Ten Spots to Dine on Christmas Day

Courtesy Agozar Cuban Bistro
Want to get away for a holiday? Try Agozar's Cuban Christmas Menu
Whether a kitchen disaster foils your Christmas dinner plans or you're just looking for a nice meal out for your day off, you might check in on these ten restaurants, all spots that are keeping the light on for Christmas Day.

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Chocolate Angry Birds and Fancy Peeps at Dominique Ansel

Categories: Foodie Holidays

Dominique Ansel Bakery

When playful pastry wizard Dominique Ansel first opened his Soho bakery, he sold out of his flaky French pastries almost every morning. In the two years since, the crowds have become a bit more manageable, but the chef's whimsical creations are still in full effect.

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[Updated] For Easter: The Story of Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross bun at Amy's Bread
Howard F. asks: What is the religious significance of hot cross buns, and where can I get them?

Dear Howard: Hot cross buns are an English pastry associated with Good Friday. Actually, some are like bread rolls, while others are more like muffins or even cupcakes in texture and taste. What they have in common is candied fruit inside, and a plus sign (+) of white powdered-sugar frosting on top. Additionally, many are flavored with cinnamon, making them a cousin of Cinnabon.

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Matzo Pizza for Passover at Pie

Three pies are available made with unleavened dough at Pie.

Pizza-by-the-pound purveyor Pie is offering matzo-based pizzas for Passover. This popular parlor--which won a Voice award for Best Fast Food in 2003--offers lush thin-crust pies in elongated shapes, all displayed on a long marble counter, to be cut at any length at the diner's request.

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10 Great Ways to Cater Your Passover Seder in New York

Categories: Foodie Holidays


Joan Nathan would never cater her Passover seder. The famed cookbook writer known for her Jewish-American recipes usually cooks everything for the holiday, which starts on Monday, March 25. She even hosts a gefilte fish-making party for a few friends at her home in Washington, D.C. "If I didn't have a tradition of making my own, maybe I'd go out and get it," she tells Fork in the Road. "It's so much fun to go to a kosher store and see what's going on for Passover. Every year it gets better and better." While wandering in the West Village recently, she passed by rosemary matzo in a bakery window, a reminder that New York City is the American center of traditional and not-so-traditional Jewish cooking. "All those places now cater to the New York market," says Nathan. "In New York, you can even find a reasonable gefilte fish.

That's a relief. Home cooks may aspire to Joan Nathan's heights at the holidays, but even the most ambitious may draw the line at making their own gefilte fish. It already takes long enough to get through a seder; it makes sense to call in reinforcements to get the meal on the table. Whether you're hosting a meal for four or 40, or bringing a dish to someone else's home, some of the city's Jewish-inspired eateries are here to help you out.

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Happy St. Patrick's Day! From Fork in the Road

May your bagels be forever green and your lager, too! Don't drink too much, and make sure to get up for mass tomorrow morning. Remember, we have a new pope, and he's watching you!

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A Very Artisanal Passover: Vermatzah Is Matzo from Vermont

Categories: Foodie Holidays

matzah 2.jpg
Courtesy of Naga Bakehouse

The cardboard-like crackers on Seder plates are a Passover requirement, but typically a dry and flavorless one. Not anymore. Vermont's Naga Bakehouse is baking a new small-batch matzo -- aptly monikered Vermatzah -- by sifting locally-sourced wheat with nutty emmer, the ancient grain better known as farro. A wood-firing process renders a complex, slightly sweet piece of flatbread that retains an ample crunch, even when fried or chocolate-dipped. Unlike the squares of the Manischewitz variety that dominate the traditional matzo market, Naga's version is hand-shaped into rounds, each one slightly smaller than a dinner plate.

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Battle of the Cheesy, Heart-Shaped Boxes of Chocolate

Click on any image to enlarge
Doesn't the box in the middle look like the mask from Scream? But which one is the best buy?

Let's say you like someone, but not enough to get him a $100 box of chocolates from La Maison du Chocolat. Or maybe you only hooked up with her once, and not satisfactorily, either. Or perhaps you're too lazy or too late to get a box of Jacques Torres, and end up popping into a Duane Reade just as you're about to pick up your date for, say, dinner at McDonald's.

FiTR has found itself in similar situations, and figured that what all of us needed was an accurate guide to the cheap and garishly sentimental end of the chocolate continuum, you know, boxes of chocolates with big sloppy dogs pictured on the front, and assortments so small, they could be eaten by a rat (not you, hopefully) in seconds. So here's your guide to cheap Valentine's chocolates, with descriptive material and a scorecard.

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Top 5 Ways to Celebrate Nutella Day in New York

Categories: Foodie Holidays

Camille Dodero
Driggs Pizza's Nutella pie

In a gift from the heavens, today, February 5 is World Nutella Day. New York is teeming with sweet snacks that highlight Europe's chocolate hazelnut spread, and these five dishes will leave you satisfied with chocolate-y goodness until next year's World Nutella Day.

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Happy New Year From Fork in the Road!

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