Cinco de Mayo, The Affordable Way

Photo Credit: Lauren Chattman

New York, NY —

The commemoration of the Battle of Puebla this year could not be more fortuitous: it lands on a Saturday, which needs no further explanation in the world of liquors and good times to be had. Whatever your celebratory craving, make sure it’s wholly Mexican and consists of many strong margaritas and Coronas without breaking the bank.

Cinco de Mayo Pub Crawl, May 4th & 5th

Perhaps teetering on the debauchery of a college spring break, an NYC Cinco de Mayo pub crawl extravaganza is being hosted by the producers of the largest pub crawls in the country. For $10 you can get an all access pass to each bar (but you still have to buy the booze.) But for anything between $2-5 dollars you can get you cheap Dos Equis, tequila and margaritas. Optional sombreros and pub crawl shirts are available for purchase.

Photo Credit: Closet Cooking

Cinco de Mayo Festival 116th St, May 6th

El Barrio on 116th is hosting a Mexican food fair for those craving a bit of the Southwestern flavor so far away and often missed from NYC. It’s a free event and by supporting local businesses in Spanish Harlem you can feel fantastic about chowing down a ten pound burrito stuffed with crispy shredded pork.

Mex Fest at South Street Seaport, May 5th

Here several famous NYC food trucks show off their culinary adaptations by infusing their menus with a Mexican twist. For only $8 you can get a voucher good for any sort of beer or margarita on site to pair with your favorite street eats like Luke’s Lobster, Kimchi Tacos, the Treats Truck, Gorilla Cheese and Wafels and Dinges.

Photo Credit: BHG

Flushing Meadows Cinco de Mayo celebration, May 13th

This huge annual event is providing a more flexible date (or extending the revelry) to May 13th, where the Battle of Puebla and Mother’s Day will be commemorated together at Flushing Meadows in Queens. It’s a welcome change of scene outside Manhattan and a truly family-friendly event.

Diana Tsuchida                                                                                                                        U.F.P Contributor


2012 Easter Brunch Favorites


Spring has finally arrived with flowers blooming and sun bright as can be! Easter is also very close, but not to worry we have selected our favorite Easter Brunch locations in New York City. These selected restaurants are perfect for an afternoon with friends or maybe a brunch date for two.

Roasted Red Beets Photo Credit: Bistro Chat Noir

Bistro Chat Noir

22 East 66th St (between Madison and 5th)

Reservations: 212-794-2428

Pricing: 3 courses, all inclusive: $59 for adults, $35 for children 12 and under



With a beautiful venue, warm and cozy atmosphere, well-established menu (as well as celebrity clientele) Bistro Chat Noir is serving up a lovely Easter brunch with many of their classic menu items like the famous Floating Island and pistachio sponge Bagtelle cake. Other must-tries include the artichoke ravioli, truffle mac and cheese (a dense indulgence not for the faint of heart) and the seafood risotto. For those craving a traditional morning meal, the Bistro is also serving their eggs benedict, a crepe  bretonne and an egg white frittata laced with goat cheese, grilled artichokes and asparagus. Top the morning off with a Chat Noir’s Bloody Mary and toast to the start of Spring in the city.

Foie Gras Terrine Photo Credit: Dave H


452 Amsterdam Ave (between 81st and 82nd)

Reservations: 212-501-7755

Pricing: A la carte, $10-15 a person


There’s no need to stray from the tried and true brunch menu of Recipe: every item is a winner especially on Easter. Touting rustic simplicity, Recipe is a delectable Upper West Side staple with homemade items such as locally roasted beets, seasonal jams with brioche and country bread toast and an organic poached egg salad. For those with a heartier appetite, tickle the tastebuds with their vanilla brioche french toast or their famed Hudson Valley Foie Gras Terrine with a black mission figs and apricot puree. Depending on the weather, choose from their refreshing Pear Sparklette or warm Big Apple Hot Mulled Cider.

Five Points

31 Great Jones (between Lafayette and Bowery)

Reservations: 212-253-5700

Pricing: a la carte, $15-18 a person


Hot chocolate and churros? What better throwback to nostalgic amusement park days and sugary comfort food than this famous item from Five Points? Join this American-Mediterranean brunch spot for a special Easter treat as they serve up standard favorites such as lemon-ricotta pancakes drizzled with maple syrup and the fried chicken sandwich dressed with dijon mustard and bitter greens. Their simple menu needs no justification–they even published a cookbook on the art of brunching. So make sure to reserve a spot to get in this Easter Sunday.

Enjoy Your Weekend!

Diana Tsuchida                                                                                                                                 U.F.P Contributor

All Star Holiday Recipes: 2nd Course with Chef Shehu

Next course will be from Chef Shehu Fitzgerald of Food Network’s Chopped. I interviewed Chef Shehu earlier this year about his time on the show, his victory, and his career path.  He has provided with the second course simple yet flavorful dish.


Pepper Seared Sea Scallops with Vanilla Bean Carrot Puree

10ea U10 Sea Scallops
2 Vanilla beans Split in Half
4 lg Carrots peeled & slice thin
6tbsp Sugar

Method Of Preparation:

To Prepare The Puree: In a sauce pot cover carrots & vanilla beans with water.. Bring to boil and cook till soft .. Strain (save carrot stock). Scrape beans and put seeds and carrots in a blender with sugar & Puree till smooth. Adjust thickness with carrot stock. Set aside.

Season scallops with peppercorns and salt ( more pepper the you use the spicier the scallops).  In a sauté pan over medium to high heat sear scallops to golden on both sides and finish in a preheated oven 5 mins or till done.

Arrange Scallops and Carrot Puree on plate and serve.

To learn more information about Chef Shehu Fitzgerald, check out my article with him You can also follow him on Twitter @iLLCH3F

Next Stop to Brooklyn With Tips with Chef Roble –>

All Star Holiday Recipes: 1st Course with Chef JJ

I had the opportunity to meet and write for several great chefs this year with whom  I  have become good friends with. I am going to provide you with a series of 5 articles with a different course of tips and recipes from some of New York’s favorite up and coming chefs. We are going to start with Chef JJ with the first course. Chef Joe Johnson aka “Chef JJ” is best known from Bravo’s Rocco’s Dinner Party as the 1st Winning Chef.


 Chef JJ’s Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder Roasted Root Vegetable Gratin, Mustard Jus

Roasted Pork Shoulder

5# Bone Out Pork Shoulder (Pork Butt, Picnic)
2 Cups Apple cider
1 Jalapeño
4 Springs Thyme
1 Cups Blend Oil
1 Bunch Parsley
2 ea Shallots
2 ea Cloves of Garlic
2 TSP of Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in blender and blend to smooth. Once this is done, place pork shoulder on roasting rack season on all sides with salt and pepper once seasoned to taste place. Take the liquid and rub this all over the pork shoulder until covered.Once this is done place in an oven at 350 degrees for 3 hours. Slow and Low

Roasted Root Vegetable Gratin

1 cup  butter
¼ piece onion
1 garlic
¼ piece ginger
1 bunch of parsley stems
2 cups of cold milk
1 cup flour
1 cup boursin cheese
1 cup simply sheep cheese

Place butter in saucepot. Once melted add garlic, onion, ginger and
parsley stems sauté until translucent. Once translucent add flour stir
together then add milk and let simmer for 20 minutes. Please set to
side and strain.
Roasted Root Vegetables

10 pieces turnips
10 pieces golden beets
10 pieces brussels sprouts
¼ of cauliflower

Roast all vegetables separate in oven at 350. Season with oil, salt,
and pepper.  Once roasted, add strain béchamel mix and bake in oven
with bread crumbs on top

Honey Mustard Jus

1 ea shallot
1 ea garlic
2tsp honey
4 tsp dijon mustard
1 quart chicken stock
½ cup EVO

Place garlic in saucepot once hot and toast to golden place sliced
shallots in the pot and cook to translucent. Then add Dijon, chicken
stock, honey, and cook for 1 hour or until reduce by half. Once then,
add to blender and add EVO.


For more information about Chef JJ, check out his website Also check him out on Twitter @chefjoejohnson.

Photo Credits:

Journey with me to the next course with Chef Shehu Fitzgerald, Chopped Champion! –>

Party Up This Halloween Weekend!

 Check Out Some Events That Caught My Eye!


Party Up! 

La Roux at Hudson Bar                                                                                          When: October 30th, 10pm                                                                                                         Where: Hudson Bar, 356 West 58th Street at Columbus Avenue; (212) 554-6000            Features: Dance Party w/ La Roux’s 2 Hour DJ Set.                                        For Reservations and tickets email:

Veuve Clicquot Presents Yelloween: A Nightmare on 13th Street         When: October 31st, 8pm                                                                                                             Where: Bagatelle, 409 West 13th Street at 9th Avenue; (212) 675-2400                           Features: Get bubbly with a champagne toast! Reservations required:

NYC Official Bar Crawl                                                                                        When: October 29th, 12-9pm                                                                                                       Where: Go to website for more information,                                          Features: haunts the most scandalous NYC bars, pubs and saloons featuring New York’s sexiest and wicked bartenders, insane drink specials, music and freaky entertainment. All for $10 (+tax)! Includes wristband, cup, and drink specials at each stop.

March On!

Village Halloween Parade                                                                                           When: October 31st, 6:30-10:30pm                                                                                              Where: Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to West 21st Street

Nightmare In Times Square!

Madame Tussaud’s After Dark: The Haunting                                                            When: October 20-23 and 27, 30, 2011; 9PM until midnight                                                Where: 234 West 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues                                      Getting There: Take the A,C,E or 1,2,3 to Times Square                                       Tickets: $23.95 per person and available online                                                                       Details: For eight nights only, the restless souls of Madame Tussauds New York will come alive to haunt the living that dare to enter “After Dark: The Haunting.” The famous wax museum will be transformed into a haunted experience featuring special effects and “living” wax figures lurking in the shadows.

Craft & Carve!

Pumpkin Carving/Decorating Contest                                                                             When: October 30th, 2011, 3pm                                                                                                     Where: 401 East 20th Street, New York, NY 10011                                                                    Details: Petite Abeille will host the “Pumpkin Carving/Decorating Contest”. The winner will be awarded with the world’s largest bottle of beer courtesy of Belgium’s celebrated Saint Feullien Triple. To join and win the special beer bottle, participants should bring their carved/decorated pumpkins to Petite Abeille’s East 20th Street location, 401 E. 20th at the corner of 1st by 3pm for judging. There’s no purchase necessary to participate in the contest.

Stay In & Watch Movie Marathons!

Pop Some Popcorn, Grab Halloween Candies, Drinks, & Some Of Your Closest Friends!

  • AMC Halloween Fest
  • SyFy
  • FEARnet

Enjoy & Be Safe!