New York Culinary Experience, Chefs Collaborative, NJ Wine and Food Festival

By Annie Wu, Epoch Times
March 30, 2016 5:52 pm Last Updated: March 8, 2018 5:23 pm

Avenida Cantina Launches Brunch

Tex-Mex joint Avenida Cantina is now serving brunch. Expect classic Tex-Mex fare like Breakfast Nachos—scrambled eggs, refried beans, chorizo, and cheese melted over fried corn tortilla chips; Brisket Hash, with house-smoked brisket sautéed with onions, poblano peppers, fried potatoes, and sunny side up eggs; and Nutella-Stuffed Churro French Toast—slices of fresh sourdough bread layered with a Nutella sauce, dusted with cinnamon and sugar, and drizzled with cream cheese icing. Breakfast tacos will also be served all day.

Avenida Cantina
25 Avenue B (between Second & Third streets)

Beef Tartare with Red Curry Sphere. (Christ Montgomery)
Beef Tartare with Red Curry Sphere. (Christ Montgomery)

Underground Supper Club in Chelsea

Want to meet new friends while noshing on a gourmet meal? Dine with the underground supper club, I Forgot It’s Wednesday, founded by the husband-wife duo Jenny and Matt Dorsey. The Dorseys created the club as a way for strangers to meet and engage in intimate conversations. Jenny is the chef, while Matt is the mixologist. Each dinner features seven courses with four cocktail pairings.

Past menu options include chawanmushi with chicken pho broth, Japanese sencha, bamboo rice, young garlic, and pickled shiitake mushrooms; Moroccan braised lamb shank with red bell pepper and artichoke purée, sesame leaf, and broccoli rabe; and Meyer lemon chiffon cake. $85 for dinner, additional $30 for cocktail flight.

Every other Saturday, 8 p.m.
Undisclosed location in Chelsea
For tickets, visit

Dishes in RobataYa's omakase menu. (Courtesy of RobataYa)
Dishes in RobataYa’s omakase menu. (Courtesy of RobataYa)

Robataya Launches Omakase Menu

Japanese barbecue joint Robataya is now serving a special “omakase” (chef’s choice) menu, in six, seven, or eight courses. Dishes include a Japanese version of surf and turf, with grilled whole fish and Washu beef rib-eye steak; homemade tofu; and “kamameshi,” a traditional Japanese rice dish cooked in an iron pot with dashi, seafood, meats, and vegetables. $60 to $100 per person; additional $30 to $70 for sake pairings.

231 E. Ninth St.

Cajun Crawfish Balls. (Courtesy of Double Wide Bar and Southern Kitchen)
Cajun Crawfish Balls. (Courtesy of Double Wide Bar and Southern Kitchen)

Crawfish Boil at Double Wide Bar and Southern Kitchen

It’s crawfish boil season in Louisiana. This East Village Southern restaurant is serving the traditional Cajun dish on weekends, featuring 3 pounds worth of crawfish, sausage, corn, and potatoes in a bucket for $30. The restaurant also has Crawfish Dip and Cajun Crawfish Balls on the menu.

Wash down your weekend seafood feast with beers from the Louisiana-based brewery Abita, and rum drinks like the Monsoon and Yellowhammer. 

Double Wide Bar and Southern Kitchen
505 E. 12th St.

Playa Betty's Quesadilla. (Courtesy of Playa Betty)
Playa Betty’s Quesadilla. (Courtesy of Playa Betty)

Playa Betty’s Brunch and Lunch

Playa Betty’s California cuisine is now being served for brunch and lunch service. For brunch, enjoy customizable Betty’s Breakfast Bowls with options like poached and scrambled eggs, beans, brown rice, quinoa, scrapple, and turkey sausage. Or try the breakfast tacos and quesadillas, like the Pork Belly and Egg Taco with scrambled eggs, tamarind-glazed pork belly, cotija cheese, and pico de gallo; or the Breakfast Quesadilla with scrambled eggs, jack cheese, black beans, pico de gallo, and bacon or steak. 

For lunch, there are new menu items available, like Ceviche Tostadas, served on housemade puffed tortillas with fluke ceviche, lime juice, avocado, and cucumber pico de gallo; the Mexicano Sandwich with al pastor pork belly, jack cheese, mayo, and pickles; and the California Cobb Salad with grilled chicken, avocado, bacon, blue cheese, romaine lettuce, and Betty’s strawberry vinaigrette. 

Playa Betty’s
320 Amsterdam Ave. 

Freud Launches Brunch

The latest Austrian restaurant by chef Eduard Frauneder has launched brunch service. The menu is separated into Sweet, Small Bites, Organic Eggs, and Sandwiches & Co, with dishes like Pancakes topped with rhubarb and whipped sour cream; Poached Eggs with house-smoked sea bass, rye, and Bavaroise sauce; and Freud Burger with farmhouse cheddar and onion jam.

506 LaGuardia Place

A bottle of Chiarlo Barbera Le Orme. (Courtesy of Petaluma)
A bottle of Chiarlo Barbera Le Orme. (Courtesy of Petaluma)

Petaluma Specials

Italian restaurant Petaluma on the Upper East Side is offering a neighborhood appreciation deal every Tuesday, with 15 percent off your dinner check. On Sundays, the restaurant hosts a family supper series: all signature pasta and entree dishes come with a complimentary side salad.

In addition, on April 21, Petaluma is hosting its monthly Taste of Italy event with curated food and wine pairings. This month, the event features wines from Tenuta San Guido and Michele Chiarlo. $78 per person.

Taste of Italy
Thursday, April 21
6 p.m.–9 p.m.
1356 First Ave.

The Res con Chile Morita enchilada with slow cooked short rib. (Courtesy of Maya)
The Res con Chile Morita enchilada with slow cooked short rib. (Courtesy of Maya)

Enchilada Festival at Maya

It’s an enchilada feast at chef Richard Sandoval’s Mexican restaurant, Maya. Did you know the word “enchilada” has origins in Nahuatl, meaning flute seasoned with chile? This month, Sandoval will serve different enchiladas, like Almendrada, with pork carnitas, almond mole sauce, pickled onions, pomegranate gastrique, orange segments, fresno peppers, and cilantro; Mexico City, with braised veal tongue, green mole, cotija cheese, and achiote oil; and Res con Chile Morita, with slow cooked short rib, chile merit sauce, red onion, cherry tomatoes, queso fresco, avocado, and refried beans.

Through Monday, April 18
1191 First Ave.

New Jersey Wine and Food Festival

The annual New Jersey Wine and Food Festival will kick off with two dinners hosted by top chefs. The first features winners and alums of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” television show—Kevin Sbraga, Nicholas Elmi, and Dale Talde—as well as Michelin-starred pastry chef Marc Aumont. Each course will be paired with a boutique wine. $225 per person.

The second dinner features wines from Tuscan winery Sassicaia & Biserno and dishes by chef Anthony Bucco and chef Mark Ladner of Del Posto. $375 per person for six-course menu. Saturday features a full lineup of winemaker seminars, a bartender competition, and a showcase of agricultural produce from local farmers. In the evening, there is the grand tasting, with dishes from 25 top New Jersey and New York chefs and wines from more than 30 wineries. $135 to $250 per person. The festival ends with a Champagne brunch. $50 per person.

Friday, April 1–Sunday, April 3
Crystal Springs Resort
1 Wild Turkey Way
Hamburg, N.J.

Benoit's Cochon dish. (Courtesy of Benoit)
Benoit’s Cochon dish. (Courtesy of Benoit)

Cochon at Benoit

For the month of April, Chef Phillipe Bertineau of Benoit will serve “cochon,” the classic French meal consisting of a 16-pound, 2-hour slow-roasted suckling pig seasoned with a blend of garlic and herbs. Every Tuesday, Bertineau will change up the side dishes to highlight the cooking styles of different regions of France. The series starts on April 5 with dishes from Alsace, with sauerkraut-style cabbage, steamed potatoes, and cochon jus with mustard. April 12 will highlight Brittany, with cranberry bean casserole Paimpol style, with red apples and leeks; artichoke hearts confit in butter; and cochon jus with Pommereau. April 19 will feature Basque Country dishes, and April 26 will highlight Provence.

Tuesdays, through April 26
60 W. 55th St. 

A young eater enjoys a spare rib at the 2015 BBQ Cookoff. (Courtesy of Historic Richmond Town)
A young eater enjoys a spare rib at the 2015 BBQ Cookoff. (Courtesy of Historic Richmond Town)

BBQ Cookoff

Staten Island’s annual barbecue competition is back. Enjoy lots of saucy meats amid the beautiful terrain of the Historic Richmond Town. $12.75 online, $15 at the door for adults; $6 online, $8 at the door for children.

Saturday, April 9
Noon–4 p.m.
Historic Richmond Town
441 Clarke Ave., Staten Island

Attendees at a previous Ferment! Ferment! event. (Courtesy of Zach Schulman)
Attendees at a previous Ferment! Ferment! event. (Courtesy of Zach Schulman)

Ferment! Ferment!

If you’re a home cook who loves to experiment with fermenting and aging your own food, this is the event for you. Zach Schulman throws several fermentation parties a year, where home cooks share their latest creations, such as mustard, kimchi, miso, or sauerkraut. The day will start with workshops, then a tasting of the fermented foods and drinks. Attendees are also encouraged to bring a culture or starter to swap at the culture exchange table. Event is free.

Sunday, April 10
4 p.m.–8 p.m.
Brooklyn Free School
372 Clinton Ave., Brooklyn

Chefs Collaborative

This annual summit brings together leaders in different areas of the food and hospitality industry. Guest speakers include chefs Jose Andrés, Rick Bayless, and Bill Telepan, as well as food journalist Kim Severson and nutrition professor Marion Nestle. Activities during the three-day conference run the gamut from workshops on food waste and sustainable seafood, to food tours around the city. Monday evening, top chefs will prepare a dinner with underutilized, sustainable species of fish from U.S. waters, including monkfish, skate, and Atlantic pollock. Chefs include Michael Scelfo from Alden & Harlow in Cambridge, David LeFevre from Fishing With Dynamite in Los Angeles, and Howard Kalachnikoff from Gramercy Tavern in New York City. $375 to $950 per person.

Sunday, April 10–Tuesday, April 12
Various locations

Chef Ken Oringer cooks with master class students. (Courtesy of New York Culinary Experience)
Chef Ken Oringer cooks with master class students. (Courtesy of New York Culinary Experience)

New York Culinary Experience 

For one weekend, more than 30 top chefs and experts will teach hands-on master classes at the International Culinary Center, including Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Cesare Casella of the International Culinary Center, Chung Chow of Noreetuh, Missy Robbins of Lilia, Gabriel Kreuther, and Justin Smillie of Upland.

Saturday, April 16–Sunday, April 17
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway
For tickets, call 646-314-4413, or email

Spoons Across America Benefit

Spoons Across America, a nonprofit whose mission is to educate children about healthy eating habits, will be honoring Gail Simmons, food writer and judge on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef,” at its annual benefit dinner. Famed chef Jacques Pepin will present the award. $300 to $1,000 per person.

Thursday, April 7
6:30 p.m.–9 p.m.
The Grand Salon at Essex House
160 Central Park South