The Rockefeller tree is lit, and Mariah Carey has risen. It’s beginning to look a lot like we’ll be blowing off work for the rest of the month. Don’t let your boss catch you online gift shopping just yet. Start the season off slow with a little Broadway, a lot of latkes, and ghost kitchens we swear you shouldn’t be afraid of.
Ace's Perfect Pizza at Rock Center
You’ve got to admire the confidence of Ace’s Perfect Pizza. They’re opening up a Detroit-style pizza shop in one of the most iconic locations in the proudest pizza city in the world. The Detroit double slices and twice-cooked wings at the original Ace’s location have been enthusiastically vetted by Brooklynites (and us), and they’ll be making their official Manhattan debut at Rockefeller Plaza early next year. Until then, you can visit the pop-up, running Dec. 3 through the end of the year. We recommend trying one of the rotating sandwiches on the new extended menu. This week’s selections are vodka meatball and spicy chicken parm.
Eight nights of gift giving and wine drinking can be exhausting enough, and then you’ve got to figure out the whole food thing. If you get the feeling this year’s Hanukkah host is getting overwhelmed, ship them a massive feast package from Shelsky’s, which comes with pretty much everything but the menorah (including dreidels and chocolate of varying waxiness for kids and adults). It’ll make up for the one night you gave up and got everyone Amazon gift cards.
Brooklyn Navy Yard
We love a holiday event with a pop-up rink. We just ask that you skate responsibly, by which we mean you should time your wine tasting so that you don’t end up breaking your tailbone getting tipsy on the ice. This weekend’s 4th Annual Brooklyn Navy Yard Holiday Market is also a rare chance for you to try out their brand new takeout/delivery ghost kitchen concept, Hungry House, in person. Don’t let the ghost kitchen scare you—they’ve taken care to recruit chefs from successful projects like Caribbean food counter The Food Sermon and Filipino pop-up Woldy Kusina. And if you want to get really specific with gifts, you can buy a hoodie emblazoned simply with the word LOX. It’s a collaboration between Russ & Daughters and none other than Jake Gyllenhaal, with proceeds going to the non-profit Actors Fund. (No word on whether Jake has returned Taylor Swift’s scarf yet.)
If you thought Christmas was the only holiday ripe for festive cosplay, wait until you see what the performers at House of Yes can do with a bunch of dreidels and that infamous costume closet. This Sunday, December 5th, HOY is celebrating Hanukkah with a special candle-lighting ceremony, followed by live performances, dancing, and a generous supply of latkes and jelly donuts. We predict at least one menorah headdress.
Stephen Sondheim's Company on Broadway
Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim passed away last week, leading to a lot of impromptu sing-a-longs of “The Worst Pies in London” at piano bars full of theater kids. Luckily, you can also honor him in the theater itself this month. A remixed production of Company is in previews on Broadway, this time with a woman in the lead role instead of a man. If you’re feeling as emotional as we are, grab dinner at one of the places on our recently updated Broadway Restaurant guide before the show, followed by a drunken cry-sing at one of the bars in our Best Midtown Bars guide.
We’re guessing your elementary school holiday bake sale didn’t include black sesame Rice Krispies treats or miso peanut butter cookies. It would be a little unsettling if it did. (Side note: those baby gourmands on Chopped Junior seemed like they should have gone outside a little more.) That’s not to say those aren’t fabulous combinations, and you should definitely nab those treats and others at the holiday bake sale at Gertie in Williamsburg this Sunday, December 5th. The sale is being organized by the folks behind the recipe newsletter Sifted, and proceeds will go to equitable food system non-profit Rethink.