Bitter & Esters brew maestros shepherd beer aficionados 21 and older through the basics of crafting their own libations during the two-hour introductory brewing courses. These knowledgeable instructors sprinkle their lessons with useful tidbits as their students immerse themselves in the process, communally brewing a bubbly batch of hops-laden liquid like witches on Super Bowl Sunday. Classes cover need-to-know facts about extracts, malts, grains, and yeasts as well as common trouble-shooting methods for when batches go awry. The hands on lesson includes all the necessary ingredients and reference materials required to whip up a hearty brew, with starter kits available for purchases if students want to continue fashioning beer in their home or underground speakeasies. Classes conclude with students sampling the fruits of previous home brewed labors, opening their taste buds to all the different possibilities craft beer making affords.
Little Town NYC unabashedly hearts New York. Of its three restaurants, two are located in iconic Manhattan spots: one in Union Square, the other on Theater District’s Restaurant Row. Little Town’s fancy for the Empire State shines through on the menu, too, with homestyle dishes such as the Adirondack chicken pesto and an Angus beef burger topped with crispy Berkshire bacon. The Suburb Backyard BBQ platter is piled high with enough buffalo wings, Nathan's hot dogs, and other locally inspired fare to feed a family of four.
Little Town NYC also takes great pride in its beer list, which features more than 100 local brews, including IPAs and amber ales that hail from breweries in Long Island, Ithaca, and Saratoga Springs. At the Restaurant Row location, you can enjoy a pilsner from Coney Island while sitting in a booth constructed from the beach’s old wooden boardwalk.
TThe professional, knowledgeable staff at Vintner’s Circle share their love of the wine lifestyle with hands-on wine classes that teach guests, family, and friends how to bottle wines, distinguish between different varietals, or pair wine with cheese. The shop’s unique winemaking courses take aspiring vintners through the accessible four-step process, which begins with choosing wine juices from a selection of more than 50 internationally sourced varieties. Participants then fill more than two dozen bottles with their own vintage. They can emblazon these bottles with custom-designed labels and colorful tops. Vintner's Circle also stocks a variety of gifts for weddings, holidays, and other special occasions, as well as wine accessories and gifts for wine lovers to enjoy year-round. Wine-education classes, corporate events, and team-building events are also on offer.
Avenue Wine Café introduces guests to dozens of wines and more than 70 distinct beers designed to imbibe in-house or at home. Wines hail from diverse lands including Italy, Argentina, and Spain, and patchwork a robust menu fit for a variety of occasions. Toast to the splendor of Argentinian grapes with a glass of Trumpeter merlot ($8) or savor a sweet glass of Harlow Ridge chardonnay ($8). Patrons pining for a thick beer can grab a bottle of Left Hand Brewery's milk stout ($6) or sniff out the scent of gingersnaps and citrusy hops in a draft pint of Hennepin Belgian-style ale ($8).
Popztarz's culinary team crafts homemade ice cream, sorbetto, gelato, and sundaes from fresh fruit and high-quality ingredients. Cool off with a s’mores gelato pop—chocolate gelato with a toasted marshmallow and graham-cracker core ($3.50)—or a vanilla salted-caramel pop with creamy vanilla gelato surrounding a homemade soft caramel inside ($3.50). Snackers can sample gelato, sorbetto, and ice-cream flavors by the scoopful ($2.99–$5.99), including Belgian chocolate, coconut, and butter pecan, or sneak a creamy coating onto the moist gelato-topped cupcake ($2.99). Frozen treat creators can concoct a variety of sundaes according to diner specifications or sling a signature selection, such as the goldrush sundae with chocolate and coffee gelato, caramel syrup, diced almonds, whipped cream, and dreams of westward expansion.
Brasserie 214 traces its roots far across the space-time continuum. The original iteration of the restaurant launched way back in 1938, but recent renovations and menu evolutions have brought French, Northern Italian, Belgian, German, and Scandinavian culinary traditions to the fore. Entrees such as salmon niçoise and duck à l'orange, as well as specialty schnitzels, exemplify the kind of elegant dinner, lunch, and brunch fare prepared by the skilled chefs. Imported beers and stateside craft brews pour from the taps to complement that selection. Of course, it wouldn't be a Long Island brasserie or a valid retirement destination without a robust cocktail selection. To that end, bartenders mix together specialty martinis, sangria, and sidecars with Bacardi, Disaronno, and fresh lemon juice served in a sugar-rimmed martini glass.