December is Almost Here.
What to do? Drink wine with Joe Campanale, see two amazing food exhibits, visit a Hannukah Bar, Decorate a Gingerbread House, and devour a Feast of Seven Fishes!
December is almost upon us! How has this happened? Well, let's not fight it..let's embrace it. After all, our past few Decembers have been a bit more fraught with all that COVID. We are in the year of YES! (Or at least I am.)
So, you'll be shopping (check out the Strong Buzz Gift Guide that dropped on Monday). You'll be eating and drinking (your guide to planning a Holiday Dinner Party comes out next week, so stay tuned!). You'll be getting cozy, with loved ones, your cat, or just a good book (If you haven’t read Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin, get it right now.) It's gonna be busy.
This month's calendar includes a few curated events for the days in between all that activity: a great evening of wine with Joe Campanale and Joshua David Stein, two fantastic food exhibits that will fill a nice December afternoon, a gingerbread decorating day, a Feast of the Seven Fishes, and a Hannukah-themed cocktail lounge!
Enjoy and let me know how you liked them!
Who doesn't love a good food event? Want to be in the know every month? Sign up to get The Strong Buzz delivered to your inbox!
Drink Wine with Joe Campanale and Joshua David Stein at ACE Hotel Brooklyn!
On Monday December 5th, two of my favorite folks in the business are going to sit around in the gorgeous enclosed garden at Ace Hotel Brooklyn drinking wine and chatting about the dynamic and beautiful landscape of Italian winemakers. Why not join them?
Italian wine expert, sommelier, and restaurateur Joe Campanale and acclaimed writer Joshua David Stein wrote a book together, Vino: The Essential Guide to Real Italian Wine; it’s the modern Italian wine bible that guides you through Italy’s 20 regions, where a new generation of winemakers is eschewing popular international styles, championing long-forgotten indigenous grapes, and adopting sustainable approaches best suited for their local climates. (The book makes a great holiday gift for the wine lover in your life!)
At the event on Monday, Campanale and Stein will discuss their new book and lead tastings throughout as they reveal their favorite Italian wines from native grapes.
Tickets include a tasting of 3 natural wines and a copy of Vino: The Essential Guide to Real Italian Wine by Joe Campanale and Joshua David Stein.
Strong Buzz annual paid subscribers get 10% off Membership to MOFAD – your code is in your welcome email! Or just Purchase Tickets here.
Food in New York: Bigger Than the Plate
Food connects people; this statement feels especially relevant to New York City where immigrants and their beautiful foods bring all sorts of different people together around the table. "Food in New York: Bigger Than the Plate," now open through fall of 2023, is a new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York that explores the relationship between New Yorkers and food, using the venue's back terrace as an exhibition space for the first time ever.
The exhibition examines the challenging networks of the city’s food systems. Anchored around issues of sustainability, labor justice, and equitable access to food, the show explores the ways in which artists and designers are developing solutions to these global and local challenges.
At the show, you’ll get to browse through over 20 works by contemporary artists and designers that were tasked with using their respective crafts to come up with solutions to key global and local food-related challenges. Among the standout pieces on display will be Mary Mattingly's Biosphere (which the museum actually deems to be the centerpiece of the experience), a structural ecosystem that will be growing native plants in saltwater on-premise; Stefani Bardin’s Spooky Action at a Distance, made up of two vintage gum-ball machines from the 1950s that were retrofitted to give out a slew of actionable climate change "bites;" Maira Kalman and Rick Meyerowitz's Sub-Culinary Map illustration of a New York subway map made up of food names; and Pablo Delano's photograph of bodega shelves.
What’s more, this exhibit is interactive; you get to eat! There are tastings, talks and special events that are presented in accompaniment to the main exhibit.
Plan your visit and get tickets here.
I’ll Have What she’s Having at the NY Historical Society
If you love kishkes, if your favorite scene from When Harry Met Sally takes place at Katz’s, if you love a good pastrami on rye, if history makes you go weak in the knees, or if you see food as a proxy for love, you’ll need to get up to the New York Historical Society for their latest exhibit.
Organized by the Skirball Cultural Center, “I’ll Have What She’s Having: The Jewish Deli," examines how Jewish immigrants, mostly from Central and Eastern Europe, imported and adapted traditions to create a uniquely American restaurant and reveals how Jewish delicatessens became a cornerstone of American food culture. You’ll learn about the history of the 2nd Avenue Deli, Katz’s, and more, all while exploring the food of immigration, the heyday of the deli in the interwar period, delis and Broadway, stories of Holocaust survivors and war refugees who worked in delis, the shifting and shrinking landscapes of delis across the country, and delis in popular culture.
On display are neon signs, menus, advertisements, deli workers’ uniforms, and video documentaries. The local presentation is enriched with artwork, artifacts, and photography from New York Historical’s collection along with restaurant signs, menus and fixtures from local establishments, mouthwatering interactives, and a Bloomberg Connects audio tour.
Families: Be sure to pick up a copy of their kid-centric guide to the exhibition in the gallery. If the exhibition gets you hungry, stop in at the Historical Society’s restaurant Storico which is offering new, deli-themed menu options, including a pastrami on rye sandwich and smoked white fish dip.
Watch this video about the exhibit.
Decorate Your Own Gingerbread House and Hanukkah Cookies (Santa will be there too!)
One Girl Cookies is hosting a cookie and gingerbread decorating workshop ($13 per kid) at CityPoint in Downtown Brooklyn 12/4 ,12/11 and 12/18. This is a no-brainer for kids (ages 3 to 12), who are invited to decorate and design their own gingerbread houses and dreidel cookies with royal icing colors and decorative elements such as sanding sugar and candy. Kids can take home their creation in boxes provided and One Girl Cookies staff will be on site to support the decorating process.
Now the fine print: Each child needs a ticket to attend. This is not a drop-off event, parents/caregivers need to stay on site. The events take place on the main floor (across the hall from McNally Jackson bookstore).
Children will be able to meet Santa and take photos with Santa at CityPoint for free on December 4, 11 and 18 from 11 am to 2 pm. Watch out for Santa before or after cookie decorating at the center!
The Feast of Seven Fishes at Gus’s Chophouse x Popina
The teams at Popina and Gus’s Chop House are combining forces on December 24th for one epic Feast of the Seven Fishes. Chef Chris McDade is doing a seafood focused menu that highlights what makes each of the kitchens so special, and partner/sommelier James O’Brien is currently digging through the cellar looking for the wines that pair best!
Layered Caviar Dip, Hash Browns
Raw Scallops, Citrus, Pistachios
Lobster Arancini, Saffron Aioli
Cavatelli, Pork Sausage, Clams, Parsley
Spaghetti, Sardines, Fennel, Pine Nuts
Whole Roasted Fish
Fried Carolina Gold Rice, Shrimp, Crab
Bok Choy, Chili, Bottarga
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake, Creme Fraiche, Hazelnuts
$150 (Includes Gratuity)
On Hanukkah Drink for 8 Nights at the Maccabee Bar
You know Hanukkah is all about the miracle of one drop of oil lasting eight nights. To commemorate, we Jews do a lot of things for eight nights. We give gifts for eight nights, eat things fried in oil for eight nights, play dreidel games for eight nights, listen to Adam Sandler sing the Hannukah Song for eight nights; you get the idea. Now we can drink for eight nights thanks to an awesome new pop-up bar from award-winning bartender Naomi Levy.
Levy launched Maccabee Bar in Boston back in 2018 and the aptly-named pop-up is making its New York debut at Ollie West Village at 64 Downing Street by Varick Street on December 13th!
At her Hanukkahpalooza, you can drink themed cocktails like the Latke Sour (apple brandy, potato, lemon and tobacco bitters) and the Hebrew Hammer (vodka, "leavened" sugar, lemon and raspberry, a drink version of the sufganiyot, jelly-filled donuts commonly eaten this time of the year. Yes, there will also be latkes and plenty of other eats. We’re Jews. We will feed you.
Maccabee Bar will open December 13th through December 31 on Tuesdays through Saturdays. The week of Hanukkah, which this year falls on December 18 through 26, the bar will stay open every single night.
Happy December everyone and Cheers!