First Course

Poolside At The Urbano

In true Miami fashion, Hotel Urbano has opened a luxurious poolside oasis complete with fire lit cabanas and a widespread array of South Floridian fare. Urbano Bistro boasts a comfortable indoor dining room that easily transitions to a poolside patio perfect for a summer's evening escape.

The lavishness doesn't end with the architecture, however. The head chef comes direct from the fiery kitchens of the Las Vegas Strip and crafts a montage of delectable treats prepared specially for you. With fried crab cakes and local seafood imports, the menu takes the blue ribbon for small appetites craving an evening treat followed by a dip in the spotlights of Urbano's refreshing pool.

As the perfect place for celebrity getaways, be sure to tell us who you spy taking a splash in the deep end!

Lucky Rice, Lucky Us

Over the past couple years, New York City has enjoyed and enveloped itself within the revitalization of Asian culture and cuisine. In commemoration of the Asian awakening, LUCKYRICE.com hosts a festival of Asian significance, joined by culinary superstars. An aggregate of culinary heavyweights-Daniel Boulud, Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert, David Cheng, Masaharu Morimoto, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and others-preside over The Lucky Rice Festival, a weekend long celebration of Asian eats.

Hosted by Kelly Choi, the festival's kick-off event comprises an evening filled with Asian-inspired cocktails and snacks, all to benefit City Harvest and the Asian American Federation. Apothéke's Albert Trummer is the mixologist mastermind behind the evening's lip-smacking cocktails. Drinks and snacks are supplied by such watering-holes and culinary establishments as Momofuku, Daniel, Prime Meats, Apothéke, Fatty Crab, wd-50, and many well-known others.

Do You Know Where Your Coffee Comes From?

Crop to Cup Café
139 Atlantic Avenue (btwn Clinton and Henry)
Brooklyn Heights
No phone yet

Coffee is one of those beverages that gets a lot of attention in regards to being organic, fair-trade, sustainable, ethical, etc. So it's really no wonder that many independent coffee shops have this inherent awareness of social consciousness about the product they sell. People who love coffee love coffee, and make the roasting and consuming process akin to an art form. Say hello to Crop to Cup Café. The name gives away the keystone to their philosophy. Working with "family farmed" aka small-batch growers around the world, from Uganda to Mexico, Crop to Cup sources their coffee exclusively from these smaller, traceable growers.

Magnolia LA Arrives In Hollywood

Magnolia Restaurant
825 W. 9th Street
Los Angeles, CA

Magnolia Hollywood makes you feel like part of the Hollywood in-crowd from the moment you step foot in the door. Maybe it's the white marble bar with its specialty cocktails such as The Grape Collins (Veev Acai, Muddled Red Grapes, Fresh Lemon, Splash Of Soda) or The Westside Martini (Belvedere Citrus Vodka, Fresh Lemon, Sugar, Mint, Club Soda) that make you feel like you've arrived on the scene. Or perhaps it's the fact that ,on occasion, Kevin Spacey has been seen dining in the corner booth. Whatever the reason, I have never had a bad meal or a bad night at Magnolia.

Chef Mark Bello to Give Cooking Lessons to YOU

Were you one of those kids that, when your parents were making homemade pizza, begged to roll out the dough? Were you one of those kids that tried to then throw that dough up in the air and twirl it around on one finger, imitating Joe Meatballs from your local pizzeria? Yes you were, you little goombahs, don't even try to lie. I, for one, was the poster child for dough slingin' fools worldwide. I would sit at my kitchen table, mixing flour with water and salt, hoping to somehow create the thick slab of dough that my father would buy from Sorrento's Bakery.

Kampuchea No Longer Nocturnal

With nighttime-only hours, Kampuchea Restaurant fans can now rejoice. Starting this weekend, Kampuchea will debut brunch, with a new menu containing innovatively developed dishes. Just don't expect to dine on a traditional brunch of eggs and bacon.

Small plates, large plates, numpang sandwiches, cocktails and beers occupy the Kampuchea's brunch menu. Commence your meal with an appetizer; choices include grilled corn in chili mayo, coconut flakes, and chili power and chicken rillettes, served with pickled ramps, rhubarb, and griddle toasts.

'Takedown' Has A Little Lamb

Rock out with your ewe out! Sunday, April 18th, Matt Timm's Takedown series makes at stop at The Bell House to bring Brooklyn its Lamb Takedown event. 20 contestants, 300 pounds of lamb, and 2 hours, you better cover Mary's eyes, because her little lamb is on the butcher's block.

Get ready for 20 culinary-obsessed contestants to ‘takedown' the no longer meek, but mighty, lamb. 300 pounds of lamb will be distributed to among the contestants; 15 pounds to each, contestants choose a cut of shoulder, shank, leg or ground. From that, competitors must cook up dishes so delicious, even a vegetarian could not resist. Last year, dishes like lamb tacos, pulled lamb, and stews were turned out, so this year, expect to be blown away. A rumor of lamb cupcakes is trailing this upcoming event of mutton-importance.

Worth the Wait

I will be the first to admit that I am an easy target for the folks in marketing. Everyone has a friend or two who is quick to educate you on the evils of the marketing machine and its subliminal mind control but, regardless of your own take on the subject, but truth be told, when I see an ad for skinny jeans, or Starbucks, or Clash of the Titans, I feel that need to purchase creep up and grab my wallet. And when we discover that the very thing we've been told to want is currently unavailable, we're left feeling unsettled and unsatisfied...Enter Stoddard's Fine Food & Ale.

The Burger Supremacy

Burger Bash Cooking Party
When: Thursday, April 15th, 2010 at 7pm
Where: The Village Pourhouse
64 3rd Avenue (Btw. E.10th & E.11th Sts)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 979-2337
Cost: $25 (include complimentary Bud Light)

Although striving for perfection is admirable, it is unrealistic. As farfetched as perfection may be, those who search for it in a burger, may rest easy tonight. This Thursday, The Village Pourhouse will host the Burger Bash Cooking Party, where the phrase "perfect burger" is not only a goal, but a guarantee.