Take a break from huffing pumpkin spice everything and appreciate autumn's other delectable bounty: the apple. Specifically, the delicious creation that comes about when apples are left to ferment, get funky and, ultimately, get boozy. The city's Cider Week festivities kick off next Friday, offering lots of apple-centric tastings, dinners and talks for novice cider drinkers and seasoned pros alike. Below, a few ways to take advantage of the harvest season and get an autumnal buzz.
The virtues of drinking cider with cheese are being touted heavily this Cider Week, with at least half a dozen ways to experience the pairing yourself. On Wednesday, November 11th, the Bedford Cheese Shop in Manhattan explores the interplay between cheese and ciders from Bad Seed Cider ($65); also on Wednesday, a pairing of cheese and Aaron Burr Cidery selections at Murray's Cheese ($70). Jimmy's No. 43 are also getting their fromage on with a pay-as-you-go cheese and cider afternoon with Bobolink Dairty and Bakehouse on Friday, November 13th from 3 - 6 p.m.
Three blocks of Orchard Street (get it?) will be blocked to vehicular traffic at the Lower East Side Cider Festival, an all-ages event from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 8th. Samples from New york State orchards will be available for free, plus the opportunity to press your own cider and make your own caramel apples. Some of the area's best restaurants will also be attending, including vegetarian cider bar Wassail, Huertas and Northern Spy, all of whom will have food available for purchase.
Williamsburg's Delaware and Hudson will be roasting up a whole animal at their Cider Week Whole Pig Dinner on Monday, November 9th from 7 - 10 p.m.. Pork and apples are a natural pairing, so the restaurant will also be serving apple accompaniments on the side; they're promising "schnitz und gnepp," a dish of dried apples and dumplings. Cider pairings are also available. Also in the neighborhood, a Thursday, November 12th Cider Dinner with Farnum Hill and Eden Ice at Williamsburg's noted Marlow and Sons. The four course dinner costs $65 and includes cider pairings with each course plus a discussion on the drink.
Each year, the Astor Center's Applepalooza is a highlight of the Week's festivities. If you can attend only one event, make it this one, where dozens of apple-centric (and a few pear) drinks from hard ciders to wines are on hand for the drinking. Over 40 different pours will be sipped from 6 - 8 p.m. on Wednesday, November 11th, including Calvados, hopped ciders, apple brandies and sparkling ciders. Tickets are $55 and include all the drinks plus "apple-tizers" to keep you vertical.