Food and Wine Festival Manhattan ’11

1 Oct

If you didn’t know… the Food and Wine Festival is in full effect this weekend in Manhattan. I was lucky or unlucky enough to go to one of the events tonight. For a little under $80 I bought a ticket to Corcoran’s Uncorked Meatpacking food and wine tasting from 6-9pm. It was a self directed walking tour of retail stores, restaurants, and food trucks.

I consider myself to be quite the foodie and if I’m paying for something I expect to be treated decently and be served memorable food…especially when I’m at THE Food and Wine Festival.

The Food Vendors I visited and what they served were:

  • *5 Ninth Flatbread with Oxtail Ragu*
  • GO Burger BLT Classic Dry-Aged Slider
  • Luke’s Lobster Shrimp Roll
  • *Macelleria Polenta Crostini with Bolognese Ragu*
  • Gorilla Cheese NYC The Phil, New York state sharp cheddar, bacon, and tomato on French loaf bread
  • STK Grilled Shrimp Skewer with pineapple
  • Sweet Street Desserts Blondie, Brownie, Key lime pie, assorted cupcakes etc.
  • The Diner Goat Cheese and Chicken Quesadilla
  • Le Pain Quotidien Local Farmer’s Cheese, Radish and Chive Tartine and Watermelon Cooler
  • ASIADOG The Sidney, all beef dog with mango relish and peanuts
  • Asellina Basil Panna cotta with Tomato Confettura & Candied Pine Nuts
  • Gaslight Italian Meatballs, blend of pork, veal and beef in marinara sauce

The only two memorable Food vendors have an “*” next to their name. This is pretty sad considering you would expect more from the Food and Wine Festival. 5 Ninth has an amazing garden in the back and had a pretty cool vibe. There was a long line for the tasting, but it went quickly. The servers were kind and courteous despite the crowds of people. The Oxtail dish was surprisingly great! The cheese cream sauce melted in your mouth. If it hadn’t been for some fatty pieces of meat in the dish this would have been a 10, but overall pretty good. Great for dinner, but I have been to this place after 2am on a weekend and it’s filled with Meatpacking door rejects. If you do visit this place make sure to get your meal and go.

Macelleria had to have been my favorite tasting of the night. The polenta dish they served was warm and creamy.  The ragu on top complemented the piece very nicely and wasn’t too heavy. They even shaped the polenta into a unique presentation. Very visually pleasing!

The few stinkers of the night have to be mentioned as well… Luke’s Lobster had to have been the biggest disappointment. Grant it they were serving from a food truck and had very charming servers, but that can’t make up for them serving cold plain shrimp sammiches …not seasoned, no sauce on a piece of warmed “hot dog bun” looking bread. I wouldn’t have served this dish to my dog! What makes matters worse is that HELLO…this is a lobster restaurant and you are serving cold shrimp with nothing on it. Where’s the lobster? C’mon!?!

Second stinker of the night was Sweet Street Desserts. They were our first tasting of the night. Maybe expectations were a bit high…not sure, but customer service or politeness makes a difference. A big difference in my opinion. The food could be outstanding, but if service is horrid, I won’t be a repeat buyer.  We stood in a very short line at the food truck and were able to pick from a list of desserts. I chose a brownie which was very rich and tasty. I asked 1 question to the girl standing outside of the truck. “Do you guys have a blog or twitter that reports your location?” Pretty much in short I was asking how I could find the food truck again. The girl with attitude told me to get out of the way or line which was non existent and ask the PR person that was no where to be found. She could have just said I don’t know the answer to your questions, but I can find someone for you that can answer them instead of shooshing me out of the way. RUDE! Not 10 minutes later we were standing at the BACK of the very same truck and a very rude photographer asked me and my 5 friends to get out of the way to take a picture of the truck. We had been standing there for all of 5 minutes. WTF? Ask politely or better yet, YOU wait! Aside from the rudeness, the actual desserts were quite tasty. At the end of the night we found ourselves back at this truck and they were giving away everything they had, so we were able to try almost all of their desserts. Unfortunately it doesn’t make up for rudeness, attitude, and poor customer relations. These things matter, that’s all I have to say.

Retail Vendors Visited:

  • Arhaus Furniture Nice pieces, suprised to find some really unique and classy jewelry pieces for under $100. Great white wine and also had sparkling and still bottled water for guests. Tasteful! On the flip side, the staff was rude to one of my friends for sitting on their couch in front of the store…ridiculous!
  • Scoop NYC Womens Great styles, sales noted everywhere, but still way overpriced. They served an amazing Yellow Tail Moscato wine.
  • AllSaints Memorable for running out of wine at 8pm. An hour before the end of the event when they were on the event map for serving wine. Cheap!

As we made a final dash to one last vendor, only to realize they had closed and left early from the rain, we were told by a bouncer at Villa Pacri that the night’s official party was being extended till 9:30. By 9:10 we were back at Villa Pacri trying to get in for a few minutes when the same bouncer told us that the doors were closed and that they were going to extend the party, but had changed their minds and were now closing down. WTF!?! Get your shit straight and don’t send mixed messages!

All in all, the night was decent because of good company, but was rained out a little earlier then the official close of the event. I just expected more, better food and service considering the Food Network is all about food as an experience. Unfortunately, only 2 out of 20 food vendors made me feel like I was eating more than just food. I guess this means I won’t be attending anymore Food and Wine Festival events or at least not the “Uncorked” Corcoran ones.

Take it from me this event is a PASS!

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