Beef & Pork

 

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The 12th annual Food Network New York City Food & Wine Festival was held October 10-13.

It was a four day event that featured television chefs, culinary personalities, wine and spirits with over 100 events that included dinners, hands on culinary classes and late night parties. The festival raises money for the Food Bank of New York City and for the No Kid Hungry organization.

 

On Saturday afternoon I attended a couple of those events and was a day of meat.

I began the day by attending the Steak and Whiskey pairing held at STK Downtown restaurant located at 26 Little West 12th street in the Meatpacking district of Manhattan. It was a sit down affair that featured four different whiskey paired with four different types of beef.

Basil Hayden’s High Rye Bourbon paired with Lil Burgers made with a propriety blend of beef, onions, special sauce, tomato and cheddar.

Suntory Whisky Toki paired with Filet Mignon and signature STK sauce.

Bowmore 12 year Single Malt paired with New York Strip steak au poivre.

Knob Creek Rye paired with boneless beef Rib Eye with truffle butter.

 

Right after that event and a quick stroll down the block took me to the Octoberfest event hosted by TV Chef Andrew Zimmern. It was held at The Standard High Line Biergarden which is located at the southern terminus of the High Line walk at 41 Little West 12th Street.

In was a walk-around event and befitting an Octoberfest, there were many pork-centric dishes served including Zimmern’s famous wieners. Specialty cocktails, steins of Sam Adam’s beer, Pinot Noir and Riesling from Germany, and free- flowing Jägermeister were on hand to help wash it all down with.

 

 

 

Oysters & Cider

 

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In the last week of September, I attended a couple of Autumn themed events.

On Saturday September 28th I attended the 8th annual Long Island Pour the Core hard cider festival which was held at Heckscher State Park in East Islip Long Island. That’s about a 45 minute drive East from the Queens border. This is one stop on the Pour the Core tour that included Philadelphia and Brooklyn. This was an outdoor event and it was a beautiful, sunny Autumn afternoon.

Over 100 hard ciders were poured from across the country with many from New York State. Other countries such as England, Ireland, Sweden and Spain were represented as well. There were many of the well know big brands such as Angry Orchid, Magners, and Doc’s to name a few but there were many small producers represented as well.

Many styles of cider were on hand in various degrees of dry to sweet. Many were infused with fruit flavors and it seemed that rosé ciders are very popular this year.

I prefer bone dry ciders and Bad Seed, Merchant’s Daughter and Descendant Cider Co. poured some very dry and crisp versions.

There were food trucks for the hungry and live music to keep everyone entertained on this beautiful Autumn afternoon.

 

The next day Sunday afternoon, I attended the Oystober Fest oyster party held at The Well at 272 Meserole Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

It was one of the many oyster related events held for the 8th annual New York oyster week from September 17-29. The events are a production of the OysterHood, a global community of oyster consumers, producers, distributers and shuckers.

The Well is a bar housed in a former brewery in a neighborhood that had many in the past and the event was held in their in the outdoor event space, the “graffiti garden”. They served a rotating selection of East and West coast oysters, freshy shucked with a choice of various  hot sauces, mignonettes and citrus juices. My favorite of the day were the St. Simon, small and plump with the right mix of sweet and salty.

 

Oysters that I sampled:

East Beach Blond  (Rhode Island) Miyagi  (California)
Fiddler’s Cove  (Massechusets) Kosshi  (British Columbia)
Macho Maine  (Maine) Shigoku  (Washington)
St. Simon  (New Brunswick) Capital  (Washington)
Tuxedo  (Prince Edward Island)  

 

 

Pig Island 2019

 

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The 10th annual Pig Island BBQ fest was held on September 7th.

The event was held on the waterfront at Erie Basin Park in Red Hook Brooklyn. The neighborhood of Red  Hook is an old industrial waterfront area that in the 1990’s Life magazine called “one of the worst neighborhoods in the United States”. That has changed as the neighborhood has been going to a resurgence. Box stores such as IKEA and Fairway have made their way into the neighborhood and many of the warehouses have been converted to galleries, artists lofts, breweries and distilleries.

The event was produced by the Food Karma Project helmed by Jimmy Carbone who along with Josh Ozersky conceived Meatopia back in 2010. That wanted a farm to table event using pigs from small farmers.

With the cancellation of the Big Apple BBQ block party this year, this event was the premier bbq event of the year in New York and “the last great bbq event of the Summer”.

I attended after a two year hiatus. The park is on the waterway with expansive views of the harbor most of the way around. It was a big outdoor bbq with people and families spreading blankets on the grass while strolling from vendor to vendor.

Since my last visit more spirit vendors were in attendance this time around. Some of the interesting ones was Irish Whiskey from Kilbeggan and Tyrconnell which had a wide range of whiskey styles that I didn’t think Irish whiskey had. There were some nice single malts from Laphroaig, Auchentoshan and Bowmore, a couple of nice rye from Ragtime Rye and Knob Creek was on hand to make a smoked to order Old Fashioned.

When general admission was let in some of the food lines grew long, it seems that there’s a hierarchy of bbq vendors and some of the lines were longer than others.

 

BBQ to be sampled: 

Puerco a lo Cubano Vietnamese Larb
The Foxy Burger Mixiotes de Puerco
Apple Cider Brined Hog Pulled Pork Tacos
Puerco Ahumado Smoked Chorizo
Half Pig Porcetta BBQ Pigtail
Pulled Pork Bacon Cups Roasted Pernil

 

 

Bastille Day Fête 2019

 

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July 14th is Bastille Day, the national holiday of France. It celebrates the storming of the Bastille on July 14th, 1789 and the birth of the modern French nation.

FIAF (french institute alliance francaise) is the “country’s leading French language and cultural center” founded nearly 120 years ago to promote French arts and teach French language and is now housed in the heart of Manhattan at 22 East 6oth Street. For over twenty years they have hosted New York City’s largest public celebration of France’s national holiday.

It was a three-block long party on East 60th Street with French themed food booths, French products and a stage with continuous live music throughout the afternoon.

Of course there were a couple of wine tastings as well, a Summer in Provence tasting and a Champagne, Cocktail and Jazz party which I attended. At the party they served five very drinkable Champagne and a specialty cocktail while being serenated by Avalon, a four-piece Jazz band.

 

Champagnes:

Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé

Pol Roger Reserve

Delamonte Brut

Besserat du Bellefon Bleu Brut

Michel Gonet Brut Reserve

 

Cocktail: “La Quatorze Juillet

Made with Routin vermouth blanc, Giffard rubarbe liquour, Giffard Menthe Pastille (a pepperment flavored liquour), a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters and topped with a slice of cucumber. It was very refreshing.

 

 

Westchester Magazine’s Grand Tasting 2019

 

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Westchester Magazine held its 9th annual wine and food festival on June 4-9. It was six days of foodie events that included a Burger & Beer Blast, a Food Truck Fest a tasting tour of Italy and winemaker dinners.

It’s signature event was the Grand Tasting Village which was held on Saturday afternoon, June 8th. The village was an outdoor tented area that saw 50+ local restaurants serving food with over 200 wines and spirits to wash them down with. There was also a “connoisseurs tent”, a separate area from general admission that featured additional high end wines and food.

The event was held at the Kensico Dam Plaza in the sleepy village of Valhalla with its two block long Main Street located in Westchester. It’s about an hour train ride north from New York City.

There was plenty of food to sample with many different ethnic cuisines represented and for a consumer event,  an impressive selection of domestic and international wines. It was a beautiful Spring afternoon for eating and drinking.

 

Some of the wines from the connoisseurs tent:

Laurent-Perrier: NV Cuvee Rosé, NV Ultra Brut, 2007 Brut Millesime

2018 Chateau d’Esclans Rosé Les Clans

2018 Chateau d’Esclans Rosé Garrus

2017 Castello della Sala Conte Vipera

2015 Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva

2015 Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico

2013 Pian delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino

2016 Tenuta Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore

2014 Bodegas Pintia Toro Tinto

2015 Macan Rioja Clasico

2014 Macan Rioja

2015 Bodegas Alion Ribera del Duero

2013 Joseph Drouhin Chambolle Musigny

2016 Joseph Drouhin Chorey Les Beaune

2016 Domaine de la Solitude Chateauneuf du Pape

2016 Rombauer Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

2014 Rombauer Diamond Selection Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

Best of the West 2019

 

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Best of the West was one of two events held as part of the 12th annual Taste of the Upper West Side. The events were a fundraiser benefitting the upper west side community. Summer in the City was held on Friday evening and Best of the West on Saturday evening. Both events were held under the tents on Columbus Avenue between 76-77th streets in the upper west side of Manhattan, just across the street from the Museum of Natural History.

Both events had 80+ chefs from local restaurants serving unlimited food along with some drinkable wines, cocktails made with the ever present Tito’s vodka and Rums from Puerto Rico, beer and hard cider.

It was a big foodies event, a night of good eating, so much so I couldn’t get to all the food stations but had tried my best. Just wish I had brought a doggie bag.

 

Some of what I sampled:

The Milling Room: Mini Lobster Roll, featuring Maine lobster on Amy’s challah bun.

8th Hill Restaurant: Stuffed beet leaves with meat.

The Loeb Boathouse Central Park: Yuzi cured Hamachi, cucumbers and watermelon salad with ginger dressing.

Leyla: Fava bean bruschetta, fava bean spread, arugula, pickled carrots, dill over sourdough bread.

Lincoln Center Kitchen: Chilled spring pea soup, jumbo lump crab salad, smoked bacon.

Da Capo: Veal meatballs, pan seared San Marzano tomatoes, Sunday Sauce, basil.

Elea: Grilled octopus, fava puree with pepper & onion “Stifado”.

Shake Shack: Cheeseburger topped with Monterrey Jack cheese, double smoked bacon and fiery shack sauce.

Café 21: Mixed seafood Ceviche with miso ginger Asian slaw.

Red Farm: Chicken with truffle Shu Mai.

Tavern on the Green: Confit of Berkshire pork shoulder, pickled julienne vegetables, Sambai aioli.

Dizzy’s Club: Smoked baby back ribs with Carolina BBQ sauce, with jalapeno, peach slaw.

Salumeria Rosi: Pork meatballs, fresh tomato sauce, Parmigiano Reggiano.

Café Frida: Mole negro cooked for 8 hours, chicken breast, fried sweet plantains, white onions and sesame seeds.

The Leopard: Parmigiana of zucchini with smoked mozzarella, fresh tomato sauce and basil.

Café Luxembourg: Tuna tartare, avocado mousse, rice cakes.

Tessa: Chilled octopus salad, celery, pickled red onions, preserved lemon, smoked paprika oil, micro arugula.

The Smith: Toasted ricotta gnocchi with truffle cream.

The Mermaid Inn: Chilled ruby red shrimp ceviche, charred tomato, avocado, cilantro and old bay popcorn.

Crave Fishbar: Salmon sashimi tostada, avocado puree, Calabrian chili oil, grapefruit, crisp shallot, micro cilantro.

Calle Ocho: Ceviche Demorro, black grouper, pickled vegatables, calle ocho pique.

Alice’s Teacup: Mini pumpkin scones.

Treat House: Sea salt caramels, chocolate peanut butter, cookies and cream.

 

 

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Fest 2019

 

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Brew it. Taste it. Sip it. Pork it. That’s the motto of the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival which is a pork-centric, American multi-city tour that began in New York City on January 26th.

The event was held at The Tunnel, a former railroad freight terminal turned nightclub now an event space located at 220 12th avenue at West 28th Street in Manhattan. The festival promised “60+ beer, 40+ Bourbon and lots of BBQ”, though it was an all-American whiskey list that included whiskey other than Bourbon. Beer and hard cider were also served to help wash down all the bbq. Music was spun by DJ Flava.

There were two sessions that day and I attended the “whole hog picking” session in the evening.

 

Seminars:

Bulleit hosted by Adam Geissler

Bourbon, Rye, Barrel Strength, 10yr Bourbon.

Makers Mark hosted by Alexa Amendognine

Bourbon, Makers 46, Private Select.

 

Others I sampled:

Koval (Chicago) Millet, Rye, Bourbon, Four Grain.

Virginia Distillery (Virginia) Port Cask Highland Single Malt Whisky, Chardonnay Cask Single Malt Whisky.

Deadwood (South Carolina) Rye, Straight Bourbon.

Buffalo Trace Distillery (Kentucky) Straight Bourbon, Eagle Rare Straight Bourbon.  

Balcones (Texas) Single Malt, 100°, Brimstone, Baby Blue.

Elijah Craig (Kentucky) Small Batch Bourbon.

Four Roses (Kentucky) Straight Bourbon, Small Batch, Single Barrel.

George Dickel (Tennessee) Rye, Sour Mash.