Review of 2011 Kosher Food & Wine Experience
As many of you know, last night was the 2011 Kosher Food & Wine Experience put on by Royal Wine. This was my first year attending and it was a great time. Everyone there got to try some great and some not-so-great wine and food.
Lets start with the bad stuff:
French Wine - Interestingly enough this stuff missed the mark. The wine smelled like the back-end of a horse, or what some wine snobs would call "barnyardy." Not entirely sure why people would drink this, but then again those french like their cheeses smelling like dirty feet.
Carlos & Gabbys - I really don't get the appeal of this place. I have ordered from the restaurant twice, and now after trying their food last night confirmed that my first impression was correct. I know there are not many kosher mexican options in the NY area, but this place is just bad fast food. Definitley does not serve the "authentic mexican" food they claim to.
The kiddush food (e.g., kishke, potato kugel, etc.) - Not sure why this stuff was there. Definitley cut into the foodie vibe that I think they are trying to set. Just a disclaimer, I am a food snob so if you like this stuff, more power to you.
And now the good stuff:
Elgazi - Malbec and Gran Malbec
Ramon Cardova - Rioja and Crianza (always crowd pleasers)
Segal's - Unfiltered Cab 2007
TerradiSeta - Chianti
Gemstone Caterers: The pulled brisket sliders were rather good, but the suprise was actually the thai melon balls. Great way to top off the night.
Got Cholent - As a notorious and vocal cholent hater I may never live this down, but I found the Moroccan Dafina to be fantastic. The mix of apricots and spices like cinamon, saffron and cardamom gave it a great sweet and complex flavor. Nothing like the cholent you find at shul kidushes.
My Most Favorite - I dont think their food is really that good, but their french macaroons were great.
NoiDue - Amazing espresso
Pardes - The meatballs were pretty good, but the mini meyer lemon meringue pies were really great.
Pomegranate - Italian liver with wine sauce had to be one of the best things to eat last night.
Prime KO - Crispy rice with Spicy Tuna was great, although definitley needed to be kicked up on the spice.
Shalom Bombay - Even though they were recently closed by the health department, the Chicken Tika Masala was actually quite nice.
Solo - There seemed to be an odor of wet dog wafting through the room last night and I think I narrowed it down to the Solo porcini mushroom veloute, although once you got close this stuff was actually quite amazing.
Tevere - Artichokes were great, a bit oily though.
Overall it was a great night and I am already looking forward to next year's event. The only tip I can give you is to make sure to get there as early as you can. Once the herds get there the civility of the event goes out the window.
Did anyone else attend the event? What did you think?
I enjoyed the Terra di Seta chianti as much as you did, and the Ramon Cardova Rioja is one of the best wines in its price range. But I found the Elgazi wines to be extremely harsh and completely unbalanced. I'm a big fan of everything Capcanes and I liked their new, lighter wine, which I think was called Le Flor something-or-other, although it's not as delicious as their other two offerings. I strongly disliked the Alexander wines and I enjoyed the vanilla liquer whose name now escapes me. Otherwise there was very little new this year on the wine side.
As for food, I'm surprised nobody's mentioned Subsational, which had outstanding, smoky chili that was made with brisket instead of ground beef. I went back twice. I also enjoyed Jack's Gourmet Sausage. But hands down Shalom Bombay was the best food of the night.
As for Carlos & Gabby's, the stuff they had there was fine but was neither their best menu items nor their most authentic Mexican. I'm a huge fan of their burritos (especially the chicken), and their avocado ranch dressing is so good on just about anything that I always make sure to grab an extra little container or two every time I go.
the lamb meatballs were my favorite! i obviously didn't love everything i ate, but was very impressed by the food in general, as well as the event as a whole.
i didn't taste the cholent at pomegranate, but i thought the lamb riblet was good! i did taste the cholent at got cholent - i believe it was the texas style, and i wasn't crazy about it.
Gemstone Caterers were fantastic those sliders by far, best of the night. I agree with Tevere's artichoke and it was too much of a mouthful and way too oily,
I didn't really understand why Pomegranate was there - and to be honest the lamb riblet I got took about an hour for me to chew and their chulent was not good - especially considering the fantastic ones offered by "Got Cholent". I did not get to sample Prime Grill's stuff because they were out when I got there. The best wine was from a french company - I don't have the name with me. Most disappointed in Elgazy - it honestly tasted like dirty laundry.