BEST-OF

FIRST COURSE
NYC's Best Easter Eats


Toqueville, the Union Square restaurant that focuses on greenmarket fresh ingredients, has a three-course prix-fixe brunch for $68. The menu has a wide variety of dishes in modern preparations with superb ingredients, and it includes such diverse options as grits, sashimi and guinea hen.

1 E 15th St., New York, NY

FIRST COURSE
Stick It for National Something on a Stick Day

At Joonbug.com we get very excited about food, so naturally, when we learned that today is National Something on a Stick Day we were beyond excited. For what is better than normal food? Food on a stick, of course.

And so, in honor of this joyous day, we present to you a list of edible things on a stick you can put in your mouth. So get excited, get hungry, and get sticky!

FIRST COURSE
20 Restaurants that Need to Come to NYC, Like Now

1. Acme Oyster House, New Orleans

This oyster house is New Orleans royalty, and for good reason. Its chargrilled oysters are the most iconic, but they also serve them up baked and raw and it's all sublime. They have seven locations, including one in Florida and one in Atlanta -- how long until they bring the Southern oyster bar up north?

FIRST COURSE
The Best of Spring in Beantown

It’s that time of the year to lock away wintertime blues, throw away the key and never look back. Savvy spring mojo is just around the corner with refreshing treats, and well, us city-goers surely know how to celebrate and impress with the most sumptuous seafood and ice cream around. Beantown is fully prepared to welcome its city into the best time of the year…so think and scrumptiously savorthese spring options!

The Original Clam Box

Relish the first juiciest and crispiest “famous fried clams” of the season at The Original Clam Box. This casual, lively venue is the perfect place to embrace springtime, as it is located on the gorgeous Wollaston Beach. You can enjoy a sunny afternoon on the shore, pack a picnic blanket, and order your whole belly clams takeout style, or savor succulent clam strips in house! The Clam Box also serves a delicious variety of seafood on its menu, including scallops, oysters, shrimp, haddock, calamari, clam cakes and more. Other Clam Box options include mouthwatering burgers, buffalo wings, hot dogs, steak tips, gyros and more. Why not go for a buttery Lobster Salad Sub, or how about a Steak Bomb? Whichever you choose, The Clam Box will certainly not disappoint.

FIRST COURSE Bagtelle Waffles -fraiche, cognac maple glaze
Saturday Brunch at Bagatelle LA

LA is a city built for food, we don’t care what anyone else tells you. Every year, culinary masters from all over the globe follow their dreams and find themselves in this smoggy metropolis, ready to tease and tantalize our pallets with their wares. This relentless cycle of new talent presents dazzling new trends, and we're not just talking about beet salad and the rise of the Brussel’s sprout (be warned: celery will be back). We're talking about trends in service, economics, and culture. And in keeping up with the Joneses, many of LA’s elder statesmen have lost their way, which is why we were so refreshed to learn that Bagatelle LA is bringing back brunch in a big way. A back-to-basics big way.

FIRST COURSE
The Grain Game


In the grain game, wheat is losing the popularity contest as other, healthier forms take center stage: flaxseed, quinoa, steel cut oats, millet, buckwheat, barley, spelt, rye and faro, to name a few.

The industry has exploded with a whole array of whole grain manufactured foods and food stuffs made with other grains. There is a growing need for these things it seems because of the populace having either wheat intolerance or for the idea that other grains are healthier than wheat itself. Therefore, why not explore this facet of the food environment? Presenting to you some of these products currently on the market, plus some places in the city which specialize in creating dishes with these alternatives.

FIRST COURSE
Dinner at The Park

It’s no surprise that The Park in Chelsea is dubbed as one of Manhattan's trendiest restaurants. Helmed by Eric Goode and partner Sean MacPherson, this West Village eatery is a restaurant and night club hybrid — it is a culmination of five different worlds: the garden, the penthouse, the red room, the atrium and the main room.

Each area has its own distinct charm and character — the garden is complete with Japanese maple trees and vines of Wisteria; the penthouse is capped by a glass ceiling and displays a gorgeous view of the High Line (perfect for sunset-watching too); the red room impersonates an old Asian speakeasy with wicker scoop-backed chairs and banquettes covered in raw silk; the atrium is a glass-enclosed area backed by a glazed brick fireplace and the main room is the typical dining room furnished with a 900-year-old red wood root bench and a 30-foot-tall cluster of bamboo.

FIRST COURSE Crispy Pork Tail with Mango Sticky Rice
Boston's 5 Best New Restaurants!

2014 looks to be a truly exciting year when it comes to eating in Boston, but with constant openings, expansions, and transformations, the culinary landscape takes some keeping up with. We figured the beginning of a new year is the best time to explore what’s hot and new in Boston’s epicurean scene, which is why we rounded up the city’s five best new restaurants for your viewing and dining pleasure.


Blue Dragon

Ming Tsai (of WGBH’s “Simply Living” and Blue Ginger in Wellesley) has opened a new location on the Waterfront, which serves Pan-Asian style tapas in a hip environment that revolves around the reclaimed wood bar. The menu offers Americanized staples like chicken wings and fried rice, but what’s really worthwhile are the more daring dishes that make it unique. Fusion interpretations like the Crispy Pork Tail with Mango Sticky Rice, the Sake-Foie Gras Terrine with House Stout Rye and Cherry Jam, or the Soy Pickled Deviled Egg with Taro Nest, are the both delicious and engaging.

FIRST COURSE
D.I.Y. Valentines Day

When it comes to Valentines Day, the standard plan is a trip out to a fancy restaurant, possibly some drinking and dancing, and, presumably, an eventual return home to continue your evening. But why not cut out a step and spend the whole night at home? Sure, you could do the out-on-the-town thing, but there's something really special about preparing a meal for someone you love (or at least like a lot) yourself. Plus, as we mentioned before, you've got bedroom proximity on your side.

For those of you who've decided on staying in on the night of the 14th, If you're confused about what separates a romantic meal from the general every day dish, or if you're generally just looking for ideas about what to make, we've put together a few passion-perfect recipes that will leave you both in love.

FIRST COURSE
A Sweeter Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day has a tendency to be very commercialized and glitzy-- filled with ultra fancy dinners and over the top dresses. For many, however, long reservation waits and rooftop extravaganzas are less than intriguing. Perhaps a quaint café or cozy bistro is more your speed? Here is a list of 5 romantic, adorable and affordable places to spend this day of love (or any day), all against the backdrop of Europe. After all, Europe is the home of romance, cafés, decadent desserts, copious wine, and desire. Valentine’s Day is merely a few days away, and while you might not be able to swing a European lover’s getaway, perhaps you can manage a subway ride and short stroll to one of these underrated, Woody Allen-esque romance spots in the city.