When the weather gets “chili,” New Yorkers turn out in droves at the annual NYChiliFest to dig into a steaming hot bowl of beans. Bad jokes and freak cold snaps aside, foodies not of the chili persuasion still have a wide variety of gourmet events to warm up to.
Call it nesting rather than hibernation. When Brooklyn’s weekly Smorgasburg outdoor food market closed for the winter, a significant amount of its vendors moved over to feed the shopping masses at the indoor Brooklyn Flea. Check out the food court on the bottom floor, which used to be the vault of the beautiful Williamsburg Savings Bank. The thing about food markets is that you can satisfy so many cravings with a few small bites just steps away from each other: artisan grilled cheeses from Milk Truck, juicy pork sandwiches from Porchetta, made-to-order macaroni and cheese, or indie treats like “beer & pretzel caramels” from local company Liddabit Sweets. Go to brooklynflea.com on Fridays to see which vendors are serving the noms that weekend. Smorgasburg will be back to the waterfront in April.
Smorgasburg is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Winter Flea at 1 Hanson Place.
Hot Chocolate Festival
For each of February’s 28 days, City Bakery serves up an original flavor of hot chocolate to carry you back to your childhood and put a zany contemporary twist on it. Flavors include the slightly bizarre “Banana Peel,” “Chili Pepper,” and “Bourbon,” but you will have to sample “Sunken Treasure,” “Love Potion” (on Valentine’s Day, of course!), and “Ode to the Polar Bear” for yourself and report back. Perhaps a cup of “Happy” will be what you truly crave by the time the semester kicks into full gear.
The festival runs from Feb. 1 to 28 at City Bakery on 3 W. 18th St.
Winter Stinky Cheese Festival
Tour De France NYC will present at the end of February its sixth annual week-long celebration of the most holy of dairy products: fromage. French restaurants across the city will feature special cheese-centric menus, but the main event will be the kick-off party on Feb. 28 with tastings and pairings galore. Tickets will go on sale on Jan. 31 at tourdefrancenyc.com, while the menus of participating restaurants will be revealed closer to the date.
The city-wide celebration runs from Feb. 28 to March 10.