DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Tessa to Open Tomorrow Night + More Spring Openings


For foodies, this spring is bound to bear more than just warm weather.

Tessa, a well-designed Mediterranean joint, will be moving into a prime 1,750-square-foot space on the Upper West Side that has seen restaurants come and go over the years. Named after one of the owner’s daughters, it is to feature world class French and Italian flavors. The spot will be headed by Chef Cedric Tovar, who has spent time at both Bobo and Rosemary’s, both gems in the downtown culinary scene. Similar to other up-and-coming restaurants north of Lincoln Center, Tessa features modern design with equal attention to both form and function. The design showcases a ground level bar area and an upstairs dining room. Tessa opens this Thursday. It is located at 349 Amsterdam Avenue.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Sunday is National Meatball Day!

The internet is a magical place, folks. It's filled with weird YouTube videos, scams, niche memes that only a few understand, and a boatload of awesome meatball recipes. Luckily for you, Joonbug.com sifted through the latter pile and found the most baller (see what we did there?) ways to celebrate National Meatball Day! If you're looking for a way to spice up drab spaghetti, are crazy for all things spherical, or just want to find a good vegetarian substitute, you've come to the right place.

If you are new to the world of internet recipes, then you may not have heard of Chef John from Food Wishes, a genius who might be the reigning champ in food porn. He makes witty (and not so witty) jokes, a DMX reference here or there, and some fantastic looking meals. In this recipe, Chef John gives us a few pointers in making The World's Fastest Meatballs, with no rolling, no frying, and no chopping, then proceeds to show viewers the most gorgeous bowl of spaghetti and meatballs ever.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Celebrate National Meatball Day with MamaMancini's

National Meatball Day is March 9th and in honor of this spectacular meaty occasion, Daniel Mancini will be offering a special buy one, get one free meatball deal on Friday and Saturday at his restaurant walk-up, Meatball Obsession, in Manhattan.

Daniel and his partners launched MamaMancini's, a retail meatball company, in 2007 using his grandma's delicious recipe. One of the great thing about these meatballs is that you can select what kind of meat you'd like, whether it be beef, turkey, chicken, or pork sausage. The savory meatballs are slathered in authentic Italian red sauce and are reminiscent of a traditional, home cooked Sunday dinner. Whether you eat them as is or with pasta, they are a treat in themselves. Can't make it to take advantage of this awesome deal? MamaMancini's are offered at numerous local grocery stores throughout the city and country.

RESTAURANT 101
Pamper Your Tummy at Pampano Botaneria

Latin cuisine is all the rage these days and there's no better place to enjoy it than at Pampano Botaneria. The small downstairs brother to Richard Sandoval's Pampano, this smaller, more casual half of the restaurant is the way to go. This dimly lit, romantic setting makes anyone want to hunker down for a feast. The best part of this place is that all menu items are served tapas-style...which means you don't have to pick and choose what you want, you can try everything!

BACON & BIKINIS
Skinny Turkey Meatballs
DELICIOUS DEBUTS
New Eateries to Hit Miami

Salumeria 104
New to Midtown Miami is Salumeria 104 an Italian deli and restaurant crossover. This eatery offers an assortment of Italian charcuterie foods such as cheeses, salamis and other Italian cold cuts. Salumeria 104 is inviting and casual, the perfect place for a snack and drink. Besides deli items, Salumeria 104 serves antipasti/salads, fresh pasta dishes, and regional Italian dishes along with an affordable array of wines.

3451 NE First Avenue #104, Miami

THE HOT SPOT
Have a Ballin' Time Monday Nights at Alfama

We all know and love neighborhood haunt, Alfama, but get ready for tonight's opening of Ball Night Mondays (get your mind out of the gutter)! Fill your tummies with delicious eats and libations while you watch your favorite teams battle it out on the football field. Enjoy meatball and beer specials every Monday night on Alfama's flatscreen TVs in the bar.

Take your pick of three different meatballs --pork, shrimp and ginger, lamb or veal, and pair it with a Portuguese draft beer called Sagres for $12. And if you're feeling extra ballsy, feel free to order up additional meatballs for $3 a piece. If you want to stick with Alfama's Portuguese theme for the night, we recommend trying the pork, shrimp, and ginger meatball, which is a Macanese recipe from the Macau colony. Don't skip out on this great deal...all night on Mondays, starting now!

RESTAURANT 101
Love Lavo

There is a reason why the doors of LAVO, the dining and nightlife concept brought to you by the Tao Group, are always jam packed. While it's impossible to pick just one, we would venture to guess that the Kobe Meatball might have something to do with this hotspot's popularity.

Made from fresh ground A-5 Kobe and accompanied by creamy ricotta cheese (made in house), the LAVO meatball may just be the best thing you ever eat, ever. It was packed with flavor, perfectly juicy, and melted in our mouths in a way that could only be understood by tasting it yourself.

ENTERTAINING ISH
Town Hall Still Impresses

It's lunchtime in the Financial District and as offices empty, Town Hall is packed with crisp suits and briefcases. Town Hall is the place to be for a business lunch or even just a gourmet rendezvous. Sipping on a cappuccino at noon, I watched the place fill in a matter of minutes, waiters efficiently fulfilling orders for American Regional Cuisine with a lot of Southern flavor. On this visit, I enjoyed a Crispy Shrimp Po-Boy with horseradish remoulade, heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, and sweet potato chips. Wallets being a bit tight these days, I leave you with a Town Hall recipe you can make at home.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Football Fans Are FIRST On Mondays

FIRST Food & Bar may be in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip but this late-night spot is a comfortable restaurant and lounge with the neighborhood bar feel. Stagger in for a late-night hunger or that business lunch created by Executive Chef Sam DeMarco.

There is another reason to go to FIRST Food & Bar, football. FIRST is kicking off football season with the Las Vegas Locomotives and continuing this fanfare every Monday night. While you're watching the game have FIRST’s signature Famous Lollipop Buffalo Wings half off. Not in the mood for wings (gasp) enjoy the Original Mini Burgers. Try the pizzas including Grilled Grandma’s Style (with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella and basil), Grandpa’s Pizza (Grandma’s Style with pepperoni) or Little Johnny’s (with meatballs). Don’t forget to get a drink with specials including 2-for-1 draft beers running the duration of the game. Not enough time away from the misses. FIRST is opening the bar at 10 a.m on Sundays with the kitchen opening at 10:30 a.m.