Sunday, November 29, 2015

Party a la Rolling Stones at the Tour Plane Experience at JFK Airport

From now through December 30, you can actually get what you need, and a little satisfaction, too, if your travels take you through John F. Kennedy International airport.  Make a point of stopping in the retail area of Concourse A at Terminal 4 to visit the pop-up Jose Cuervo Rolling Stones exhibit.  Air Hollywood, a firm from California noted for creating airplane replicas and sets for the film industry (think, Kristen Wiig on that wonderful airplane scene to Las Vegas in Bridesmaids or the planes used in Wolf of Wall Street and Money Ball) has created a replica of the tour plane used by the Stones on their 1972 “party plane” North American Tour, set in an area covering 1500 square feet at the airport. At that time, it was Mick Jagger who reportedly asked for a tequila shot but was served a tequila sunrise instead. Mick was enamored of the orange juice, grenadine and Jose Cuervo creation and it became the drink of the tour, later dubbed the Tequila Sunrise Tour. And thus the drink’s fame began. 

At this replica plane, you can try a sample of Jose Cuervo Especial between 2:30pm and 8pm, and sit around a bar that looks remarkably like the one on the Stones’ plane. There are also exhibits, Guitar Hero, and the leather seats that the Stones and their music crew sat in on their memorable 1972 tour. The seats also have the immediately recognizable lips logo. You can tune out the noise of the airport, as well, as Stones songs are playing non-stop. You might actually be happy that you have a layover.  #CuervoSunriseTour

All photos: Ben Hider

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Celebrations at Hotels around the World

If you're like me, traveling anywhere for any holiday is my preferred place to be. So that you don't ignore Thanksgiving, you might want to consider some of these places where celebrations happen, but not in the traditional turkey sense.

The New York Hilton Midtown, located directly on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route, is creating an all-chocolate suite featuring delicacies like truffles, beignets and macarons by the hotel’s pastry chef as well as master chocolatier, Jacques Torres. The hotel is also offering packages with premier vantage points of the world-famous floats, classic holiday movie screenings in the ballroom and a photo booth complete with holiday themed props. this is still a Thanksgiving celebration, but it definitely surpasses having dinner at home with the 'rents.

How about a boat trip?  Another way to see the sites of New York City and hold onto holiday traditions, the Spirit of New York has lunch and dinner cruises with live entertainment and a buffet of holiday favorites. Guests can indulge afloat with views of the Statue of Liberty. For a more European-inspired holiday on the water, Bateaux New York cruises offers an all-glass enclosed ship and allows diners to view New York’s skyline while enjoying creative takes on traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas classics.

In Beverly Hills, New York City and Washington, DC, AKA hotels have launched in-suite Thanksgiving meals for that “home away from home” feeling. AKA’s dedicated Resident Services team will arrange "bespoke" meals for guests, such as dishes from iconic food hall Chelsea Market for New York City guests, from the International Cookbook Library at AKA White House for recipes with a global flair, and from Wolfgang Puck’s acclaimed Spago for travelers to Los Angeles.

Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, in Key West is hosting the International Sand Art Competition during Thanksgiving weekend where six of the world’s best sand sculptors will create in larger-than-life masterpieces. Guests will enjoy a Tito’s hosted bar and a treasure dig where they'll search for a certified silver coin from the 1966 wreck of the Spanish galleon near Key West, valued at $1000.

Vacationers looking to ditch the dining room table and give thanks Caribbean style can book a stay at the new Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort for a Thanksgiving picnic at one of the island’s many iconic locations. Guests can feast on turkey sandwiches, rich cheese spreads, stuffed croissants, fresh fruit cocktails, and more at their preferred destination – choosing from mangrove-filled beaches, a historic lighthouse, old Dutch windmills, natural pools or glittering lagoons.

Seafood lovers who don't want to cook their own meal can take advantage of Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort in Costa Rica’s “You Hook It, We Cook It” program in lieu of a traditional turkey meal. A top destination for sport fishing, the resort is located on Costa Rica’s fishing capital, Herradura Beach, and will cook up any catch of the day. The culinary team then prepares a spread with a variety of local flavors and side dishes to accompany it.

You Can Still Book Dinner in NYC for Thanksgiving: Check out These Great Restaurants

Have you procrastinated about Thanksgiving dinner?  If you’d prefer a “Friendsgiving” or just another way to avoid the family stress that usually surrounds this November family get-together, there are many ways to re-locate your dinner to a more neutral and possibly more delightful location.Here are some of my favorite restaurants in New York City that are offering fantastic turkey dinners:

The Dutch

Andrew Carmellini’s popular SoHo restaurant is offering a prix fixe dinner for $95 per person ($50 for kids 12 and under).  Served family-style, the main course selection includes a typical spread of Thanksgiving treats. Roasted turkey with chestnuts and oyster mushrooms; mashed potatoes and gravy; Brussels sprouts with bacon, horseradish, and pickled mustard seeds; spoon-bread stuffing with andouille sausage and green peppers; spaghetti squash; and cranberry-orange sauce will make sure you don’t miss mom’s cooking. A choice of appetizers ranges from oysters to salads, steak tartare, soup, and pasta.  Nostalgic about keeping tradition?  Have the apple pie or pecan pie for dessert.  Or venture into more exotic turf with a pumpkin donut or devil’s food cake. Tax and gratuity, not included. 212-677-6200, 131 Sullivan Street, Manhattan.

Rotisserie Georgette
While you may be tired of turkey, this is the place to have it as Georgette Farkas’s rotisserie preparations are the standouts.  It’s also truffle season, so many of the dishes have optional truffle supplements. The three-course menu is prix fixe at $84 per person (kids are $40 per person) and includes a choice of chestnut soup, pate, or two salads to start; your entrée (roasted turkey with all the fixins, chicken for two with black truffle stuffing and black truffle pureed potatoes for a $45 per person supplement, prime rib, branzino, or farro for the vegetarians).  Desserts are variations on the traditional like a pumpkin mousseline torte with gingersnap crust, or a non-traditional chocolate pot de crème.  Sides like sweet potatoes with spiced marshmallow crumb crust, or turkey sausage with black truffle stuffing are extra as are tax and gratuity. 212-390-8060, 14 East 60th Street, Manhattan.

The Polo Bar 
Thanksgiving might be the time to score a reservation at this not-quite-a-club, impossible-to-get-into restaurant.  The hotspot from Ralph Lauren is strong on Lauren’s holiday favorites including butternut squash soup, roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing with pork sauce.  Drinks are included, from a Champagne toast to cider, with nuts and olives on the side. Dress your equestrian best and enjoy the setting.  It’s yours on Thanksgiving for $150 per person, tax and gratuity extra. 212-207-8562, 1 East 55th Street, Manhattan.

How about a Greek Thanksgiving?  Two prix fixe offerings from $35 to $95 include appetizer, entrée and dessert.  To maintain the Thanksgiving spirit, Michael Psilakis starts you with something turkey, here a turkey abgolemono soup that’s a riff on Greek egg lemon soup. Follow that with roasted turkey, done pretty traditionally with mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables and gravy, and finished with a choice of two traditional Greek desserts, walnut cake with walnut ice cream, or yogurt with nuts and fruit.  212-873-0200, 505 Columbus Ave, Manhattan. Taxes, gratuity extra.
If an Italian celebration is more to your liking, Il Buco’s sibling restaurant offers a cozy setting for Thanksgiving dinner. Sit at one of the rustic communal tables and enjoy a multi-course dinner for $85 per person.  A selection of salumi or cheeses is served family-style to start.  Also served family-style are the sides -- sweet potatoes , kale and quinoa, and buckwheat stuffing with figs and sage -- and desserts, chocolate tarte, roasted pears with rosemary caramel, and persimmon soufflé cake. You pick your own starter – black bass crudo, vegetable soup, or chestnut angolotti – and your own main, baccala in a spicy tomato ragout with clams, rotisserie-roasted heritage pork, or Hudson Valley turkey with caramelized endive and apple. Tax and gratuity are additional. 212-837-2622, 53 Great Jones Street, Manhattan,

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Family Entertainment: Broadway Shows (throughout the US) on Sale and a Giant Paper Fight

Wondering how to entertain the kids before the real holidays start?  Two innovative programs invite children to immerse themselves in theatrical artistry, designed to educate and amuse all ages.

One of my favorites, Mimirichi is a pantomime troupe that has achieved international acclaim. They bill themselves as specialists in the art of “paper fights.”  You’ll have to see them to understand what this means, but trust me that it’s a combination of comedy, pantomime, slapstick and good old-fashioned silliness. Their newest show, Paper World, promises an interactive element as well. Not surprisingly inducted into the World Clown Academy, the three Ukrainians who comprise Mimirichi recall Marcel Marceau, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and other clown geniuses. The show takes place from November 10 – 29 at Theater for New City, 155 First Avenue, Manhattan (between 9th and 10th Streets). Tickets start at $45.  The show is appropriate for ages 4 and above. Information, 800-718-1444, or

Starting immediately, tickets are on sale for Kids’ Night on Broadway, February 9, 2016, brought to you by the Broadway League.  Now entering its 20th year, the program offers a free ticket to kids ages 18 and under when accompanied by a full-paying adult. The 23 productions included in this special promotion in New York City include both musicals and plays with such alluring shows as Fun Home, Jersey Boys, Kinky Boots, The King and I, Something Rotten, Wicked, Aladdin, Fiddler on the Roof, Finding Neverland, Noises Off, On Your Feet, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, The Lion King, Matilda The Musical, School of Rock The Musical, Phantom of the Opera, and Les Misérables.  For the full list of shows and links to tickets, visit Discounts at area restaurants are also available.

Not in New York City for these events?  Not to worry. Kids’ Night on Broadway events are scheduled throughout the year in other North American cities. Check for participating shows and venues throughout the year. Some of the upcoming ones include Matilda the Musical in Syracuse, New York on December 1, 2015; and Rogers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella in Hershey, Pennsylvania on January 27, 2016 and Appleton, Wisconsin on March 8, 2016.  

Monday, September 28, 2015

Eating My Way through Lake Charles, Louisiana

While New Orleans is probably the first city that comes to mind when you think of great Louisiana food and drink, Lake Charles in the Southwest part of the state is the Cajun capital. Forget about eating hot dogs when you’re in Lake Charles. This is the home of the boudin, a sausage-y creation that’s as ubiquitous as the dirty water dog in New York City and as artisanal a food as you’ll find anywhere in the US. For a more haute cuisine experience, you can also enjoy Rouge et Blanc, Lake Charles’s premier wine and food event, this year scheduled on October 17 at McNeese State University.  
When people ask what American cuisine is all about, Cajun cuisine rises to the top of the list. A little bit Creole with a dash of French, Cajun is smoke and spice, seafood and meats, and a whole lot of hand-crafted boudins and cracklins. In Southwest Louisiana, it’s a way of life, and a true expression of the local culture.

Boudin Trail

Different from a boudin blanc or boudin rouge that you might find in France or the Caribbean, Louisiana  boudins are rice sausages, made of pork liver, pork meat, greens and spices, encased in a wrapper made from washed and boiled pig products. Each boudin restaurant has its own standout version, and there are also seafood and alligator boudins.  I made it my business to try as many as I could as family recipes differ significantly. 

Cracklins are as much a part of this tradition as are boudins. Made from pork belly as is bacon, cracklins are their own entity because they’re cubed and cooked with their skin on. Deep fried and delicious, these pork rinds make the perfect finger food when you’re craving something salty. In Cajun country, cracklins are like potato chips. You eat them any time of the day and you can get them as smoky or spicy as you’d like. Grab some in a sack, add a few fried boudin balls (a smaller version of the sausage), and you’re ready to tailgate. No veggies allowed.

There are so many local restaurants offering boudins that the folks have organized a Boudin Trail, a trail that makes for good eating and people meeting for days on end. Think you’ve tried boudin if you stop at only one or two? Not really. Boudin is the Louisiana equivalent of BBQ – you’ll have a different recipe everywhere you go. You may not want to try all 27 on the trail, but a good half dozen will begin your journey into boudin expertise.

Five that I highly recommend:

Famous Foods – In Lake Charles. Three generations of the Guillory family have been serving Pappy’s boudin recipe for nearly 25 years. Customers drive in from all parts -- especially from Texas -- for the Creole-style menu. Famous Food will even ship to you. These boudins and cracklins achieve four-star status in my book.  337-497-1477

Sonnier’s Sausage and Boudin – In Lake Charles. The newbie of the group I visited, this seven-year old takeout shop sells smoked, spicy and regular boudins. All are marvelously addictive.  337-656-2876

B & O Kitchen and Grocery – In Sulphur (10 miles from Lake Charles). A veteran of 30 years and three generations, the shop makes boudins of varying spice levels as well as cracklins, beef jerky, smoked sausages, and Cajun slim Jims. Be sure to ask master boudin maker Jeff Benoit to see the huge vats where the cracklins are made and don’t miss the cheese-filled boudin balls, my personal favorite. 337-625-4637

Hollier’s Cajun Kitchen – In Sulphur. Perfect if you can’t make up your mind, Hollier’s offers an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet and a dinner seafood buffet. My suggestion is to stay focused and just order up the boudins and boudin balls. This is the place to try alligator balls.  337-527-0061

The Sausage Link – In Sulphur. No seating. The Sausage Link is mainly a butcher shop. They'll gladly let you watch them make the boudins, which come in multiple varieties. Lots of other meats are for sale here, too, including the mind-numbing turducken, a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck which is then stuffed into a deboned turkey. Of course, the turducken can be stuffed with boudin. 337-625-2030

Jambalaya, Seafood and Gumbo

Being near the Gulf of Mexico means there’s an abundance of seafood, all done up Louisiana style. Boiled shrimp, seafood gumbo, crawfish, oysters and jambalaya go perfectly with the Cajun music that’ll have you dancing and tapping your feet. You should try the different kinds of jambalaya that you’ll find: some have more seafood than meat, some mix the two, each with a wondrously smoky flavor. True Cajun gumbo is served on a bed of rice and can similarly be of a seafood or a more traditional sausage variety.

You can gorge yourself silly at the über-popular Seafood Palace in Lake Charles, where communal tables are quickly covered with heaps of crawfish boulettes, crab pistolettes, fried okra and bowls of shrimp and crab gumbo.  If it’s the season, order a platter of giant Louisiana blue crabs – they’ll show you how to eat them. 337-443-9293

In Sulphur, The Boiling Point specializes in crawfish and local Gulf seafood. This is a good choice if you want to enjoy the area’s seafood but don’t want to lose an opportunity to try out another boudin.  337-625-9282

Other Foodie Experiences

Each year the Rouge et Blanc Food and Wine Festival sells out to hungry folks from the area and beyond. Stands showing off the best of Southwest Louisiana from tacos to tamales and BBQ line the field, and wine is poured generously.  It’s a dress-up kind of event, absolutely Southern in flavor, but appealing to all, and one that you should try to book well in advance. The four-hour tasting event sells out quickly.

Southwest Louisiana has its fine dining spot, too. La Truffe Sauvage prides itself on its six-course wine pairing dinners, featuring varying American vintners. Here you can sample baked French-inflected wild Gulf red snapper with saffron risotto or beef Wellington, for example, followed by a sinfully rich chocolate oblivion torte.  337-439-8364

Drinks Louisiana-Style

Lest we forget that libations go hand and hand with foodie celebrations, Southwest Louisiana has its own distillery, a newish operation that makes rum from local cane sugar. The largest private-label rum in the US, Bayou Rum comes in satsuma, a citrusy rum liqueur that uses seasonal fruit like clementines; silver (80 proof); spiced; and select dark. All use all-natural unrefined sugar and molasses and are aged and then poured into bottles rinsed with rum to eliminate bacteria and residue. You can tour the Louisiana Spirits distillery as well as sample to your heart’s content. The label’s pretty cool, too.

Back at the Casino

In Lake Charles, the place to rest your boots is L’Auberge Casino and Resort.  Here, you’ll not only have the chance to win some money, but you’ll also enjoy another level of fine dining. There’s the mandatory Beaucoup Buffet, of course, although this one’s actually really good and doles out dishes from around the globe. You can flit from the fried chicken station to the sushi bar and prime rib carvery within seconds. And the service is sublime.

But my favorite place to dine is the Ember Grille and Wine Bar, where the casino folks cater to the high rollers with top-notch cuts like Kobe beef, baby lamb chops done up like lollipops, and a 40-ounce ribeye “Tomahawk” steak, carved tableside. Seafood isn’t ignored, and the BBQ pecan-bacon-wrapped shrimp is the restaurant’s callout to shrimp and grits. The wine list is well curated and includes an award-winning selection of reds. If you catch it right, the resort’s outside beach area has a food truck, too, with tacos and other treats. The outdoor lazy river and pool area makes sure you’re fed and refreshed with cool cocktails and snacks. For late night drinks and music, Jack Daniel’s Bar and Grill has it all, in a lively setting right across from the casino floor. 337-395-7777

New Orleans in Southwest Louisiana

And for something almost not related to food, Lake Charles is the location of the Mardi Gras 
Museum of Imperial Calcasieu, where costumes from krewes past fill room after room with elaborate colors and memorabilia. Set inside the Central School Arts and Humanities Center, it’s the largest Mardi Gras museum in the world and it’s also where you can decorate your own King Cake with sugars in the three Mardi Gras colors of purple (justice), gold (power) and green (faith). The King Cake is an integral part of Mardi Gras, baked up and served between Twelfth Night (12 nights after Christ’s birth) and Fat Tuesday. As tradition goes, if you bite into the slice with the baby toy inside, you’ll be the one to host the Mardi Gras party the following year (or you could consider yourself the king or queen of the present one, or just plain lucky!). Why is this museum located here? Lake Charles is the site of the state’s second largest Mardi Gras celebration. 337-430-0043 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

September 21 Marks the Beginning of Fall -- Eat Up in Manhattan!

Celebrate fall with these five stunning food (and benefit) events in Manhattan

Brooklyn Brewery and the Craft Beer Revolution
Monday, September 21, 7pm

Brooklyn Brewery’s Steve Hindy (author of Beer School) and Garrett Oliver (author of The Brewmaster’s Table) share the story of how their revolutionary company grew from a home-brew hobby into a multimillion-dollar business—in the most competitive beer market in the US.  Tasting included.
92nd St. Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. (at 92nd St.), Manhattan

A Second Helping of Life
Monday, September 21, 7pm-9:30pm

Join New York City's premier women chefs to support SHARE and raise funds to help thousands affected by breast and ovarian cancer. Headlining chefs include April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig and The Breslin. For more information email
Chelsea Piers, Pier 60 (at West 22nd St.), Manhattan
Tasting Event tickets start at $325

Sweden Day at NORTH 2015
Thursday, September 24, noon-10pm

On Sweden Day, celebrate the country that gave us ABBA, IKEA and Spotify with a free event at the Scandic Haymarket Square at NORTH 2015. Food and drink from Stockholm provided for all.
The Scandic Haymarket Square, 139 Charles St. (Washington-Greenwich Sts.), Manhattan

D'Artagnan Cassoulet War
Thursday, September 24, 7pm – 10pm

On September 24, fifteen chefs battle for cassoulet supremacy at The Standard Biergarten. Enjoy the festivities and the cassoulet experience while voting for your favorite cassoulet. Proceeds benefit Action Against Hunger. A panel of judges including Chef Sara Moulton (Food Network’s “Sara’s Secrets), Chef Andre Daguin (Hotel de France), Chef Jean-Pierre Xiradakis (La Tupina), Francis Staub (Founder of Staub Cookware), and Jean-Michel Cazes (French winemaker) will choose the Most Authentic and Most Daring cassoulet champion.The Standard, 848 Washington St. (at Little West 12th St.), Manhattan

Pop Up New York's Chelsea Eats
Saturday, September 26

Chelsea Eats will bring a culinary journey to 8th Avenue from 14th – 23rd street with the focus of giving a makeover to the classic street experience. The Chelsea Eats strip will bring together the best of New York’s artisanal food, handcrafted goods, stunning visual artists and live entertainment. As part of the event, dancers from the Joyce Theater will put on live performances from tap, jazz, salsa and ballet genres.

Participating vendors include Red Hook Lobster Pound; Melt Bakery; Alchemy Creamery; Mighty Quinn’s BBQ; Brooklyn Oyster Party; Duck Season; WtrMLN Water; Detox Water), visual artist (UTA Brauser) and merchants (Papercrane Heart, The Green Pallette Brooklyn Bar Body and Bath). Local restaurants located on the Chelsea Eats strip Pound & Ounces, Bareburger and Forringers host beer and wine gardens outside of their venues.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Celebrate with Wolffer Estate Vineyard This Weekend in the Hamptons: Happy Labor Day!

I love Wölffer Estate Vineyard and Montauk, both.And this weekend it seems that the Hamptons aren’t as crowded as you might have anticipated. So here’s a good reason to head to the East End for a last tribute to the summer.

On Sunday, September 6 (rain date Monday, September 7), Sagaponack’s Wolffer Estate Vineyard and Montauk’s ultra-hip restaurant and bar The Crow's Nest have joined forces to create and evening of Argentine fare and festivities. Guest Chef Fernando Trocca of Buenos Aires will prepare his signature seafood paella and Wölffer will be serving their first wine from their partnership in Mendoza, Finca Wolffer Rose. The weather is gorgeous, and this will be an outdoor event to remember:

Endless Summer Paella Party, Argentine-Style
Sunday, September 6th (rain date Monday, September 7), 5pm-8pm at the Lakefront at Crow’s Nest Beach, Montauk, New York

Be among the first to try Finca Wölffer Rosé, Wölffer Estate’s new wine from Argentina, plus Wölffer No. 139 Dry White and Rosé Cider, regular beach bar cocktails and a special Wölffer cider cocktail.

Food choices include the aforementioned seafood paella as well as tapas such as: Red Shrimp Ceviche, Octopus Tiradito, Heirloom Tomato, Feta, Anchovies, Capers and Saatar Salad over Pita,Ricotta with Aubergines, Almonds, Honey and Lemon Zest,Grilled Spring Onions with Romesco Sauce,Raw Zucchini Carpaccio with Olives and Chiles,and Chopped Chicken Liver over “Pan De Campo.”

And, if you can’t make it all the way to Montauk, try to get a reservation at Wölffer’s new restaurant in Sag Harbor, Wölffer Kitchen, 29 Main Street, 631-725-0101. While the initial attraction is the vineyard’s substantial list of wines and ciders, it’s the local produce and main courses that are the standouts. Of particular note, the steaks, pastas and veggie sides all profit from the fresh
produce and proteins from the area. Chef Deena Chafetz and Wölffer winemaker and partner Roman Roth have curated both a menu and a wine list to appeal to all foodies and wine lovers. And the location can’t be beat, steps from the Bay Street Theater and the center of Sag Harbor.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Back from Vacation? Order These Foods as Reminders of Your Trip

Although I can pretty much find anything I want in Manhattan, I love the idea of world cuisine being shipped directly to my door (as well as New York City goodies). From Manhattan dessert treats to the finest Alaskan seafood or Spanish wines and oils, you’ll enjoy global treats that will remind you of your holiday dining.

Here are some of my favorites:


If you salivate over tapas from Barcelona or olive oils that are some of the freshest in the world (my favorite is the very grassy Arbequina), you’ll want to know about DeliShop. This Spanish food shop features everything from the finest of Spanish cooking oils to essential pastas, sauces, spices and more.  Not only does Delishop deliver to your door after just a few online clicks, but it also has an extensive list of traditional recipes for make-it-yourself world cuisine. Some Spanish favorites include a classic paella entrée, típico cocktails and the ever-delicious tres leche cake. Although not limited to those found in Spanish meals, selections largely draw upon an Iberian-based diet of oil, seafood, starch and more oil.  DeliShop also offers cooking classes at its four Barcelona locations, a potential vacation activity for the foodies and cravers of a bit of onsite Spanish culture. Check out recipes, locations and food order options at

Cookie Panache           
For sweeter treats to indulge yourself or your friends & family, Cookie Panache is a solid go-to.  Its bestsellers include the likes of Dulce de Leche and Red Velvet Vanilla chewy cookies, as well as Brownie and Blondie bites. Perfect for special occasion planning, the website filters results based on the event theme. From birthday gifts, to thank you acknowledgements, to get-well-soon packages, a wide range of sweet snacks are available.  Located in Manhattan, this gourmet bakery will alleviate any “I Miss New York” pangs. Order at           
There are no false promises when it comes to Wisconsin’s delivering as the Dairy State, especially when it comes to its selections of meat and cheeses. Figi’s has specialized in this combination of smokehouse favorites since 1944. The variety packs are a definite win if you’re looking for a mix of new and old tastes, combining the best of all flavors into an assortment of snack-sized cuts of Colby-Jack and Cheddar cheeses, Smokehouse Summer Sausages, and buttery Cashew and Mixed Nut Add-ins among others. Try the Salami- or Bacon-flavored cheese if you’re feeling daring.  Order at

Sick of the grocery store’s mediocre seafood section of same-old, sad hunks of fish?  Alaska wants to change all that.  From Halibut to King Crab, Snow Crab, Shrimp, Scallops, Smoked Salmon, Rockfish, Sablefish, Black Cod and more, you’ll love the choices Coal Point Seafood offers.  Fare is purchased directly from Alaskan fishermen and shipped to your door.  Coal Point even has a same-day-caught-blast-frozen policy!  You can choose from individual samplers to variety packs, and different ounce options are available.  Halibut is the Alaskan fish of choice, so that is always a good start if you’re not sure what to buy. Order at or call 1-800-325-3877 to order direct.  


Anyone who visits Manhattan knows that Zabar's is a must-visit, one-stop shop for all deli items.  Order main courses like roasted turkeys and sides such as honey roasted yams,  typical Zabars treats like rugelach, smoked salmon and bagels , or their famous coffee beans. You’ll spend lots of time online perusing their site at,  or call 800-697-6301 for help in selecting the perfect menu.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Shop and Eat in the Hamptons for Two Good Causes – Saturday July 25

This is a weekend to skip the beach and go for some heavy-duty shopping and eating experiences on the South Fork of Long Island, New York.

From 1pm-6pm, Super Saturday in NY invites shoppers to indulge their inner Sex in the City with the garage sale of all garage sales. Donated clothing and home products from designers ranging from Sigerson Morrison and Magaschoni to Ralph Lauren, Diane van Furstenberg and Theory will be on sale under the tents at prices 30-50% below retail, with all proceeds going to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF). Now celebrating its 18th year, the event is hosted by Kelly Ripa and Donna Karan.

Kelly Ripa, host of Super SaturdayPhoto: Mike Coppolla, Getty Images

In addition to shopping, Super Saturday includes food and drink, a kids’ carnival, and tented events throughout the day such as dream interpretation, psychic readings, hair braiding, a Photobooth, and beauty treatments. , Water Mill, New York; Nova’s Ark Project, 1-6pm (VIP entry at 12Noon).  Tickets will be on sale at the event.

Once you’ve had your fill of shopping, you can concentrate on some serious eating and drinking at the James Beard Foundation’s annual Chefs & Champagne ® tasting event. Forty-three chefs – many of them James Beard Award winners -- from restaurants in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Mississippi and Washington, DC will dish up their best under the beautiful tent at Wölffer Estate Vineyard. Beverages will be provided by Champagne Taittinger, Wölffer Estate Vineyard, and Stella Artois.  

James Beard Foundation's Chefs & Champagne, Wolffer Vineyard Estate

The menu already has me salivating. Dishes like Tyler Kinnett’s (Harvest, Cambridge) spicy Vermont pork with watermelon, peaches, labneh and basil pesto; Amanda Cohen’s (Dirt Candy, New York City) tomato tarts with smoked feta; and Noah Schwartz’s (Noah’s, Greenport) oysters with soy mignonette and micro-wasabi show why summer is the best season for eating.

Guests receive a goodie-filled swag bag and can also take part in an extravagant silent auction with the chance to win a vacation getaway, a delicious dining experience, crystal and china, and more. A preview of some of the auction items is online at 

Proceeds from the auction and the dinner benefit the James Beard Foundation, whose mission is to celebrate, nurture and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire., Wölffer Estate Vineyard, Sagaponack, New York; 212-627-2308, 6-8pm (VIP reception 5pm-6pm, with after party from 8-10pm)