luxurious chocolate brand is celebrating Valentine's Day with an exquisite collection of dark chocolate offered in an assortment of shapes and sizes. Our favorite Armani/Dolci treat this year is their 16-piece praline set. This set features an assortment of refined dark chocolate pralines with unique flavors like saffron cream, coffee gianduja, blueberry cream, and Italian chili pepper. Sets are priced at $38 each.

SWEET TOOTH
We Heart Francois Payard

We've always been a fan of chocolatier and pastry chef, Francois Payard, and let's face it--it's hard not to be. But when the chocolatiest holiday of the year comes around, you know you are in for something special. Francois Payard shops are stocking up on delicious goodies for this decadent holiday and we couldn't be more thrilled. Francois has created great new desserts and flavors just for the occassion, so if you still need to pick up something sweet for your sweetie, now you know where to go.

Well known for his famous macarons, Payard is not just letting you purchase all his usual and seasonal flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and chestnut, but he has added four new flavors to the menu, which you can present to your beau in a heart-shaped box. Indulge in caramel coriander, strawberry basil, lemon thyme and mint chocolate in addition to all the classics ($48 for 17, $35 for 12). Looking for something super traditional? Scoop up a box of V-Day chocolates ($28 for 12, $55 for 30), comprised of specially made flavors such as mint chocolate, mango passion fruit & citrus zest, lemon thyme, and caramel coriander. Presented in a beautiful box, this will have anybody swooning.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
The 2012 New York Food & Wine Festival

There’s no doubt that New York City is the epicenter for stellar food and drink. In a city of endless options, where no cuisine isn’t countless, The Food Network’s New York Food and Wine Festival multi-day event is destined for yearly foodie appeal.

This year marks NYFW’s 5th B-Day meaning there will be lot’s of delicious celebration in store. Always conveniently falling on Columbus Day weekend, this year starting Thursday, October 11th through Sunday, October 14th 2012, NYFW will bring together the world’s greatest chefs, winemakers, spirits producers and personalities to educate palates and entertain patrons in high style, all while striving to fight hunger.

SWEET TOOTH
Vegan Divas: Delicious Treats for Everyone

Yesterday, new baked goods shop, Vegan Divas, opened up on the UES with a slew of health-friendly treats. Founder Fernanda Capobianco (wife of famed Francois Payard) is excited about opening her flagship store after her brand took off in the US. Celebrities such as Madonna and Alicia Silverstone have already caught on to the phenomenon that is Vegan Divas. The vegan sweets replace animal products with healthier ingredients such as maple syrup and cold pressed coconut oil, making the goodies less caloric, kosher, and both cholesterol and lactose free.

HAPPENINGS
City Harvest Feeds the Non-Needy to Feed the Needy

City Harvest, a non-profit that raises money to feed NYC's hungry folk, held its 17th Annual Bid Against Hunger benefit last Tuesday, October 18th. The event took place at the spacious Metropolitan Pavilion, but it was packed to the brim with Manhattan socialites who've got dough to spend. This year, the event raised over $1 mill (you go CH!)! Featuring a live and silent auction, this event had some of the best items to bid on. In the exciting live auction, some renowned prizes included a one of a kind American Chopper built by Orange County Choppers (sold for $20,000), an intimate wine class and party for 15 with wine director Aldo Sohn and Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, which sold for $40,000. I think we can all agree...that dinner party better be good! Silent auction items included a range of goodies, including Mets tickets, chocolate baskets, dinners with Brooklynite chefs, and much more. But if you think that's all this event featured, then you are quite mistaken.

ARIANE DAGUIN OWNER OF D ARTAGNAN
Restaurants Evolve to Deal with Economy

Times are definitely hard. As the country struggles with its most dire economic decline in decades, belts are being tightened and pockets pinched. One of the nation’s most indulgent hobbies, cuisine, has definitely been hit with the recession bat. The result? Darwin comes to mind…adapt or perish.

Since opening in July 2007, the braised short rib flautas were always one of the most popular entrees at Johnny Utah's, a mid-scale Tex Mex restaurant in New York's Rockefeller Center. But as the economy took a dive this fall, so did the flautas. Johnny Utah's owner Bobby Werhane says demand for dishes like flautas and fajitas plummeted, while orders for burgers, ribs and smoked Texas chili rose. "We ran out of hamburgers the other day and we have never had that happen," Mr. Werhane said.