Tag Archives: Japan Week

Dina’s 10 Favorite Things About Winter in NYC

I think each season in New York City has something special to celebrate.  I would say winter is my least favorite season for obvious reasons–it can be very cold, especially when you are walking around.  Many times I’ve worn two pairs of socks and gloves, a scarf, a hat with a scarf and a hat over it.  And no one likes when the puddles at the corner look more like swimming pools and there’s no way to cross the street except to wade through them.  But such is life in a New York winter.  Despite these nuisances, there are many reasons to visit New York in the winter.  Here’s my top ten.

  1. There aren’t as many tourists in January.  Snowstorms can mess up travel plans, so it’s not the best time to travel.  But if there is ever a time in New York where it is not as crowded, it’s this month.
  2. New York City Restaurant Week occurs in January, and it’s a great time to try out a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try.  I would just say to keep in mind that because prices are cheaper, the menus are not as exciting as they normally would be.  I would also say to book early at the popular ones.
  3. Hot drinks.  I love to get hot chocolate from Grom, who makes the thickest, most decadent hot chocolate.  My all-time favorite café to get warm drinks is La Lanterna in the Village.  They have the most extensive menu of spiked coffees you will ever see. 
  4. Valentine’s Day and chocolates.  NYC has a plethora of delectable chocolate.  From Jacques Torres to Royce to Kee’s and Stick With Me, there’s something for everyone’s taste.  And it is fun to taste them all! Check out my Dina’s Guide to NYC Chocolate Shops for more great chocolate in NYC!chocolate bon bons, chocolates, Stick With Me, bon bons
  5. Lenten foods–OK, Lent isn’t for everyone, but even if you are not Catholic, you can still partake in the delicious goodies that can be found this time of year like hot cross buns and the Italian chocolate pudding made with pig’s blood, sanguinaccio. It’s also a time to abstain from meat on Fridays, so I get to make all my favorite Lenten dishes like eggs with sauce.
  6. Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown.  A very fun event that is packed, but it is possible to get a good view.  Follow the parade with soup dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai.  Spend the day in Chinatown shopping and visit the Museum of Chinese in America

    Joe’s Shanghai soup dumplings

  7. Purim–Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates Queen Esther outsmarting King Haman who was planning to kill the Jews. Like Halloween, it’s a day for costumes and celebration. I like this holiday for its delicious cookie, hamentaschen, or Haman’s hat. You can find these all around the city, but my favorite are at Moishe’s.
  8. Japan Week–For a week in March, Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal becomes an expo of Japanese culture and food. I like to follow this festival with a visit to Minamoto Kitchoan for some Japanese sweets. (This location has moved since I wrote that blog post. It’s now on Madison Ave. between 52nd & 53rd.)

    Kitchoan goodies

  9. St. Patrick’s Day parade–The one day everyone is Irish, including an Italian girl like me!  I love the parade and the after-party at local Irish pubs.  Also corned beef, cabbage, and soda bread. And let’s not forget the elusive Shamrock shake from McDonald’s.

    a festive take on the New York black & white

  10. St. Joseph’s Day–This holiday on March 19 is celebrated by Italians in honor of St. Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Mother. Traditionally, we make zeppole, the fried dough balls you get at street fairs. But we also have zeppole with custard and sfinci/sfingi. You can find these during the season at any of the Italian bakeries in the city, such as Rocco’s, Veniero’s and Ferrara or out in the boroughs.

    Veniero’s zeppole (l) and sfinge

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Weekend Whets 3/15

Japan Week, Tuesday, March 19 through Thursday, March 21, 2013, Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall:  Learn mochitsuki, the pounding of mochi (rice cakes).  Try ekiben, bento box meals specifically sold at railway stations throughout Japan.  There are other cultural events scheduled as well.

The New Little Germany:  New York Revisits the German Table, Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 6:30 p.m., Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Manhattan:  Former NY Times restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton, Schaller & Weber charcuterie master Jeremy Schaller and chef Kurt Gutenbrunner of The Standard Biergarten discuss the new German cuisine.  Tickets are $30.

Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built, Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 6:30 p.m., Elebash Recital Hall, Manhattan:  Author Mark Russ Federman discusses his book on the famous family who turned a family business into a food institution.

Sausage Slam, Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., DBGB Kitchen and Bar, New York:  Family-style dinner featuring house-made signature sausages and craft beers from Bronx Brewery.  $95 plus tax and tip.

Just Food Conference, Friday, March 29, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 30, from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Food and Finance High School, 525 West 50th Street, Manhattan: A conference with workshops on cooking and food preparation, CSA trends, local and national food and farm issues for the general public, food professionals, entrepreneurs, job seekers, CSA members, community organizers and farmers. Friday will include a job networking event. Saturday includes a food EXPO.

Game of Thrones Dinner, Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m, Louro, 142 West 10th Street, New York:  Menu includes salmon rillete, dragon eggs, pigeon pie, whole roasted suckling pig and ice cream cake.  Tickets are $103.