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Sticking around town for a few days? We’ve got just the thing to make your summer staycation the best choice you’ve made all week. Here are the six best food and drink events in NYC this weekend.
National Donut Day, Madison Square Park, Fifth Avenue at 23rd Street, Friday, 10 a.m.
If there’s a piece of Homer Simpson in you, head to Madison Square Park to celebrate National Donut Day with free coffee and donuts from Entenmann’s. The baker will reveal its new red velvet donut flavor at the event, and you can take selfies with a seven-foot-tall rendering of the sweet.
Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, Madison Square Park, Fifth Avenue at 23rd Street, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.
Pitmasters from around the country descend on Madison Square Park this weekend to provide pulled pork and brisket to the masses. The line-up includes Daniel Delaney of Briskettown and famed barbecue maestro Ed Mitchell; live bands and cooking demonstrations are also part of the two day affair. Anyone can queue up to purchase barbecue, but you might spring for a VIP ticket package, which will help you avoid the line.
Shaken or Stirred Summer Mixology Classes, The Royalton Hotel, 44 West 44th Street, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
These classes, which also take place on June 14 and June 21, will cover the basics of cocktailing for beginners and provide tricks of the trade to seasoned party hosts. You’ll be able to taste your handiwork and get immediate feedback on how your cocktail career is shaping up. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased through the hotel’s website.
(RED) Dish Competition, Smorgasburg, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Smorgasburg is going (RED) all weekend in support of AIDS research, and 30 vendors will prepare a special dish from which proceeds will benefit the cause. On Sunday, those dishes will go head to head in friendly competition judged by Mario Batali and Dominique Ansel. The cook-off starts at 1 p.m.
Butcher Paper Dinner: Pies ‘N Thighs presents COLD FRIED CHICKEN!, Brooklyn Grange, 38-19 Northern Boulevard, Queens, Sunday, 3 p.m.
The ladies from Pies ‘N Thighs will be preparing some cold fried chicken for this rooftop farm dinner, while Queens Brewery will be taking care of drinks. The $80 meal includes southern sides like biscuits, cornbread, and a seasonal salad, with a fruit pie for dessert. A DJ will be on hand to spin tunes, and guests are invited to tour the farm pre-meal.
Dinner with Ruth Riechl, Contrada, 84 East 4th Street, Sunday, 5 p.m.
Have dinner and receive a copy of Ruth Reichl’s new book Delicious!, her first fictional piece, which weaves a story of a food writer with life experiences similar to…Ruth Reichl. The dinner, which is $55 per person, will allow guests the chance to interact with Ruth while they dine on chef Jason Audette’s fluke crudo and sweet corn agnolotti dal plin. The dessert for the evening is inspired by the only recipe in Reichl’s book, a spice cake. Dinner is payable at the end of the event, but reservations should be secured in advance.