Did you miss Pancake Day? Margarita Day? Decaffeinated Coffee Day? Lately I’ve been bombarded with news of special food days. It reminds me of those made-up Hallmark holidays, the ones used to sell cards, like Grandparents’ Day, Remember Your Teacher Day, and such nonsense. Well, now it seems to be all about food. Here are a few that you might want to note.
March 20 – A sweet one for sure, it’s Macaron Day. Note that the spelling is the French version, so that you won’t be expecting any of those Passover gems. This is the day that a slew of French bakeries and restaurants in the city give away free macarons a la Parisienne. Places to check out in NYC for your freebie include Macaron Parlour, Sugar and Plumm, Epicerie Boulud and, of course, Francois Payard who modeled this event on Paris’s Jour du Macaron which falls on the first day of spring. The full NYC list is here and tell them you’re there for Macaron Day. This event happily has a charity component to it, as a portion of the day’s proceeds are donated to City Harvest.
Also celebrating the first day of spring (but I honestly don’t get the connection), is Ravioli Day. Various Italian restaurants around the country are sprucing up their ravioli offerings, highlighting the new and different among the tried and true red-sauce versions. For example, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse in Manhattan has whipped up a lemon ricotta ravioli that sounds more like dessert to me than pasta, along with a prosciutto ravioli that’s served as part of a special tasting menu just for the day. If you happen to be in Los Angeles, STK LA is offering half off its famous lobster ravioli if you order an entrée as well.
March 22 – Another charity event is the Seventh Annual Sunday Supper Event at Chelsea Market in Manhattan. Hosted by Jamestown and the James Beard Foundation, this is a benefit to raise money for not-for-profit organizations including the James Beard Foundation focusing on culinary education, Wellness in the School, and other charitable initiatives of the Jamestown Foundation. The seated dinner is a multi-course event, prepared by 20 well-known chefs and served family-style to 300 people in the middle of the market’s block-long concourse. Cocktails begin at 5pm, with dinner at 6:15.
March 31 – The end of the month means it’s National Oyster on the Half Shell Day. Oh no! Did I miss Cooked Oyster Day? Regardless, restaurants like STK LA are upgrading you from a half-dozen of these pearls to a full dozen, gratis. That’s not bad at all. And if you speak the magic words, “STK Loves Oysters,” you’ll get a side of Chef Robert Liberato’s “one night only mignonette.” It's also a good excuse to check out New York's the Grand Central Oyster Bar