The Weekend Shortlist February 26 to 28

Friday February 26

Location: Lower East Side, NYC
Band: A Sunny Day in Glasgow
Show time: 9 PM
Venue: Mercury Lounge
Food: Clinton Street Baking Company & Restaurant
Drink: Verlaine
Miscellaneous: Gus’s Pickles

You may think that A Sunny Day in Glasgow are from Scotland, but the band is actually from Philadelphia and blend an awesome amount of dreamy guitars and pop melodies making some beautiful songs. For din-din, check out Clinton Street Baking Company & Restaurant. Serving up sandwiches, omelletes, and baked goods for breakfast and lunch, for dinner expect the likes of Pan Seared Halibut with sweet corn succotash, herb roasted tomatoes, and summer squash ($19). Named after the poet Paul Verlaine, Verlaine offers an asian food and drink menu. While you can’t order the absinthe that probably helped kill the poet, you can order drinks like the El Chupacabra, which is better tasting with a kick of its own. If you like pickles, Gus’s Pickles has been around since 1910, it’s a landmark spot, and still makes a great pickle.

Friday February 26

Location: Lower East Side, NYC
Band: Red Pens
Show time: 10 PM
Venue: Pianos
Food: San Loco
Drink: Max Fish
Miscellaneous: Sugar Sweet Sunshine

Hailing from Minneapolis, Red Pens are a duo who make wall of sound rock reminiscent of Sonic Youth and feature heavy guitars and some great drumming. Let’s face it, San Loco does not serve the greatest Mexican food ever. But it certainly isn’t bad. The prices are inexpensive, you can get a heaping amount of nachos for as little as $3.75, and telling by the heavy traffic, the place is doing just fine. What I like about Max Fish is that it’s a local bar for local artists. It’s walls play host monthly for art exhibitions, there’s a pool table in the back, and drinks aren’t pricey, like many new bars springing up in this neighborhood. For one of the best cupcakes in the city, Sugar Sweet Sunshine has 10 varieties, on top of cakes. Try the Sexy Red Velvet or the Bob, a yellow cupcake with chocolate almond buttercream.

Saturday February 27

Location: Upper West Side, NYC
Event: Tibet House 20th Annual Benefit Concert
Show time: 7:30 PM
Venue: Carnegie Hall
Food: Gordon Ramsey at the London
Drink: Social
Miscellaneous: Brooklyn Diner

Commemorating the Monlam Prayer Festival traditionally held at the time of the Tibetan New Year, the Tibet House 20th Annual Benefit Concert will be led by artistic director Philip Glass, and include Iggy Pop, Patti Smith with Jesse Smith, Regina Spektor, Gogol Bordello, Pierce Turner, Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew and Tenzin Kunsel. Everyone’s favorite celebrity chef, who most are likely afraid of, Gordon Ramsey serves a three-course French menu with international flare at Gordon Ramsey at the London. Make reservations early and wear a jacket, as the place only has 45 seats. If you’ve seen his shows, I’m sure you know that you don’t want to piss off this chef! Social, a three floor bar and lounge is big enough to never get bored in and is a great place in that area of town to drink and, well you know the rest! Finding a restaurant that isn’t super expensive and serves good homestyle food in Midtown can be a chore, but at Brooklyn Diner, they hit the spot for really great food with an old school diner feel.

Saturday February 27

Location: Union Square, NYC
Bands: The English Beat + Fishbone Get Tickets Here
Show time: 7 PM
Venue: The Fillmore at Irving Plaza
Food: Maritime’s Matsuri
Drink: Hiro
Miscellaneous: Cha An Japanese Tea House

Looks like ska is making a comeback . . . again, and leading the pack, at least at this show, is The English Beat who put out some amazing music in their heyday, but the band to watch is Fishbone who have been putting on high energy performances for over two decades and show no sign of stopping. Catch them any chance you can get to see how a band should incite a live crowd. After working up an appetite, head over to Maritime’s Matsuri*, with Chef Tadashi Ono’s highly acclaimed Japanese food (*make a reservations). At Matsuri the fish is so fresh it’s flown in from Japan daily. I highly recommend the sushi with one of over 200 kinds of sake they stock. After dinner, head to the Japanese-themed bar Hiro for a dimly lit cocktail to lubricate your mind. After trying to gather yourself after your night of fun, you might want to head down to Cha An Japanese Tea House to sip some Matcha tea and calm yourself down.

Sunday February 28

Location: Lower East Side, NYC
Film: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Show time: 12 AM
Venue: Landmark Sunshine Cinema
Food: Paladar
Drink: Pianos
Miscellaneous: Motor City Bar

Before Tim Burton and Johnny Depp got their hands on Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the classic story of Charlie Bucket, who won one of five golden tickets to tour the secretive chocolate factory, owned by the very quirky Willy Wonka, Gene Wilder owned that movie, and this original version of the film is arguably still the better of the two. With a Pan-Latin menu, Paladar offers traditional Spanish dishes with a twist in a fun and funky atmosphere. Try the Salmon a la Plancha Pan, a seared salmon with spring vegetable picadillo & serrano-ramp vinaigrette ($17). If you still want to party afterwards, a good place for that is Pianos. A lounge in front, rock club in back, and a DJ dance party on the second floor, Pianos is a good place to party hard. Though loud, Motor City Bar is an homage to Detroit as license plates and other car parts adorn the walls, the DJs here play “THE ROCK” all night, and the vibe has everyone on the lookout for a good time.

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