Barbecue ribs with a smoky rauchbier. A melon salad with a dark doppelbock. The folks behind Get Real Presents specialize in pairings like these, sharing the joys of craft beer and delicious, locally-sourced foods. In this spirit, its team of foodies and beer aficionados hosts festivals featuring more than 80 brews, as well as restaurant events that pair craft beer with regional foods. As unique as it sounds, they admit this isn't exactly a new idea—they take a page from other countries, such as Belgium, who actually anchor much of their cuisine around the effervescent beverage. Following this "cuisine a la biere" model, they aim to highlight all of the great things a freshly crafted brew can do to enhance an evening out on the town, such as highlighting the flavors of a complementary dish, spicing up a local chef's stew, or softening your dad to the idea of paying off all of your student loans.
Signature service: wine tastings
Staff size: 2–10 people
Sud de France tasks its employees with sharing goods from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France with the world. For New Yorkers, that means one thing: plenty of fine wines. " They put their certification and knowledge to use in tasting sessions, which begin with samplings and lectures on wines, before moving on to one of France's other famed specialities: food.
In town for one performance only, The Fab Four—The Ultimate Beatles Tribute sends audiences on a time-bending trip to the 1960s soundtracked by the lads from Liverpool’s greatest hits and die-hard fan favorites. Emceed by an actor channeling Ed Sullivan, the multimedia production boasts a talented cast showing off their uncanny impersonations of John, Paul, George, and MacGyver. Live note-for-note re-creations of the group’s classic hits include renditions of “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Yesterday,” “A Day in the Life,” and “Hey Jude.” With three costume changes, the show covers the Beatles' developing style, from the early days through Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band to their brief stint as country band Uncle Ringo and the Hungry Blues. The touring production plays the palatial St. George Theatre, where the baroque furnishings offer plenty of murals, tiled fountains, and sculpted figures to keep eyes entertained before the show.
Runny tofu. Limp lettuce. Bland steamed vegetables. That's how a lot of people view vegan food, and The Seed: A Vegan Experience's founder Harvey Fung was no exception. But that opinion changed in 2011. That's when the avid muay thai practitioner and owner of 82Mercer saw the documentary Forks Over Knives, which set him on his path to veganism and led him to discover that vegan cuisine can be hearty, satisfying, and, most importantly for a foodie like him, decadent and delicious. In fact, it's not unusual for him to have a slice or two of moist chocolate layer cake that leaves him "sated and happy" and able to walk past traditional patisseries without licking the window.
After realizing that his discovery couldn't be kept to himself, Fung decided to share his love of vegan fare with The Seed: A Vegan Experience, an endeavor to reach out to vegans, omnivores who really like tempeh, and vegetable skeptics all at once with inspiring talks, cooking lessons, and samples from NYC restaurants and earth-friendly vendors. The proceeds from the event will benefit two nonprofit organizations: The New York Coalition for Healthy School Fund, an organization that works to improve the health of New York's students statewide, and Mercy for Animals, a national organization dedicated to preventing animal cruelty.
Havana Film Festival New York showcases underrepresented films from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latinos living in the U.S. This year's festival features a retrospective on filmmaker Gerardo Chijona, whose work has appeared in Sundance, among other places, such as the back of his brain. On Friday, April 8, view a Sundance 2011 official selection at the Quad Cinema with Chijona's Boleto al Paraíso, or Ticket to Paradise, which records the journey of a runaway teenager and a young boy in search of a paradise wherein everyone is born with 3-D goggles. Works by other directors, such as Ernesto Díaz Espinoza's Mandrill, will also be shown at Quad Cinema during the festival.