The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

New York Food & Wine Festival

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on October 19, 2009

To end our food and drink filled New York girls weekend, we got to attend the Food Network’s 2nd Annual New York Food and Wine Festival Grand Tasting! When we were originally planning our weekend, the tickets to events were just too much ($150 per person for this one event alone).  Jaclyn luckily won two tickets from Serious Eats and then we found one more ticket for $90 from Goldstar.  What a huge savings!

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The event was scheduled to be at Pier 54 in Hudson River Park.  We headed first to 10th and 15th to pick up the Goldstar ticket from will call.  Good thing we did as this was the entrance to the actual event! A lounge area with swag bags and a lounging area.

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Based on Jaclyn’s previous experience with lines at New York events like this, we didn’t stay long in the lounge area so we could go get in line for the Grand Tasting.  It was a gorgeous day along the pier.  Look how big the event was!

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After waiting about a half hour in a reasonable line, the event started and we headed in 🙂 We each received a full size red wine glass (for tastings!) and began our exploration of the vendors.

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The first table I stopped at was Resto.  It was quieter at this point in the event so I asked the chefs if I could take a photo.  They were quite nice and their food was good!

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I first tried their belgian waffle and then a savory tart.  (I don’t remember what was in it, but it was GOOD!)

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The next stop was South Gate.

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Here I tried a Frozen Honey Nougat Parfait with Roasted Plums (although they were labeled as apricots, the girls and I decided they were definitely plums).  Very good!

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Next we found ourselves in front of the Next Iron Chef mini competition between Holly Smith and Jehangir Mehta.  I don’t generally watch the Iron Chef or any of its iterations but we actually watched an episode of the Next Iron Chef the day before so it was fun to recognize these two!

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The secret ingredient (is that what it’s called?) was apple I believe.  Holly made an apple sorbet with crab and parmesan. We were not fans of this 😦 It was very bland.

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Jehangir, on the other hand, made something very good! It was another savory tart.  Unfortunately I don’t recall what was in it 😦

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Next up – the Del Grosso pasta sauce.  The owners were quite friendly!

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There were 3 options to choose from.  I went with the Vodka sauce and was very impressed.  Apparently you can find them at Whole Foods among other grocery stores.  Unfortunately, they don’t sell them at Harris Teeter 😦 (my grocery store of choice in Charlotte)

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Next we found cupcakes! at Kyotofu

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They had 3 flavors to choose from.  I went with their green tea cupcake.  Yum!

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After a sweet treat, on to another savory bite at Trattoria Cinque.

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Here I believe I had a prosciutto quesadilla.  Very good!

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Finally something to drink! (Though there was water and diet coke every where)  Pom Wonderful had two flavors to try: blueberry and original.  Having had the original flavor before, I decided to try the blueberry.  Like the other Pom juices, it was quite sweet but I liked the taste of blueberry mixed in.

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They also had hummus martini cups with pom seeds and pita.  The pom seeds was an interesting touch to the hummus.  I think I would have liked it better with softer pita (this was more like a pita chip).  I’ll think I may try this recipe again in the future.

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The next restaurant we checked out was La Fonda del Sol.  They offered oysters on little shells.  Cute and refreshing!

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Recently, I became a bigger fan of tea so I was excited to see a tea brand offering samples.

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Mighty Leaf Tea had three flavors to try.  I tasted the Chocolate Mint Truffle.  It was good! I grabbed a sample tea bag as well as one of the Vanilla Bean.  I look forward to trying these at home, especially as it starts to get colder!

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At this point in the tasting, I was starting to get full! But there were so many good foods still to try!  I found myself at Delmonico’s Restaurant next.

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Here they were making meat balls.  They had the cutest little forks to go with them!

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Aldea was next with an oyster soup.  While I tasted it, I recognized that I wasn’t in the mood for soup so I wasn’t able to judge it very well 😦 I think I would have liked it if I were in the mood for soup…

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Although I was getting full, I love Barilla and was very excited to see their stand!  They had two pastas to try and I had a tasting of both.  One was a rotini with a tomato sauce.  The other (which was quite good) was the cheese tortellini with a cream sauce with asparagus.  Yum!

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As we made our way around the stands, one in particular caught our eye.  It was food or drink, but a product.  The ActiFry is a deep fryer that uses only 2 tablespoons of oil to cook a pound or two of potatoes.  Being skeptical (as many probably were), we tasted the french fries they were making.  They were good! Light but tasty and so much less fat than normal fries.

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A little over an hour in to the tasting, we had made it all the way around the food vendors and the wine, beer, and liquor vendors had opened.  While we weren’t really looking to drink since we’d had our share the night before 🙂 we decided to try a few unique ones that caught our eyes.  (We were amazed at how many vendors there were to try and we weren’t expecting liquor at all.)

First up – Castries, a St. Lucian peanut rum creme.  Wow! It was really, really tasty 🙂 It’s served slightly chilled all by itself or can be mixed into other drinks as well.

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This table caught my eye with two of my favorite wines to have in stock – Blackstone Merlot and Toasted Head Chardonnay.  The rep recommended I try the third wine at her table – Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir.  I was impressed.

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The first time around, the Blue Moon Harvest Moon had caught my eye but wasn’t being served yet (it was before noon on a Sunday).  Our second time around, an artist was painting the below scene.

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I then grabbed myself a sample of the Harvest Moon.

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As our time at the tasting was winding down, Colleen wanted a small dessert.  We split ginger snaps with Dickinsin’s Lemon Curd and Country Pumpkin Butter.  Yum!

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This festival was a great way to end an amazing girls weekend of food, drink and fun in New York 🙂  Have any of you tried any of the restaurants I saw at the grand tasting?

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7 Responses to “New York Food & Wine Festival”

  1. Stacy said

    Sounds like a delicious event!!

  2. I was searching for cupcakes and your blog came up! I am also a blogger in Charlotte, I am from RI….does Charlotte have a Food & Wine festival too?
    Thanks,
    Wendy

    • hungrywanderers said

      As far as I know, there’s no Food & Wine festival here like the one I went to in New York. There is, however, the Taste of Charlotte and the Great Grapes Wine Festivals (you can see the past year’s versions of both on this blog). If you’re looking for cupcakes in Charlotte, my friend Diana at http://thechiclife.typepad.com probably has some good recommendations for the area. 🙂

  3. Hi Hungry Wanderers,

    I’m so happy you enjoyed my spiced apple braised pork with apple chutney. So much so that I’m going to share the recipe on my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jehangir/156906547744).

    Thanks again.

    Jehangir

  4. Apparently, the address for my Facebook page picked up the parentheses. The correct address is… http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jehangir/156906547744

    See you there.

    Jehangir

    • hungrywanderers said

      Thank you for checking out our blog and for sharing your recipe on Facebook! For all of you thinking about making this recipe, it really was quite good!

      • Nancyh said

        To Jehangir Mehta (SINCE HE ALSO COMMENTED ON THE BLOG)

        Thank you for posting your recipe! I also took down your Lobster curry recipe (from episode 2 of NIC) from your website and it came out wonderfully well. I love the show and I really hope you win.

        To the hungrywanderer

        I really liked your post. Missed the festival so I was glad to catch up on all the action here. I found the Actifry deep fryer very interesting. If it really does what you say it does, it’s nothing short of magic! Would have liked to try those fries as well as all that other mouth-watering food you tasted.
        I also wish I had been there to see the mini Iron Chef battle between Holly Smith and Jehangir Mehta. I am a little biased towards Jehangir Mehta as his food always looks so good. I’m glad to hear that it tastes good as well because I’m going to visit Graffiti soon.

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