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First Course

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Chalk Point Kitchen Brings in Guests Via Twitter



Have you ever heard of a NYC restaurant that doesn’t have a website or even a way to preview the menu beforehand?

Enter Chalk Point Kitchen, a new Soho restaurant from Executive Chef Joe Isidori and restaurateur Matt Levine. Isidori, from the late Carroll Gardens spot, Arthur on Smith, has described the new restaurant's menu as having a strong focus on “organic vegetables, seafood, and local produce.” Too bad that is the only information you’ll get about the menu--that is, unless you check it out in person. And as Beyonce learned with the massive success of her surprise album last December, people love a well-kept secret.

LIQUID COURAGE
Le Gran Cercle in Le Gran Pommes

Piano music plays softly in the background. The room is dimly lit, accenting the floor to ceiling windows that overlook the dusk Manhattan skyline. Mulling about are the musings of people from all walks of life, sneaking bites of cheese in between swirling ruby colored droplets in crystal goblets. Chic women with high cheekbones and no makeup offer to walk you through the fruit of their vineyard’s labor, while men with questionable dental hygiene smile and courteously offer a taste to ‘le mademoiselle’. Classy, polished, and utterly European, the event organized by Le Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux, a fledgling new union uniting both Left and Right Bank winemakers, put forth a wonderful evening glorifying the hearty elegance of French wines.

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Au Za'atar Brings French Lebanses Fusion to the East Village

Au Za’atar is a unique French Lebanese restaurant on the corner of Avenue A and 13th Street in the East Village. The fusion of these two countries’ delicious cuisines was enough to peak our interest, and their extensive menu really sealed the deal. A true family-run restaurant on a busy East Village street, we opted for outdoor seating to enjoy people watching and the great weather, but the inside was divine too. Covered in wood, with romantic lighting and a sizable bar, in the colder months we would certainly enjoy dining indoors. We would also recommend this spot for large parties, as there is space to push tables together, and this would truly be the best way to experience all the appetizers on Au Za’atars menu.

CHEAP EATS
Bringing Italy to New York City: Da Marcella Taverna
CULINARY OCCASIONS
Best Easter Eats in Boston

The stress of cooking a full course meal for your family and friends can be overwhelming, especially on Easter Sunday. Luckily, many restaurants in Boston keep their doors open to serve the public tasty plates, just like your grandmother would make. Special menus from the different neighborhoods of Boston are cultivating new appetizing dishes making your Easter the best one yet. Here are a few that caught our attention in the Boston area.

Beehive (541 Tremont St)

CHEAP EATS
The Writing Room Doubles its Happy Hour
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
Prepare Your Tastebuds for Queens Taste

If you’ve looked outside recently, you already know that spring has sprung (fingers crossed, no jinxes), and with the blooms on the trees and the warming weather, a number of food festivals celebrating the best of NYC are also fast approaching.

One of the most exciting among them is Queens Taste, the Queens Economic Development Corporation/Queens Tourism Council’s annual foodie blowout. Queens, the largest of the five boroughs, is also one of the most diverse, and Queens Taste exists to highlight what that diversity lends to the Queens culinary scene. In honor of the event’s 11th anniversary and the globe-spanning nature of Queens’ many communities, this year’s theme is the World’s Fair. That means World Fair memorabilia, decorations, and guest veterans of the 1964 World Fair, which took place in Q-Town itself.

HOW-TO
Belgian Chocolatiers Teach the Art of Easter Eggs Decorating

All next week, the Belgian chocolatiers at Neuhaus will teach classes on how to best decorate and enjoy chocolate eggs. And all this time you never realized you were doing it wrong! Neuhaus will provide each guest with a hand-made chocolate egg, which they can decorate with gianduja, a luxury hazelnut paste, and fill with one of Neuhaus' famous pralines, including black currant, coffee, and fleur de sel.

Guests will also be invited to learn about the history of Neuhaus, and then taste some of their best-selling chocolates. Bubbly will also be provided to wash down the delectables. Those who fall in love with the products can also pick up their many Easter-themed packages at a discount.

What: Egg Decorating at Neuhaus

When: Wednesday, April 16th, Thursday, April 17th, and Friday, April 18th from 7-9pm, and Saturday, April 19th from 12-2pm

Where: Neuhaus, 500 Madison Ave., New York, NY