First Course

Whatisfresh.com: Manhattan and Brooklyn's Guide to the Local Farmers and Their Products

Whatisfresh.com is a guide to the local farmers and their products at farmers markets around Manhattan and Brooklyn. Now you can search for markets, vendors, and products right from your home or iPhone.

On the website, the "Markets" section can tell you where farmers markets are located, what days and times they are open, and what vendors are there on what days. For example, you will find that the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and Ronnybrook Farm Dairy is only at the Union Square Greenmarket on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The South Beach Wine & Food Festival Weekend Lineup

The glamorous crew of the Fontainebleau brings us another star-studded weekend as it hosts The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival during the last weekend of February. In anticipation for spring functions and late-summer nights out, world-renowned chefs and wine experts nestle into the grand hotel for a weekend of culture, education and delicious parties and courses.

Never Late to Maitardi

In the laid back, yet eye-catching scenery of the Design District, Italian brick-oven bistro Maitardi picks up where former restaurant, Brosia, came up short. Maitardi (the name is Italian for "never late") mixes the delights of the Miami seashore with traditional Italian favorites. A capstone to the cross-national delicacy of the kicked back eatery is the Lasagna di Pesce, a carbed-up plate of handmade noodles and sumptuous marinara sauce baked for each plate with surfside local fare. A sumptuous appetizer to pair with the favorite Lasagna recipe is the Calamari Fritti of crispy calamari strips alongside a light taste of fried zucchini and bell pepper curls.

The Village Voice's Third Annual Tasting Event

On March 22, 2010, join Village Voice's food critics Robert Sietsema and Sarah Digregorio at Choice Eats, The Village Voice's Third Annual Tasting Event, and feel like food critic yourself. Carefully selected by Sietsema and DiGregorio, Choice Eats will host over 50 restaurants from over 35 nations, which include Vietnam, Italy, Brazil, Russia, Cambodia, Tunisia, and many others.

With over 50 restaurants, and a diverse variety of cuisine, I suggest that you try to limit what you eat throughout the day, because getting full after the first couple restaurants is not an option. Restaurants include Porchetta, The Vanderbilt, Motorino, Fatty Crab, Mama's Food Shop, Lucy's Whey, DuMont, Jimmy's No. 43, Egg, Agnanti Restaurant, Dirt Candy, and dozens of others. Handpicked by the two critics, their goal was to bring these culinary hidden treasures out to shine. Great food is not just found in Craft, Eleven Madison Park, and Per Se.

Luxury Served Tavern-Style

Dining and drinking well in the very heart of historic Boston is what you'll do at Woodward at the Ames Hotel, a self-proclaimed modern-day tavern, circa November 2009. If you're looking for boutique, luxury lodging to call home base while you're at it, you're in luck.

Woodward, named for a tavern once housed in an old family home (the Ameses, as it were), serves New England-Mediterranean fare emphasizing fresh and local ingredients, from breakfast to late-night. Executive Chef Mark Goldberg (formerly of Mistral) created a solid menu "designed for sharing", which meshes with the dining vibe - a tad more loungy and relaxed, an elegant extension of the two bars. The full menu can be enjoyed at the trendy downstairs bar and leather-clad dining room, or cozier upstairs bar in front of the fireplace overlooking a tangle of bustling streets and twinkling lights. A private dining room can accommodate 16, as well.

James Beard Loves Vegas

The James Beard Foundation just announced the 2010 list of restaurant and chef awards semifinalists. The lucky honorees include chefs who have influenced the Vegas fine-dining scene and high-quality local establishments such as Shawn McClain's Sage at Aria. Here's how Vegas figures in to this years awards:

Outstanding Restaurateur nominee:

Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (Chicago)

NYC Coffee & Tea Festival Brews This Weekend

5th Annual Coffee & Tea Festival: NYC 2010
February 20th to 21st, 2010
7 West
7 West 34th Street
(Between 5th & 6th Avenues)
New York, NY 10001
Tel: (212) 279-6063
www.coffeeandteafestival.com (Tickets)
Tickets: $20 All Day Pass

For pretty much everyone, old or young, coffee and tea are a part of our everyday lives; they are part of our morning routine or the ending for our evening meals. So, this weekend, February 20th-21st, let us pay homage and support the companies that help make our morning routines complete, at the 5th Annual Coffee & Tea Festival: NYC 2010. Because, let us be honest, some of us are utterly lost in the mornings without our daily cup of coffee or tea.

Waffles Cafe Opens New Location

Every Saturday morning, my roommate is subjected to my bad impression of Donkey from Shrek as I wake her up, exclaiming, "I'm makin' WAFFLES!" without fail each week.

She'll be happy to learn that it has recently come to my attention that I will no longer have to slave over the waffle iron, quoting an animated children's film, because there's a restaurant here in Vegas called Waffles Café. You can guess what they specialize in.

Lobsterfest 2010 Swims into Queens

Celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year, Queens' premier seafood restaurant, London Lennie's, is also celebrating Lobsterfest 2010 until Sunday, March 7th. On top of their regular menu, London Lennie's is offering a Lobsterfest menu, which, of course, has nothing but lobster on it. London Lennie's has compiled a menu of innovative lobster dishes, along with a wine pairing for each dish.

On a cold winter day, nothing sounds more appetizing than a warm and hearty dish of Lobster Pot Pie. Baked with fresh lobster and garden vegetables in a rich and creamy béchamel sauce, the lobster pot pie is topped with a buttery flaky pie crust, which is paired with a glass of Catena Chardonnay 2007. One bite of their Down East Lobster Roll, served on a toasted tops split roll and sided with French fries and cole slaw, will bring you right to the gorgeous Hampton beaches, and cleverly paired with a glass of Italian Vernaccia.

Beer Drinker's Digest

What is the unifying concept that ties all humanity together? Some call it love. Others call it karma. Those in the know simply call it beer. If you are a member of that special 3rd group, then this next week is bound to fill you with absolute bliss.

First off, tonight at the excellent excuse to play 20+ year old arcade games and drink beer known as Barcade, come try beers from the exotic section of our great nation known as the Midwest. I know what you're saying, "Isn't there enough Midwestern influence in Williamsburg already?" Probably so. But this is beer we're talking about - beer that you can't normally find anywhere in New York. Look forward to sampling award winning brews such as Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Kuhnhenn Fifth Dementia Very Old Ale, and whatever the geniuses at Founders brewery have been cooking through the long Michigan winter. Special beer prices will range from $5 to $7.