Chef Richard Sandoval's Zengo Debuts New "Test Kitchen" Menu

Midtown East, NY -- Where does one go to find an indulgence of 400 Tequilas and New York City’s only Tequila librarian? Step into the tri-level Zengo, at 622 3rd Avenue, and be swayed by an infusion of Latin-Asian ambiance, romantically lit by an 8-foot wrought iron chandelier handcrafted in Guadalajara. Zengo is the creation of Bon Appétit Restaurateur of the Year Chef Richard Sandoval, whose accolades include one of the Best Chefs by New York Magazine, and Mexico’s Toque d’Oro.

Restaurant Week and Other Foodie Feasts

Restaurant Week. It's here and the foodies of NYC will be having a ball until February 8th. It's a great time to explore the various options that our city has to offer and obtain and new appreciation for food. What's better than enjoying a 3-course prix fix lunch for $25 or dinner for $38 (gratuity and drinks not included) at some of the finest dining establishments throughout NYC? We've rounded up a few hotspots so check them out below!

Ilili Restaurant: In addition to Ilili's special three course prix fixe menus for lunch ($25) and dinner ($38) that will be offered, all guests who visit for dinner during Restaurant Week will also be treated to a complimentary sampling pour from one of five exclusive Lebanese wineries. Each week will feature a different vineyeard.

Free Booze And More at Maya

Giveaway alert! It's that time of year that everyone and their uncle are doing awesome giveaways and why should the nightlife scene be any different? Richard Sandoval's Restaurant Maya is hosting an Apocalypse Party on December 21st (damn you, Mayans). For just $65, guests will receive bottomless food from the Tequileria menu, as well as bottomless beers, house wines, margaritas tradicionales and shelf liquors.

But why pay $65 for all of this when you can win bottomless food and drink for two for free?! All you have to do to enter the giveaway is Tweet @RestaurantMaya using the hashtag #ApocalypseMaya what you would do if 12/21/12 really is the end of the world. The best Tweet or Facebook post will be the winner!

NYC: 6 New Spots to Get Your Grub On

The Goodwin 430 Hudson Street, West Village

Named for the company that owned the 300-acre tobacco farm that once occupied the area, The Goodwin is reminiscent of its land’s history while maintaining a modern edge. The brick wall bar fashions the wine selection at the wine bar and café, carrying a pretty descent wine list that complements the food selections. The menu is moderately priced and features options like a sandwich composed of tempura mussels, oysters, clams & chorizo in spicy pork gravy served on pretzel hero with pickled onions and herb fries or line caught cod with market vegetables and yellow pepper gastrique. Larger plates are available after 5 pm.

The Best of City Harvest's Summer in the City Benefit

This past Wednesday City Harvest's young professionals group, Generation Harvest, held its eleventh annual Summer in the City restaurant tasting and cocktail party at the Metropolitan Pavilion. During the event, guests had the opportunity to participate in a silent auction, featuring numerous goodies, both food and non-food related, as well as sample eats and libations from some of New York's best restaurants and bars. This year's event had over 650 attendees and raised over $230,000 to support City Harvest's mission of feeding NYC's hungry.

5 Unique Events to Add to Your Summer To-Do List

Summer is all about having fun and that doesn't necessarily mean skipping out of town to the Hamptons. There's plenty of hot happenings going on right in your backyard. Whether you like taking in a good play, getting hot and heavy at a burlesque show, trying out great new foods, or just drinking all day long, there are plenty of options in NYC for you!

Symphony of Shadows: A Tale from the Land Beyond the Veil- Rachel Klein Productions and Dixon Place are presenting the world premiere of this creepy tale. This show tells the story of a woman combating "a variety of sleep disorders, phantasmagorical night terrors, hypnotic horrors, and other, visually stunning conjurings from the subconscious depths of her own disturbed mind." The show combines elements of circus and aerial arts, dance, movement, burlesque, and operatic productions to vividly illustrate its storyline. If we haven't sold you yet, feel free to check out the video trailer here. Performances are Thurs-Sat in June at 7:30pm and tickets can be purchased online for $15.

Vicki Leekx verses MAYA

2010 was, what you can call, an arduous year for M.I.A.

It certainly was not 2007, where she was critically on top of the world.

It was a year where M.I.A's always politically ridden language was analyzed, criticized, and mocked. It was as if her personal relationship with her fiance, and the benefits of that relationship, suddenly made her ineligible to fight for (right or wrong) all she had spent all of her adult life fighting.

All of the negative press M.I.A received culminated in her summer 2010 release of /\/\ /\ Y /\. The album was schizophrenic, jarring, and completely different from Kala, her most previous and most successful release. Kala featured rawer, darker lyrics over more more listener friendly musical forms of music like soca and dance rave.

M.I.A. Starts a Riot at Terminal 5

M.I.A. brings so much energy to her live performances, the venue almost couldn't handle it.

The Sri Lankan-born alt-rapper showed up ready to perform at Terminal 5 in NYC Monday night, but due to the intense amount of rain the city was doused with in the past two days, the building lost power.

M.I.A. kept her fans updated on the situation via Twitter and Facebook, writing: "SUP WIT NYC+ME, EDISON POWER SAYZ THE BUILDING CAN SHORT CIRCUT IN THE RAIN! POWRCUT AT VENU/NO SOUNDCHECK/ GENORATOR JUS BLEW 2ND COMIN IN" Thankfully, for the hundreds of kids waiting outside in anticipation, Terminal 5 managed to fix the problem.

M.I.A.: MAYA…Joonbug’s Review

M.I.A.’s new album MAYA sounds like an ambulance tearing through an Indian nightclub- it’s pretty cool. In the songs, M.I.A. imagines a numb and robotic America where the “iPhone connects you to the Internet connects you to the Google connects you to the government.”

She succeeds with a blend of tribal drums, industrial-electro effects, and the same detached vocal delivery she hooked us with in “Paper Planes” last year. She fails when the bold beats become a force too loud for her voice- “Teqkilla” devolves into a confusing dance freak out for a whopping 6:20, and the lyrics are forgotten. Though as she bleats in the most sing-able song of the album, “It iz what it iz.” It is a relentless electronic romp through M.I.A.’s bleak but not-too-serious vision of the future. Check out “The Message,” “Lovalot,” and “Born Free.”

Our grade: 3.5/5 Ladybugs

CD Releases

M.I.A.- Maya (check back for full review tomorrow!)

Jane Krakowski- The Laziest Gal In Town (who knew? check back for full review!)

Danger Mouse/Sparklehorse- Dark Night of the Soul

Etta James- The Essential Etta James

8084- The Last Great Train

Great Big Sea- Safe Upon the Shore

Bug Girl- Dirt in the Skirt

Caravan Palace- Caravan Palace

Dead When I Found Her- Harm’s Way

Guns ‘n’ Rosa Parks- Antifreeze