102708pumpkin2.jpgBesides the sickening amount of mass-produced prole candy available this time of year, there's also an abundance of higher grade Halloween eating and drinking options. And so it begins; the long, downward holiday flab spiral that reaches its nadir around the first week of January when you have to start leaving the top button of your pants undone. Oh well, no use fighting it; here are some consumption opportunities we've been able to scare up:

  • Through the weekend, the 2008 Vendy award-winning Treats Truck will be featuring Halloween specials including Halloween sugar cookies and Candy Corn Crispy Squares. (Keep apprised of the truck's whereabouts.)
  • According to their website, "the ghouls of the cheese world" will converge at Artisanal Cheese on Halloween night. Fromager Waldemar Albrecht and wine professional Candela Prol will conduct a tasting of cheeses and wines "from remote and obscure places on a night that will be hauntingly remembered." Sure it costs $85, but freaking out about your budget is part of the Halloween fun.
  • Sushi Samba's Halloween specials take their cue from the outrageous, stylized contortions of Kabuki characters, hence their "Spooky Kabooki" party on Friday at their Park and 7th Street location, with a costume contest that will send the most inventively dressed diner (out of all locations) on a weekend vacation to Las Vegas. Runners-up walk with $100 gift certificates, and special menu items include the Dracula dessert: Coca cola gelee, vanilla bean ice cream, raspberry foam and finish with berry blood drops & pop rock explosions.

  • If you're the DIY type who likes making your own delectable fun, the All Recipes website has an exhaustive compendium of Halloween baking recipes. Witches Fingers! Dirt Cake with Wriggling Worms! Black Halloween Punch! And truly horrifying: Vegan Hot Chocolate!
  • Or, if you're the last New Yorker left with some money to throw around, Bette Midler will be hosting an impressive costume party fundraiser at the Waldorf Astoria. Strung Buzz says the edibles will be prepared on site by April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig), David Chang (Momofuku Noodle Bar), Tom Colicchio (Craft), and Andrew Zimmerman (“Bizarre Foods,” The Travel Channel). The music is Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine, and the emcee is Kathy Griffin. Proceeds benefit the New York Restoration Project.
  • On the other end of the financial spectrum, there's the annual free pumpkin carving seminar Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. outside the Loews Regency Hotel at 61st Street and Park Avenue. Chef and "pumpkin carving expert" Andrew Rubin (540 Park) will show you how to turn your pumpkins into "candlelit masterpieces." They're giving out free hot apple cider, cookies and, for the first 50 children, free pumpkins. (Rain date is Thursday, same time.)
Of course, we'll probably just end up doing the usual: Buying a big bag Reese's Peanut Butter Cups to "give to kids," and then eating them silently in the dark while watching The Shining with headphones on to drown out the doorbell.