TASTE TEST: Off Square’s poutine incorporates craft beer

TASTE TEST: A sample of Serbia served up at R-Bar HIGHLAND — R-Bar and Grill is a trendy, happening establishment well-suited for finding a filling lunch or dinner or getting your next fix at the watering hole.The establishment, located at 9521 Indianapolis Blvd., is nestled in the King James Court strip mall. With bountiful seating, multiple TVs and walls decked out with Chicago Cubs and Blackhawks paraphernalia, the bar could make for a perfect sports hangout with friends the next time a big game is on. The bar has a consistent lineup of musicians booked throughout the week and also entertains with usual trivia, bingo and karaoke nights.Like any bar with "happy hour" morsels, R-Bar features staples like burgers and tacos. However, a significant portion of the menu includes items from the "Euro Grill." If you're craving Balkan delicacies and flavors, R-Bar has the hookup. For something small, consider the cevap sliders. An order comes with three of these delicious sausages patties placed together with onions on small buns. You also get a choice of French fries or Serbian coleslaw. These small creations are scrumptious. The sausage is awesomely seasoned and cooked and blends well in its combo. The fries are just as great and have a slightly sweet aftertaste.If something else suits your fancy, consider the muckalica, pljeskavica or just get the best of all worlds with a meat sampler platter. Don't forget to also order some of the bar's signature cocktails, such as the popular R-Tini.For more information, call 219-922-8008. TASTE TEST: Miller Bakery Cafe excels at seafood The classy, cool Miller Bakery Cafe in Gary's lakefront Miller Beach neighborhood is an ideal spot for date night.On a weekend, you usually can go check out new art in the Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts across the street, maybe pop in to the Indie Indie Bang Bang boutique to see if anything catches your fancy and stroll over to the chic Miller Bakery Cafe at 555 S. Lake Continue Reading

Muny at 100: New times, new tastes come to St. Louis’ big outdoor theater

When the Muny celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1968, Mr. and Mrs. William Rodefeld of Ferguson celebrated theirs at the same time. And at the same place. The Rodefelds celebrated all their anniversaries at the Muny. For their 50th, they saw “The Pajama Game” with their son, their daughter-in-law (another anniversary couple, celebrating 20 years) and their two teenage grandsons. “We’ve had season tickets from the first year on,” Rodefeld told the Post-Dispatch at the time. They had loved “The Student Prince,” “Rose Marie” and “Show Boat,” but Rodefeld said he would cancel their subscription if there were any more shows like “West Side Story.” “That’s just because we are older,” his wife offered. If 50 years is a milestone for a couple, it’s a monument for a theater. The Muny marked it in high style, with world premieres, with stars — and with a determination to show St. Louis that its spirit was as young as ever. A fresh take The need to keep current was evident to Muny producer John Kennedy. “The realistic, down-to-earth musical has replaced the operetta about royalty falling in love with gypsies ... or the featherweight musical comedy dependent on great comedians and gorgeous girls,” he told Post-Dispatch theater critic Myles Standish in 1963. “Now we have ‘The Pajama Game,’ ‘Gypsy,’ ‘West Side Story’ ... and others about the contemporary scene. Public taste has changed.” The Muny, he said, needed to keep up with times that had come to include short skirts, the British Invasion and Camelot, in Washington and onstage alike. That was a tricky balancing act, as Harper Barnes of the Post-Dispatch observed when he reviewed a Muny concert by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Along with hits like “This Guy’s in Love With You,” the band performed the Rolling Stones’ Continue Reading

CARIBBEAT: Bid to woo more firms to the University of the Virgin Islands Research and Technology Park in St. Croix

With the Caribbean Week in New York event as a platform, the University of the Virgin Islands Research and Technology Park will be in town from St. Croix this week courting companies and touting the facility's benefits at an invitation-only "Big Apple VIP Investment Showcase Reception." Introducing business leaders and key members of the New York's Caribbean diaspora to the 15-year-old specialist economic development agency, known as UVI RTPark, is the goal of Thursday's reception in Manhattan. RTPark Executive Director Gillian Marcelle is leading the New York trip and delivering the message that RTPark and the U.S. Virgin Islands are premier business destinations of "firms in knowledge and technology," including bio-medical, energy research, wellness and healthcare management, internet advertising, and technology-mediated companies. “The RTPark program is at a very exciting stage," explained Marcelle. “Our recent clients are involved in projects that build the pipeline of skills in the U.S. Virgin Islands and bring new ways of doing business to the territory while the owners of these businesses enjoy living in an island paradise,” she said. RTPark is headquartered in a $13 million, 18,000 square foot, LEED certified green two-story structure, near the main entrance of the University of the Virgin Islands' Albert A. Sheen campus. Marcelle said, since 2015, RTPark has welcomed 20 new companies — qualified entrepreneurs and business owners attracted by generous tax incentives and the warm and Caribbean lifestyle promoted through the hashtag, #WorkFromTheBeach. Intellectual Global Concepts LLC, a technology, media and entertainment company; and the Anvil 1 LLC technology, consulting and investment firm; are recent RTPark additions. And the Anvil 1 firm has not only bought into the RTPark concept, but its also investing in the high-tech future of the University of the Virgin Continue Reading

Cuomo, beaming and confident, casts his vote in election he is expected to win by large margin

New Yorkers headed to the polls Tuesday as Gov. Cuomo appeared to be cruising to a big reelection victory over his Republican rival. That would make Cuomo the first Democratic governor since his father, Mario Cuomo, to win another four years and most polls showed him with a solid lead over Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. With a smile on his face and girlfriend Sandra Lee on his arm, a confident Cuomo voted at the Presbyterian Church Of Mount Kisco. They were greeted by about 100 boisterous supporters changing “Four more years!” and a smaller group of anti-fracking protesters. “If Sandra didn’t vote for me, I’m going to be very disappointed in a heartfelt, sincere way,” Cuomo joked as Lee grinned. CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW LIVE COVERAGE OF THE 2014 ELECTION Asked about his chances, Cuomo downplayed the 20-point lead he has over Astorino in most polls. “If it comes out to be one point I will be happy,” he said. “I feel good about the direction the state is headed in. Four years ago the state was basically bankrupt and gridlocked.” Cuomo was expected to join the rest of his Democratic team at the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan for what was shaping up to be a victory party. Anne Kennedy McGuire, a lawyer who lives in tony Chappaqua, was an enthusiastic vote for Cuomo. “I think Cuomo's done a great job,” she said. “As a Westchester resident, I haven't been thrilled with Astorino.” “Andrew Cuomo has really brought the state back,” said Janet Dymes, an insurance claims manager who also lives in Chappaqua. “He’s gotten budgets out on time. We don't have a deficit. I think he's done a lot for the state.” Doraikamu Regunathan, who also lives in the town, said he is a registered Independent and also voted for Cuomo. “The progress made under his administration is commendable,” he said. Continue Reading

Lucky day for 11 couples! Wed on date they’ll always remember

HE’S THE one, one, one, one, one, one. Two sets of New York lovebirds were among 11 couples who wed Friday — 11/11/11 — in Times Square. Dressed in stunning gowns and flashy tuxedos, the 11 couples — all winners of an online contest — tied the knot inside the Crowne Plaza Times Square hotel. “It’s the best feeling anybody could ever have,” crowed Czarina Valente, 28, of Brooklyn, flanked by her new hubby, Jonathan, 32. “We feel very lucky.” The pair, who met at a Manhattan club 10 years ago, were chosen after posting their love story on the hotel’s Facebook page. “What are the odds and what are the chances of us being here right now?” asked a glowing Valente, dressed in a teal bodice with ruching and crystal appliqués and a tulle skirt. The ceremony overlooking the Crossroads of the World was one of many events across the globe that marked a day seen as bringing luck and love. Just past 11 a.m., the 11 couples marched hand-in-hand into a hotel banquet room filled with friends, family members and photographers. Steve Ward, a celebrity matchmaker and the event’s officiant, introduced the starry-eyed lovers. “They’re all gathered today on the luckiest day of the century in the greatest city in the world,” Ward said. After exchanging vows with his partner, Staten Islander Dennis Adisano-Sessa nearly bounded off the stage. “It’s once-in-a-century kind of timing,” said Adisano-Sessa, 41, an insurance manager. “It’s going to make for a great tattoo.” Adisano-Sessa and his man, Joey, have matching tattoos marking the date of their civil union in New Jersey two years ago. “Now, we’ll have the 11-11-11 on this leg, too,” said Joey Adisano-Sessa, 47, drawing up the bottom of his tuxedo. “It’ll be pretty cool.” Manhattan wasn’t the only place where couples flocked to wed. Some 1,000 ethnic Continue Reading

20 pop culture reasons 2017 could be awesome

Who’s ready to have some fun? After the frequently calamitous year that was 2016, we know we certainly are.Thankfully, nearly every area of entertainment and popular culture has something cool, fun and exciting in store over the course of the coming year.With both eyes on the future, we’re breaking down all of the reasons why 2017 could be great.1. Super cinema: By all accounts, superheroes are expected to dominate movie screens once again. D.C. will be growing its film family with “Wonder Woman” on June 2 and “Justice League” on Nov. 17.Meanwhile, Marvel’s Cinematic Universe brings us “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” on May 5, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” on July 7 and “Thor: Ragnarok” on Nov. 3.2. “Stranger” seconds: One of the brightest spots of the 2016 cultural landscape was Netflix’s Stephen King-meets-Steven Spielberg retro horror series, “Stranger Things.” The show is set to return sometime in 2017, but other than that details remain scarce.We do know that when the show returns, at least one local boy will be involved: series co-star Gaten Matarazzo, who plays Dustin on “Stranger Things,” hails from Little Egg Harbor.3. X Man: An international music icon will be holding court in New York City for two very special shows this January, as Japanese rock legend Yoshiki performs Thrusday, Jan. 12, and Friday, Jan. 13, with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York City.Yoshiki is the drummer of the renowned progressive metal band X Japan, the focus of the acclaimed 2016 documentary “We Are X.”For tickets and more information on Yoshiki’s Carnegie Hall performances, visit www.carnegiehall.org.4. Oh "Holy" night: John Cleese, co-founder of the game-changing British comedy troupe Monty Python, will be visiting New Jersey for a pair of very can't-miss engagements.On Thursday, Jan. 26, he will Continue Reading

Go Fourth and enjoy! Your ultimate guide for things to do in NYC on Independence Day

Paint the town red, white and blue this Fourth of July at one of the city’s many festivals, parks, grill spots or rooftops! Wake up early, stay up late and enjoy your right to freedom on a day that boasts a full schedule of American fun. With so many options to choose from, it’s time to party like a true patriot. MORNING ROW YOUR BOAT. Soak up some sun as you paddle around in your own kayak, courtesy of the Downtown Boathouse. Attendees can explore the Hudson River for free. All you need is to know how to swim. (10 a.m., free admission; 72nd St. & Hudson River, 212-408-0219.) RELIVE HISTORY. Test your knowledge of America’s past at the New-York Historical Society. Learn what life was like for soldiers in the American Revolution, listen to songs by storyteller Jonathan Kruk and enjoy fun-filled arts and crafts all day long. Those who wear red, white and blue will receive free admission. Patriotically dressed visitors can also take up to 20% off regularly priced merchandise at the Museum Store. (10 a.m.; 170 Central Park West, between 76th and 77th Sts., 212-873-3400.) CELEBRATION BY THE SEA. More than a million people are expected at this year’s Great July Fourth Festival at the South Street Seaport. While enjoying the 100 cultural exhibits on display, you can chow down on some tasty treats served up by more than 600 international food vendors. (11 a.m., free admission; Water St., between Fulton and Broad Sts., 212-809-4900.) ALL-AMERICAN ART. Cool off from summer heat at the Whitney Museum of American Art, which is offering a special Independence Day admission of just $4. Visitors can take in iconic patriotic art like Jasper Johns’ “Three Flags” and Joseph Stella’s “Brooklyn Bridge.” Some of the museum’s other exhibits feature works by Dan Graham, Mark Rothko and Andrew Wyeth. (11 a.m., $4; 945 Madison Ave., at 75th St., www.whitney.org.) TIME TRAVELER. Don’t miss all the old-fashioned fun Continue Reading

With movie ticket prices rising, get the most for your money

Advertising Age warns that movie ticket prices are expected to spike by as much as 30% this year. “You're going to see a $1 to $2 increase in the price of a movie ticket,” states University of California, Santa Cruz economist Ricard Gil. “And that's being conservative.” In a city where the average ticket is already $12, that extra couple of bucks hurts. Already, taking a family of four to see a summer blockbuster sets you back at least $40 before you even consider hitting the concession stand. If you're going to shell out your hard-earned clams to see ­Indiana Jones or Speed Racer in action, you might as well get the most out of it. We've picked the theaters that will give you the most bang for your box-office buck. BEST SCREEN: AMC LOEWS LINCOLN SQUARE IMAX At eight stories high, the IMAX screen shows blockbusters the way they were meant to be seen. The visual spectacle, offset by stadium seating and state-of-the-art surround sound, is sure to make “The Dark Knight” - which they're premiering July 18 - extra thrilling. 1998 Broadway, at 68th St. (212-336-5020). BEST SOUND: REGAL UNION SQUARE STADIUM 14 This movie hub is always packed, for a good reason - every screen is equipped with digital sound (THX, SDDS, Dolby and DTC) as well as listening devices for the hearing-impaired. Just make sure to get there early to elbow your way to a good seat. 850 Broadway, between 13th and 14th Sts. (212-253-6266). BEST DISCOUNT: COBBLE HILL/KEW GARDENS CINEMAS These sister cinemas in Brooklyn and Queens both boast $6.50 admission all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The same deal applies Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays before 5 p.m. Even a peak ticket sets you back just $9.50 for an adult. Cobble Hill Cinema, 265 Court St. (718-596-9113). Kew Gardens Cinema, 81-05 Lefferts Blvd. (718-441-9835). BEST CHEAP EATS: AMC/LOEWS CINEMAS The theater chain serves up Clip's Picks, Continue Reading

December calendar of NYC events

DECEMBER 1 EVENT: Tree Lighting Ceremony in Little Italy EVENT: Holiday Tree Lighting at NY Botanical Garden EVENT: Holiday Bazaar at the Queens County Farm Museum EVENT: Michael Ian Black at Irving Plaza EVENT: Rachael Ray at NY Waterway Ferry Terminal CONCERT: Cold War Kids at Webster Hall CONCERT: Ween at Terminal 5 DECEMBER 2 CONCERT: Jethro Tull at Hammerstein Ballroom CONCERT: Dar Williams at Southpaw, Brooklyn EVENT: Family Hannukah Festival at 92nd St. Y EVENT: The Story of Hanukkah with Robin Bady at Central Park EVENT: Christmas in Historic Richmond Town on S.I. EVENT: The New Museum at Eldridge Street Open House THEATER: Cymbeline DECEMBER 3 EVENT: Holly Hunter at Paley Center for Media EVENT: Wyclef Jean new album listening party at Alligator Lounge, Brooklyn EVENT: Doggie Fashion Show at W New York EVENT: Roy Haynes at Borders Columbus Circle THEATER: The Farnsworth Invention THEATER: Queens Boulevard (The Musical) DECEMBER 4 HOLIDAY: HANNUKAH BEGINS EVENT: Martha Stewart at Kmart Astor Place EVENT: The Nutcracker at New York Theater Ballet CONCERT: Evanescence at Izod Center, N.J. CONCERT: Brand New at Hammerstein Ballroom ALBUM: Nelly Furtado "Loose: The Concert" ALBUM: The Killers "Don't Shoot Me, Santa" ALBUM: Wyclef Jean "Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant" DVD: The Nanny Diaries DVD: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End DVD: Superbad THEATER: August: Osage County DECEMBER 5 CONCERT: Ted Leo & the Pharmacists at Webster Hall CONCERT: Matisyahu, the Wailers at Roseland Ballroom CONCERT: Michael Feinstein at Feinstein's at Loews Regency EVENT: Gen Art SHOP NYC at the Puck Building EVENT: World's Largest Cannoli Christmas Tree at Il Cortile Restaurant EVENT: Laura Linney at 92nd St. Y MOVIE: Billy The Kid DECEMBER 6 CONCERT: Army of Me at Union Hall, Brooklyn Continue Reading

A Fun-Filled Fourth

STAR-SPANGLED VENTURES: Spots & Stripes Celebrate Dog & Cat Weekend Even the animals are showing their spots and stripes! The Bronx Zoo's zebras and tigers, giraffes and cheetahs flaunt their fur while the NY Chinese Folk Dance Company performs the "Lion Dance. " How loud can little cubs roar? The roaring contest is their chance to use outdoor voices and win a prize! Today and tomorrow, 10 a. m.-5:30 p. m.; $12 adults, $9 seniors and kids 2-12; kids under 2 free. 2300 Southern Blvd., the Bronx. Visit www. bronxzoo. com. Red, White and Blue Liberty Mural, Manhattan Take a few streamers, splash some red, white and blue paint, sprinkle sequins and a little imagination, and what do you get? A handmade liberty mural at the Children's Museum of Manhattan - bring little ones 5 and up to the Creativity Lab for star-spangled fun in hourly sessions. Tues., 11 a. m., noon, and 2, 3 and 4 p. m.; $8, $5 seniors, free for kids under 1. 212 W. 83rd St. (212) 721-1234. Red, Light and Blue, South Street Seaport Make sparks at the South Street Seaport Museum. The Family Program lights up your Fourth with a fun red, white and blue candle-making workshop. Today, 1-4 p. m.; $8 adults, $6 students and seniors, $4 kids 5-12; kids under 5 free. 12 Fulton St. (212) 748-8758. Declaration of Independence Display, N. Y. Public Library Amid the franks, fireworks and other fanfare, it's easy to forget what the Fourth is really about. The New York Public Library commemorates the day by displaying a copy of the Declaration of Independence handwritten by Founding Father Thomas Jefferson. Thru Aug. 5. Today, 10 a. m.-6 p. m. Closed tomorrow thru July 4.; free. Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Gallery of the Humanities and Social Sciences Library, Fifth Ave. and 42nd St. (212) 704-8600. JULY 4 FETES: SushiSamba Special Menu Not craving corn dogs and cheeseburgers? Pamper your palates at SushiSamba, which presents a holiday menu served Continue Reading