Although restaurants remain shuttered and large gatherings are prohibited, Passover and Easter festivities are forging ahead. With help from local New York City restaurants, catering companies, and delicatessens, handmade holiday meals can be delivered to your doorstep, keeping family traditions alive from the safety of home. Ahead, find places for to-go Seder dinners and Easter brunch and baskets, from Eli’s Market to Economy Candy.
A local nonprofit is helping more than two dozen New York City restaurants stay open amid mass coronavirus-related closures. Last month, Rethink Food NYC launched a “Restaurant Response” program that partners with restaurants in need of financial support and provides free or subsidized food to New Yorkers in need. As part of the program, the nonprofit will award 30 New York City restaurants a grant of up to $40,000 to help make 24,000 meals in total per day.
We may not be able to gather together for Easter this year, but we can certainly still place a chocolate order to lift our spirits. And if the Easter Bunny is choosing where to get the best homemade chocolates and candies to fill his basket, Schmidt’s Candy in Woodhaven, Queens would certainly be a top choice. German immigrant Frank Schmidt founded this nearly-century old confectionery shop in 1925. We recently had a chance to tour this iconic shop with Margie Schmidt, Frank’s granddaughter and the third-generation owner. Margie continues to make specialty holiday chocolates and candies by hand using the same recipes that were handed down to her by her father. Ahead, go behind the scenes to see how all these tasty treats are made, tour the historic interior, and learn about the shop’s history from Margie.
While most New Yorkers are working from home or finding ways to entertain themselves while indoors, our health care community is on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis, with many pulling double shifts and working seven days a week. More telling of this community’s dedication to helping others is the fact that as of yesterday, 40,000 retired or non-working health care professionals had volunteered their services if the need should arise, including physicians, nurses, and other specially trained individuals. Today, that number has grown to 52,000. To show gratitude for this heroic community, many companies are stepping up to the plate, offering free meals, lodging, transportation, and even footwear. Ahead, 6sqft has begun compiling a list of the resources available to NYC’s front-line responders. This list was last updated at 6:00pm on Monday, April 6, 2020.
Deemed as essential by the state, bodegas in New York City are open during the coronavirus outbreak. For those craving a bacon, egg, and cheese from your local deli, but can’t leave your apartment, a new app is here to help. As first reported by Eater, My Bodega Online is looking to give New Yorkers another option when it comes to ordering take-out and groceries for delivery, while simultaneously supporting local businesses.
To stop the spread of coronavirus, New York officials on Monday closed all restaurants and bars, with the exception of takeout and delivery services. The new rules, as mandated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Liquor Authority, allow businesses to sell to-go alcoholic beverages, including wine and liquor for the first time, as long as it is with a food purchase. This change in liquor laws will continue until April 15 but could be extended.
Popular Brooklyn-based ice cream purveyor Ample Hills Creamery has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the Real Deal reported. The filing will enable the company to restructure its debt and organizations while keeping its 13 New York stores open. In a statement to the website, Ample Hills said the filing was not as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic, but instead allows for the business to “course correct.”
Keeping in mind that the city’s new restaurant policy will likely affect it, Gothamist has reported that a new bakery has opened in the former Vesuvio Bakery storefront at 160 Prince Street. They’ve called themselves Vesuvio Bakery and intend on preserving as much of the iconic, 100-year-old establishment’s physical look and simple community aesthetic.
NYC’s largest Chinese restaurant, Jing Fong, has temporarily shut its doors at 20 Elizabeth Street amid the coronavirus health crisis. The situation is two-fold for the iconic dim sum restaurant; not only is business down 30 to 40 percent, according to the Post, but since the restaurant has 800 seats, they fall under Governor Cuomo’s order that gatherings of 500 or more be shut down. The effect of the pandemic has been especially hard for restaurants in Manhattan’s Chinatown, as well as those Chinatowns in Flushing and Sunset Park.
Peak’s main dining room and views, photo by Charissa Fay
Hudson Yards is already home to restaurants from acclaimed chefs like José Andrés, David Chang, and Thomas Keller, but as of tomorrow, a new modern American dining option opening in the neighborhood will create an even higher standard, literally. The 10,000-square-foot restaurant and bar Peak will sit on the 101st floor of 30 Hudson Yards, the development’s tallest tower. Not only does it connect to the 1,100-foot-high sky deck Edge below, but it offers insane 360-degree views and a chic design scheme. Ahead, see some of the first photos of Peak.