Wine Spectator Awards Banquet 2016

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During the week of October 20-22, Wine Spectator magazine held its annual NY Wine Experience. On Saturday the finale of the weeks events, the Awards Banquet was held. The banquet recognized the 2016 Grand Award winners which are restaurants with great wine lists and presented its Distinguish Service Award which this year went to Mr. Mel Dick, the president of Southern Glazers Wines & Spirits.

They also gave the award for the Wine of the Year (2015) which in this case is the 2012 Peter Michael Winery “Au Paradis”, a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Cabernet Franc from Oakville, California.

All of the events were held at the Marriott Marquis hotel in the heart of Times Square, Manhattan. Entertainment this year as was last year was provided by Heuy Lewis and the News with guest star Sting stopping by and singing a couple of songs with the band. The boys were rocking and played a long set until midnight this time around.


Champagne Reception

NV Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee

NV Henriot Brut Souverain

NV Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve

NV Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut

NV Piper-Heidsieck Brut

NV Louis Roederer Brut Premier

NV Tattinger Brut La Francaise


Dinner With Wines

Hen Of The Woods Mushroom Risotto, Porcini Duxelle, Shaved Black Truffle and Crispy Blue Foot Mushrooms

2014 Antinori Umbria White “Cervano della Sala”. Mostly Chardonnay, medium yellow, toast and oak on the nose, big tropical fruit with oak notes on the finish. Old world Chard with New World profile.


Horseradish Crusted Filet Mignon, Sweet Potato Puree, Roasted Corn Flan, Broccoli Rabe And  Roasted Tomato With A Bordalaise Reduction

2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary. Inky black, crushed red berry and dark chocolate on the big nose, full, crushed red fruit.


Chocolate Gianuja Torte, Black Cherry Ice Cream

1985 Graham Vintage Port. Thick and chewy with tobacco and toffee notes on the balanced finish.


Upper West Side Party

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The 9th annual New Taste of The Upper West Side was held this past weekend, June 3-4. It was a two-day food festival featuring over 40 local restaurants serving some of their signature dishes along with wines, beer, cocktails with some acrobatics thrown in.

I attended the Best of the West event on Saturday evening which took place under the Grand Tent at the O’Shea Complex school yard on Columbus Avenue between 76-77th streets on the upper west side of Manhattan. And a good thing the tent was up because soon after the start time, the torrential rains came which made for a slightly more damp of a good time.

There was music provided by Joe Battaglia and his 16 piece New York Big Band and a DJ and it was hosted by Sara Gore of NBC’s New York Live and Open House.

Some of the food I sampled:

Bar Boulud: Veal & Foie Gras Pâté

Boulud Sud: Ora King Salmon “Mi-Cuit”

Crave Fishbar: Faroe Island Salmon Crudo

Jeans-Georges: Maine Lobster Summer Roll

Red Farm: Beef Dumpling & Chanterelle Mushroom

Cesca Trattoria & Enoteca: Tuscan Summer Farro Salad

Caffè Storico: Insalata di Polpo

Lincoln Center Kitchen: Chilled Pea Soup with Fresh Crabmeat & Crispy Bacon

The Mermaid Inn: Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Jonah Crab Salad

Rosa Mexicano: Guacamole En Molcajet

The Smith: Toasted Ricotta Gnocchi with Truffle Cream

The Leopard at des Artistes: Parmigiana of Zucchini

Firehouse: Boneless Buffalo Chicken Wings BBQ

Andanada: Paella Mariscos

Tavern on the Green: Smoked Salmon Mousse and Tequila Cured Scottish Salmon, Pickled Cucumber Salad, Dill



Taste The East End

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On Sunday this past Memorial Day weekend I attended the 2nd annual Taste The East End. It’s an event showcasing over 40 East End local restaurants, breweries and vineyards serving their signature dishes with beer, cider, wine and spirits to accompany them.

The event was held at the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center located on 431 Main Street in Riverhead which sits at the beginning of Long Island wine country. That’s about an hour and a half drive as the crow flies East of Manhattan.

A portion of the event was held in the aquarium which makes for an out of the ordinary experience, walking around with a glass of wine in hand with various sea creatures swimming around in the background.

The incoming rain held back and I was able to make it in to the event at the start time. This was before the crowds poured in and was able to sample some of the food and wine (the pork belly dish from Jedediah Hawks Inn was outstanding) before the lines became impossibly long.