In time for fall, new restaurant Picnic elevates classic Midwestern dishes like sweet potato casserole.
East Village Welcomes Picnic: With picnic season ending, the East Village's new Picnic restaurant is a good reason to head indoors. Chef Nicholas Nostadt cooks up Midwestern-focused food with a contemporary spin—think a cheese ball with Roquefort cheese, a pulled-pork sandwich with root beer barbecue, and a side of corn-and-cabbage slaw. 117 Second Ave., 212-777-3600
Casa Pomona Toasts Rioja: The newly reopened tapas spot will host its La Rioja Wine Festival from September 23 to 30. Marques di Riscal wines will be paired with a special three-course prix fixe ($35 per person) with selections like beef-potato croquettes and filets of black cod served a la plancha. 507 Columbus Ave., 212-362-3200
Ice Ball Machines Installed at W Hotels: Guests of any W Hotel can now play mixologist with the recent addition of the Macallan Ice Ball Machine. Not only do the machines craft a perfectly-round ball of ice to keep your whiskey (or cocktail) cold, the spherical shape also slows drink dilution.
Franny's Launches Cellar Series: Franny’s was one of the first restaurants to lure Manhattanites to cross the river for a meal. On September 18, the stalwart launches a weekly five-course dinner served in a private dining room with various themes. This Wednesday brings a pepper dinner ($130 per person) with beverage pairings. Call the restaurant or e-mail email@example.com to RSVP. 348 Flatbush Ave., Prospect Heights, 718-230-0221
Fall Brunch at Crown: Chef John DeLucie offers a rich, fall-themed weekend brunch from 11:30 am to 3 pm at Crown. Menu items range from a decadent Maine lobster fritatta served with spring peas and tarragon to fluffy ricotta pancakes with seasonal fruits. Stop by throughout September for complimentary Bellinis in celebration of Crown's two-year anniversary. 24 E. 81st St., 646-559-4880