All the ways to Celebrate Black History Month (and more) in February
Cocktail Takeovers, BIPOC Makers, Black Mixcellence, Bottomless Brunch and a Mardi Gras Second Line!
It’s February, which means Black History Month, Mardi Gras, and Valentine’s Day! My suggestions for V-Day are coming in a newsletter next week, but this list is so fantastic you won’t even need Valentine’s Day plans.
Black Mixcellence: A Celebration of Black History Month through Mixology in Harlem
Three fabulous cocktail bars in Harlem — Sugar Monk, The Honey Well and 67 Orange Street — are celebrating Black History Month in collaboration with Colin Asare-Appiah, co-author with Tamika Hall, of the recently published book BLACK MIXCELLENCE: A Comprehensive Guide to Black Mixology
Black Mixcellence not only includes cocktail recipes from many respected Black mixologists, but also tells the story of the role that Black people have played in the spirits and cocktail industry.
Throughout the month of February, each bar will showcase a Black Mixcellence menu that features three cocktails:
Two of Appiah’s cocktails from the book: the Piedmont Cocktail, a Julep-style cocktail, using D'usse Cognac, and a splash of Muscat wine; and the Belafonte Margarita, a blend of Patron Anejo Tequila, Ilegal Joven Mezcal, Vermouth, fresh watermelon, and Jalapeno, which pays homage to Harry Belafonte.
A cocktail of their own creation
Each bar will also host a happy hour with Appiah to celebrate the book and give folks the opportunity to meet him in person and learn more about the book and the history of Black mixology (dates below).
Black Mixcellence Happy Hours with Colin Asare-Appiah
67 Orange Street
Monday, Feb 6th
Monday, Feb 13th
Tuesday, Feb 21st
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Celebrate Black History Month with Harlem’s First Black-Owned, Black-Brewed, Woman-Owned, Woman-Brewed Tap Takeover.
For nearly five years, Harlem Hops has been proud to pour the widest array and freshest selection of beers in Harlem—many by Black brewers (and spirits and wines by Black distillers and vintners, too). Since beer history is Black history, Harlem Hops marks this momentous month with an incredible selection from their taps. View the full list here. The kick-off celebration start Friday Feb 3rd with DJ Ricky Belfort
On Friday February 17th (6-10pm), you can also join them for Uncle Nearest After Work Mixer, "Networking with Purpose."
Harlem Hops is hosting this event with award-winning, woman-owned & distilled Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey. From January (MLK Day), through Black History Month, and into International Women's Month (March), the distillery is promoting their Uncle Nearest Old Fashioned, and Uncle Nearest will donate $1 million dollars to HBCUs. Fifty percent of the funds will be split between the top 15 schools, and the other half will go to the remaining schools. So get out there, network, and enjoy one for a great cause!
You Need This BIPOC Makers Food Box
In honor of Black History Month, boards & co. is partnering with the chef and food stylist Elle Simone Scott to create a one-of-a-kind curated specialty food box full of products made exclusively of BIPOC makers!
But this collaboration isn’t just a box of goodies. It includes a link to a live virtual event + tasting, a signed copy of Elle’s book, along with the limited-edition food box to build the perfect cheese board!
Your box includes:
A link to a live virtual event on 2/28 hosted by boards & co. founder Jenn Mason and special guest Elle Simone Scott, author and curator of this tasty specialty food kit 💻
A collection of delicious, full-sized specialty foods crafted by makers of color whose businesses include Humble Bones, That’s My Jam, Pariva and many others! 🍯
A signed copy of Elle’s gorgeous book: BOARDS 📕
Reserve yours for delivery before 2/19 to ensure you have it in time for the event on 2/28! The Board Box is $149.95 with a signed book and $119.95 without.
City Winery’s “Still Rise” and “Fierce Light” Celebrations
This February and March, City Winery will host its inaugural two month-long initiatives: “Still I Rise” in celebration of Black History Month and “Fierce Light” honoring women and gender justice.
City Winery will donate a portion of select programming proceeds throughout February and March. Each month will feature an eclectic mix of musicians and women thought leaders, from diverse backgrounds and highlighting these strong voices in the music industry.
Programming from participating artists throughout February and March will benefit the following organizations:
Still I Rise (Black History Month) beneficiaries:
Black Feminist Future
Black Voters Matter
In Our Own Voice
Fierce Light (Women’s History Month) beneficiaries:
Women's Refugee Commission
You can support these causes by attending shows throughout February and March at City Winery’s various locations in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Nashville and Hudson Valley.
City Winery has also produced a limited edition, custom-labeled wine (Still I Rise Cabernet is pictured above), which will be available for purchase online and at the performances. A portion of the proceeds from both ticket sales and wine sales will benefit these various organizations.
Highlights of STILL I RISE and FIERCE LIGHT at City Winery include special performances in February by Sheila E., Michelle Buteau, Lalah Hathaway, Chrisette Michele, Avery*Sunshine, Shemekia Copeland, Eric Benét, SUCH, Teedra Moses, Marquel Jordan, Eric Roberson & Jeff Bradshaw, Mike Phillips, J. Howell, ZO! & Tall Black Guy and BLKBOK. Get your tickets here.
Family Kitchen Celebrating The Cottage Crest at the Ace Hotel
Ace Hotel Brooklyn’s Executive Chef Michael King, and Chef Ed Cotton spent their childhoods at The Cottage Crest, an iconic Continental/Italian-American “rug joint” and banquet hall in the Boston suburb of Waltham, which was open from the late 1940s through the late 1980s. Ed’s dad, Ed Sr. and Michael King's dad, Bill, were at different points co-chefs, banquet chefs and executive chef. Chef Michael's parents met while working together and had their wedding reception in the banquet hall in 1980. Ed’s parents also celebrated their wedding there. So the place is steeped with memory for both Michael and Ed.
Now these two Ace Hotel chefs are feeling nostalgic and they’re hoping you’ll join them on Thursday February 9th (7pm-9pm) when they will serve a menu inspired by memories from the Cottage Crest, mushroom-stuffed amuse-bouche, lobster casserole and deep dish apple pie à la mode, just to name a few.
We’ve heard Ed and Michael’s fathers, the former The Cottage Crest chefs themselves, will also make an appearance. The perfect evening of cooking, kin and, of course, wine pairings. Pull up a seat to the table!
Thu, February 9, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Tickets ($70 per person) here.
Ace Hotel Brooklyn 252 Schermerhorn Street Brooklyn, NY 11217
Celebrate Mardi Gras with a Second Line and Sazeracs at Filé Gumbo Bar
Filé Gumbo Bar already hosts an amazing Second Line brunch on Sundays. So you know chef Eric McCree’s Mardi Gras celebration on Fat Tuesday, February 21st, is gonna be one for the ages.
You’ll want to put on your Mardi Gras best (feel free to wear yellow, green, and purple), along with masks, boas, feathers, and capes. Beads will be handed out at the door, and The Gumbo House Band will be playing lively jazz to get the carnival vibes started.
The evening’s festivities begin at 6 p.m. with passed appetizers: fried oyster sliders, mini muffulettas, hush puppies and grilled blackened shrimp, and an open bar where Sazeracs, Hurricanes and French 75s will flow freely all evening.
At 8pm, Eric's serving a four-course dinner showcasing his Southern style honed from his time spent traveling through Louisiana’s Cajun country. His Mardi Gras menu includes crawfish bread and char-grilled oysters, the restaurant’s signature kettle cooked “Tiny’s Gumbo,” (an ode to his granddad), Blackened Drum Fish with Crawfish Étoufée, Grilled Creole Salad with Fried Shrimp, and a decadent dessert sampling. Each course will be complemented with a wine or beer pairing.
After dinner, hang around for the second line, playing in the New Orleans style of small ensemble improvisation, featuring the music of Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Hoagy Carmichael, Harry Warren & the composers who created the great American songs of Tin Pan Alley.
Two dining options are available for the evening:
$300 for the entire experience (cocktail hour, prix-fixe dinner menu dinner, and after party with open bar all night); or
$175 for the dinner and pairings, with a bar tab opened for the after party. (Tax & gratuity included).
Advance reservations only at OpenTable.com.
Bottomless Brunch Returns at Boqueria
Dry January is over, people, and just in time; Boqueria is bringing back its beloved bottomless brunch for the first time since March 2020, effective this coming weekend!
For $29 per person, you choose from the "Classic" option - unlimited sangría or mimosas for 90 minutes - or the "Deluxe" option for $45 per person, with unlimited sangría, mimosas, Estrella beer, bloody marys, or cava (also 90 minutes).
Now this is not a liquid brunch! The brunch menu includes all sorts of Spanish breakfasts:
Huevos con Bistec (steak and eggs): Seared hanger steak, shishito chimichurri, two sunny side-up eggs, patatas bravas.
Huevos Horneados (a Spanish take on shakshuka): Two eggs simmered in tomato sauce, roasted eggplant, red bell pepper & onion with miti crema cheese and salsa verde
Bocata de Huevo (breakfast sandwich): Egg sandwich on brioche with smoked bacon, charred piquillo peppers, salsa verde, & garlic aioli; served with side salad
Dos Huevos Y Mas (Spanish twist on a breakfast plate): Two eggs any style, patatas bravas, toast, salsa verde; choice of smoked bacon or chorizo
Weekend brunch is served at all four Boqueria locations from 11am - 4pm. Guests can reserve via Resy: Flatiron, Upper East Side, West 40th Street, SoHo. (SoHo is currently closed for renovations and reopening in mid February.)