Send Off Summer With These 11 Delicious Inspirations Perfect For Labor Day
It’s hard to get excited about Labor Day – the end of summer means giving summer vacations and long weekends a send-off, and trading in days at the beach for winter preparations. But Labor Day weekend offers us a final hurrah – one last beach day with a cold brew or one last bbq with our friends. Of course if you’re more in the mood for a night on the town, some spots around the country have dishes and drinks perfect to send off the summer in style.
The Frog and the Peach - New Brunswick, New Jersey
Chef Mike Fortino serves up a Scallop Po’boy with local day boat scallops, breaded in corn meal from Castle Valley Grainery served on a house-made baguette with a charred tomato remoulade and shredded Napa cabbage. Then he throws on some yucca fries with pomegranate ketchup for good measure. “The scallops at the Jersey Shore are our best-kept secret. The day boats from the docks at Point Pleasant bring them back fresh as can be. Right now is peak season. Last weekend of the summer. Glass of beer and a scallop sandwich, ready to go back to work!” Fortino says.
Clark Street Dog and Bar – Chicago
Give summer a solid send off by grilling one of America’s favorite picnic foods — hot dogs, tossed in a Bloody Mary! This Lakeview staple has served up its “Frank and Mary” since 1977, featuring house bloody Mary mix, local CH Distillery Peppercorn Vodka a whole Vienna Beef hot dog as garnish. “Because Bloody Marys are one of my favorite drinks to make, we thought we should tie that into what our kitchen does best…hot dogs!” says Clark Street Dog and Bar’s head bartender, Demi Palecek. “I’m not a big fan of tomato juice, so each bloody I make is made-to-order with a hodgepodge of ingredients like pickle juice, local Ale Syndicate beer, Tabasco, olive juice, Worcestershire sauce, bitters, lime juice and celery salt…The result is a Bloody Mary that will bring any plain hot dog to life.”
Paulaner Brewery - New York City
Down on the Bowery Paulaner is offering a premium take on Kölsch beer aged with fresh summer peaches in a very limited amount available only on Labor Day. "The Peach Kölsch is a great example of a more adventurous take on our classic beer,” says Justin Meyers, Head Brewer at Paulaner Brewery. “Peaches are still one of the freshest fruit options at the end of the summer - so they were an ideal choice to marry with crispness of the Kölsch.”
Odd Birds – St. Augustine, Florida
Given that the owner is Venezuelan Odd Birds decided to do a cookout with a bit of a twist - arepas! “Arepas are corn pockets stuffed with savory fillings. This dish is made of ground maize dough or cooked flour prominent in the cuisine of Colombia and Venezuela. says Cesar Diaz Owner/Bartender at Odd Birds. If you’re gonna switch from burgers and dogs, this is a good way to go.
Creamline – New York City
The Chelsea Market creamery is offering a Ronnybrook farm-to-pint chocolate and vanilla swirl packed into an actual kitchen sink with whipped cream, chocolate and caramel sauce and fried oreos. “We’re always eager to tell our story about our menu since we make all of our sauces in house and source our dairy straight from Ronnybrook Farms, and thought this would be a fun way to combine everything into one massive treat! Plus, since Labor Day is around the corner, it’s a great time to indulge and not have to worry about bikini season.,” says owner/chef Harris Mayer-Selinger.
Arnaud’s Restaurant – New Orleans
The warm German potato salad at the New Orleans classic, standing since 1918, is a slightly different take on the picnic staple potato salad. “The warm German potato salad is a great complement to most fowl, game meat, beef and veal. The tartness of the vinegar, the sweetness of the potato and the saltiness of the bacon enhances the flavor profile of any of the meats that are cooked with fine herbs and oils,” says Executive Chef Tommy DiGiovanni.
Little Nonna’s – Philadelphia
Chef Marcie Turney is preparing a special menu of Spaghetti & Crabs (they periodically serve this as a special menu throughout the year, especially during the summer months) to offer over Labor Day weekend with your choice of red or white sauce served with garlic bread for the table. Turney says, “It’s the summertime cousin to Sunday night's meatballs and spaghetti: crab gravy and macaroni. Nothing’s better than getting out the crab claw crackers and mallets with a bunch of family and friends to enjoy.”
Oyster House - Philadelphia
It doesn’t sound beautiful, but trust us, it is. The seafood dump dinner is available with 48-hours notice and designed for groups of six or more. Maine lobster, steamed clams & mussels, sausage, seasonal vegetable and potatoes are all steamed up in a massive pot and “dumped” onto your newspaper-covered table.
Verde – Miami
We think of fresh corn as a summer staple, but as we usher in fall, we can go for a bit more of a hearty approach, like sweet Corn Ravioli. "The Sweet Corn Ravioli is a dish that is perfect for both summer and fall. I've incorporated the freshest seasonal ingredients like black pepper, parmesan, roasted corn and chive to keep the dish hearty but light,’ says Executive Chef Kaytlin Brakefield .
Legal Sea Foods - Massachusetts
The Cold Brew Coffee Jell-O is an old-time New England favorite and a perfect late summer indulgence. “Summer is about simplicity, and so we celebrate the season with a cool and refreshing retro dessert rooted in MA. It’s an iced coffee with texture, and a lot more fun,” says Legal Sea Foods Executive Chef Richard Vellante.
Slapfish – California
There’s something super summery about enjoying fresh seafood, and the lobster is often the star of the show. But, how do you make the lobster roll even more indulgent? "Everyone is doing lobster rolls. Why not switch it up with butter's best friend - the croissant. Want to add a touch more richness, add some avocado,” says Slapfish founder Andrew Gruel.