Happy Friday, friends in food! We’re in that sweet sweet spot of NYC weather where we can saunter over to the farmers market in just one layer instead of seventeen, am I rite? With the temperatures rising so are the number of exciting food things happening in the city!
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Without further ado, let’s dive in.
TO EDEN: Friendly Style by Eden Volume 2
If you have recommendations or work at a restaurant that would be great for Friendly Style (exciting cuisine, private dining room or buyout options, great family-style sharing), please shoot me a note at email@example.com! I always respond!
We’re announcing dates next week and I’m just giddy at the restaurants we have in store!
TO PARK: Winner in the Park, Sunday, April 24th
Have you ever been to the middle of the park on a weekend and come to the grim realization that you have no snacks? Tote bag empty, low vibes. Well, fret not because one of Brooklyn’s best bakeries is taking over the park in the best way possible. This Sunday from 10 am-3 pm, Winner will be hosting a celebration of their new outpost in Prospect Park. Pick up treats for the homies running the marathon or a good collection to fuel your errand-filled Sunday! Come enjoy bites from peeps like Bill Clark, Ramona, Faccia Brutto, Greenberg’s Bagels, and Dacha 416.
There are two tiers for tickets. $60 gets you your entry fee, a swanky Winner tote, and 2 tickets for food & bev. $100 gets you an entry, a swanky tote that NYC Parks x Winner tote, and 5 tickets for food and bevvies. Snag them here before they are bound 2 sell out!
Can’t make this shindig of sweets? From 7 am-9 pm daily, come savour the deliciously outstanding goodies from early May till December. The Picnic House is certified to be NY’s sweetest club!
TO BAKE: The Caker Cake Kits
A few weeks ago, a lovely reader reached out asking if I would try some cake mixes from her brand. In the full embrace of my imaginary best friend Ina Garten, I revelled in “storebought being fine” and received this incredible package from The Caker.
Spearheaded by New Zealander Jordan Randel, these cake kits are not like the Betty Crocker joints that coloured my early culinary days. They’ve worked on some amazing partnerships like Intellegensia for their coffee cake or Neiman Marcus for their spiced pear situation.
Considering I’m a fiend for citrus, I tested out the coconut raspberry lime leaf and this was incredible! This cake was the perfect embodiment of simple execution and bold flavours. I always worry that you can’t get quality taste from box mixes but this was giving award-winning bakery levels once it came out of the oven. Not to mention, the shredded coconut with lime leaf made for a delicious icing that was not too sweet and had this awesome citrus kick. Also, who can say that their cake box came with its own backdrop!
Stock your pantries with the cake kits for $25 for one or $50 for 2. There is a bit of a sale going on hehe over on their website.
Thank you again Anouk and team The Caker for this sweet gift!
TO DINE: BONNIE’S
I know I’ve made my whole personality trait how lucky I am to snag reservations at all the popping joints. But alas my 10 am alarm for copping a Resy spot failed me multiple times so I took matters into my hands and prayed for a walk-in at Bonnie’s, the newest talk of the town. However, the clown in me went on a Friday night. Luckily, the incredible staff rewarded my commitment for schlepping across 3 train lines, they put me down for a spot at the bar......5 days later.
So this past Wednesday, we did it, Joe! You’re going to be the next patron of Bonnies in Brooklyn. “We’re cooking food just like mom used to make!”, owner Calvin Eng commented about the food taking centre stage at the spot which he beautifully named after his mother.
When you walk into the restaurant, rap music is bumping as the maitre’ds are grooving along while ensuring that patrons are happy. Channing the bartender, with a Caprisun in his apron for good measure, greeted me with a frozen lychee shot which is not the worst way to start service.
I basically starved myself for the day and so dove straight into as many appetizers as my heart could do. To kick things off, I indulged in the dao gok, Chinese long beans sauteed in a bean curd garlicky butter and topped with yauh ja gwai, a fried dough.
In favour of more small bites, the incredible team sent over the hup to hua plate, decadent shrimp paired with candied walnuts topped with juicy orange slices and steamed broccoli. The perfect balance of hearty and healthy!
But in reality, I was here for one thing and one thing only! The cha sui McRib. As a Scorpio passionate about food, I’m averse to excessively ‘grammed foods but reader this sandwich can be the subject of a story that compels me to gather my future descendants around a winter fire. An ode to the Cantonese comfort ribs, glazed ribs are tucked between an incredibly soft and sweet milk bun with silky onions, bread & butter pickles, and Chinese hot mustard for this tangy to wrap it up. Definitely let me with sticky fingers and a heart full of glee.
Like all good dishes, we ended on a healthy note. Perhaps inspired by the infamous Chez Panisse dessert or the sixth love language of every immigrant parent, the fruit plate was a heavenly end to an otherwise hearty meal. Lychee paired with dragonfruit, plums, pears, and some mandarins was the perfect way to ensure I had my 5 a day! Yay
If incredible Cantonese American food, solid drinks, and Williamsburg are all factors for a good night on the town, look no further than Bonnie’s. Reservations are 13 days out on Resy and more dates are released at 10 am each day!
Thank you to Calvin, JC, Rory, Ben, Natasha, Channing and the whole team at Bonnie’s for a superb dinner! Definitely coming back for that cacio e pepe.
POP UP PIAZZA: SOUL AND WHEEL SEAFOOD DINNER
Yes, I sound like a broken record but when I’m not working on dinners, I’m attending dinners and this one I’m really excited for. A few weeks ago, I was incredibly excited to hear chef Lay Alston at Cherrybombe Jubilee. She shared an incredible story about resilience and preparation getting to pursue her passion of being a chef. Now we have to chance to try her cooking.
In the spirit of developing her upscale mobile restaurant concept, Alston is hosting her second pop-up dinner to get the word out and get people’s bellies full.
On May 1st from 6 pm-9 pm, come indulge in a 7-course seafood tasting menu drawing inspiration from African, Asian, and Caribbean cuisines. Tickets start at $100 but for $150 you can get to see the action at the “chef’s table” watching chef Alston lay it down! There are just TEN SPOTS left so you better run and get tickets here!
Also, peep this adorable photo of Lay and Ray- just iconic!
TO EARTH DAY: Your local farmer’s market
Happy Earth Day! Nature is an incredible respite and a place where I’m guaranteed to leave with both my heart and belly full! While it has turned into a day where companies heavily encourage us to buy more of their SuStainAble stuff, I’m taking it upon myself to celebrate the bounties that the land has to offer.
If you have the chance to do it, I would highly encourage you to visit a farmer’s market and support local farms. If you need some inspiration on what to cop, look no further than this beautiful graphic from La Boite NY on what is taking center stage on the East Coast. Bonus points if you’re like me and ask farmers copious questions about growing conditions and the best ways to cook ramps!
Hope you enjoy this warm weekend and eat or drink something lovely! Bonus points if it’s done al fresco.
If you would like me to try, drink, taste, or test anything, please shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your friend in food!