All ‘Cued Up: The Tastiest Summer Food Events in NYC

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All ‘Cued Up

Last July, Carolyn Angel and Adam Shopkorn turned a landmarked, 1840s-era meatpacking district townhouse into Fort Gansevoort, a multistory art gallery and incubator space. They christened the back courtyard Fort Gansevoort BBQ (6 Little West 12th Street, 917-639-3113, and gave their pal, fashion-week DJ and burgeoning pitmaster Franco V., free rein over a lone smoker and takeout window. New for summer 2016: a duo of red-gingham picnic tables, so diners can enjoy Franco’s ‘cue at the source. “This season we’re inviting customers in,” Shopkorn says of the scrappy al fresco operation — an especially hospitable gesture considering the sauciness of Fort Gansevoort’s barbecue sandwiches. Franco heaps pulled pork shoulder (smoked for a minimum of twelve hours) and chicken shredded from whole-smoked birds between soft challah, then he tops the sandwiches with pickles and deeply caramelized onions. Both come doused in South Carolina–reminiscent apricot-mustard barbecue sauce. With the expanded seating comes a deeper smoked-meat roster, and ‘cue-rious visitors might encounter specials like sweetly glazed baby back ribs or buffalo wings imbued with mesquite, covered in hot sauce, and served with a buttermilk–blue cheese dip. Gild the lily with an order of cast-iron-cooked macaroni and cheese, or finish off with a slice of pie before heading indoors. Shopkorn, a curator and film producer, tells the Voice that he’s excited to showcase the “incredibly graphic” wave paintings of Californian artist Roy Fowler; those will debut in “either July or September.” Currently, you’ll find geometric abstract paintings and drawings on display from septuagenarian musician Richard “Dickie” Landry, which will stick around until June 25 — provided no barbecue-sauce stains taint the artwork in the interim. — Zachary Feldman

Caribbean Food Expo

June 5

Celebrating roots, curry, yams, and numerous jerk dishes (including chicken, pork, duck, goat, rabbit, and fish), this all-day, kid-friendly event offers an enormous array of island food. In addition to yam ice cream, yam cookies, and yam wine, numerous vegan dishes are available and an herbalist is working on-site. The outdoor festival includes live performances by Leroy Sibbles, Sister Carol, Little John, Glen Washington, and other Caribbean artists. Kids under twelve get in for free. Roy Wilkins Park, Merrick Boulevard, Queens, — Sara Ventiera

Big Apple Barbecue

June 11–12

The time for smoked meats has come. Celebrated chefs and pitmasters are connecting for the nation’s largest culinary and music festival dedicated to ‘cue. Try regional specialties from Memphis Barbecue Company and Ubon’s Barbecue, whole hog from Martin’s Bar-B-Que in Nashville, Baker’s Ribs from Dallas, and pork from Ed Mitchell, out of Wilson, North Carolina. The event is free to attend; plates are $10 apiece, and FastPass and V.I.P. packages are available. In and around Madison Square Park, 23rd Street and Madison Avenue, — S.V.


June 19

Hosting 3,000 to 5,000 people annually since 2000, Kreyolfest brings together the Haitian music industry’s top bands — think Carimi, Karizma, and Zenglen — along with local artists and performers from Africa and the Caribbean. Haitian fare and crafts are offered for sale as well. The event is organized by the Haitian Times, the only English-language publication covering the Haitian diaspora for a Haitian-American audience. Admission is free until four; afterwards, entrance is a suggested $20 donation. Wingate Park, 600 Kingston Avenue, Brooklyn, — S.V.

A Starry Night on the Farm

June 25

Modern Farmer and the actor Michael Chernus (Orange Is the New Black) are hosting an evening of regional food and art to benefit Farm Aid. Evan Hanczor of Egg; Mike Price of the Clam and Market Table; Frankies Spuntino’s Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli; and Liz Neumark of Great Performances are working with Whole Foods Market’s expert forager to create a high-end menu celebrating local fare. Connecticut-based six-piece Bronze Radio Return are performing; tickets are $250. Villain, 50 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn, — S.V.

Uncorked: New York Wine Fest

July 16

Uncorked, the national wine tour that highlights more than fifty wineries, is coming to New York City for the first time. The tour here offers more than a hundred wines; a Champagne bar; an international wine market; an artisanal food bazaar with sweet and savory pairings; a video DJ; a photo booth; and a blind-tasting bar. The fest has both afternoon and evening sessions; tickets start at $60, and cocktail attire is requested. Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, — S.V.

African Food Festival

August 13–14

The fare of Africa is as complex and diverse as you’ll find on any continent. Here’s a chance to digest it with African chefs, curators, and food experts against the backdrop of DUMBO. The festival includes more than 25 participating chefs and restaurants, cookbook authors, cooking demos, and music. Figures include Pierre Thiam, Chef Roblé, Dieuveil Malonga, and Grace Odogbili. A wide variety of dishes will be on sale, with an emphasis on vegetarian. Tickets start at $30. Exact DUMBO location TBA, — S.V.


One of the most anticipated openings of the summer doesn’t have a set date yet, but it’s definitely happening: Houston-based chef Anita Jaisinghani is bringing the super-successful Indian spot Pondicheri to Manhattan. (A recent email from the Pondicheri team suggests late June.) Jaisinghani will be combining the best of the Texas location and her more upscale restaurant, Indika, for grab-and-go food during the day and fine dining at night. There will also be an extensive baked-goods program, though it won’t be as big as that of the Pondicheri Bake Lab in Houston. Get ready for breakfast roti. 15 West 27th Street, no website yet — Alicia Kennedy


Those who’ve been waiting for chef Floyd Cardoz to return to Indian cuisine can rejoice: His Paowalla opens this summer. The 72-seat Soho space will include a wood-fired brick oven for roasted spiced meats and a spread of breads, as well as a full bar and dining-room seating. For the small-plates-style menu, Cardoz pulls influence from his travels around India with ingredients that are as local, seasonal, and approachable as possible. The goal is to “[rewrite] the rules of Indian cuisine” in dishes that are “not uptight and not afraid.” 195 Spring Street, — Jacqueline Raposo