The Great Northeast Cheese Fest, Latke Festival, Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square

By Annie Wu, Epoch Times
November 30, 2015 3:35 pm Last Updated: November 30, 2015 3:35 pm

Historical Thanksgiving

After Thanksgiving celebrations are over, consider bringing your family on an educational tour to learn the roots of the holiday in Colonial-era America. The Staten Island Historical Society will open one of its historical sites on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend for people to explore the kitchens of early America.

Staff will demonstrate how Colonial-era cookware was used, and explain the origins of the traditional Thanksgiving meal.

Sunday, Nov. 29
1 p.m.–5 p.m.
Historic Richmond Town
441 Clarke Ave., Staten Island
Tickets: $8 adults, $6 seniors and students, $5 children

Performers at last year's Winter's Eve at Lincoln Square. (Elena Olivo)
Performers at last year’s Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square. (Elena Olivo)

Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square

Holiday celebrations begin at Lincoln Square with a tree lighting ceremony inside Dante Park. Afterward, the neighborhood restaurants and bakeries that will set up tents for tastings along Broadway include Masa, P.J. Clarke’s, Landmarc, Rosa Mexicano, Tavern on the Green, Bouchon Bakery, Magnolia Bakery, and Grandaisy Bakery. Each tasting will cost $1 to $4.

There will also be ice sculpting, while street performers and musicians provide entertainment.

Monday, Nov. 30
5:30 p.m.9 p.m.
Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle
Broadway between 62nd & 64th Streets
Richard Tucker Park (between 65th & 66th streets)
Tickets: $1–$4

Sparkling Wine and Cheese

Sample some of the world’s finest sparkling wines and creamy cheeses to go with the bubbly at 92Y. Longtime cheesemonger Martin Johnson will be there to teach you how to best appreciate them.

Thursday, Dec. 3
7 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
1395 Lexington Ave.
Tickets: $45

Cheeses made at Vulto Creamery in Walton, N.Y. (Andrew Parker)
Cheeses made at Vulto Creamery in Walton, N.Y. (Andrew Parker)

The Great Northeast Cheese Fest

At this festival organized by New York Epicurean Events, cheese enthusiasts can sample over 60 different cheeses made at local creameries in the northeast region—from sheep’s milk tommes to sharp cheddars and goat cheeses. Of course, fine cheeses need to be paired with fine beverages. There will be wines, craft beers, ciders, and cocktails.  

For nibbling, Will Horowitz of the East Village eatery Harry and Ida’s Meat and Supply Co., chef Hugue Dufour of M. Wells Steakhouse, and chef Danny Brown of Danny Brown Wine Bar and Kitchen will be serving up savory dishes. For dessert, pastry chef Judy Lai of Silk Cakes will be making cheesecakes and chef Rudolf Merlin of Creme The French Bakery will create French pastries from artisanal cheeses.

Cheese experts will also be doing demos on how to make cheese and curate cheese boards.

Saturday, Dec. 5
6 p.m.–9 p.m.
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing, Queens 
Tickets: $60 general admission, $48 members 

Great Gatsby Party

Join a party that promises to be as lavish as the ones thrown by Jay Gatsby. Enjoy Champagne Pommery, or cocktails made with St-Germain, Martini & Rossi Vermouth, and IVY, while noshing on petits fours and macarons. For entertainment, there will be a 1920s-inspired live band, a DJ spinning electro swing, and other live performances.

Saturday, Dec. 5
9 p.m.–2 a.m.
130 Bowery
Tickets: $85–$250

Latkes served at last year's Latke Festival. (Courtesy of Latke Festival)
Latkes served at last year’s Latke Festival. (Courtesy of Latke Festival)

Latke Festival

At the Seventh Latke Festival, enjoy different restaurants’ take on the potato pancake traditionally eaten on Hanukkah. Participating restaurants include popular spots like The Vanderbilt, Veselka, Jacob’s Pickles, and Toloache. All proceeds from the event will go to The Sylvia Center, which promotes healthy eating among youth.

Monday, Dec. 7
6:30 p.m.–9 p.m.
Metropolitan Pavilion
125 W. 18th St.
Tickets: $65 general admission, $100 VIP

Crema Closing Celebration

Chef Julieta Ballesteros’s celebrated Mexican restaurant Crema is closing after 10 years. To commemorate the closing, Ballesteros is serving a special menu every week until Dec. 23. Dishes include Taco de Venado (chorizo venison tacos), Yucca a la Mexicana (yuca with Crema spices, cotija cheese, and cilantro oregano aioli), Foie Gras Tacos, and Chilaquiles de Pato (shredded braised duck with tortillas).

On New Year’s Eve, the chef will throw a goodbye party with more of her signature dishes like Sopa de Ostiones (soup with Komimoto oysters) and Tamalitos de Cabrito en Salsa de Cinco Chiles (goat tamale with five chile sauce), followed by a last long weekend special brunch. Tickets for the party will be $80–$150.

Special menus through Dec. 23
New Year’s Eve Party, Dec. 31

Brunch through Jan. 3
111 W. 17th St.

Shake Shack's Gingerbread, Chocolate Peppermint, and Christmas Cookie frozen custard. (Evan Sung)
Shake Shack’s Gingerbread, Chocolate Peppermint, and Christmas Cookie frozen custard. (Evan Sung)

Shake Shack Holiday Shakes

Danny Meyer’s fast-casual burger joint, Shake Shack, is offering special holiday shakes. Its frozen custard treats get a new spin with these flavors: Gingerbread (gingerbread-spiced custard and cinnamon cookie crumble), Chocolate Peppermint (chocolate frozen custard blended with peppermint and topped with chocolate-covered candy canes), Christmas Cookie (sugar cookie frozen custard with red and green sprinkles), and Hanukoncrete ($4.75, available only Dec. 6–14), a holiday take on its frozen vanilla custard ice cream with strawberry purée and glazed doughnut).

Through Jan. 3
All Shake Shack locations

Third-generation pizza master Rosario Granieri. (Courtesy of Rossopomodoro)
Third-generation pizza master Rosario Granieri. (Courtesy of Rossopomodoro)

Pizza-Making Classes at Rossopomodoro

Learn how to make Neapolitan-style pies with third-generation master Rosario Granieri at Italian pizza chain Rossopomodoro. Groups of 10 to 25 people can book classes and enjoy a spread of antipasti, salad, gelato, and two beverages alongside their pizza creations.

118 Greenwich Ave.
$100 per person

Madison Square Tavern's Country Salad. (Courtesy of Madison Square Tavern(
Madison Square Tavern’s Country Salad. (Courtesy of Madison Square Tavern)

Madison Square Tavern Brunch

This recently opened Midtown eatery is launching a brunch menu by executive chef Walter Hinds, featuring dishes like Vanilla French Toast with berry compote, bourbon caramel glaze, and Applewood smoked bacon; and Crab Cake Benedict with spinach, chive hollandaise, and home fries.  

Diners can also enjoy bottomless champagne cocktails like Silk Road with hibiscus syrup and Canton ginger liqueur and Figs on the Rocks with fig purée and apple bourbon. If you come with a large party (12 or more), everyone will be treated to a free dessert.

Every Sunday
Noon–6 p.m.
Madison Square Tavern
150 W. 30th St.

2 Duck Goose Brunch

Modern Cantonese restaurant 2 Duck Goose has started serving a Hong Kong-inspired dim sum brunch. Chef Carole Greenwood will cook up dishes like Hong Kong Style French Toast with coconut and caramelized pineapple; Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Steamed Buns with roast pork, egg, crispy tofu, and hoisin; and Chicken and Waffles with sambal-sesame fried chicken.

Saturday & Sunday
Noon–3 p.m.
2 Duck Goose
400 Fourth Ave., Brooklyn