DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Spiegel: The East Village's Own Taste Of The Mediterranean


The East Village’s latest addition, Spiegel (26 1st Ave., New York, NY 10009), puts its own twist on dining by creating a restaurant which is perfect for a quick bite at breakfast or dinner and a drink in the evening. In an open spot with attractive decor, guests will feel at home as soon as they sit down, but one glance at the menu reveals that the dining experience will bring them on a trip across the globe.

Serving up continental cuisine with a focus on Mediterranean, Israeli, and Moroccan influences, the dishes host familiar ingredients which are brought to life by unique seasonings and spices. Along these lines, the majority of the options are vegetable based, but regardless of what is ordered, guests will receive huge portions, so sharing is definitely recommended.

BEST OF
Cheeseburgers Worth a Road Trip For

1. Hodads (San Diego)

First up is the Guido Burger all the way from sunny California. This pastrami burger is served with ketchup, pickles, Swiss cheese, grilled onions, and spicy brown mustard. Just because it's called The Guido Burger doesn't mean you have to be a guido to celebrate national cheeseburger day with this delectable cheeseburger.

TOP 5
It's Pumpkin Spice Season and Nothing Else Matters

It’s officially the Fall Season — Or should we just call it “Pumpkin Spice” Season? The Starbucks masterpiece is finally back on the market, and as white girls jump for joy and filter their Instagram pictures, businesses across America are tackling this trend in a whole new way.

Fun fact: Pumpkin Spice isn’t supposed to taste like pumpkin; rather, the spices which pair so well with it. Go figure. By mixing these flavors into their products, people have made their own PSL-spinoffs, and we’ve had the pleasure of researching all of them. Ready for a Pumpkin Spice Rundown?

HOW-TO
Score A Touchdown With Joonbug's DIY Game-Day Food Guide!

Summer might be coming to a close, but with the end of one season comes the beginning of another… Football Season! The fantasy leagues are organized, plans are made for those game-viewing parties, but what happens when it’s time to eat? Well, we opened up the Joonbug kitchen to create the best game-day recipes for our Football Season Game-Day Food Guide.

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CULINARY OCCASIONS
Mark Your Calendar for Spain’s Great Match


On Wednesday October 8th, Spain’s Great Match will be held at the iconic IAC Building featuring an extensive offering of wine and tapas, as well as a Cava Bubble Lounge and displays of Spain's finest interior designs.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit New York Cares which is New York City’s largest volunteer organization helping people in need throughout the city.

It is exciting that the event is hosted at the renowned IAC Building, designed by Frank Gehry, because Spain’s Great Match will be the first wine event ever hosted in this iconic space. Tickets are available here but hurry - general admission will be $80 but early bird pricing is available for $65 until September 12th. There is also a VIP ticket for $140 which will include one hour (6-7pm) of exclusive access to all the wine, tapas and design.

BEST OF
Don't Miss TomatoFest 2014 Happening this Weekend Only

Alobar’s annual TomatoFest happening today through Saturday, September 13th and it's something that you should definitely hop on immediately!

Last night we had the pleasure of enjoying their 5 course dinner tasting menu featuring ripe and red and ready tomatoes prepared in a variety of decadent pairings. We started off with a Classic Tomato Gazpacho Amuse which included a cilantro crema. This was so light, refreshing and the perfect start to a wonderful meal. The next course was an Heirloom Tomato Salad with tomatoes, avocado, basil, goat feta, charred onion vinaigrette and balsamic reduction.

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
NEWLY-OPENED CALLE DÃO NOW OPEN FOR LUNCH

Yesterday we had the pleasure of dining at the Chinese/Cuban fusion Calle Dão for lunch, and it's not a meal we will soon forget. The decor transported us right into a Cuban hacienda. This ambiance of laid-back Latin elegance with big beautiful ceiling fans was a lovely oasis to come into from the hot New York heat.


We started off with a couple of the specialty cocktails: the
Opium (Michter’s Bourbon, tamarind, ruby red grapefruit, lemon and poppy seed tincture) and the MaxVer (Aviation Gin, St. Germain, white peaches, agave, lime, shiso leaf). These drinks were the perfect balance of flavor and sweetness.

BEHIND THE PLATE
Grilling Magic this Labor Day Weekend…with Peter Kaminsky


Take your palate on a delicious adventure this fall with a quintessential figure in the culinary world. Talented ‘award winning chef’ and author of the new The Essential New York Times Grilling Cookbook, Peter Kaminsky, is ready to start every urbanite and suburbanite off this season on a scrumptious note.

Joonbug has put together an elite list of Kaminsky’s grilling tips and wine pairings to celebrate this Labor Day Weekend…in mouthwatering style! It’s time to get your charcoal grill heated up, ready to prepare the juiciest fare in town with savory perfection.

  • When grilling, Kaminsky encourages all to use charcoal rather than gas or briquettes. The woody, smoky flavors the charcoal produces in your barbequed fare are truly unparalleled.
  • Use a frying pan or griddle. Kaminsky stated that when people grill in Argentina, they typically utilize a “plancha,” which is a kind of griddle. This made Kaminsky’s creativity flow, thinking of a new burger recipe to relish with Terrazas Malbec. When using a skillet, the chopped onions on the pork burger will have firsthand contact with the heat, soaking up that luscious, caramelized taste that pairs well with Terrazas Malbec wine.
  • For large cuts of meat, turn down the heat! Lowering the heat for bigger cuts of meat is crucial to cook your meat to its prime: a juicy product with tasty, flavorful crust.
  • Don’t forget to use a thermometer; avoid getting into those family kitchen arguments over whether the meat is done yet, or not.
  • To keep your dry cuts of meat juicy; brine. This can be done overnight, by marinating the meats in the brining solution and then placing them in the refrigerator. Or you can become a top-pitmaster for the day and use an injection briner.
CULINARY OCCASIONS
This is Not a Drill: Snap Dog is Giving Away FREE Hot Dogs on Labor Day

Yes, you read correctly. On Monday, and for one day only, Snap Dog, a premier producer of natural-casing hot dogs in NYC, will be giving away free hotdogs and sausages from 12pm to 2pm at its 20th St. and 10th Ave location. Owner Keith Dorman, who has successfully expanded the brand to over 20 carts throughout Manhattan, is shaking things up on the hot dog front by introducing a new skinless variety of smoked, artisanal beef franks and hot sausages that will debut Labor Day weekend at all Snap Dog locations. Don't miss out!


CULINARY OCCASIONS
An Evening of Wine and Culinary Adventures in Wine Country

Last Saturday, Dan's HARVEST EAST END returned for its fifth successful year, drawing a crowd of 1,300 to celebrate the delicious bounty of Long Island's agriculture by pairing local grapes with local cuisine. With nearly 40 wineries and 30 top East End chefs gathered, there were endless bites and sips to try while listening to industry tastemakers speak.

Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York was in attendance and spoke about the development of New York's wine and craft beverage industry and the wine tourism that has emerged alongside it.

He presented Macari Vineyards with the coveted Governor's Cup "Winery of the Year" award as part of the New York Wine & Food Classic. He additionally made a huge announcement launching a $300,000 marketing campaign that will promote Long Island wine country to travelers both locally and abroad.

Other awards were given to: Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard’s Cheval Bleu (Best Dessert Wine), Wölffer Estate 2013 Grandioso Rosé (Best Rosé Wine), Martha Clara 2012 Chardonnay (Best White Wine), Sparkling Pointe 2005 Brut Selection (Best Sparkling Wine) and Macari 2010 Cabernet Franc (Best Red Wine). We sampled all of them and they were clearly a cut above the rest.

Now for the food- there was definitely some of the best of the best at the event. Chef's showcased samples of some of the best of their best. Here are our favorite four local tastes:

1. The Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup from Love Lane Kitchen showcased the upscale flavors of the locally sourced ingredients.

The creamy tomato soup paired with the little grilled cheeses of perfectly melted cheese on lightly toasted bread went wonderfully with a sip of light sauvignon blanc.

Hearing about their relaxed environment and local regulars made this a spot that we will definitely make a point to go by when we find ourselves next out in Mattituck.

To Plan Your Visit: Love Lane Kitchen

CULINARY OCCASIONS
The Taste of Tennis Takes Over NYC

The US Open is upon us, and in celebration, top tennis pros and New York City's most sought after chefs ate, drank and mingled last week at The Taste of Tennis. The event, which was held at the W Hotel NYC, invited guests to enjoy food from world class chefs, enjoy signature cocktails, rub elbows with the biggest names in tennis and much more. A live band and a DJ both provided music, while DASHA's Luxury Lifestyle Station provided guests with green apple cocktails and massages.