Dan’s Harvest East End

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This past Saturday I made another trip out East to attend the Dan’s Harvest East End taste of Summer wine and food classic. The last of the trio of food and wine festivals hosted by Dan’s Paper. While the other two festivals were held on the South Fork of Long Island, this one was held on the North Fork where the majority of the wineries out East are located. It was held under the big tents on the property of McCall Winery at 22600 Main Road, Cutchogue.

Co-hosted by Food Network’s Geoffrey Zakarian, it featured food from local restaurants and purveyors and wine from the local wineries. It followed the same formula as the other festivals, big tents with the food stands on the perimeter, wines in the center, and the outlier beer and spirits booths scattered around.

It was another beautiful Summer evening tasting good food and wine with a crowd that was having fun. My drink of choice for the evening was Sparkling Point NV Brut and the 2006 Sparkling Point Brut Seduction.

Some of what I sampled:

 

The Frisky Oyster: Cornell Oysters Friskafella (My favorite of the night)

Smitty’s at American Grill: Homemade Meatball Sliders

First & South: Green Gazpacho

SCGP Café: Cauliflower Beignet

The Ram’s Head Inn: Spice Crusted Tuna with Grilled Local Corn

Jedediah Hawkin’s Inn: Lobster Ravioli with Brown Butter and Sage

Petulant Wino: Summer Corn Gazpacho

A Mano Osteria: Local Corn Ravioli

Perabell Food Bar East: Sriracha Hoisan Glazed Duck Steamed Bun

Mirabelle: Long Island Striped Bass, Shrimp and Local Watermelon Ceviche

 

 

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Tap & Cork Brooklyn

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This past Saturday afternoon I attended the Tap & Cork Brooklyn Beer and Wine Festival held at Restoration Plaza located at 1360 Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

I had attended the event a couple of years ago and it was a different event this year. The event I attended a couple of years ago took place in Brooklyn as well but at an indoor venue. There were many more wine (and beer) stations which were staffed by someone involved either with the importer or distributer of the product they were pouring.

This years event was more neighborhood block party and Summer festival than a wine tasting. It was held outdoors, under tents with less product and staffed by enthusiastic volunteers instead of salespeople. And a block party it was, a huge crowd of people were having fun enjoying wine, beer and the DJ on hot August afternoon in Brooklyn.

A couple of wines out of the ordinary were the 2014 True Wine Connoisseurs White and the 2013 True Wine Connoisseurs Red. These wines, made in Brazil, were from the Brooklyn duo of Will Davis and Sadat X who produce a wine tasting video series and the wines were nice and easy drinking.

Cider Saturday

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This past Saturday I attended the 2015 Summer Ciderfeast event which was held outdoors at the Solar One event space in East River Park at 24-20 FDR Drive in Manhattan. I’ve been to several events at this space and essentially its a parking lot under the highway overlooking the East River.

This event was from the producers of Pig Island NYC, Brisket King NYC and Hot Sauce Expo and co-produced with the United States of Cider and Copenhagen Street Dogs. They  had over 12 producers pouring over 30 regional, national and international ciders.

I enjoy a good cider but most bars you walk into have the usual mass-produced suspects that are too sweet for my taste. At this event, even the ciders that were “off dry” were dryer than the mass-produced ones with more character.

It was a young, casual crowd who came out to enjoy a sunny Summer afternoon, with some live music and nibbles from local restaurants. The Danish-style hot dogs, a “pølse” from Copenhagen Street Dogs were tasty, they were served on a mini bun slathered with various sauces and topped with chopped raw onions and pickles.

These are what I sampled in the order I sampled them:

Aval Cidre Artisanal 6% (France) Dark pale, very dry with tasty character.

Moa French Oaked Aged Cider 5.6% (New Zealand) Light pale, very dry.

Aspall English Cider “John Barrinton” 8.4% (England) Light pale, light body.

Aspall English Cider “Perronelle’s Blush” 5.7% (England) Blush pink, dry.

E.Z. Orchards “Poire” 5.9% (Oregon) Cloudy yellow, dry, neutral.

E.Z. Orchards “Hawk Haus” 6.6% (Oregon) Yellow, dry, neutral.

E.Z. Orchards “Roman Beauty” 6.1% (Oregon)

Big Apple Cider “Sour Cherry” 7.3% (New York State) Copper with some oak notes.

Big Apple Cider “Bourbon Maple” 7.3% (New York State) Very dry with cooked fruit notes on the finish.

Big Apple Cider “Hipster” 7.3% (New York State) Cloudy, medium orange, slight fizz, some sweetness but finishes dry.

Descendant Cider Co. “Pom-Pomme” (New York City) With Pomegranate and Hibiscus 6.5% (New York State) Rust color.

Descendant Cider Co. “Dry” Heritage Cider 6.9% (New York City) Pale rust in color, very dry and light bodied with some oak notes on the finish.

Embark Craft Cider Works “American Heirloom” 7.5% (New York State) Made with seven varieties of heirloom apple, pale yellow with crisp acidity.

Emabark Craft Cider Works “The Crab Series Vol. 1” 7.2% (New York State) Made from crabapples, pale rust in color, very dry, with lip smacking tannin.

Emabark Craft Cider Works “The Pippin” 7.8% (New York State) Light yellow, light body, crisp.

Reverend Nat’s “Hallelujah Hopricot” 6.7% (Oregon) Made with Cascade hops, Rust color with crisp orange notes on the fruit.

Shacksbury “Farmhouse” (Vermont) 6.5% Made in Vermont from apples grown in England, sparkling, light rust in color, crisp and earthy.

Shacksbury “Basque” (Vermont)  6.2% Make in collaboration with a Spanish cider house, cloudy, light rust color, tart with sour notes on the finish.

Doc’s Draft Dry Hopped Cider 6% ( New York State) Doc’s is pretty much available in a lot of supermarkets, unfortunately, most times they don’t carry this version. Dry and crisp with hoppy tannin notes on the finish.

Austin’s Eastciders “Original” 5% (Texas) Rust color, dry, drinkable.

Citizen Cider “The Full Nelson” 6.9% (Vermont) A good basic, drinkable cider.

Citizen Cider “Northern Spy” 6.9% (Vermont) A single varietal cider, pale yellow, bone dry with a citrus zing at the end.

 

Cocktails & Fairies

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This past Sunday I attended the Secret Summer food and cocktail festival. They promised “inventive mixology and farm to table eats while advocating forward thinking ideas about locality and sustainability”. Ok.

It was held a the event space, The Foundry at 42-38 9th Street in Long Island City down the block from the East River and in the shadows of the Queensboro Bridge. The Foundry is a 8 room ivy covered brick building with a large garden courtyard .

The theme of the evening was Shakespeare’s A MidSummer Night’s Dream. Winged Fairies pranced around the courtyard sprinkling rose petals and pixie dust on the guests while strolling troubadours entertained the crowd. Members of the Shrunken Shakespeare Company would break out in spontaneous performances of Shakespeare’s play, or at least I thought they were actors and not young couples have a rough day. There was also a “ginormous” beer pong to keep people busy.

In the courtyard were tubs of soft drinks, Heineken beer, Rekorderlig Cider and Perrier Jouet Grand Brut NV Champagne to go along with grilled food and grilled cheese sandwiches provided by the Morris Food Truck. I was able to grab some sausage, vegetables and a grilled cheese sandwich before the line became impossibly long.

Indoors had live ragtime music by The Ida Blue Band and several cocktail stations.

I was happy to stroll around with a glass of Brut or a pear cider in my hand but in the interest of research I sample several of the cocktails which included:

Herradura Tequila

Pamplona: Herradura, blood orange, dry curacao and ginger beer.

Sundown: Herradura, clementine and house acai grenadine.

Templo Mayor: Herradura, jalapeno, cacao, cornmilk, agave nectar and lemon.

Cachaça 51

Cai Tai: Cachaca 51, house falernum, acai grenadine and dry curacao.

Morango: Cachaca 51, market strawberries, sage and aromatic.

ColaDA: Cachaca 51, bitter cola syrup, coconut milk and fresh pineapple.

Jack Daniel’s

Doc Brown: Jack Daniel’s, market cherry sarsaparilla and micro bubble soda.

Shiso: Jack Daniel’s, saiso leaf, raw cane and leaf bouquet.

Bless your heart, but….: Jack Daniel’s, summer peach, market fennel and lemon.

It was a fun way to spend a sunny, Summer late evening.

Chefs & Champagne 2015

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On Saturday, July 25th I attended the James Beard Foundation’s 25th annual Chefs & Champagne foodie event which this year honored Chef and cookbook author Carla Hall.

The event was held at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, on the South Fork of Long Island.

It was a gorgeous day with Chefs from over 40 restaurants cooking their specialty dishes served with free-flowing champagne from Tattinger, wines from Wöllffer Estate, beer from Belgium and vodka from Tito’s. And with an appearance from Miss USA, it was enjoyable day out in the Hampton’s.

I spent the day with a flute or two of Tattinger Brut La Francaise NV in my hand and sampling dishes prepared by these Chefs:

Noah Schwartz: Oysters with Soy mignonette and micro wasabi.

Titti Qvarnström: Allerum präst quiche with elderberry pickled green strawberries, kavring crumble and east end pea sprouts.

Jamie Leeds: Grilled oysters.

Marc Anthony Bynum: Octopus with yellow eye beans, picholine olives, tomatoes, lemon balsamic and paprika oil.

Georges Mendes: Portuguese fossil farms pork cutlet sandwich with piri-piri.

Jason Weiner: Smoked duck breast with silver queen corn and white miso.

Todd Mitgang: Local scallop tartare with black garlic, white soy and marinated broccoli.

Patti Jackson: House smoked bluefish pate with radish salad.

A.J. Schaller: Crab cakes with tomato jam and castelvetrano olives.

Christopher Lavey: Tomato sweet pepper gazpacho with grilled chanterelle and purple basil.

Shannon Shafer: Smoked pork belly with braised cabbage and mustard cream.

Leah Cohen: Chilled thai coconut lemongrass soup with shrimp.

Nick Wallace: Mississippi candy striped beets with preserved goat cheese and Mississippi honeycomb.

Harold Moore: Beer can fossil farms chicken.

Michael Vignola: Barrel smoked aged new york strip with sunchoke salad and sunflower sprouts.

Anthony Bucco: Barnegat lighthouse fluke with smoked yogurt, compressed peaches and pickled blueberries.  

Amanda Cohen: Tomato tarts with smoked feta.

Michael Ferraro: Fennel pollen dusted gulf shrimp with charred corn salad, tomato confit and smoked chili oil.

Harvest Restaurant: Vermont pork with watermelon, peaches, labneh and basil.