Our weekly food and drink news serves up intel on restaurant openings, chef buzz, culinary events, must-try dishes, and more.
Narcissa brings a bit of bucolic charm to The Standard, East Village.
Narcissa Opens at The Standard, East Village: Andre Balazs' Hudson Valley estate is a peaceful departure from his buzzy hotels in Manhattan and L.A. But at Narcissa, the hotelier’s new restaurant that opened in The Standard, East Village, the intimacy of Locusts on Hudson (as his farm is called) is on full display. The lighting is just right, booths are strategically placed for prime people watching, and décor is more cozy than over-the-top trendy. In the kitchen, Balazs has partnered with Dovetail's John Fraser. The menu has a California vibe with many vegetable options (try the beets) and a number rotisserie dishes perfect for these last winter months. 21 Cooper Square, 212-228-3344
Atrium Launches Lunch: Just over a year after being hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy, restaurants in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood are making their comeback. At Atrium DUMBO, chef and partner Laurent Kalkotour launched lunch service (11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., daily) this week. The French-trained chef's midday offerings range from a duck banh mi with house-made duck pate and duck confit to fried eggplant served in warm pita. 15 Main St., 718-858-1095
Valentine's Day at La Maison du Chocolat: Head to La Maison du Chocolat to taste-test Valentine's Day sweets for your sweetheart. The brand will host complimentary tastings of its elegant French chocolates from noon to 6 p.m. on Feb. 4 and 7 to 10 p.m. on Feb. 7 at all of its boutiques. Sample chocolates with floral infusions ranging from jasmine to violet to sunflower.
Dumpling Making Class at Buddakan: Following the weeklong Asian tradition of celebrating the Lunar New Year, Buddakan is offering a dumpling making class ($85) on Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. The chefs who make the popular edamame dumplings will treat guests to an interactive class, tour, and brunch. Call 212-989-6699 for reservations. 75 Ninth Ave.
Arlington Club's Sunday Night Barbecue: Sunday supper just got more exciting. The Arlington Club brought a younger vibe to the traditionally more staid Upper East Side with its classic steakhouse and sushi menu. But chef Laurent Tourondel is changing it up on weekends with the debut of Sunday Night Barbecue. Hickory-smoked baby back ribs, Southern-style fried chicken, and fall-off-the-bone brisket are just some of the dinner options. 1032 Lexington Ave., 212-249-5700
Jacob's Pickles Helps Fight Hunger: Restaurants regularly tout how they cook locally, but at Jacob’s Pickles, the team is also helping out the neighborhood with a benefit on Feb. 10 to support the West Side Campaign Against Hunger. Ticket sales (from $100-$1,000) will help the food pantry and counseling service center located on the Upper West Side. Taking place from 5 to 7:30 p.m., the evening promises a multi-course dinner with beer pairings. Only 35 seats are available and can be reserved online or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. 509 Amsterdam Ave., 212-470-5566
Suckling Pig Festival at Aldea: Aldea is throwing its first Festa do Leitão (Festival of the Suckling Pig) on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. with a special three-course dinner ($58 per person; optional $25 wine pairing). Chef and owner George Mendes taps his Portuguese background to create an inventive feast. A sampling of the menu includes a mussel soup with house-made chorizo and, of course, a roasted suckling pig served with various side dishes. 31 W. 17th St., 212-675-7223