CULINARY OCCASIONS
"Are You Indispensible?" Cocktail Competition Finals at the Museum of Sex


Love drinks? Like pomegranate? How about mixing the two? The Museum of Sex is hosting a booze-friendly competition where bartenders from New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and New Orleans are mixing up cocktails with PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur. The first-ever event is happening on Wednesday, January 22, and there will be sensuous fare from Chef Ben Roche (Moto) along with drinks. The food includes pizza-puffed pasta, red curry beef, and rabbit foccacia.

DAILY BITES
Brooklyn Central Does More Than Pizza

Park Slope has quite the pizzaiolo on their hands - Robert Patriarca opened Brooklyn Central in October 2012, where he fuses "Old World" and "New World" dishes. With a focus on Neapolitan pizza, "Old World" refers to the buffalo mozzarella imported from Italy with conventional toppings, while "New World" pizza incorporate fresh mozzarella made in Brooklyn. The pizzeria sources many of their ingredients locally, and by local we mean right down the street. Since Neapolitan pizzas seem to be on trend in New York City, it can be very difficult to know where to go to get a great slice. Even for Manhattanites, a trek to Brooklyn is worth a slice here.

Brooklyn Central is located at 289 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. 347-725-4891

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Cheese Addicts Duke it Out at 3rd Annual Cheesemonger Invitational

Looking for a cheesy way to spend this Saturday evening (June 23th) but don’t want to hit up an overly parroted tiki bar? Head out to Long Island City for “an epic battle of monger vs. monger” at the 3rd Annual Cheesemonger Invitational! 40 passionate cheesemongers from around the world will compete in eight challenges until the cheesehead stands alone (hi-ho the derrio the cheese stands alone). Held at Larkin Cold Storage in LIC, contestants will battle it out for a cash prize of a thousand dollars in front of a panel of judges comprised of cheese shop proprietors, dairy farmers, and cheese makers from around the world.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
The Second Annual Coffee Cocktail Mash Up

The majority of coffee drinkers can’t function properly until they have their morning cup of Joe and many more of us have a hard time passing up happy hour with our friends after a long, often coffee-fueled, work day. The Coffee Cocktail Mash Up competition combines both of these beloved liquid commodities with an extra shot of competition. The Coffee Cocktail Mash Up pairs up a barista and a bartender to mix a caffeinated cocktail that will then be judged on its flavor, balance, concept, and presentation. The judge’s panel includes Robert Simonson of the New York Times, Mari Uyehara of Time Out New York, Kara Newman of Wine Enthusiast, Shawn Kelly of Pernod Richard, and Mike White of Shotzombie.com

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Cocktail Dinner at Meat Market with Mixologist John Lermayer

Monday, June 25th, enjoy a Culinary & Cocktail dinner at Lincoln Road's renowned steak house, Meat Market. Already known for its superb wine selection curated by Sommelier Nicole Candusso, Meat Market will now be showcasing the cocktails of master mixologist John Lermayer and demonstrating how a well-mixed cocktail can pair beautifully with elegant haute cuisine preparations by Chef Sean Brasel. Lermayer has been at the helm of Miami's cocktail revolution and has, since then, created beverage programs at eateries and bars throughout the country. Dinner is served promptly at 7:30 PM and is $65 per person. Make reservations soon, as this is one culinary deal that I'm sure most of South Florida's foodies are already jumping on. Below is a sample menu for that evening, which is sure to get both gastronomes and cocktail aficionados' mouths watering:

BEST OF
NYC's Tastiest Summer Brunch Spots

There isn’t much that compares to a lazy summer morning. Spend yours chowing down on some delicious brunch foods while working on your brunch buzz. Eateries all over the city offer brunch menus throughout the year and some revamp their brunch menus depending on season and market availability. Here are five brunch spots we love!

The Cannibal
The ultimate keg and eggs brunch can be found at The Cannibal, beer and butcher shop café that specializes in—you guessed it—meat and beer. Sit at the 8-seat butcher counter for the best view of the chefs at work or enjoy the summer weather and sit in the garden section. Pair any one of their 450 beers paired with a delicious scrambled egg sandwich with cacio pepe and bacon. The menu also offers items such as country biscuits with sausage gravy and grilled cheese with Vermont cheddar, Gruyere, bacon and pork belly. Not in the mood for the traditional bellini? Try The Cannibal’s “brewdriver,” a cocktail that uses beer as a mixer. Brunch is served Saturday & Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
113 East 29th Street

RESTAURANT 101
Prima: Sea Snacks + Craft Cocktails

Prima, a hidden gem in the East Village (58 East 1st Street) is what results when a Rat Pack-esque group of five restaurant biz friends join forces to create a seafood focused café and bar. Prima is owned and operated by Hamid Rashidzada, Greg Seider, Ken Nye, Mathieu Palombino, and David Malbequi, who runs Prima’s kitchen fulltime. The friends wanted to open an eatery with seamless service giving guests a place to eat when many other restaurants are closed in between lunch and dinner service. Prima opens at 8 a.m. for coffee (provided by Nye’s Ninth Street Espresso) and pastries, so no matter the time, they’ll be there serving up their delightful dishes.

CULTURE CLUB
Mixin' at The Met: The Annual 'Macbeth Mixology' Contest

To commemorate the inaugural performance of Verdi’s Macbeth, the Met Opera hosted its third annual “Mixology Contest." In honor of the production, six renowned NYC mixologists were tasked with creating the most sui generis concoction in tribute to Macbeth. Rife full of murder, magic, and mysterious “witches’ brews," the bar was set for the creation of some liquid excellence!

Prior to the actual contest, guests were treated to the night’s potent complimentary cocktail, simply entitled “The Opera Cocktail." Belying its non-descript moniker, this concoction touted substantial muscle via the “Navy Strength” 114 proof Gin nestled within. Suffice to say, buzzes were plentiful!

ALBUM REVIEW
Clover Club's Oscar Party

Since most of us are not walking down the red carpet at Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony or attending a glamorous Hollywood Oscars party, let's walk down the red carpet of the Clover Club to Brooklyn's hottest Oscars party.

Cobble Hill's Clover Club will be hosting an Oscars party on March 7th. Arrive at 6pm for the red carpet arrivals or 8pm, just into time for the awards.

Clover Club will be serving fancy hors d'oeuvres, such as duck confit on a rosemary flatbread or caviar on ricotta blini topped with crème fraîche, and of course, one-of-a-kind specialty cocktails. Owner Julie Reiner is also a notable mixologist, so you know she mixed up some ingenious cocktails just for this special occasion. While planted at Clover Club's mahogany bar on Oscar night, sip on La Rosa, a cocktail made of Moet Rose Champagne, Silver Tequila, Ramazotti Amaro, strawberry syrup, and fresh lemon juice, or try the Marquis #2, a combination of Moet Rose Champagne, pisco, lemon, and raspberry. After these fabulous cocktails, you will forget you're sitting in Brooklyn, and instead at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

KEITH DUSKO
Shocking Drink at Haru

Haru’s resident mixologist, Keith Dusko, has created a drink alluringly entitled as “The Electric Eel”. The kicker in this beverage is his use of items known as Sechuan buttons, also referred to as Sansho buttons, that induce an “electric sensation” when chewed – “like putting a nine-volt battery in your mouth.” I’m thinking that, for the sake of advertising, he might want to rethink that comparison. Although a Duracell sponsored beverage would be highly amusing. I can see the slogan now – “Recharge it all….except for your liver.”