A Weekend in New York City
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In the "city that never sleeps," New Yorkers often boldly claim to have the best of everything, with food as a top point of local pride. From casual fare like pizza and bagels to an unmatched international culinary presence, not only is there something for everyone — everyone, including The Daily Meal, has recommendations.
With more than 24,000 restaurants — and more than 100 more each year, according to the New York Department of Health — a proper sampler over one weekend is ambitious, but our guide guarantees to please with the right variety.
5 p.m.: Kick off your culinary tour sampling by New York wines at Chelsea Wine Vault. What started as Daniel Barteluce and Don Kurt’s desire to find a place to store their expanding wine collection and help others do the same — in order to rent basement-level space at Chelsea Market, the duo were required to open a retail space — has turned into the Chelsea Wine Vault, which has a tasting room, shop, and wine storage. Chelsea Market is also worth a stroll through its eclectic boutique shops and fresh markets. The historic market, site of where the first Oreo cookie was baked, is a treasure trove of treats. Snack on gourmet cupcakes or desserts, pick up fresh lobster or seafood, or shop for craft cheeses, chocolates, and olive oils.
8 p.m.: The surrounding area is a perfect first dinner destination, whether you find yourself in Chelsea or the Meatpacking District. A quick stroll through the Meatpacking District and you’ll soon discover why many find it a delicious destination. Across the street from Chelsea Market, the nautical-themed Maritime Hotel’s La Bottega offers ambiance with patio and cabana dining. Just south, Dos Caminos is a popular chain of lively Mexican restaurants, and to the west The Standard Hotel couples fine dining at The Standard Grill with an adjacent (and usually packed) Biergarten.
10 a.m.: Start the day the local way with a late and gluttonous brunch that has ambiance and booze. If a beautiful morning sets the stage for a walk in the parks, try Friend of a Farmer near Union Square or Hundred Acres’ comfort food served in an indoor garden near Washington Square Park.
1 p.m.: If you’ve already seen New York’s iconic sites like The Met, the Statue of Liberty, and Times Square or you are determined to focus on food, look for one of many roving markets, street fairs, or cultural festivals held on blocked-off streets in Manhattan throughout the year. Every Saturday you can count on the Union Square Greenmarket, Essex Street Market, and the Farmer’s Market near Columbia University. For a comprehensive list, see The Daily Meal’s Guide to New York’s Farmers’ Markets.
3 p.m.: For a more interactive food activity, The Big Apple hosts a wide array of cooking and wine pairing classes. Find the cooking course that suits your taste at the Institute of Culinary Education, Miette Culinary Studio, or Natural Gourmet Institute, or broaden your wine knowledge at Vino-Versity or Corkbuzz. Classes are fun group activities and something out-of-the-box from typical tourism draws. Plus, some of the top chefs, restaurateurs, and sommeliers in the country often drop by to teach classes.
7 p.m.: Whatever your plans, make your way downtown for soup-filled dumplings in Chinatown, the perfect pasta in Little Italy, or truly native fare in Korea Town. Find even more of Italy at Mario Batali’s Eataly, which packs a coffee bar, gelato bar, restaurant, shop, and rooftop beer garden all into one giant spot at the edge of Madison Square Park and across from the iconic Flatiron Building.
10 p.m.: After dinner, enjoy drinks with a skyline view at Eataly’s La Birreria, one of The Daily Meal’s Best Rooftop Restaurants but also a popular spot for a rooftop drink. Many Manhattan hotels also boast spectacular rooftop bars. Try Rare View Rooftop at Hilton New York Fashion District or the Sky Room at Fairfield Inn and Suites in Times Square.
9 a.m.: For an earlier start and a lighter meal than brunch, set out for one of New York’s famous bagels. Some say real New Yorkers don’t toast bagels but rather eat them hot, fresh, and traditionally topped with lox. Where to get the best bagels is debatable, but locals claim loyalty to Ess-A Bagel, Tal, H&H, or the bodegas on their block. New Yorkers are known for smearing a thick layer of cream cheese and lox on their chewy, crusty bagels, but don’t overlook some varieties you may not have at home, like whole-wheat everything or flavored cream cheeses.
1 p.m.: For lunch, opt for a trademark New York deli like the famed Carnegie Deli in Midtown or Katz’s Delicatessen on the Lower East Side.
5 p.m.: For dinner, investigate another local debate — who has the best pizza in town? New York boasts five of The Daily Meal’s 35 best pizzas in America. Located in the heart of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, Co. (pronounced Company) serves up the traditional options but also offers pies with flair. Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery, opened Co. to offer his spin on Roman-style pizza. Joe's Pizza is as synonymous with New York City as the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. The key to Joe's success since 1975 is their traditional New York City-style pizza with thin crust, great sauce, and just the right ratio of cheese, sauce, and crust (just a bit less of the first two). At John's of Bleecker Street, the pizza is cooked in a coal-fired brick oven, the same way it's been done there since 1929. You can choose from their available toppings (pepperoni, sausage, sliced meatball, garlic, onions, peppers, mushrooms, ricotta, sliced tomato, anchovies, olives, and roasted tomatoes), and you can scratch your name into the walls like the droves before you, but what you can't do is order a slice. The East Village Motorino offers traditional varieties of marinara and Margherita pizza and a handful of more spirited pies, including one with cherry stone clams and another with Brussels sprouts. Finally, there’s Di Fara, which took top honors on The Daily Meal’s list. Domenico DeMarco serves both New York and Sicilian-style pizza Wednesday through Sunday to hungry New Yorkers and tourists willing to wait on long lines, and brave the free for all that is the Di Fara counter experience. Yes, you're better off getting a whole pie than throwing down money on the $5 slice.
7 p.m. If you haven’t treated yourself to enough food, sample the city’s most celebrated sweet trends before leaving town. Grab a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery, which is often credited with kicking off the cupcake craze, thanks to a Sex in the City reference; a gooey sundae at Serendipity 3, or look for the roving Treats Truck for baked goods to cap off your sweet weekend.
Ashley Day is the New York City Travel Editor for The Daily Meal.
The 14 Best Brunch Spots in New York City
On its surface, brunch is a perfect concept: all your favorite breakfast foods—bacon! eggs! pancakes!—that are too elaborate for a weekday morning, prepared just in time for you to finally roll out of bed. So how does something with such great potential seem to fall short so often? Maybe it's the gaggle of NYU students at the next table who are three Bloody Marys deep before noon. Maybe it's the homogenous menus, the jacked-up prices, or the expectation that you'll be willing to wait two hours for a half-decent eggs Benedict. But there are still some places out there where the dream of brunch is alive and well, and we've found them. Here are 14 options, hand-picked by Bon Appétit staff, worth getting out of bed for.
Chocolate cobbler, peanut butter banana pudding: 2 decadent desserts you need in your life
With locations worldwide, this New York City dessert hot spot has served up plenty of delicious sweet treats, but nothing is quite as iconic as its banana pudding. The bakery has finally shared its classic recipe for their banana pudding in their upcoming cookbook “The Magnolia Bakery Handbook: A Complete Guide for the Home Baker" written by chief baking officer, Bobbie Lloyd, to celebrate 25 years in business.
In addition to the classic banana pudding recipe, the book will have plenty of additional banana pudding flavors and 150 more Magnolia Bakery recipes.
So, grab those speckled bananas and try your hand at the famed Magnolia Bakery recipe, below. The bakery even has a ready-to-prep kit for sale on its website to DIY the dessert at home.
New York City shootings: Rash of gun violence in 24-hour span
NEW YORK (WABC) -- A rash of shootings has made it a very violent 24 hours in New York City.
Compared to this time last year -- where there was only one shooting -- there have been 14 incidents with 15 victims over the weekend.
In the Bronx, a man was fatally shot Saturday on East 225 Street in the Edenwald section.
Upon arrival, police observed the 18-year-old unconscious and unresponsive with gunshot wounds to his face, chest and right shoulder.
EMS transported him to NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi Hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased.
There are no arrests at this time and the investigation is ongoing.
In Brooklyn, a 30-year-old woman was shot in the stomach Saturday after leaving a party on Van Brun Street in the Red Hook section.
Police say as she was leaving the party, a separate group of individuals outside the location got into a dispute after being denied access into the party and began firing shots into the crowd, striking the her woman. She was not the intended target.
The victim was transported to Methodist Hospital and is expected to survive.
We've learned she's a former NYPD officer who left the job in 2019.
Also, a 21-year-old male is fighting for his life after being shot in the back shortly after midnight Saturday at Nostrand Avenue and Montgomery Street.
A witness said that the victim was sitting in the passenger seat when an unknown individual fired several rounds into the vehicle striking the victim in the back.
New York City weekend bloodshed leaves 31 people shot, 6 killed: 'Welcome to the city of violence'
NYPD departures, retirements up 75 percent in 2020 as NYC sees 27 shootings over weekend
New York Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins says police officers are tired of working under failed leadership and being seen as the 'bad guy.'
New York City was marred by gun violence over the weekend, when 31 people were wounded in 28 shootings from Friday through Sunday, police said.
The dozens of victims were wounded from 12 a.m. Friday through end of day Sunday, the New York Police Department (NYPD) said in an email to Fox News on Monday. It’s a stark difference from the same period last year, albeit at a time when the Big Apple streets were quiet amid pandemic concerns.
Fifteen people were struck by bullets in 14 shootings on Saturday alone, the NYPD said.
Meanwhile, from Thursday, April 23, 2020, to Saturday, April 25, 2020, five people were struck in four shootings citywide, police said Monday. There were six murders reported over the weekend, compared to the two reported year-over-year, police said.
The Police Benevolent Association, the union that represents more than 50,000 active and retired NYPD officers, reported that 50 New Yorkers were shot over the past week – a 257% spike from the same time last year.
As of Sunday, there had been 376 shootings with 416 victims so far this year – up 76.5% and 71.9%, respectively, compared to the same time in 2020, the NYPD said.
There have been nine more murders so far this year compared to last, police said.
In a series of tweets late Sunday, Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, the union that represents active and retired NYPD sergeants, blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Council for the rise in crime.
"Welcome to the city of violence," one of his tweets stated.
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For the vegetable pilaf:
Generously coat a cast-iron braiser or Dutch oven in olive oil, then add onion, celery, carrot, mushrooms and bay leaves. Season with salt, pepper and saffron. Cook over low heat until the onions are translucent. Add the rice, season again, toss with a spoon for another 1-2 minutes and pour the stock over. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover tightly. Cook for 8 minutes.
In a small bowl, toss the asparagus and peas with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the asparagus spears on top of the rice in a circular shape and sprinkle the peas and asparagus slices in an even layer. Cover and continue to cook another 7 minutes.
For the tzatziki sauce:
Combine the yogurt in a bowl with the cucumber, mint, chopped garlic and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
When the rice is done, place a handful of watercress in the center and close the lid again. Let rest for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Serve the tzatziki sauce on the side.
Venture somewhere new for a weekend getaway
Head to the Catskills in a private Getaway House
No one understands the need to just getaway into nature than Getaway.
Like the name implies, Getaway specializes in relaxation in beautiful locations, two of which are in driving distance from NYC in the picturesque Catskills. Getaway Eastern Catskills, located in Catskill, NY is just a 2.5 hour drive from the city, and Getaway Western Catskills, located in Roscoe, NY is even less at around two hours. Rates start at $149 per night and can accommodate either one to two people in one queen bed or up to four people in the cabin with two queen-sized bunks.
“By disconnecting and spending time in nature, guests leave a weekend at Getaway feeling rested, recharged and refreshed,” said Jon Staff, Founder and CEO of Getaway. “Now more than ever in the current environment of always being ‘on,’ there’s a need to unplug and spend uninterrupted time in nature.”
The service offers “private and secluded cabins, contact-free check-in and check-out, no communal spaces, and accessibility by car,” Staff said.
Speaking to the “contact-free” aspect, Getaway understands the urge to travel and has made all the necessary COVID accommodations including a deep cleaning of all cabins, staff in full PPE at all times, private fire pits for each cabin and 50 to 150 feet of space between each cabin as well.
Enjoy a private vacation rental on the east coast with TurnKey
Picture this: a private home you don’t need to clean, the sounds of the water as opposed to honking horns and lush greenery with no concrete jungle in sight.
Private vacation rental company TurnKey has a plethora of places within driving distance from New York City, including two properties in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and one in Bar Harbor, Maine, Ocean City, Maryland and Bethany Beach, Delaware.
“These quick trips help break up the daily routine, provide a change of scenery, offer new things to see and do and give a feeling of freedom,” said T.J. Clark, co-founder and president of TurnKey Vacation Rentals. “As travel decisions have been affected by COVID, private vacation home rentals have become a preferred option for travelers.”
Keeping COVID safety at the forefront of their operations, TurnKey homes are professionally cleaned between each use and has 24/7 guest support. For outside of New York travel, be sure to read the rental description outlining what forms and other precautions may be necessary to leave and re-enter the state, including completing a travel form, producing a negative test or quarantining upon return.
This year, the company made enhancements to their “patented GuestWorks cleaning system and verification technology, including confirmation and photo-verification of the use of COVID-19 fighting products,” continued Clark in the statement. “Not to mention our custom digital lock technology, for a 100% contactless check-in and checkout experience. These locks are also time-coded to ensure no one else can enter the property while guests are present.”
If you choose the 4-ish hour trip to Cape Cod, rentals start at $165 to $200 per night, Bar Harbor starts at $125 and takes about eight hours by car, Ocean City starts at $230 and takes about four hours and Bethany Beach is the shortest journey at around three hours and 45 minutes and starts at $475 per night for a stunning four bedroom and 3.5 bath.
See Niagara Falls on a one-day tour
If the last time you saw the Falls was on a school trip, it’s time to go back and see them in a whole new light.
For those wanting an escape from city life but only have one day to do so, a tour from Viator is the way to maximize your precious time. While there are many options on the platform to choose from, the one-day tour is a great way to see Niagara and surrounding waterfalls and caves while remaining COVID safe.
The full day starts with a pick-up in New York City and soon enough you’ll be at the Falls for a day exploring the Niagara Falls State Park as well as a ride on the Maid of the Mist boat cruise — the full tour package.
“Long tour but the price is unbeatable for a day tour from New York. We were able to sleep comfortably in the bus on our way to Niagara and we used the wifi and admired the beautiful landscape on the way back,” reads a five-star review of the tour.
For COVID safety, check-in is paperless and done right on your phone. On the tour, face masks are required for travelers and the guides, hand sanitizer is readily available, social distancing is enforced and all gear, equipment and transportation are sanitized between use.
For longer adventures up to the Falls, check out other Viator offerings listed on the site, from two-day weekend trips to shorter trips that start outside of NYC.
Beacon, New York is calling you to stay in style with VRBO
Beacon, New York makes the list for must-visit places that are close enough to NYC for a pleasant drive but far enough away that there won’t be light pollution or a honking taxi within earshot. Beacon is known for its contemporary art, but also boasts thrift shops for the fashion lovers and great food and views of the Hudson River.
No matter where you want to check out in the town, there’s an accommodation perfect for you and your posse. VRBO has a huge collection of rental homes in the area, ranging from modern homes to farmhouses to lakeside cabins and everything in between.
Our recommendation? Check out this private lake house that comes fully equipped with kayaks, sleeps up to six people, has a backyard deck with a propane grill and seating to watch the sunset.
“My two young adult children (one who has special needs) and my toddler wanted to get away from the city for a much needed break from our apartment. Pictures and words do not fully encompass the majestic beauty of this property,” reads a recent five-star review from March. “My kids and I enjoyed watching the sunrise and sunsets. The house is very well kept, very clean, and modern. We ordered a few groceries and take out. I like how stores are not that far. Check in and check out process was very easy.”
Other options include staying in a castle by the sea for just $328 per night that sleeps up to 12 people in case you have a large immediate family or happen to be a royal. For a less expensive stay, check out the pet and family-friendly house near the water for only $149.
Regardless of where you stay, be sure to read the details on how VRBO properties are abiding by COVID regulations, including sanitation policies between guests, maximum number of people allowed at the property and their cancelation policies.
14 Best NYC Cooking Classes
Ready to roll up your sleeves, tie on an apron and sharpen your cooking techniques? Gain knowledge and mastery of the kitchen at cooking classes that will have you making fresh pasta, sushi, dumplings and cupcakes&mdasheven learning knife skills. Opportunities abound for dabblers, date nights, serious home cooks and anyone who aspires to take on another culture&rsquos cuisine. We&rsquore highlighting 14 of NYC&rsquos best venues to find your inner chef, make new friends, share delicious food and just plain have fun.
Who&rsquos it for? Cooking and drinking enthusiasts.
What to expect: Chef-owner Abigail Hitchcock invites adults into her Greenwich Village restaurant kitchen for hands-on instruction. Guests build confidence by prepping ingredients and doing the sautéing and searing, making it all less of a chore. Hitchcock is also a certified sommelier, so her wine-tasting sessions provide the groundwork for intelligently perusing wine lists and wine shops. Most classes are limited to 10 students and are about three-and-a-half hours long.
What you&rsquoll master: Homemade mozzarella, fresh pasta, boeuf bourguignon for two or the art of Southeast Asian cooking using Thai ingredients from an off-site shopping trip to Chinatown.
Cost: $75 for a wine class matched with Murray&rsquos Cheese $125&ndash$150 per person for most of the others, all of which include unlimited local beer and wine.
Who&rsquos it for? Beginners, skilled home cooks and date-night adventurers.
What to expect: Daily classes in an assortment of fields, held at Sunset Park&rsquos Industry City complex, generally last two hours. Students, in groups of 12 to 21, actively participate and then sit down for a communal meal, enjoying the fruits of their labor. Many classes sell out fast so reserve in advance.
What you&rsquoll master: Knife skills, Japanese street food, bao workshops, dumplings, pizza dough and French pastry, depending on the class.
Cost: $75&ndash$125 per adult $65 for kids&rsquo cooking classes.Courtesy, Butter Lane
Butter Lane Cupcakes
Who&rsquos it for? Baking fans and those with sweet tooths celebrating birthdays, showers and romantic milestones. It&rsquos delightful for kids, too, who must be at least 45 inches tall to see above the worktable (there&rsquos no age minimum).
What to expect: Cupcakes 101 lasts two hours, featuring step-by-step instructions on three different cakes and icings made from premeasured flour, sugar and butter. The casual, intimate workspace can fit a dozen people.
What you&rsquoll master: Working a mixer and swirling frosting so it looks pretty and professional.
Cost: $75 for individuals &ldquoSweetheart Class&rdquo is $120 per couple.
Who&rsquos it for? Beginners looking for lively date nights, a girls&rsquo night out or corporate team-building events.
What to expect: Interactive cooking parties taught by experienced NYC-area chefs. CocuSocial classes feature a wide variety of experiences that are held in semiprivate spaces such as restaurants and hotels. Capacity ranges from 12 to 28 people, with a 21-year age minimum. Classes generally last two-and-a-half hours.
What you&rsquoll master: Classic and creative cocktails, sushi, pizza, homemade mozzarella and burrata, French pastry, Spanish tapas or paella, depending on the class.
Cost: $42&ndash$53 drinks are extra.Courtesy, Cozymeal
Who&rsquos it for? Anyone eager to refine their cooking skills and tackle step-by-step instructions to help create a restaurant-quality dish or master a five-course meal, if that&rsquos of interest. Classes, led by a vetted chef, are also popular as a corporate team-building activity.
What to expect: Classes are hosted at various approved locations, such as commercial venues around the City (or in a private home), depending on the chef, and can accommodate 2 to 40-plus people. The menu and price range dictate the duration, but classes usually run two to three hours.
What you&rsquoll master: Dozens of experienced chefs, some of them Michelin-starred, offer their expertise on macarons, vegan and gluten-free Indian, modern twists on traditional Italian, sushi or a taste of ancient Greece.
Cost: $75&ndash$145.Courtesy, De Gustibus
De Gustibus Cooking School
Who&rsquos it for? Fans of celebrated and rising star chefs looking for cooking tips.
What to expect: A culinary theater on the eighth floor of Macy&rsquos Herald Square hosts audiences of up to 60 at long communal tables. Visiting chefs perform multicourse cooking demos that are also projected on large screens. Demonstrations are two-and-a-half hours long hands-on instructional classes (limited to 25 students) are three hours. Interactive discussion is encouraged in all classes and attendees are offered samplings, wine tastings and recipes to take home. Select classes are held at the chef&rsquos restaurant. Reservations are required for all.
What you&rsquoll master: Depending on the guest chef, anything from tricks of classic French technique to kosher cooking concepts.
Cost: From $110 per person.
The Dynamite Shop
Who&rsquos it for? Kids ages 8 and up, teenage cooking connoisseurs and parents who want to relax while their children pick up life skills.
What to expect: Lessons in empowering kids through food taught by co-owners Dana Bowen and Sara Kate Gillingham (also renowned food and cookbook writers). The Brooklyn storefront features a coffee shop nook in front where parents can wait for their kids or, if you&rsquore planning an adult-oriented day elsewhere in the City, drop the kids off for weekend workshops. There are also after-school, summer camp and spring break options, with a capacity of 25 students. The monthly teen supper club is capped at 15 students.
What you&rsquoll master: Fundamental cooking skills plus pho, summer rolls, stocks, vegetable mac-and-cheese, Shirley Temples or brunch classics, depending on the day.
Cost: 12-week after-school classes start at $1,080 and tuition includes a take-home dinner for five people daily summer camp and spring break camp are $750/week teen supper club is $50&ndash$75.
Who&rsquos it for? Those with or without experience in the kitchen cook together as a community in a sociable atmosphere.
What to expect: A charming 18th-century carriage house in Chelsea with a stylish café and shop in front plus a state-of-the-art kitchen in back provides the setting for classes. They focus on using fresh and seasonal ingredients with an eco-conscious twist. Classes last between two and three hours and offer 12 to 14 seats cocktail classes, accompanied by snacks, are held on the second floor. Also popular are select classes taught by professional chefs from across the country and &ldquoCook the Book,&rdquo devoted to making recipes inspired by a chosen cookbook.
What you&rsquoll master: Plant-based food combining, dim sum brunch, vegetarian Southeast Asian suppers, Korean home cooking, homemade bagels, lox and schmear, tiki drinks and fish butchery, among other objects of study.
Cost: $125&ndash$175.Courtesy, Institute of Culinary Education
Institute of Culinary Education (ICE)
Who&rsquos it for? Home cooks intent on upping their culinary game at one of the world&rsquos top professional cooking schools.
What to expect: Recreational cooking classes offered day and night in a 74,000-square-foot facility in Lower Manhattan. They last anywhere from 90 minutes to five hours. Most involve a brief lecture, full-participation of cooking and eating, with maximum class size of 16 students.
What you&rsquoll master: Sous vide steaks, Catalan cuisine, essentials of Israeli cooking, vegan burgers that rock and acquiring knife skills are a fraction of the catalog&rsquos curriculum. Natural Gourmet Center (formerly Natural Gourmet Institute) was folded into ICE in 2019, bolstering its plant-based and nutritional programs. They include classes such as Bowls That Heal, Meatless Monday&ndashSunday and Vegan and Gluten-Free Baking.
Cost: Beverage classes begin at $100 $125 is the starting point for hands-on cooking sessions.International Culinary Center. Photo: Arielle Figueredo
International Culinary Center (ICC)
Who&rsquos it for? Career-oriented culinary, pastry and wine students as well as ambitious newcomers.
What to expect: One-day and multiday recreational courses, taught by esteemed professionals, held in the heart of Soho. Classes accommodate 12&ndash24 students and cover many of the basics (knife skills) as well as training that&rsquos a little more challenging (food styling for media). The dress code includes long pants, long-sleeved shirts and non-slip close-toed shoes. Aprons and skull caps are provided. Classes generally last four hours.
What you&rsquoll master: Secrets of sugar paste flowers, cream puffs, gluten-free baking, olive oil sommelier certification, essentials of Mexican and Japanese cuisine, are just a slice of the school&rsquos wide-ranging curriculum.
Cost: $195 for one-day classes $495&ndash$8,230 for multiday courses.Courtesy, Eataly
La Scuola di Eataly & Foodiversità
Who&rsquos it for? Families, solo travelers, couples and anyone passionate about Italian food. Most private classes are aimed at team building.
What to expect: Nearly every day at both Eataly locations there are interactive classes and food demos. At the Flatiron District&rsquos La Scuola, chef Lidia Bastianich has developed popular courses taught by Eataly&rsquos own chefs as well as acclaimed guest chefs. Hands-on classes can hold up to 20 cooking demonstrations with a seated dinner can fit up to 34. At Lower Manhattan&rsquos Foodiversità (Food University), look for intensives on fresh pasta, street food, pizza and regional Italian specialties. All classes include wine pairings and last anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours. Hourlong kids&rsquo classes are held Saturdays.
What you&rsquoll master: Butternut squash ravioli, gnocchi, wine and cheese pairings, layering tiramisu and stuffing cannoli, for example.
Cost: At La Scuola, it&rsquos $50&ndash$125 for adults and $100 for parent-child tickets. At Foodiversità, adults pay $40&ndash$125 kids&rsquo classes are $20&ndash$30.Courtesy, The League of Kitchens
The League of Kitchens
Who&rsquos it for? All levels of culinary proficiency and those desiring deeper knowledge of international cuisines and cultures.
What to expect: A warm welcome in an immigrant&rsquos home that&rsquos immersive and inspiring and includes cooking instruction, sharing stories and a meal plus a recipe booklet to take home. Classes accommodate six people and take place on weekends mostly in Brooklyn and Queens.
What you&rsquoll master: Complex Bengali dishes, Iraqi biryani and baklava or Uzbek savory pies and custard, for instance.
Cost: $179 for &ldquoimmersion&rdquo (four-and-a-half hours) workshops $135 for two-and-a-half-hour &ldquotaste of&rdquo workshops.
Pizza School NYC
Who&rsquos it for? Pizza lovers of all stripes, no prior skills necessary.
What to expect: Hands-on dough stretching, combining toppings in creative ways and baking up to four pies during an interactive four-hour workshop. Beer, wine and soda are available for purchase for the pizza party at the end. All students receive a recipe booklet to take home and a pizza box for leftovers.
What you&rsquoll master: Thin-crust pizza made from scratch, demystifying the differences in tomato sauces and sourcing the best mozzarella.
Cost: $195 for one $295 for two working as a team.
Who&rsquos it for? Aspiring chefs of all ages, no experience required&mdashpopular for kids&rsquo birthday parties, mommy-and-me projects and date nights.
What to expect: A modern, flowing space in Chelsea that sports two fully equipped kitchens and windows looking out on the Empire State Building. Adult classes&mdashall BYOB&mdashlast two hours those involving children last one hour but are longer for summer and holiday camps. The average class size is 24, and a spot can often be reserved a day or two ahead.
What you&rsquoll master: Handmade pasta, a culinary tour of Tuscany, French countryside, Chinese takeout, sushi & dumplings.
Cost: $79 for adults classes involving a child are $45 and up.
- The day before you plan to serve the cheesecake:
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Make and bake the cake crust as directed and leave it in the pan. Keep the oven on.
- 2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment if your mixer has one, beat 1 package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch together on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each.
- 3. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in the cream just until completely blended. The filling will look light, creamy, airy, and almost like billowy clouds. Be careful not to overmix! Gently spoon the batter over the crust.
- 4. Place the cake pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes halfway (about 1 inch) up the side of the springform. Bake until the edge is light golden brown, the top is light gold, and the center barely jiggles, about 1 1/4 hours. If the cake still feels soft around the edge, let it bake for 10 minutes more (the cooking time will be about the same for both the 8- and 9-inch cheesecakes). Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours (just walk away—don't move it). Then, leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold before serving, preferably overnight or for at least 6 hours.
- 5. Release and remove the side of the springform, leaving the cake on the bottom of the pan. Place on a cake plate. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Slice with a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated one, rinsing the knife with warm water between slices. Refrigerate any leftover cake, tightly covered, and enjoy within 2 days, or wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.
Reprinted with permission from Junior's Home Cooking: Over 100 Recipes for Classic Comfort Food by Alan Rosen & Beth Allen. Text © 2013 by Alan Rosen and Beth Allen photographs © 2013 by Mark Ferri. Published by the Taunton Press.
Indoor Things To Do During an NYC Spring Staycation
28. Board the ferry for Jersey and explore Liberty State Park before venturing to one of our favorite Northern New Jersey museums: the Liberty Science Center.
29. Climb the walls at The Cliffs at Harlem, NYC's newest and largest bouldering gym, or check out one of these other family-friendly rock-climbing spots.
30. Beat a bad-weather day with a trip to one of these indoor play spaces open now, or splurge on a private play date at one of these cool spots.
31. Missing museums? Many have reopened and are offering timed-entry tickets. Check out our Guide to Kid-Friendly Museums for our top picks and details on how to score FREE admission.
32. Go for a strike at one of these family-friendly bowling alleys for NYC kids.
33. Can't wait for summer's Van Gogh exhibit? There's a cool, immersive art exhibit open now at the family-friendly Chelsea Market. Visit ARTECHOUSE and its current show, Geometric Properties.
34. May brings the return of the Macy's Flower Show, with a "Give. Love. Bloom." theme in 2021.
35. IRL performances are slowly percolating. See Puppetworks performances of Aladdin & the Wonderful Lamp, The 3 Wishes & The 3 Little Lambs, The Wizard of Oz. New York Theater Ballet presents LIFT Lab Live throughout April.
A version of this article was first published in April 2009, but it is updated annually.
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