Sakura, the cherry blossom, is the national flower of Japan, and its annual bloom season is a cause for celebration throughout the country and the world. New Yorkers can celebrate cherry blossom season with a Sakura Festival at EN Brasserie (435 Hudson Street). To replicate an evening of dining under pink cherry blossoms in Japan, the restaurant will be decorated in with the blooming flowers. As part of the celebration, a special Sakura Kaiseki menu will highlight seasonal Japanese delicacies, incorporating the delicate blossoms within the dishes. The festival will take place beginning on Monday, April 21st, and will last through to Sunday, May 4th. Sakura Kaiseki menu: $80/person. Reservations: 212.647.9196.
EVENTS THIS WEEK (April 16 through April 22)
Wines of Austria
Austria has been gaining momentum as an excellent world-class producer of dry white, reds, and sweet wines. To familiarize wine lovers with the varietals of this lesser known wine-producing country, Chelsea Wine Vault (inside Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Avenue) is presenting a class: Wines of Austria. The class will take place on Wednesday, April 16th, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. $75/person. For reservations, call 212.462.4244 or email email@example.com.
Journeys in Chinese Gastronomy
The Asia Society presents "Beyond Shark’s Fin and Fortune Cookies: Exciting Journeys in Chinese Gastronomy." Discover the story behind the real General Tso and find out who really invented the fortune cookie. The event will take place on Wednesday, April 16th, at the Asia Society Museum Auditorium (725 Park Avenue) from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tickets $30/non-members, $15/members and students (212.517.ASIA).
Lisbon and Spices
The Culinary Historians of New York present "Lisbon and Spices: Transforming the World's Culinary Horizons" (PDF), with spice expert Michael Krondl. The lecture will touch upon topics including Europe's taste for spices during the Renaissance and how the "age of exploration" influenced the world's taste for spice. The event will take place at Astor Center (399 Layafette Street, 2nd Floor) on Thursday, April 17th, with a reception at 6:30 p.m. and the lecture at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets: $40/non-members, $25/members, $22/students and seniors.
Pasta Primo Vino
Celebrate the arrival of spring at the Shawangunk Wine Trail - the closest wine trail to New York City, Westchester, Albany, Bergen County NJ, and Connecticut. To commemorate the season, 10 wineries open their doors and pair their Hudson Valley wines with tasty pasta recipes. Many will also showcase new releases. The event will take place on Saturday, April 19th and Sunday, April 20th from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day. Tickets will be valid for both days and include the tastings and pasta sampling. Advanced Tickets: $20/person, $25/at the door.
The Tuscan Nose
Slow Food USA is presenting a wine tasting fundraiser, The Tuscan Nose. The tasting will feature some of the best Chiantis on the market, paired with hors d’oeuvres made from Ark of Taste products. Adding to the atmosphere will be the aromas of Tuscany, "The Essences of Chianti Classico," prepared by decorated Italian perfumer Lorenzo Villoresi. The event will take place on Monday, April 21st at 583 Park Avenue from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tickets: $40/person.
Free Bags at Fairway Market
In honor of Earth Day, all four Fairway Market locations will participate in a special event to help customers go green. The first 250 customers in each store will receive a free reusable shopping bag, plus dozens of coupons for discounts on eco-friendly products. The giveaway takes place on Tuesday, April 22nd, click here for opening hours and locations.