There are many signs of the fall coming to NYC: falling leaves, pumpkin coffee, hoodies. For me, the annual NYC Wine and Food Festival means the seasons are changing. I go every year, and I love it every time. This year I attended a brunch at the Chef’s Club featuring the talents of Richard Blais (who does NOT live in Chicago), Top Chef contestant and restauranteur extraordinaire, and of Wylie Dufresne, James Beard award winner and “mad scientist of food”. Even though is misread the ticket and showed up late, and I only got to enjoy the last two out of four courses, I had the time of my life. The food was as amazing as expected, the wine pairing and cocktail were on point. The chefs got up close and personal, just amazing human beings. I even received Mr. Dufresne’s cookbook WD50 on the way out! Although having missed half the brunch, it was still an amazing Saturday morning!
I attended the Grand Tasting with my friend Denise, and of course we had a blast. We tasted everything. I think. The lines blur with all that wine and booze! I do distinctively remember watching the cooking demonstrations of Rocco Dispirito and Marcus Samuelsson, and I greatly enjoyed them for certain. Below I’ll give you my overview of all the goodness with the matching pictures, so you can see that you should definitely get yourself some tickets next year, and participate in this great cause for charity!
There seems to be more alcohol every year, and I’m not complaining! I can’t even remember everything I sampled, to be honest. I do know my three favorites, which are the Cupcake wines, Chloe Prosecco and Nicolas Feuillatte champagne by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Maker’s Mark, Four Roses, Blue Moon and (a few) others also helped putting a spring in my step…
Becky’s Dips had some cute Teddy Grahams with a delicious dip named Beckaroos. Nutella offered a sweet little French Toast, while GoGo Squeez made some Baked Banana Oatmeal squares. Dunkin Donuts kept us going with Blueberry Crisp Lattes, and I so loved the Chocolate and Salted Caramel Pretzel Cookie Dough by 2 Dough Boyz. My favorite sweet treat this year was the Taro Coconut Cupcake by Mahalo Bakery. Yum.
Shoprite is a huge sponsor of the Grand Tasting every year, and always has a large section in the middle of the festival with all their good food. Some of my favorites this year were Roman Rigatoni by Colavita, the Bruschetta Beets with Goat Cheese by Pompeian, the Cheddarwurst by Black Bear, the Lemon Chicken by Knorr One Skillet Meals, the Dijon Balsamic Salmon Cake Sliders by Kraft Heinz, and the Basil Crab Cakes by Tabasco. All great!
Ohhhh, so much food! Thank God the bites are small, or else we wouldn’t even get halfway though the goodies! Here are some more bites that made my day: Table 87 had a great little slice of pizza; The Springs had an amazing Veggie Burger; Babu Ji spoiled us with a delicious Colonel Tso’s Cauiflower; Pearls had Blistered Shishito Skewer with olives and Halloumi; Shady Brook Farms had a delicious Baked Meatball. Last but not least, Grillies offered a Cheese Taco and and a Cheese Waffle. Oustanding…
It was harder than ever to pick a favorite this year! Two of my favorites are from the Bronx this year, my borough is representing! Los Viajeros is one of my favorite food trucks in NYC (and the Bronx), and their Ropa Vieja is out of control, so I was happy to see they presented a Ropa Vieja Taco bite. I should have had two. City Tamale is also from the Bronx, and not only were their tamales delicious, but also super pretty. My favorite from the ShopRite section were the Pull-Apart Sliders , one being BBQ Beef and Cheddar, the other Buffalo Chicken and Mozzarella. Also super delicious from the ShopRite section was the Korean Style Fried Chicken with Kimchi Slaw, just outstanding. Island Oyster had me swooning over their Elotés, creamy and delicious. My favorite altogether this year was a Creekstone Farms Red Curry Beef Soup by Khe-Yo. It was just incredible, and I can’t wait to visit their restaurant!
See you next year!
For more info on NYCWFF click here