CULINARY OCCASIONS
All That You Missed at Taste of Fifth

In an increasingly alienated, gentrified city, real community events are becoming harder to come by. This past Wednesday, though, we came upon that rare beast: a real community event that managed to be both fun and authentic.

Backyard: Backyard brought the down-home feeling they’re known for full-force with their Cheese Grits, served warm and creamy with an excellent jalapeno kick.

Stone Park Cafe: The folks at Stone Park served us something we’d never had before: ’Escargot Chowder, which was simultaneously delicate and hearty and had us wanting more from the first bite.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Coming Up Soon: A Taste of Fifth 2014

As many Brooklynites are aware, it’s that time of year again: A Taste of Fifth is nigh! The annual festival, which will feature forty of the best restaurants from Park Slope’s 5th Avenue, has been a massive hit in previous years, and this year’s lineup looks to be no different. As you’ll see below, some of BK’s best food and drink will be coming out and celebrating with a wide array of tasty treats any foodie would be remiss to pass up.

What’s more, this evening of fabulous food and drink is actually for a good cause! Proceeds from A Taste of Fifth will benefit 14 Brooklyn-based charities, including Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Good Shepherd Services, and the Brooklyn Dream Factory.

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Terroir Opens in Park Slope

Popular Manhattan wine bar, Terroir is expanding its territory to Brooklyn. Opening tonight, Park Slope residents will now be able to enjoy Marco Canora and Paul Grieco's sips and eats. The new location will have 74 seats, retractable garage doors that will stay open for warm weather, and a similar menu to its sibs in Manhattan.

However, the Brooklyn venue will have some exclusive menu items of its own, including ballpark hot dogs, cracker jacks and Korean cut short sibs.

This will be Terroir's fifth location, having just opened a seasonal location early this summer. So oenophiles, get ready to pounce on this new joint!

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Barclays Bringing the Party to Brooklyn

New York has always been the place to be, but has becoming less and less the place the live.

It seems that all over the map, neighborhoods are shrinking with the influx of imbibing touristy hotspots and all the locals can do is voice their concerns against the massive amounts of funds going into developing these new party destinations.

The latest coup is happening around the Barclays Center Arena in Brooklyn. The stampeding Nets fans and concert goers looking to keep the jeep riding aren’t going to take off for Manhattan if all the nightlife adventures are laid out in front of them, and so here come the bars and restaurants.

BEHIND THE PLATE
Interview: Behind the Bean with Matt Marks of Forty Weight Coffee Roasters

Matt Marks knows how important coffee is to everyone, and he’s striving to roast and serve the best there is. The co-owner/partner of Forty Weight Coffee Roasters and Forty Weight Cafe describes coffee as his dream and something he believes in. The pride he and co-owner Andrew Ballard have in their product is present everywhere in this young company.

Forty Weight Coffee is available at stores across New York, and at Forty Weight Cafe in Park Slope. It can also be purchased on the Forty Weight website.

We had the opportunity to talk to Matt about his business. Here's what he had to say about being a true coffee connoisseur!

How did Forty Weight Cafe get started?

Forty Weight Cafe is the flagship of parent company Forty Weight Coffee Roasters, which was my best friend and roastmaster, Andrew Ballard's dream come to fruition. Andrew and I became co-owners/partners in 2010. His expertise and our dedication to artisanal roasting is evident in every cup we serve and every bag we sell.

Discussions about the cafe started in March, 2011 and we finally opened in November. It was a long and windy road indeed.

What’s your role at the cafe?

As owner and general manager I am responsible for virtually everything. From selecting and ordering coffee and espresso to purchasing new springs for our port-a-filters, I have my hands and head constantly full.

What are some challenges you face in the coffee market?

Once you get to the upper echelon of the specialty coffee world with the likes of Stumptpown, Counter Culture, Intelligista, and Handsome Coffee Roasters, it's a real challenge to stand out in a group that is doing such amazing things. These companies have a lot more resources than we do, which they wisely focus on marketing and shine. Once you get to a certain level in specialty coffee, everybody is producing amazing stuff. With everybody producing amazing stuff, marketing and shine can go a long way in getting your coffee into a customers hands. I mean I'm not complaining, good on these companies for acquiring the dollars to do this, but this is probably the biggest challenge our poor little grassroots company faces.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Live Music Bars in Brooklyn

We love exploring Brooklyn in the summertime. After brutal winter months, we're always looking to venture out a little further than our local Manhattan spot once the weather permits. Brooklyn offers an eclectic mix of pubs, bars and rooftop spots (often appealing to the 'artsy' crowd). But you don't have to be 'artsy' to enjoy these bars. Here's our list of top live music bars in Brooklyn!

If you hit up Trash, you can count on a pretentious-less night out full of scum, junk and garbage. And by that we mean $5 shots and $2 tater tots.

BROOKLYN
A European Experience: Convivium Osteria

68 5th Ave.
(Bergen St. and St. Marks)
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 857-1833

Convivium Osteria-these two words have a special meaning, "convivium" means "living together" and "osteria" is defined as an inn or small restaurant in the country. Convivium Osteria perfectly describes what the restaurant has to offer its guests and customers. As you enter through these doors, you will be taken away from the streets of Brooklyn and will be traveling across the world, landing in Europe. You will be able to share this European experience and cozy atmosphere with friends and family.

BROOKLYN
Rachel's Taqueria: Not Exactly Lighting My Fire

Rachel's Taquiera
408 5th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 788-1137

This past weekend, a girlfriend of mine and I headed out to Park Slope in search of a new restaurant to add to our list of favorites. Forever frequenting the same Mexican joint right by her apartment, we were in desperate need of an untried taste and an unvisited place to avoid treading the slippery slope of the dreaded dining slump. Walking down 5th avenue, we happened upon a place called Rachel's - a neon red signed joint, with fiery red light flames. We talked it over, and three "hot cha chas" later we were through the flaming doors and looking the place over from the inside.

ALCOHOL
Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson Tribute Sure To Be "Off the Wall"

Wanna Be Startin' Something

Cirque du Soleil has already proved they can pay a fabulous acrobatic homage to music's greatest icons (LOVE, Viva Elvis) so it should come as no surprise that the French-Canadian circus troupe has teamed up with the Jackson estate.