Organic Sparkling Wine Picks for New Year’s Eve

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Whether the first moments of 2012 find you dancing under bright lights, hiding away at the beach or cozy at home, chances are there will be sparkles. Make a toast to your health and the environment by choosing something natural.

The Natural Wine Company (211 N 11th Street, Brooklyn) has a range of sparking wine options, all made from organically grown grapes.  Here are a few of their favorites: Continue reading

5 Places to Eat Christmas Dinner in Manhattan

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If there’s one day of the year when it can be challenging to dine out in New York City, it’s December 25th. Luckily, we’ve rounded up five Clean Plates approved spots in Manhattan that are throwing open their doors that day (stay tuned for our Brooklyn picks, coming soon). Whether you’re looking for a casual meal or festive fine dining, we’ve got you covered — and hey, who says you have to celebrate Christmas to take part? Continue reading

Dining Out on Christmas in NYC

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Check out our guides to festive Christmas dining in New York City (and hey, no one says you have to celebrate Christmas to enjoy these delicious menus):

In addition to these picks, we’ve learned that Northern Spy Food Company in the East Village will be open for Christmas Eve dinner — get the details on their blog.

If you’re a Clean Plates approved restaurant that’s open for business on the 24th or 25th and don’t see yourself listed, please let us know and we’ll be happy to add you!

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Photo by Flickr user Ianqui Doodle

Chef Peter Berley Offers Cooking Classes in Beautiful North Fork

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“I need to smell clean air and hear the birds when I cook,” says Peter Berley, former executive chef at Angelica Kitchen, as well as culinary educator and award-winning cookbook author. He’s fulfilled his need for birdsong and then some with his new culinary education facility, My Kitchen, in South Jamesport, Long Island, which offers cooking classes in a beautiful setting just 90 minutes from midtown Manhattan. Continue reading

Swoon-Worthy Smoothies at One Lucky Duck

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If you appreciate a delicious smoothie made with top-notch organic ingredients as much as I do, then get yourself to One Lucky Duck in Gramercy Park tout de suite. Do not pass Go, and do not collect $200 (unless you need it for your smoothie budget).

I’ve only tried two of One Lucky Duck’s smoothies (or “shakes,” as they call them), and both have blown my mind. The first is the oddly named “Spanking” ($12), a blend of fresh coconut, blueberry, banana, cashew milk, cinnamon and vanilla that will rock your socks off. It’s an indulgent, delicious treat, sweet but not too sweet, and of course, loaded with nutrients. The second shake I tried, which quickly became my Very Favorite Smoothie in the Universe, is called “Sarma’s Favorite Green Shake” ($14, pictured above), and I’ll boldly claim that it is the tastiest green smoothie you will ever encounter. Continue reading

Where to Eat Near the Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink

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Nothing says winter in New York like ice skating at Rockefeller Plaza. The tree is lit behind old gilded Prometheus — all that’s missing is you. So lace up those skates, and check out these nearby dining spots where you can fuel up beforehand or reward your workout afterward: Continue reading