Small Business Saturday

On Small Business Saturday®, founded by American Express in 2010, you can help make a big impact for local businesses. This year, on November 29th, help local businesses get more customers. Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate the local businesses that help make your neighborhood great. Anyone can join in, from business owners to shoppers to government officials.

More and more people are taking part in this day, making Small Business Saturday turn into a real movement and a new holiday shopping tradition. Senators, mayors, and governors across the country have urged the masses to participate, even the President voiced his support. In 2012, American Express estimated a total of $5.5 billion were spent at small independent businesses on the day. To rally your neighborhood, promote your business or learn more about “shopping small,” click here


Last Minute Thanksgiving in NYC

If there’s one city where you can make Thanksgiving dining plans at the last minute, its New York City. There are a number of last minute reservations that are available and a good variety of restaurant and menu options. Below is a list of a few restaurants that GrubStreet compiled that still have reservations on Turkey Day with some great menus:

Price per person: $95
Menu: The holiday menu includes a chestnut soup with roasted brussel sprouts, heritage turkey with polenta and kale, as well as the Maialino classics such as the roast suckling pig and tonnarelli cacio e pepe. 
The Gander
Price per person: $85
Menu: The Gander is offering a four-course prix fixe menu with seasonal squash soup, a crispy calamari salad and sea trout tartare. The entrees include a dry-aged strip steak, a roasted branzino, and of course a turkey dish. 
Pearl & Ash
Price per person: $95
Menu: Pearl & Ash will be serving turkey four ways: in turkey butter, turkey sausage, turkey Wellington and fried with cranberry and slaw. Take your pick!
Price per person: $60
Menu: Daniel Boulud will be serving, “The Gobbler,” a seven-ounce Turkey burger topped with rodichio slaw, toasted pumpkin seeds and cranberry ketchup. This is not the only item featuring the holiday bird, but definitely sounds like a must to try…The three-course holiday menu also includes great pâté and ice-cream sundaes. 

To see a full list of last-minute Thanksgiving Day restaurant options in the city, along with a great list of takeout options, click here




Jacob Riis Park Seeking Lease

Gateway NRA is seeking to lease Bay 9 at Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways. The goal is to provide fresh, creative and diverse food and beverage options to fulfill the NPS’ vision to create a destination known not only for its land and sea but for its food and enhanced seaside attractions as well. The Request for Proposal and Attachments A-G can be found here, questions and answers will be posted here.

Proposals must be received by the National Park Service no later than January 22nd, 2015 and can be submitted electronically at or addressed to:

Gateway National Recreation Area
210 New York Avenue
Staten Island, New York 10305
Attention: Bay 9 RFP 

For more information on the space on the request for proposals process, click here.

Union Square Holiday Market

The Union Square Holiday Market is a European style market held in Union Square by Urban Space where local vendors set up stalls to sell artisanal products. The market offers a great atmosphere for an enjoyable holiday shopping experience. It opened yesterday and will run through to December 24th. The market hours are weekdays from 11AM-8PM, Saturdays from 10AM-8PM and Sundays from 11AM-7PM (please note the market will be closed on Thanksgiving). The market is set up in a maze of aisles decorated with holly and other Christmas ornaments where vendors get to know one another and jointly get in the festive spirit.

This alfresco winter market has over 150 local and national vendors selling anything from jewelry, leather goods, artwork and of course a number of food vendors selling pretzels, hot chocolate, cider and waffles amongst other treats! For a full list of the 2014 vendor lineup, click here. The market is easily accessible by train (4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R) to Union Square. Below is a list of items that can be found at the market this year:

  • An array of warm and indulgent food and beverage, from authentic Persian soup to rich hot chocolate
  • Local, handmade jewelry and accessories
  • Gifts for children, teens, and the young-at-heart
  • Artwork, from posters to framed prints and more
  • Socially-conscious goods (look for our Artisan Pledge stickers to verify that products are 100% made in USA, local, organic, fair trade certified, recycled, and/or handmade)
  • Home goods, from bowls crafted from natural olive wood to coasters made of slate
  • Candles, soaps, and skincare products for men and women
  • Winter accessories like scarves, hats, and gloves to warm you up on the spot
  • Gourmet pantry items, from small-batch jams to all natural olive oils

NYC Does Hot Chocolate Better

Its time to gear up for the cold by packing on those layers, and of course by locating New York’s best cups of hot chocolate. To take your mind off the dreaded words “polar vortex,” Grubstreet has compiled a list of a few spots in the city that serve an elevated cup of hot chocolate. This great city is full of chefs, bartenders, baristas, and bakers wanting to step up their chocolate game to offer exotic versions of the classic hot chocolate.  A few of these listed below are spiked with ingredients such as lavender, salted caramel, brownie batter, and actual alcohol. Here are some of the options from the Grubstreet survey to go out and try!

Price: $3.50
Secret Ingredient: Lavender
It’s no surprise that the bakery with the most amazing new chocolate chip cookie in town also makes a solid hot chocolate. The milk is infused with dried lavender, then strained, steamed, and combined with melted dark chocolate. Plus: Maman also sells prepackaged spoons made of chocolate, which melt beautifully into a mug of warm milk.

Blue Bottle Coffee at Gotham West Market
Price: $5
Secret Ingredient: Coffee
Of course, there’s coffee in this hot chocolate — making it a mocha, technically. Mast Brothers supply the chocolate ganache.

Victory Garden
Price: $4.50
Secret Ingredient: Cajeta
Sophia Brittan makes a salted-caramel hot chocolate, using traditional chocolate from Oaxaca, Mexico. It’s hand-frothed with a Mexican molinillo whisk and topped with homemade cajeta and sea salt.

Shake Shack
Price: $3.50
Secret Ingredient: Salted caramel
This year, Shake Shack’s hot chocolate includes a blend of bittersweet dark chocolates, caramel sauce, sea salt, and milk. It’s exactly what you need after waiting in line, in the freezing cold, just for a perfect burger.

Pasar Malam
Price: Free!
Secret Ingredient: Condensed chocolate milk
A wise business strategy at this relatively new version of a Malaysian night market: Give customers a hot drink as soon as they arrive. To make this “Pulled Hot Chocolate Tea”: orange-Pekoe tea infused with warm spices, and then drizzled in condensed chocolate milk.

To check out the full list of great spots in the city to get a cup of special hot chocolate, click here

Aaron Rezny’s Eating Delancey

As you flip through Aaron Rezny’s new book, Eating Delancey, you can see how it portrays Jewish food in beautiful photographs, recipes, and tender reminisces by notable New Yorkers. Delancey Street and those around it in the Lower East Side (Ludlow, Essex, Orchard, Rivington) are the historical home of Jewish immigrants, and therefore a great area to experience unique Jewish foods brought to America in the early 20th century during the great emigration from Europe.

Foods in the area that will make your mouth water include knishes, bagels, lox, pastrami, whitefish, kasha, dill pickles, herring, egg creams, and much more. Neighborhood gems are all referenced in Remedy’s book including infamous Katz’s Deli, Russ & Daughters and Sammy’s Roumanian. On Wednesday December 10th at 6:30PM, authors Aaron Rezny and Jordan Schaps will be joined by their contributors at 103 Orchard Street for a book sale of 15% and discussion and stories surrounding the many foods and memories in the book. Attendance is free and seating is first-come, first-served. For questions, contact Laura Lee at or 212.431.0233.

To read more about the event, click here



Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry

On Tuesday December 2nd from 8AM-4PM a conference will be held at the New York Institute of Technology hosted by the Global Center for Hospitality Management, the New York State Restaurant Association & Green Hospitality Initiative. The conference will be on “Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: A Global Perspective.” This conference will bring together leaders from all aspects of the hospitality industry to discuss and share their expertise regarding sustainability in hospitality organizations and related industries. The sustainability issues that will be addressed will pertain to: Food, Operations, Work Culture and Community.

Several events will be held on the day of the conference including a continental breakfast networking session; guest speaker presentations; short films; “green flash” presentations on current trends in sustainability; and reception following the conference. Below are a few of the many knowledgeable speakers that will be attending the conference:

  • Dr. Rahmat Shoureshi, Provost and VP for Academic Affairs, New York Institute of Technology (NYIT)
  • Sadri Altinok, President, Turkish Cultural Centers
  • Dr. Robert J. Koenig, Associate Dean and Professor of the School of Management and Department of Hospitality Studies, New York Institute of Technology (NYIT)
  • Alan Someck, Director, Green Hospitality Initiative
  • Alan Fairbairn, M.A./C.H.A./C.H.I.A.
    Professor of the School of Management and Department of Hospitality Studies, New York Institute of Technology(NYIT)
  • Alex Askew, President and CEO, BCA Global
  • Karen Washington, Co Founder at Black Urban Growers and La Familia Verde
  • Hervé Houdré, Regional Director of Operations & General Manager InterContinental New York Barclay

For a more comprehensive list of speakers and more details on the conference, click here. Admission to the conference is $22.75 with a $2.24 processing fee, to  register for the event click here


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