Before you put your white clothes into storage and steel yourself for six months of roots and tubers, the weekend presents one final opportunity to party. So check out our guide to New York’s edible, end-of-season goings on — from a shellfish celebration at Grand Banks to an alfresco barbecue at Pig Beach.
Alta Linea: Joe Campanale’s Frozen Negroni might just have been the drink of the summer, so before he and his Epicurean Group partners close down their new courtyard bar under the High Line for the season, you’ll want to check out what all the fuss was about! But since they’re boozier than they look, be sure to accompany your frosty cocktails with a few, easy breezy Italian small plates, such as Burrata with Heirloom Tomatoes and Saba, Grilled Summer Beans with feta, pine nuts and mint, and Fritto Misto with lemon aioli.
Pig Beach: A collaboration between a number of NYC restaurant heavyweights, who also happen to be World Champion Barbecue Competition winners (Ed McFarland of Ed’s Lobster, Del Posto’s chef de cuisine, Matt Abdoo, and Balthazar’s executive chef, Shane McBride), this open-air pop-up in a 10,000-square foot Gowanus venue was only slated to last through the summer. So what better way to spend Labor Day weekend than playing ping-pong, swigging beers, and chowing down on ribs, before these notable chefs have to return to their regular, fine dining gigs?
Refinery Rooftop: You’ll only have through Labor Day to try this fun collaboration at this chic bar on the Refinery atop the Refinery Hotel. The consistently quirky OddFellows Ice Cream Co. has joined forces with the classic bakery, Ovenly, to offer incredible, customizable ice cream sandwiches. Nibble on Chocolate Chip or Oat-Currant Cookies, cradling scoops of Vanilla Bean or Buttermilk Honey Blueberry Ice Cream, coated with crushed pistachios, chocolate shavings, crumbled butter cookies or chocolate pearls, as you take in incredible views of the Statue of Liberty and New York skyline.
Fleisher’s: If you’re lucky enough to have a grill (or know someone who does), you’ll want to throw the barbecue to end all barbecues. Which means don’t even think about throwing sad, supermarket meat over those coals. Instead, head to Fleisher’s craft butcher shop in Brooklyn (they also have an outpost in Westport, plus their original location in Kingston, NY), to stock up on proteins from small, sustainable farms. Try pasture-raised beef and pork hot dogs, an epic beef and bacon grind for hamburgers, dry-aged rib eyes if you’re feeling fancy, and a variety of moist, mouthwatering sausages.
Mas (Farmhouse): Currently closed for renovations, Mas (Farmhouse) will debut their brand new look on Labor Day weekend, along with a special 6-course tasting menu, that will (hopefully) get you excited for fall. Expect dishes like Pork Agnolotti with Spigarello and Parmesan Foam, and house-made Beet Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower; accompanied by cocktails such as “La Peche et la Peau,” with a sparkling Cremant de Bourgogne, housemade peach and Aleppo pepper syrup, and housemade radicchio bitters.
Grand Banks: This seasonal oyster bar aboard a historic wooden schooner, bobbing gently in the Hudson, scored big this summer when they got Eleven Madison Park vet Kerry Heffernan to sign on as chef. And his new, seafood-focused menu extends far beyond oysters (although seriously, how can you close out the summer without lots of raw oysters?), including Montauk Sea Bream Ceviche with kaffir lime, Soft Shell Crabs with cucumber and snap peas, and a revamped Lobster Roll, doused with dulse emulsion, topped with boat-made pickles, and piled on a toasted bun.
Black Tap Craft Burger & Beer: Before they open their subterranean sister joint, Black Tap Down, this Broome Street spot is honoring Labor Day and National Cheeseburger Day and National Chocolate Milkshake Day with a host of specials, including an All American Burger (topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles, American cheese and special sauce), paired with a Pabst Blue Ribbon for $16, or a Peanut-Butter Chocolate Milkshake for $19.