First Course

Weekend Pick: The Second Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo

There are some people who live for that tastebud-annihilating, lip-burning, sweat-inducing rush that comes after eating incredibly spicy food. For all who prefer to swim in the high end of the Scoville scale, this weekend is your national holiday.

With almost 50 different hot sauce vendors, there’s sure to be one that’ll make you tear up. Come try the bevy of food, beer, and of course endless hot sauce varieties so and spend the whole day experimenting in mouth-numbing bliss.It’s the second annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo, two days dedicated to everything spicy and tasty. Doors are at 10am with events running all day Saturday and Sunday, including a Lollipop Lick-A-Thon, a Bloody Mary Mix Down Championship, and the official Screaming Mi Mi Awards Ceremony on Saturday at 4pm. The truly brave amongst you can even participate in the eating competitions yourselves.

When: Saturday and Sunday, March 29th- 30th, 10am

Where: Penn Plaza Pavillion, 401 7th Ave., New York, NY

Clambake and Burger Night at Bo's Kitchen & Bar Room

For all of you lovers of clambakes and burgers, New Orleans inspired restaurant, Bo’s Kitchen & Bar Room has good news: starting Monday, March 31st, guests are welcome to partake in a share-able clambake with shrimp and Andouille sausage, or a brand new burger created by Chef Todd Mitgang, which will be debuted on March 31st. Said burger will be an impressive 8 ounce beef patty capped with Adirondack cheddar, baby arugula, heirloom tomato, red onion, and spicy aioli, served on a house-made bun.

And that’s not all! Additional Monday night specials include three varieties of roasted oysters.

At Bo’s Kitchen & Bar Room, the fun doesn’t stop with Mardi Gras. Feel like you’ve crossed the Mason-Dixon line as you join them for Clambake and Burger Mondays; it will be staycation your taste buds will never forget.

Five Stars for Fung Tu

For those brave enough to journey into the frigid temps that have graced us this winter, a great reward awaits you deep in the trenches of Chinatown, and its name is Fung Tu. As huge fans of Mission Chinese (RIP), dining at another trendy, upscale Asian restaurant felt almost like cheating, but if that is the case, our meal at Fung Tu made stepping out on our significant other totally worth it.

The menu is straight forward, the service is so polite it borders on creepy, and the end results makes you glad you left your apartment, even if you did almost get hit by a biker and feared your ears would fall off from frostbite.

Weekend Pick: Frikandellen Borrel at Four Farthings Tavern & Grill

The Netherlands Club of Chicago has organized an event on Friday to celebrate the Dutch culture. To do this, they are celebrating with frikandellen, a Dutch invention and delicacy. Freak-n-Fries, the only manufacturer of authentic frikandellen in the United States is making this traditional food for people who come into the bar on Friday. There will be a cash bar so you can enjoy your food with a beer or another beverage. The Netherlands Club of Chicago has been around for 51 years, so they are excited to bring a tradition to the people of Chicago in present day.

The Four Farthings Tavern & Grill was established in 1963 and is one of the best spots to eat in Chicago. If you want to experience a traditional Dutch food and a great atmosphere, come down and try some Frikandellen this Friday night.

20 Restaurants that Need to Come to NYC, Like Now

1. Acme Oyster House, New Orleans

This oyster house is New Orleans royalty, and for good reason. Its chargrilled oysters are the most iconic, but they also serve them up baked and raw and it's all sublime. They have seven locations, including one in Florida and one in Atlanta -- how long until they bring the Southern oyster bar up north?

2. Fat Angel, San Francisco

This San Fran gastropub has delicious variations on hearty British pub food and an obscenely deep and impressively international beer menu. Their mac & cheese in particular is a crowd favorite. Sure, NYC has some decent mac & cheese joints, but none that also have a liquor menu that would make a beergarden jealous.

Pushcart Coffee
Weekend Pick: 25th Annual Boston Wine Festival

This week is your last chance to experience the Boston Wine Festival held at the beautiful Boston Harbor Hotel. The Festival has been going on since January and concludes with the closing reception on Friday, March 28th. For $85 you can drink some of the year’s best wines and preview the future wineries for the next year. The broad selection of wine comes with a buffet filled with both red and white wine inspired dishes, created by the founder of the festival, Chef Daniel Bruce. If you’re a lover of good food and good wine, this event is perfect for you.

Get Your Laundry Done While You Dine
16 Hours 'Til Hong Kong With Cathay Airlines

Last Thursday night (March 20th), we went down to the Gallery District to attend a jazzed-up internationally focused gala held by Cathay Airlines, which was celebrating the inauguration of its Newark-to-Hong Kong non-stop flight. Cathay flight attendants in smart matching red dresses were scattered among the international crowd, who chatted, ate, and drank under large projections of Cathay jets.

Cathay really went all out celebrating with Hong Kong inspired fare. Here’s a run-down:

City favorite Redfarm brought three delicious Dim Sum-inspired finger foods to the table. Pac Man Dumplings came with a steamed and sticky in different Easter egg colors, with succulent shrimp in a well-balanced bite, while Seared Beef Buns were delightful miniature, thick-doughed Bao. The best of the three, however, was the Filet Mignon Tart, which paired tender beef with a just-rich-enough pastry that co-mingled the sweet and the savory excellently.