LIQUID COURAGE
The Village Voice Second Annual Holiday Spirits Tasting Event Came Just at the Right Time

The Village Voice Second Annual Holiday Spirits Tasting Event could not have come at a more perfect time, as last week welcomed the coldest days we’ve seen this fall and people all over NYC were in need of merry distraction. For three hours, we delightfully warmed our bones with unlimited spirits, beer and wines aboard a luxurious yacht while cruising the New York City waterways.

Once we checked into our maiden voyage on The Hornblower Infinity Cruise Ship we were given our souvenir tasting glass and our spirits program book complete with a list of all the featured distilleries as well as map to better guide our drinking itinerary for the evening.

IVY LEVAN
'The Dame Says' Music Visual Premieres

If you took the swagger of Cruella de Vil, Madonna and, P!nk, threw it in a bottle, sealed it tight, shook it up, then removed the top; Ivy Levan would materialize.

The rising pop diva with a soulful voice that's bigger than her svelte frame, embodies all three divas with her rebellious, pro-feminist, sultry attitude. Ivy's attitude and look complements her strong vocals and unapologetic lyrics in her new visual for 'The Dame Says.' The single, co-written by Ivy, is a preview for her next single entitled 'Biscuit.'

'Biscuits,' is slated for release on January 13th, via Cherrytree/ Interscope Records. Be on the look out for Ivy's forthcoming debut LP, to be released in the spring of 2015. The album's title and tracklist has not yet been confirmed. Check out the new video below.

BEHIND THE PLATE
NoBread NYC is a Game Changer for the Gfree Community

Whether you have Celiac, food allergens, or have made a personal decision to go gluten free, wheat-free options in modern dining have really seemed to catch on. And while rice flour and tapioca starch abound in our grocery aisles, it can still be a task to know exactly what is and isn’t gluten free when dining out. Enter Nicole Cogan, the founder of NoBreadNYC.com. The former financial analyst left her job half a year ago to work on what has truly been a labor of love. Her food allergens and sensitivities combined with her work in an industry that often called for carb-packed power dinners with industry elites inspired the creation of her website, which has amassed a more than impressive following in a short amount of time.

SWEET TOOTH
Food Network Creates Dessert Scented Candles Perfect for Holiday Gifting

Not sure what to get that foodie friend of yours this holiday season? How about a realistically scented candle from the Food Network?

The Langley Candle Empire Company joined Food Network in launching a line of delicious candle creations with scents inspired by desserts and flavors from various cooking shows on the network. These candles will turn any room in your home into a test-kitchen sure to impress the Barefoot Contessa or Bobby Flay!

Have some Salted Caramel Popcorn or Rustic Pear Tart burning for those holiday gatherings and ring in the New Year with some Berry Pomegranate Spritzer. Wake up on a cold (and most likely snowy) winter morning with the scent of Sunday Morning Pancakes or invite friends over for a Southern Peach Cobbler-scented brunch date. These are only a sample of the various fragrances available in melts, glass containers, and ceramic crocks that are food-safe and can be washed and reused in your own kitchen.

BEHIND THE PLATE
World Renowned Chef Richard Sandoval Finally Shares his Culinary Secrets

This past Thursday, November 20th, the man who does it all, Chef Richard Sandoval, named Bon Appétit Restaurateur of the Year, celebrated the release of his newest cookbook, New Latin Flavors. Loyal fans and admirers of his gathered at one of his NYC restaurants Zengo, a sleek and spacious restaurant with a blend of Latin American and Asian cuisine, for an unforgettable night. The event featured unlimited appetizers and specialty cocktails selected by the chef, from his New Latin Flavors cookbook. Each attendee was given the chance to meet with the legend himself, Chef Sandoval, and received a signed copy of his cookbook as well as a generous $25 gift card to use at any of his restaurants.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Thanksgiving Decor to Serve Up the Best Dinner

So you've decided to host a Thankgiving dinner that requires a turkey, patience and a pinch of good luck. Well no matter the outcome of your Thanksgiving feast preparations, if you have a fabulous collection of tabletop and home decor your guests will have something to be grateful for. No need to thank us for these adorable items that will be the key ingredients to a successful Thanksgiving dinner.

1. A Gravy Boat

Nothing like some homemade juicy gravy to pour over the turkey that you slaved over. This one is a classic white ceramic with subtle autumnal colored illustrations.

LIQUID COURAGE Christmas Cookie Cocktail
Win New Friends by CraftingThese Bomb Holiday Cocktails

1.) Fall Classic

While this piece is aimed at helping you create the most glam holiday party possible, some of your guests might not be ready to dive head first into the December holidays, and that’s okay! For those of us still clinging to fall with tightened, cloyed grips, feel free to mix up a Fall Classic, inspired by the expert mixologists at Gramercy Tavern. Because nothing says fall like a giant martini glass full of boozy apples.

You’ll need:

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Your NYC Thanksgiving Restaurant Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday season is in full swing, and with Halloween finished, the next stop is one of our favorite days of all: Thanksgiving! Here in NYC, Thanksgiving is kind of a big deal, and you better know the best places to eat if you won’t be cooking this year. Need some help? That’s what we’re here for! Welcome to your personal Guide to the Best Thanksgiving Restaurants in New York City.

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BEHIND THE PLATE
The Duck & Waffle Cookbook Could Just Be the Best Holiday Gift on the Market

London’s own Executive Chef Daniel Doherty and cocktail mastermind Richard Woods graced New York City with their presence this week in celebration of Duck & Waffle cookbook release.

Duck & Waffle has successfully dominated the London dining scene since 2012 by pioneering the 24/7/365 service. Located on the 40th floor of a central London office building, Duck & Waffle is also the highest restaurant in the UK offering breathtaking views of the city.

THE LUXE LIFE
Wine & Film Holiday Gift Pairing

With the merry holiday season quickly approaching, Joonbug has all of your gift lists covered with the ultimate dynamic duo. What’s better than cozying on up next to the fireplace with your favorite vino and a movie? Add in some chocolate-covered strawberries to accompany, and you are set for an afternoon of strict pampering!

Sip, savor and snuggle…your holiday gift list worries are over. We have wine and film pairing options perfectly designed for every family member, friend…and possibly a gift for you to treat yourself to! Consider renting or purchasing our suggested flicks to accompany our spirit selections. Your gifts will be loved and appreciated by all!

BEST OF Ample Hills Creamery
Brooklyn's Sweetest Dessert Shops

Last month’s New York City Food and Wine Festival brought together some of Brooklyn's best dessert makers, who showcased tasty treats currently available at their store front. The desserts where so good we had to share with you the information on where to get them. However, if you don't want to go all the way to Brooklyn, you do have the option of having them delivered to you by placing an order online. Some of the bakers from these places have also written a cookbook so that people can learn how to make their desserts.

Ample Hills Creamery (623 Vanderbuilt Ave. Brooklyn)