Stuff to Do

AllNY.com's look at things to do in NYC written by New Yorkers for New Yorkers and serious New York tourists.


Eataly Flatiron’s Manzo and Chef Adam Hill Offer Special Chef Collaborations All Summer

Diners are invited to enjoy a program featuring the best of New York, with local chefs and local producers coming together in a delicious way, courtesy of Manzo located in the everything-Italian-emporium Eataly in Flatiron.  The collaborations also benefit Grow To Learn by GrowNYC, a local charity.  Started in 2017, the highly successful multi-chef dinners, “From New York to New York – Manzo,” will continue through September.

Manzo

Earlier this summer, Chef Fortunato Nicotra from the acclaimed restaurant Felidia treated diners to his exceptional tutto tonno, with tuna prepared three ways: a semicarpaccio tartare, preserved, and tonnato sauce. He also created an exceptional prime beef striploin battutina pounded thin, and served with housemade burrata and heirloom tomatoes. The tutto tonno special was added to Manzo’s menu for the month of July.

In August, Manzo will show off the special menu creation of Chef Ali Larais of The Sosta with her corn agnolotti with an Invincible Summer Farms heirloom tomato pomodoro sauce added to the menu at Manzo. Sosta is an authentic Italian restaurant located between New York City’s Little Italy and NoLiTa neighborhoods.

Chef Ali Laraia

September ‘s guest chef and menu will be announced soon.

The special menus are featured throughout the month with a special cocktail and wine pairing.  A percentage of the proceeds from the dish are donated to the Grow To Learn by GrowNYC, an environmental non-profit that runs a New York City farmers’ market program, builds urban farms and community gardens, and teaches the city about recycling. GrowNYC is active in creating school gardens in each and every public school in New York City that wants one and is currently working with more than 750 schools in all five boroughs.

For information and reservations, contact Manzo, https://www.eataly.com/us_en/stores/nyc-flatiron/nyc-manzo, Eataly, 200 Fifth Avenue, Flatiron District.

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Eat and Drink for a Good Cause at Chefs & Champagne – July 28

Get ready for this weekend’s much-anticipated foodie event, the James Beard Foundation’s annual Chefs & Champagne tasting. The delicious event is held in support of the James Beard Foundation’s  programs which celebrate, nurture and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage.

On Saturday July 28, 36 chefs – many of them James Beard Award winners — from restaurants in New York, Florida, Missouri, California, Oregon, Colorado, and Washington DC will dish up their best under the beautiful tent at Wölffer Estate Vineyard. The 2018 Guest of Honor is Padma Lakshmi, host of Bravo’s James Beard Award-winning Top Chef.

The menu features craveworthy, seasonal dishes like Stephen Bogardsus’s corn soup with truffles (The North Fork Table & Inn, Southold); Georgette Farkas’s tarte pissaladière (Rotisserie Georgette, New York); Mina Newman’s Nikkei ceviche with sockeye salmon (Sen Sakana, New York City); and Nick Stefanelli’s burrata with beluga caviar (Masseria, Washington, DC) that show why summer is the best culinary season. All is to be washed down by constantly flowing Champagne Boizel, Tito’s vodka and a variety of Wölffer Estate wines.

The evening begins at 5pm with a VIP reception. The main event, from 6-8:30pm, is followed by an after-party for VIP guests until 10pm. All guests receive a goodie-filled swag bag and can also take part in an extravagant silent auction with the chance to win a vacation getaway, a delicious dining experience, a watch, cookware and more. Bidding is open online through July 25 and will continue as a silent auction throughout the evening of the event. Take a look here.

Proceeds from the auction and the dinner will support JBF’s initiatives including the Impact Programs in areas of seafood sustainability, food waste, chef advocacy and childhood nutrition; the Women’s Leadership Programs and numerous scholarship programs. For tickets, including VIP tickets to the after-party dining extravaganza, click here

Wölffer Estate Vineyard, Sagg Road, Sagaponack, New York; 212-627-2308, www.jamesbeard.org/chefsandchampagne

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This Weekend: A Benefit Evening of Dance Takes Center Stage with a Program Headlined by Elite Dance Companies and Honoring Bebe Neuwirth and Chita Rivera

Here’s a “good” reason to travel to the Hamptons this weekend: the 2018 dance benefit brought to you by Dancers For Good at Guild Hall in East Hampton, New York. http://dancersforgood.org/

Thanks to producers Eric Gunhus and Michael Apuzzo, you’ll want to put on your own dancing shoes after watching Friday’s amazing line-up of dance luminaries. Starting at 7pm, a program of modern dance, contemporary dance and ballet featuring eight companies and 40 performers will take the stage in support of The Actors Fund.

The evening of dance celebrates dancers who have devoted their lives to the wonder of movement and supports an important organization in the arts community, The Actors Fund. Headed by President and CEO Joseph Benincasa, The Actors Fund provides support and services for those in the performing arts and entertainment fields.  The Actors Fund encompasses programs like The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and more.  All net proceeds from the evening’s event will go to The Actors Fund.

Honorees for the evening are noted dancers and actresses Chita Rivera (Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Bye Bye Birdie, West Side Story, The Visit, Nine) and Bebe Neuwirth (Chicago, Dancin’, Sweet Charity).  Performances scheduled include a special tribute by Broadway star Stephanie Pope (Chicago, Sweet Charity, Pippin) also the host for the evening, who will perform “All That Jazz” from Chicago, recognizing the roles played by Rivera (Velma) and Neuwirth (Velma, Roxie)  in the musical.  Dance companies on the program are Martha Graham Dance Company, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Rock the Ballet, Amy Marshall Dance Company, Carolyn Dorfman Dance, Eryc Taylor Dance and Pam Tanowitz Dance.  VIP level ticketholders are invited to attend the post-performance cocktail reception and mingle with the stars.

Eric Gunhus, a former Broadway performer, created the first Dancers For Good event in 2016 along with dancer Michael Apuzzo of the Paul Taylor Dance Company as a showcase for some of the most prestigious companies and individuals in the dance world.  Why East Hampton?  “East Hampton was a natural choice with a beautiful theater like Guild Hall,” Gunhus replied. “And we felt The Hamptons was craving a unique event of this nature.  Where else out East can you see a world-class showcase of dance with celebrity hosts and guests and endless cocktails at a charity event to support a vital organization?”  It’s a beautiful setting for a beautiful evening of artistry.  Amen, Eric. I couldn’t agree more.

Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton.  Tickets are $150 and $250 (VIP) and can be purchased here.

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Celebrate Bastille Day and the World Cup Final at the Same Time This Weekend

The Fourth of July is over but we can celebrate another Independence Day with some great restaurant choices in Manhattan.  Even better, you can celebrate this “day” for an extended period while partying or dining out a la francaise.

Bastille Day, July 14, commemorates the fall of the French monarchy and celebrates the storming of the Bastille in Paris in 1789.

An annual celebration is the fête populaire thrown by the French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF), the largest public celebration of France’s Independence Day in New York France’s historic friendship with the United States.

The festival, a three-block all-day affair, is popular among New Yorkers of all ages, with French cuisine, music, dance and other family-friendly attractions.

The Bastille Day celebration takes place on July 15, 2018 on East 60th Street from 5th Avenue to Lexington Avenue, and is a block party extraordinaire. Starting at 11am, there will be a live screening of the World Cup Final, following by a “Summer in the South of France” tasting starting at noon, along with a French-themed market, kids’ corner and musical performances. At 1:30 and 3:30pm, you can toast to everything French with a Champagne and jazz party. And, if you’re feeling especially lucky, enter to with trips to Paris and Martinique with a prize drawing to be held at 5pm.

If you’re still hungry, several of the city’s French restaurants including Bar Boulud https://www.barboulud.com/nyc/cd-slideshow/bastille-day (with live music, can can dancers and a caricature artist),

Claudette claudettenyc.com/ and Bar Tabac offer special Bastille Day menus. Additionally, on July 15 from 10am-8pm, Bar Tabac joins other establishments on Smith Street in Brooklyn for their annual Petanque Tournament and Smith Street Provence Festival www.bartabacny.com/bastille-day.

Another of my favorites, Paname French Restaurant www.panamenyc.com, is in easy walking distance from the FIAF fete.

Paname French Restaurant’s Bastille Day Menu features a three-course prix fixe selection for only $43 per person. The restaurant, helmed by owner/chef Bernard Ros, is mostly bistro in sensibility, but with a modern eclectic flair. Here you’ll enjoy an appetizer, a main and dessert with selections including escargot de Bourgogne, petites tomates fromage blanc, potage de legumes salade verte balsamic a l’huile d’olive, salade de betterave crabe cake remoulade, boudin noir, or portobello au fromage to start. Then choose from poitrine de poulet, pasta aux crevettes, porc aux champignons sauvages, cod fish aux herbes de Provence, filet of sole, crevettes aux curry, steak sauce bordelaise as your main, and a dessert. Bon appetit! www.panamenyc.com

You will definitely want to start off you day hungry.

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Day Trips by Train from New York City — Festivals Await!

Seven exciting events taking place this summer in the Hudson Valley have the added benefit of being easily reachable by train from New York City. With a ride on Metro North or Amtrak, you can stop at these stations and walk—or take a short taxi ride or ride share service—to reach the event. www.hudsonrivervalley.com

While summer in New York City can be a lot of fun with parades, festivals, outdoor movies and concerts, sometimes it helps to have a getaway planned, no cars needed.  From Penn Station or Grand Central Terminal, you can start your day with a bite at the Pennsy or at the food court downstairs or grab a pastry and coffee from Zaro’s, meet your friends under the clock or departure board, then grab a train, sit back, and enjoy a day out of the city at one of these great events.

It’s easy:  you can use the new, interactive Hudson River Train Tour mobile app, recently developed by the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area in partnership with the National Park Service, to check out programs, find guides, and information about these wonderful day trip opportunities.

Station: Yonkers

Event: Yonkers Riverfest

Less than 15 minutes from Manhattan via Metro North from Grand Central, the 26th Annual Yonkers Riverfest takes place September 15, rain or shine, and it’s free. The festival will include music entertainment, arts, crafts, food, exhibits, children’s activities, and much more. Events take place along Main Street and Buena Vista Avenue, where the Yonkers Train Station is located. https://www.yonkersriverfest.org

Station: Peekskill

Event: Hudson Valley Exposition

Travel just 25 minutes from Manhattan via Metro North from Grand Central to The Hudson Valley Exposition, taking place on August 4, with many events right near the train station. The festival includes a Kidz Zone where children can create art, learn about science, interact with live animals and more. There will also be music, food, drinks and craft beer, and a wellness and technology area. http://www.hvexposition.com

Station: Beacon

Event: Hudson River Craft Beer Festival

Travel a little further – 1 ¼ hours — from Grand Central on Metro North and you can spend the day on the Beacon riverfront for the Hudson River Craft Beer Festival, September 15. For the 6th year, the festival will bring together beer lovers from all around the area to Riverfront Park, next to the Beacon train station. There will be over 150 releases from some of America’s best breweries to be sampled. And just think, you don’t have to drive!  General admission and VIP tickets are now available. https://americaontap.com/event/hudson-river-craft-beer-festival/

Station: Cold Spring

Event: The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

In slightly under two hours, you can train via Metro North from Grand Central to The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival for shows at the Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison. This year, the productions include Richard II, The Taming of the Shrew, The Heart of Robin Hood, The Sea-Maids Music and Rip Van Winkle. Shows take place from July to the beginning of September. What’s even better? HVSF will offer a free round-trip shuttle from the Cold Spring Train Station to the Theater Tent every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. https://hvshakespeare.org/

Station: Poughkeepsie

Event: 4th of July Fireworks

Buy a ticket for a ride that’s just an hour and a half from Manhattan by Metro North from Grand Central to see fireworks that are even more spectacular over the water. Join the City of Poughkeepsie and the Walkway Over the Hudson for their 4th of July celebration. The park, a 15-minute walk from the train, is the place to watch the city’s fireworks display overlooking the Hudson River, scheduled for 9pm. Tickets can be purchased online at $12.50 for adults, $10.00 for Walkway Members, Veterans and Seniors and free for children under 10. https://walkway.org/4th-of-july-fireworks-spectacular/

Station: Rhinecliff

Event: The Dutchess County Fair

Amtrak service from Penn Station in Manhattan will take you to the popular Dutchess County Fair in about an hour and a half to the second largest county fair in New York, scheduled this year from August 21-26. With more than 147 acres of land for farm animals and exhibitions, the grounds become an entertainment destination for all. There are free shows and attractions, and tickets can also be purchased for the Grandstand Concert Series including The Wallflowers, Chris Lane and Kip Moore.  Start your day early – this is a terrific event. http://dutchessfair.com/

Station: Hudson

Event: Basilica Soundscape

If you don’t mind a slightly longer trip, the 2 ½ hour ride on Amtrak from Penn Station in Manhattan will lead to the beautiful countryside where Basilica Soundscape is being held from September 14-16. Basilica Soundscape is a weekend of art, culture and music held in historic factory building down the street from the Amtrak station. Live performances by Efrim Menuck, Grouper, Haxan Cloak x Nick Zinner, Insect Ark, and Jungil Hong are scheduled over the three days. There will also be conceptual performances, author readings, local vendors and artisans, collaborations and activities throughout the weekend. http://basilicahudson.org/soundscape/about-basilica-soundscape/

www.hudsonrivervalley.com

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Learning Vacations in Upstate New York

It’s vacation time and also a very good time to learn a new skill.  For Manhattanites, there is a wide range of options waiting within an easy drive or train ride from the city. As an added benefit, these learning holidays all take place in areas where the scenery will wow you with its unspoiled natural beauty.

Upstate New York’s craft traditions date back to Colonial times and its natural beauty is safeguarded by “Forever Wild” Forest Preserves and State Parks that cover an area greater than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Canyon, and Great Smokies national parks combined.

Here are some examples of learning vacations that will challenge you while allowing you to bring home a new skill:

  • Build a boat in wine country. Black Sheep Inn and Spa, in conjunction with the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, will offer a week-long boatbuilding class this summer. No experience is required, and students build a Bevin’s skiff to take home. Packages offering pottery, stained glass, glassblowing and jewelry workshops are also available.
  • The art of glass. In the Finger Lakes region, the Corning Museum of Glass offers glass-making programs for children and adults. Additionally, the Oatka School of Glass in Batavia in the Greater Niagara region offers classes in kiln-formed glass ranging from introductory two-hour Make+Fuse to advanced multi-day workshops.
  • Watercolor and more. Hudson River Valley Art Workshops at the Greenville Arms 1889 Inn in Greenville are offered in a variety of media for diverse skill levels. Whet your appetite by visiting Manhattan’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s American Wing to see the Hudson River Valley School paintings.
  • Make a rustic headboard. Set in the Adirondack Mountain region of New York, the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne offers opportunities to build authentic Adirondack chairs and twig furniture as well as learn weaving, pottery, soap making and more. On tap year-round, classes range from half-day sessions to week-long courses. Most are tailored to adults.
  • Write a graphic novel or learn how to make a movie. At Chautauqua Institution, located in the Chautauqua-Allegheny region, workshops include film-making, creating graphic novels and more.
  • Awaken your spirit. Also in the Hudson Valley, the renowned Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY offers classes in dance, writing, music, crafts, and other creative arts.  Practice your downward-facing dog in one of their many yoga classes to help you unleash your inner creator.
  • Cook with a chef. The Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, NY, in the Hudson Valley offers CIA Boot Camp Cooking Vacations with expert chefs. Courses include two- to five-day specialized programs such as American Regional, Italian and Asian cuisine and a classic five-day Basic Training.
  • Make a wooden bucket. Novices and aficionados can apprentice for two days with skilled cooper at Genesee Country Village & Museum, a living 19th-century country village in the Finger Lakes region and take home their own crafted bucket. The living museum also offers classes in tinsmithing, blacksmithing and cheese-making.
  • Weave an Adirondack pack basket. Students can learn to weave a pack basket or door, notepad and other Adirondack-style baskets at the Thousand Islands Arts Center (home of the Hand Weaving Museum) in Clayton in the 1000 Islands region. The center also offers classes in pottery, jewelry making, painting and other fiber arts.
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