Appetizing Events: NYC’s Wine and Food Festival, On Top of a Dream, Part II

Champagne and Caviar over Fried Oyster on the Half Shell
By Janelle Carter of CorkChronicles.com and Sanura Weathers of MyLifeRunsOnFood.com

This is the second part of a series of three reviews of the 2011 Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival. Please visit part one and three for more.

Imagine stepping into a lobby elevator where you were simply looking to wind down the day with a few colleagues, and stepping out onto the penthouse floor with magnificent views of the Manhattan skyline, Godiva chocolate and Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne to greet you. Sound like a dream? Well, it kinda was… Cocktails & Caviar at Dream Downtown Hotel. This event was hosted by Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos of Extra Virgin, a couple who are as beautiful on the outside as they are inside.

Chefs preparing hors d'oeuvres.
On our third night of Food Network’s NYC Wine & Food Festival, we were privileged to attend the glamorous and oh so delicious soiree–Cocktails & Caviar. Our access to this highbrow affair was serendipitous, and we savored every minute, every bite, and every sip of it. We were presented with sturgeon caviar spooned over fried oysters on the half shell and served caviar in many different ways that it felt like a little piece of heaven—pure culinary bliss. Nicholas Feuillatte Champagne was flowing all night from every corner of the room to compliment the caviar encrusted hors d’oeuvres.

Caviar hors d'oeuvres

Our favorite hors d’oeuvre was watermelon slices topped with smoked salmon, salmon roe and sturgeon caviar (Unfortunately, we don’t recall the chef who created it to give credit). We enjoyed a number of other tasty culinary creations. Chef Michael Lomonaco with Chef Michael Ammirati of Porter House New York collaborated together to create Buckwheat Blini and Caviar. Chef Eduard Frauneder and Chef Wolfgang Ban of Edi & The Wolf made Crispy Garlic Crostini with dill marinated cucumbers and trout roe. Chef Nikki Cascone of Red Hook Hospitality made Wild Salmon and Bass “gefilte fish” with horseradish, lime and radish salad with salmon roe. Chef Alain Allegretti of La Petite Maison presented Red Shrimp Tartare Espelette Piment, lemongrass oil, purple potato chips and black lump caviar. Chef Patrick Connolly made Pork Terrine, pickled vegetables, foie gras rouille and coriander. Along with the caviar and fried oysters, servers also presented deviled eggs with caviar and crispy Pommes Frites.

Cucumber Crisper Cocktail

The cocktails would not be upstaged by the caviar. As if free flowing Champagne wasn’t enough, the bar served theme cocktails made with Effen vodka: The Classic Martini, EFFENtini, Black Cherry Kiss, Toast of the Town, Cucumber Crisper, and Black Pomegranate Martini. The Cucumber Crisper made with Effen Cucumber vodka, Perrier, peeled cucumber, mint leaves, simple syrup and fresh Lime juice served as our digestif for the evening. We took our drinks for a stroll on the terrace to take in a better view of the picturesque skyline as we toasted to a fabulous evening of Cocktails & Caviar.

Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos of Extra Virgin with Janelle Carter of CorkChronicles.com

If you were at any of New York City’s Wine and Food Festival events, please share your experience in the comment section below. If you weren’t there, you have to make it a point to be there next year. We definitely will!

New York City Skyline at night.


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