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What To Eat This Week

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Catch Your Dinner at City Island

Riptide III
So what’s the best way to blow these precious last days of short-sleeved weather? Those with cars should grab a windbreaker and jet up — like, now! — to City Island. After you’ve indulged in the obligatory fried lobster tails, frog legs, and mai tais on the waterfront deck of the inimitable Johnny’s Famous Reef Restaurant, board the Riptide III, leaving at 6:30 p.m., for seafood straight out of the water rather than out of the deep fryer.

Tabla’s Floyd Cardoz Corners the Market on Indian Mangoes

For years, Indian mangoes have enjoyed the reputation, among food writers and gourmands, as the world’s best. But since the things were never allowed into this country, those of us who rarely left home were forced to take it on faith. The government has now allowed the forbidden fruit at last, but you still can’t taste them – unless you go to Tabla, where chef Floyd Cardoz has more or less cornered the market on Indian mangoes.

Get a Leg Up on the Critics: Sample City Sicilian Before Morandi Opens

The impending arrival of Morandi, the amply covered, Sicilian-inflected restaurant from Keith McNally, may have whetted your appetite for the island’s regional cooking. (Seeing the menu certainly did it for us.) But Morandi isn’t open for another week, and if you’re anything like Jeffrey Chodorow, you’ll want to be prepared to offer your own informed critiques of the place should the mean ol’ major critics review it harshly. So where can you train your tongue by sampling Sicilian specialties in the meantime? We’ve got just the three places for you.

Good Eats for Fashion Plates

With Fashion Week almost here, some of you may have switched gears, thinking less about “Where can I find the perfect piece of foie gras?” and more about “How can I fit into a size 0 by Saturday?” We can’t presume to help you with that one, but we can recommend three guilt-free, non-Atkins options for eating well as the models parade into town.

SavorNY Muscles In on Soup Kitchens

Since the Lower Eastpacking District so closely resembles a bum's paradise, you'd think do-gooders would be giving away food left and right. But outside of actual soup kitchens, we know of only once place where you can get a free snack: Between 1 and 7 p.m. on weekends, new wine bar SavorNY is offering complimentary small plates, representing different world cuisines, that come with two-ounce wine pairings. (You can find a list of both after the jump.) Still, lagniappes don't make for a proper meal, even if you're fashionably emaciated, so the owners have thoughtfully provided a full lunch menu as well. Because you didn't go to that neighborhood not to spend money, did you?

New York Oysters Are Fat and Sassy

Oysters are born in the summer and get nice and fat with the onset of winter. This year has brought an especially good crop of New York varieties: Pine Island, Fisher's Island, Blue Point, Great South Bay, etc. They're all the same species (Crassostrea virginica), but their flavors are marked by the waters in which they're raised. Here are three top places to slurp your share of the local abundance.

Chinatown Brasserie Presents Peking Turkey!

Tyson Ophaso and Joe Ng, the chefs at Chinatown Brasserie, are also on the Thanksgiving bandwagon, and will be cooking turkeys in the restaurant's custom-built Perking-duck oven. Expect crisp, laquered skin like you've never seen on your family table. The birds will be accompanied by the restaurant's delicate, supple steamed Mandarin pancakes, cranberry-ginger chutney, and hoisin sauce. On top of that, Ng will also be preparing turkey spring rolls, baked turkey buns, and other Thanksgiving-inspired dim sum items. The menu will be available all weekend.

Heritage Pigs: So Much Tasty History

After our recent pilgrimage to upstate New York for a first look at the next stage in pig evolution, courtesy of Cesare Casella, we started thinking about the places serving breeds that have been around for centuries — the so-called "heritage" pigs whose noble lineage makes them extra-tasty.

The Ultimate Halloween Candy: Boozy, Delicious, and Boozy

Chocolat Michel Cluizel, at the ABC store, is not for children — or the fainthearted. Unlike Max Brenner, a few blocks to the south on Broadway, there isn't a festive vibe nor are there any novelty items like "The Bald Man's" chocolate pizza. The signature item at Michel Cluizel is as serious as a heart attack: the chocolate-covered Morello cherry, which you must be 21 to sample — there's so much kirsch, or cherry brandy, in each one that the store was forced to obtain a liquor license to carry it. The cherry — pit, stem, and all — is cured for nine months in the stuff, and there's more still inside the intense blended chocolate shell. Candy that doubles as a cocktail? Never mind all year: We've been waiting for this our whole life.

Beer-Fueled Madness at Javits Center This Weekend

Brewtopia Great World Beer Festival is coming to the Javits Center Friday and Saturday, and much as we'd like to pretend that it will be a Daytona-esque festival of frothy celebration — a "beerchanalia," if you will — the truth is that it's primarily aimed at beer snobs. But so what? No one who loves beer should turn down the chance, for $60, to drink all they want of hundreds of different brews, many of which are difficult to find in New York. Brewtopia Great World Beer Festival [NYM]