Pickles for Charity

Last week I gave you some events going on that were raising money for various charities and Hurricane Sandy relief. Well, the fundraising and humanitarian work hasn’t stopped and many people, restaurants, and bars are still on the bandwagon, thank goodness.

Aside from the awesome #dineoutNYC movement, you can hit up the Second Annual Peck Slip Pickle Festival on Sunday from 11pm to 5pm at the New Amsterdam Market. This vivacious market is located in the South Street Seaport, which, as you may have guessed got wrecked during the storm. Luckily, the market’s offices are fine and they are able to host the festival.

So, while you get your pickle fill with cukes from Brooklyn Brine, Guss’ Pickles, Sour Puss Pickles, Rick’s Picks, and a handful other East Coast purveyors, do so knowing your $3 suggested donation will go towards the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund. Plus, you can learn about Persian pickles with cookbook author Louisa Shafia and make kimchi with Lauryn Chun from Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi. At the end of the day, this is one pickle New Yorkers will feel happy to be in.

Cider Week Is Here

The best thing about apple season is making and drinking apple cider. But even as many New Yorkers recognize that, most don’t go into a bar thinking about hard cider. Well, this coming week aims to change that as all across the city more than 180 restaurants, bars, and other venues celebrate the crisp, fall beverage.

Running from October 12 to the 21, you can hit up numerous events like Saturday’s Harvest Beer and Cider Sessions at Factory On Kent, which includes over 20 ciders from around the world, artisanal apple spirits, and local beers. On Sunday, hit up the Cider Revival at the New Amsterdam Market in Manhattan. From 11am to 4pm, shoppers can try ciders paired with season hor-d’oeuvres by Marlow and Sons, and purchase not only hard and virgin cider, but other goods made with New York apples. After that, across the street from the market is a cider tasting at the wine shop Pasanella and Sons from 4 to 6pm. 

On Monday, City Grit hosts a southern cider dinner featuring drinks from Virginia’s Foggy Ridge and New Hampshire’s Farnum Hill Ciders. Also on Monday, you can trek to the Whole Foods in Columbus Circle to get Doc’s Hard Cider on tap with cheese pairings and cider donuts, or stay downtown at the Bowery Whole Foods for other cider samples and more donuts. 

The celebration continues all the week with plenty of cider samples and pairings, including cocktails with Aaron Burr, a talk about woman in cider and cheese at Murray’s Cheese, and tons of hard cider tastings. For a complete list of the events, you can check out their website

If you can’t make any of the events this week, you are still in luck. The whole month is dedicated to cider and restaurants all over the city have embraced some form of this on their menu, including Rose Water, The Darby, Bklyn Larder, The Breslin, Txikito, and over a 100 more. So, if you want to celebrate this magic apple juice, now is the time.

New York Celebrates the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival and the Mooncake Festival, falls on this Sunday, the 30th. While to the Chinese and Vietnamese it symbolizes the fall and harvest time, it also means plenty of parties, feasts, and festivities for New Yorkers. 

Downtown, at the Yunnan restaurant Lotus Blue, a 10-course Moon Festival Banquet will commence on Sunday for $88. For this lavish dinner, executive chef Kian Lam Kho will serve stir-fried lobster with green Sichuan peppercorn, crispy chicken with pu’erh tea, pea shoots in peanut broth, and the traditional mooncakes, though his version comes flavored with rose petal and pistachios.  They also offer a vegetarian option with lotus root soup and Yunnan pseudo ginseng, fried purple yam, and hot and sour wood ear soup.  

At the New Amsterdam Market by the South Street Seaport, they feature Asian-inspired foods by guest chefs and market venues, including chef Simpson Wong from Wong and Wasan. Brooklyn Cured will make banh mi, Home by the Range has tom kha gai down, and Black Tree Sandwich will whip up bulgogi. If you just want an excuse to gorge on traditional mooncakes all day, you can pick some up at Fay Da Bakery

Finally, what is a festival without a parade? At Sara Roosevelt Park (between Canal Street and Forsyth Street) the 10th Annual Autumn Moon Festival and Children’s Lantern Parade will commence at 11am and go until 5pm, which includes traditional performances, food stalls and a glorious dragon cake made by people from the Cake Boss that will feed 1,000 people after the parade. Now that, is a cake to celebrate. 

We All Scream for Ice Cream

Boo, the end of the summer is quickly approaching. This means cramming as much beach, park, swimming, and barbecuing as possible. But most importantly, the end of summer is about inhaling ice cream. What better place or time to do it than at the New Amsterdam Market’s Third Annual Ice Cream Sunday, this weekend.

From noon to 4pm, the famous market hosts this frozen fest as a way to raise money, and fill your bellies. This year it’s taking place at the Old Fulton Fish Market on South Street, between Beekman Street and Peck Slip, and you can get tickets for $35. After that, it’s ice cream mania with treats made by Marlow & Sons, Rouge Tomate, Il Buco, Steve’s Ice Cream, Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream, and more.

If you can’t make the ice cream extravaganza this weekend, it doesn’t mean you can’t completely indulge another day. Forget Mr. Softee and head to the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory and try odd flavors of the dessert like red bean, almond cookie, and durian. Big Gay Ice Cream is another place serving unusual combinations like the Bea Arthur with duce de leche and crushed vanilla wafers, the Cococone with curried coconut, and the American Globs with pretzels. For more traditionally frozen treats, Blue Marble in Cobble Hill and Prospects Heights or the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory in DUMBO are good ways to go. Also in Brooklyn, the General Greene’s ice cream shop has a rich array of flavors, but the best thing to get is their intense banana split. It’s the end of summer after all, soon there will be no more beach bode to worry about so you might as well go out with a creamy, sweet, bang.