Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is a week away, which means it’s officially crunch time for you procrastinators. While we definitely love food here at FBL, we also love love. So, what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the person (or people) you love!

Restaurants in New York can get booked up pretty quickly and sometimes there’s a great deal of pressure to pick the perfect spot. Not this year, we’ve done the leg work, so you don’t have to.

Oceana, 120 W 49th St, Manhattan, NY 10019 
Price: $$$
Reservation via OpenTable or call (212) 759-5941

Very intimate and classy, Oceana serves a very fresh array of artful seafood plates that will be sure to not only impress your date but you as well. Oceana offers two pre-fixe Valentine’s Day specials. The 3 course pre-fixe menu is $65/person and the 4-course pre-fixe menu is $95/person.

Oceana’s Sea Scallops with Black Truffles & Potato Puree are a favorite and part of their pre fixe Valentine’s Day menu. Photo by Oceana.

, 231 Lenox Ave, Manhattan, NY 10027
Price: $$
Reservation via OpenTable

Ranked one of the best restaurants in Harlem, the charming Cheri restaurant serves fresh farm to table, French delights in chic and artsy brownstone. With the options to dine outside in the garden or inside near the piano, you are sure to feel the warmth and love.

The Saint Austere, 
613 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Price: $$
Reservation via OpenTable or their website

In the heart of Brooklyn, The Saint Austere brings home-style Italian cooking right to your plate. They offer a four course pre-fixe menu for $70/person on Valentine’s Day. If you’d like to add wine parings to your dining experience, it’s $110/person.

The Saint Austere
Smoked chicken tonnato with cannellini beans and parsley. Photo by The Saint Austere.

Chez Josephine
, 414 W 42nd St, Manhattan, NY 10036
Price: $$$
Reservations via OpenTable or by phone (212) 594-1925

This restaurant is one of New York City’s gems found in the Theatre District. Chez Josephine provides an intimate, French experience for those looking for a quick trip outside of the hustle and bustle of Times Square. Dine to the romantic sounds of the piano while enjoying an amazing meal.

Blue Water Grill31 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003
Price: $$$
Reservations via OpenTable

While the seafood restaurant may be large in size, Blue Water Grill invites a classy dining experience with marbled walls and chic décor. The restaurant has a jazz room downstairs that will be sure to make your Valentine’s Day especially romantic.

Blue Water Grill
Is this the place for you and your boo? Try this hearty Ocean Brined Sullivan Farmhouse Chicken. Photo by Blue Water Grill.

Which place will you be booking for your Valentine’s Day festivities? Let us know in the comments below!

Note: At the time of publishing all listed establishments had available tables for Valentine’s Day. However, reservation availability is subject to change.

Beer Bourbon and BBQ Festival

Beer Bourbon and BBQ Festival
The first Beer Bourbon and BBQ Festival of the season kicked off on Saturday, January 27 and we were there to enjoy every last drop of food a drink. Photo by Ariel Ijadoula.

Even though the winter weather is here for a little while longer, it was nice to get a taste of summer when the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival made its first stop in New York City at the Terminal in Chelsea.

The Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival happens every year in cities across the country. The festival features 60 different beers, 40 different bourbons and a lot of great barbecue.

When I walked in, I was greeted by event staff and handed a glass cup to fill up with all the beer and bourbon of my choosing. Vendors lined the walls with treats ready to be devoured and drinks ready to be guzzled.

Bulleit Rye Whisky
Bulleit Rye Whisky has been around for more than 150 years and is just one of the many bourbons featured at the festival. Photo via Trigger Agency.


The Food

The bourbon overflowed, the beer was brewin’ and the BBQ was smokin’. Between the bourbon. beer and BBQ, I’m not sure which I had the most of. I enjoyed the Creamed Bacon on Clam Toast at Certé, American Oak Aged Whiskey at Widow Jane and cider from the Sotheby’s. Each vendor had their own twist on American favorites.

My favorite treats of the day had to be from Kloby’s Smokehouse in Laurel, Maryland and Sands Jerk Hut. I had biscuits with a bacon, bourbon brown sugar glaze from Kloby’s and Pineapple Jerk Chicken from Sands Jerk Hut, it was so juicy and tender. I also loved these dishes because they were a nice change of pace from the bacon and beef many vendors were serving.

Beer Bourbon and BBQ Festival
BBQ for days. Photo c/o Trigger Agency.

The Atmosphere

As if the vendors weren’t enough, every hour roasted pigs were brought out and carved. Each hog was sponsored by different establishments at the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival. My favorite was again from Kloby’s Smokehouse, it was the juiciest roasted pork I’ve had in a really long time. They topped it with a peppery barbecue sauce giving it a great kick.

I loved how thought out the festival was. The DJ curated a playlist that was so great. I forgot that New York still looked more like a winter wonderland outside rather than a warm beach. Luckily, I ate enough barbecue to last me until the weather breaks and cookout invitations start rolling in.

If you missed out on this years NYC Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival, don’t fret, there’s always next year! And if you can’t wait until then (and I don’t blame you–the food was that good) you’re in luck! The festival will be traveling to 12 other cities across the U.S. for the rest of the year!

Good music, all of the beer and bourbon you can drink, what more can you ask for?

Let us know if you plan on attending a Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival near you. Casandra will be at Atlanta’s festival on March 3. Don’t forget to tag your photos #YumCam and #BeerBourbonBBQ so we can share them!


Tipsy Scoop is an ice cream bar-lour found in the Kips Bay neighborhood of NYC. Since we recently launched our NYC Desserts Meet Up, we thought it would be the perfect first stop for our group.  While the space is small, our crew managed to fit inside with enough seating and space to devour our boozy flights and big tipsy scoops. They have a vast selection of boozy ice cream flavors from Dark Chocolate Whiskey Salted Caramel to Raspberry Limoncello, my personal favorite. Certain flavors had already sold out which was a sure sign to come by early.

With the boozy flight, you get the chance to try four different flavors if you’re a bit indecisive like we were. If you know exactly what you want, they offer also ice cream cookie sandwiches and sundaes in cake batter bowls to choose from. Tipsy Scoop also featured specials of the week that you could only get ahold of for a limited time.

Tipsy Scoop Flight - Hazelnut and Strawberry

None of the flavors we indulged in had an especially boozy aftertaste, which I personally liked because it made each flavor more enjoyable. The ice creams were great but the sorbets were even better. If you decide to get the boozy flight, I suggest you eat the ice creams first because they may melt faster than you’d imagine.

All in all, Tipsy Scoop has a great selection of flavors all for reasonable prices. If you’re looking a place to cool off after a long day or just an excuse to eat liquored ice cream, Tipsy Scoop is the place for you. The flights are also a great idea to indulge in with your food bff or a date. After all, there was enough ice cream to go around.

Tipsy Scoop Flight

If you can’t make it out to their NYC location, Tipsy Scoop delivers their boozy scoops right to your doorstep. Check out for more information.