Advanced Screening: This Weekend at the Food and Film Festival

Hey film geeks! Step away from Final Cut for minute this weekend to check out the NYC Food and Film Festival, running from Thursday to Sunday.

The event, now back for its fifth year, begins tonight at Tribeca Cinemas and its all about burgers. Screenings of the movies The Good Beer Seal, Burgerlution, CUD (trailer), Cafe Boulud's Fry Burger and Food Curated: Ovenly will be on view starting at 7pm to toast A Cheer to Burgers and Beers. Not surprisingly, the grub on hand is burger-centric fare with options like grass-fed burgers from Burger Maker, as well as bar snacks and beer cupcakes from Ovenly. Many craft brews will be available on tap and a host of the brewers behind their brands will be in attendance as well. Because, really, aren't you always looking at your beer and telling it it's time to meet it's maker? Now you can.

Grub Street Food Festival is Baa-aack!

Grub Street announced on its website last night that, for the second year in a row, they will take over the weekly Hester Street Fair on October 23. So grab your ironic mustache and nonchalant attitude hipster foodies, because this festival promises to deliver the best in downtown eats.

According to those over at Grub, this year's event will host many of the same great street-food vendors that were in attendance last year. So what's even better about this second coming? This time around, the crew expanded their space so they can fit more people... and more food! Standouts are sure to include Luke's Lobster, Dos Toros, Pies 'N Thighs, Mexicue and The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. Check out a complete list of vendors below.

Per Se Named Best Restaurant in NYC

For a certain brand of food industry professionals and heavily interested gourmands, today was all about guessing and odds. As promised, Sam Sifton (the now former restaurant critic for The New York Times and arguably the most powerful man in the food world) marked his final column for the paper by announcing Per Se as his choice for the top restaurant in New York. Please take a moment to allow the staff at Eleven Madison Park and Daniel to quietly weep.

So what makes a dining experience the single greatest one you can find in NYC? According to Sifton, quite a lot. "No restaurant in New York City does a better job than Per Se of making personal and revelatory the process of spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on food and drink," says the critic. And, yes, you might want to note those hundreds of dollars before clamoring for a reservation. The menu is fixed at $295 (yes, before any wine or other cocktails, which could easily double the tab). But, at least in Sifton's view, the dining experience is so fine that the hefty price tag delivers the necessary goods to back it up.

Esquire Drops Top 20 Restaurants in the US

The release of Esquire Magazine's 2011 Best New Restaurants list today leaves food industry insiders and frequent diners with a single question when making a run for the newsstand: who won? Spoiler Alert: this year, writer John Mariani awarded top honors to San Francisco standout, Michael Mina. Others that received honorable mention included Salinas (NYC), Boulud Sud (NYC) and Grant Achatz's "let's put on a show" style pop-up, Next (Chicago).

Chef John Sedlar of Playa (Los Angeles), won Chef of the Year, and embraced said praise by penning a somewhat snarky note to all "young chefs" who have TV fame on the brain. And not to be outdone in the individual winner's circle, Hannah Mary Marshall was crowned Hostess of the Year for her work at Congress in Austin. Marshall's advice to those looking to seat the hungered masses? "[Get] chickens. Having to deal with something that is frequently obnoxious will teach you...tolerance and patience."

Sceney Steakhouses

Sometimes you just want to ease back in the cushy chair of your favorite old-school steakhouse, quietly savoring each hearty bite as you cast casual nods towards the octogenarians to your left.

And then sometimes you want something completely different.

If you're in the mood for a rib-sticking meal but still want to be surrounded by NYC's most beautiful people, you're in luck. Trendy steakhouses (or red meat-friendly restos) are having a moment right now and you don't have to look far to find a solid meal and a good party. So whether you're looking to feel like a piece of meat or eat one, check out Joonbug's picks for Sceney Steakhouses.

NYC Restaurant Roundup

Welcome to the First Course Restaurant Roundup where we'll share our Top 5 new places to dine out right now. This list is ever changing so be sure to look back for our latest insights. In the meantime, check out these new locales that promise to be worth their pricetag. This week's focus: Second (and Third) Editions

The Smith- You've been to this East Village comfort food haunt for a late night dinner or maybe an early morning (and slightly hurting) breakfast. Next week you can pop in there while you work at their new midtown location. Grub Street leaked that the spot will open as early as 7am and will (hopefully soon) offer delivery. The Smith 956 Second Avenue (212) 644-2700

Happy Birthday to The Palm

85 year-olds aren't sexy.

But let's not underestimate the benefits of having a little work done (we know we'll want some at that age).

This month marks the 85th anniversary of The Palm Restaurant and, yesterday, they invited Joonbug over to check out their new look and updated menu. And, while we don't usually say this about those of such a distinguished age, they were looking fine.

The restaurant's revamp began a few months back and examined each of the brand's 28 spaces from every angle. "We looked at everything down to the bread and butter," said Palm's executive vice president and great grandson of one of the founders, Bruce Bozzi Jr. "We literally looked at the way we served the butter and wanted to make it better...to go back to our history." And that history is now playing a starring role in each space. The menu, the logo and the server's uniforms have all taken a step back in time to more closely resemble or reflect the fact the the brand has been steadily serving excellent meals since 1926. They've also started playing background music- modern crooners with old school attitudes like Buble and Connick Jr.- which lends a more celebratory aspect to dining at the restaurant.

2 For Oktoberfest

It's cold out.

It's going to be ok.

Bundle up and head over to Trophy Bar in Williamsburg tonight where they'll be kicking off Oktoberfest with a celebration that begins at 7pm. Grub Street leaked that their menu will include beer-poached and grilled bratwurst and chicken-apple sausage on a Lopez Bakery baguette topped with whole-grain beer mustard. Dessert will feature pumpkin-caramel and apple-peanut butter cupcakes from Robicelli's. And while not stated, it's likely that the always popular South Williamsburg spot will also be playing seasonally-inspired tunes on their jukebox.

Michelin Guide 2012 Revealed

While some may be anxiously awaiting the soon-departing Sam Sifton's verdict on the best restaurant in the city, truly rank-hungry New Yorkers can grab a copy of the Michelin New York 2012 Dining Guide for a more immediate answer. Oft-considered the definitive voice in high-end dining, the latest issue hits shelves today and has many a NYC restaurant on its list.

Big news makers this year include the newly-sold Eleven Madison Park, which received an additional two stars to the one it already had. Also basking in three-star glory is Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, Chef Cesar Ramirez's tasting menu-only restaurant in Boerum Hill. Already appointed three-star locales including Per Se and Le Bernardin remain in top territory.

dineLA Restaurant Week

What's better than a single week of discounts and special menus at the best restaurants in LA? Two weeks of the same deal.

From October 2-7 and October 9-14 dineLA will "introduce diners to the vast array of restaurants in neighborhoods throughout LA county." With the exception of this Saturday (and we can't blame them for not discounting the busiest day of the week), you can grab a three-course prix-fix meal at any of the participating restos.