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The off-season is the perfect time to visit the island of Nantucket, off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts – a real-life “Pleasantville,” complete with cobblestone streets, grey-shingled houses and miles of picturesque beaches and conservation land. The island is especially inviting in October, when the water’s still warm, many restaurants are still open, the sea air is crisp and the streets aren’t lined with tourists toting a year’s worth of Nantucket reds home from Murray’s Toggery Shop. Do you need any more reasons to board the ferry?

Make the 30-mile passage out to sea for chef Michael LaScola (of Nantucket’s American Seasons) and chef Matt Jennings’ (of Providence’s Farmstead) Hogtoberfest, a 2-day celebration of all things pig, cooking and beer. The annual event – now in its 4th year – takes place on October 13 and 14. READ MORE

By Kate Hards

“There’s a guy here wearing a PETA shirt,” wrote my confused co-worker in a text message. Liz met me at the 35th Street East River ferry landing for a quick boat ride to Meatopia on Randall’s Island. We were about to attend a one-day food festival featuring meat-centric dishes prepared by chefs from around the world … and there were vegans about to board?

At the dock, I inspected said t-shirt. In this case, PETA didn’t stand for the animal activist group, but rather “People Eating Tasty Animals,” a theme that was evident throughout Meatopia. Hoards of hungry carnivores descended upon the park and lined up to taste small plates and bites of tasty, tasty animals. The event was organized into Meat-themed neighborhoods in a large grassy field on the island: The Deckle District, Offalwood, Beaktown, Embassy Row, Meatopia Heights, Carcass Hill, The Quarter and the Game Reserve each had tents serving unique dishes prepared with humanely and naturally-raised meats. READ MORE

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