Lions, Tigers & Brews


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This past Friday and Saturday evening the Lions, Tigers & Brews craft beer festival was held at the Central Park Zoo in Manhattan. Over 60 craft breweries poured their products in an open air tasting in the park.

I attended the event on Saturday. It seemed like it would be a rainy day but the rain held off for the evening. The event got a good crowd of mostly young folk enjoying the brews in a unique venue with a live band and a DJ providing the entertainment. it was a party.

Note to event organizer; with four hours of an open beer-bar, you need more port-a-potties.


I sampled some ciders and some nice IPA’s.

Souvereign Cider: Apple & Honey, Dry & Crisp

Woodchuck Cider Co.: Gumption Cider

California Cider Co.: Ace Pear Cider

Magner’s: Pear Cider

Knee Deep Brewing Co.: Simtra Triple IPA

Mermaid Brewing Co.: IPA & Pilsner

Saranac Brewery: Legacy IPA

Long Trail Brewing Co.: Limbo IPA

Braven Brewing Co.: White IPA

Kuka Beer Co.: Belgium Plum Witte

Spoetzl Brewery: Shiner Prickly Pear

Illusive Traveller: Grapefruit Ale

Smuttynose Brewing Co.: Shoal’s Pale Ale

Empire Brewing Co.: Amber Ale




Westchester Food & Wine Grand Tasting

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This past weekend Westchester Magazine held their annual Food & Wine Festival. A weekend of events that included a Burger Bash, and evening with Westchester’s taste makers, a seminar with Piero Incisa the winemaker at Sassicaia, and a Grand Tasting.

I attended the Grand Tasting on Saturday afternoon. Last year, the event was held indoors at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in White Plains, this year it was held outdoors at the Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla, New York which is a leisurely 40 minute train ride from Grand Central Terminal. The Grand Tasting “Village” was well laid out and spacious with the crowd of people spread throughout the venue without any food and wine booth becoming overly crowded. Mother Nature cooperated with beautiful, if a bit windy weather. There were over 35 local restaurants serving food throughout the village. Many consumer tastings serve a lot of mediocre wines but at this event the wine shop Zachey’s, a well-known Westchester wine and spirit purveyor provided the wines. It was a well-chosen list and there was plenty of good juice to keep me and the rest of the people interested all afternoon. It was a fun day.

Some of the wines I sampled:

NV Veuve Clicquot Rose

NV Ruinart Blanc de Blanc

NV Tattinger Brut La Francaise

NV Pol Roger Brut Reserve

2013 Landhaus Mayer Gruner Veltliner

2013 Masi Rosa dei Masi Rosé

2014 Chateau Miraval Cotes de Provence Rosé

2014 La Spinetta Il Rosé di Casanova

2013 Flowers Chardonnay

2012 Antica Chardonnay

2013 Calera Chardonnay

2012 Acacia Chardonnay

2013 Rodney Strong Chardonnay

2012 Rochioli Russan River Valley Chardonnay

2013 JP Benoit Droin Chablis Vaillons

2013 Pio Cesare Arnais

2013 Antinori Guado Al Tasso Vermintino

2013 Belle Glos Las Alturas Pinot Noir

2013 The Calling Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir

2011 Frescobaldi Chianti Nepozzano

2010 Campo Giovanni Brunello di Montalcino

2010 Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino

2010 Castiglion dei Bosco Brunello di Montalcino

2010 San Felice Chianti Classico Gran Selezione

2010 Concha y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Stag’s Leap Cellars Artemis

2013 Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet Sauvignon

2004 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva

2012 Tenuta San Guido Guidaberto

2011 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia

2011 Chimney Rock Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Gaja Ca’ Marcanda Promis

2010 Casa Lapstolle Clos Apalta Red



Best Of The West


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This past week was the 8th annual New Taste of The Upper West Side.  It was three days of food, wine, beer and cocktail events on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. On Saturday evening I attended the Best of the West event held under the tent at 76th Street and Columbus Avenue. Hosted by chefs Marc Murphy and Anne Burrell and featuring music by Joe Battaglia and his 16 piece New York Big Band. Over 30 local restaurants served tasty bites of their specialties. It was a fun evening of tasty bites, spirits and people on stilts.

My favorite dish of the night was a burger from Shake Shack upper west side. Don’t have an opportunity to try these very often since I won’t wait on line for an hour to buy a burger, these babies were tasty. Other dishes I sample:

Good Enough To Eat: Turkey Parfait

Caffe Storico: Pork Belly, Treviso & Charred Scallion vinaigrette

Porter House NYC: Bourbon Braised Short Rib Mini Bun

Cesca Enoteca & Trattoria: House-Made Straciattella

The Ribbon: Chopped Liver On Rye Toast

Calle Ocho: Ceviche Mixto

Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto: Prosciutto

Carmine’s: Eggplant Parmigiano

Jean-Georges: Strawberry Tiramisu

It was a warm night and as far as beverages were concerned, I drank a couple of Prosseco from Bottega, a couple of more Italian whites from Teruzzi & Puthod and cocktails made with Tito’s vodka.