We’ve officially made it to the elusive three-week window that is NYC spring. Baseball is back, and the Mets might be...dare we say…decent? Blossoming buds make the trees look like cotton candy. The East River track is full of frisbee-throwing New Yorkers hurling flying discs at our heads. And, most importantly for our purposes today, tons of restaurants and chefs are hosting special events and pop-ups. That’s why we’re curating a weekly list of all the most intriguing stuff to eat and do around the city. Here’s what’s happening from April 5th to April 12th in NYC.
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One of our favorite places to listen to live music in Manhattan reopened for outdoor dining service on Tuesday, April 6th with outdoor jazz shows starting every night at 6:30pm and 8:10pm. This Japanese speakeasy bar in Midtown doesn’t take any reservations, so our approach is usually to show up on the early side. Especially because they run a daily Happy Hour between 5-6pm, which gives us ample time to enjoy their exceptional cod roe spaghetti. Check out Tomi Jazz’s menu of sake and Japanese snacks here.
Sweet Angel Baby's
Sweet Angel Baby happens to be what we call anyone who has ever been kind to us, but it’s also the name of a Filpinx pop-up project and catering company serving a bunch of delicious-sounding food at Bar Sundown in Ridgewood on Thursday, April 8th from 4-10pm (or whenever they sell out). In addition to dishes like lumpia prito and coconut mashed potatoes, expect a prime rib bistek sandwich with crunchy onions, calamansi mustard, horseradish mayo, and beef jus dip.
Mika, a massive bar in Bushwick right near the Morgan Avenue L stop, puts on fairly regular events. This Thursday, April 8th, they’re hosting an outdoor stand-up comedy show in collaboration with Brooklyn Underground Comedy (check out details and buy $10 tickets here). Then, on Saturday, April 10th, you can also fraternize with a horde of adoptable puppies outside in their backyard from 11:30am-3pm. Note that you’ll need a proof of vaccine or negative COVID test for admission. They’re also livestreaming the event in case you’d rather not attend in person.
After being closed for in-person service for almost a year, People’s Wine Bar on the Lower East Side is teaming up with its Market Line beer bar neighbor, The Grand Delancey, for a night of bar snacks and some curated wine. People’s Wine Bar is especially great if you’re looking to try something you’ve possibly never heard of - they’re always selling new bottles (you can check out their online shop here). Plus, a portion of the sales from the night benefit Welcome To Chinatown’s initiative to preserve Chinatown’s local businesses. Check out the pop-up on Thursday, April 8th from 4- 11pm, and book a table for indoor or outdoor service online here.
From Monday, April 5th to Friday, April 9th, the former owner and pastry chef of Meme’s Diner (Bill Clark) will be serving a special “Friends & Family” menu for takeout at Winner on 7th Avenue in Park Slope. Bill will be selling a $17 set meal that comes with braised pork shoulder with cheesy grits, broccoli rabe, and a Calabrian chile gremolata, as well as carrot Caesar slaw. But you can also order a la carte dishes like meatballs, pizza babka, and a lemon poppyseed pignoli cake. You can see the whole menu and place your order on Winner’s website under their Friends & Family Meal tab.
Although the beach won’t be officially open until Saturday, May 29th, Coney Island’s amusement parks are reopening at a 33% capacity this Friday, April 9th. Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park and Luna Park have not been open to the public since the fall of 2019. So if you’ve been itching for some Americana nostalgia, you can stop watching YouTube video tutorials of how to do a Transatlantic accent and enjoy some funnel cake and rickety roller coasters instead.
If you read these updates with any regularity (thank you, we love you too), you’ll notice Hunky Dory is mentioned a lot. That’s because the Crown Heights spot is consistently hosting a ton of pop-ups. They just released a weekly schedule for the rest of the spring and early summer, which you can check out here. Starting at 1pm on Wednesday, April 7th, Chef Taylor Threadgill will be serving a menu of bar snacks like oysters, congee arancini, agnolotti stuffed with peas and carrots, and more. Check out the menu and stop by for oysters before they’re sold out.
If you live near Carroll Gardens and haven’t been to Bar Bete yet, this weekend is a good opportunity to try it. That’s because the French-American date night restaurant is serving its last $45 prix-fixe menu special before fully transitioning back to a la carte offerings. The special comes with three courses (choices include hamachi niçoise, lamb boulette, and crème brûlée with green cardamom), and you can make a reservation for indoor dining or stop by for outdoor service on a first-come, first-served basis.
Chef Bryce Shuman (who has worked at places like Eleven Madison Park, and then opened Betony in 2015) is cooking a special tasting menu at Niche Niche on Sunday, April 12th, and Monday, April 13th, and then again on the following Sunday and Monday (April 18th and 19th). The dinner costs $65 per person and comes with two starters and a big old BBQ plate full of black pepper maple ribs, cornbread, and other sides, as well as a chocolate whiskey plate and berries with sheep’s milk for dessert. In true Niche Niche style, there’s a wine pairing available with the meal. You can make a reservation for indoor or outdoor service here.
Little Tong Noodle Shop is collaborating with dumpling project, Crispy Bottoms, on a one-week-only Dumplings For Change delivery care package full of dumplings and Little Tong’s famous, cheesy “JB melt” pancakes filled with mala-spiced beef meatballs or spicy red cabbage, as well as to-go cocktails and instructions on how to cook all the food. Each package is available for preorder until midnight on Sunday, April 11th - and 5% of the sales will benefit Heart Of Dinner, an organization delivering meals and connection to Asian elders in NYC. Place your order here.
If you’re looking for a new place to drink frozen cocktails in Greenpoint, Twins Lounge just opened on Manhattan Avenue with $12 cocktails and pierogies as bar snacks. True to the name, the space is two conjoined bars on two different floors with a patio on the roof. You can check out Twins Lounge every day from 5-11pm. Bring cash, as they’re not accepting cards at the moment.