May 13, 2011

Brooklyn Uncorked!

My friend Holly emailed me this week with some great news--she had an extra ticket to Brooklyn Uncorked--would I like to come? YES!

This evening was sponsored by Edible Manhattan (they do bi-monthly magazines in many places, including Brooklyn and Martha's Vineyard!) featuring recipes, interviews, and features on interesting places and people around town.

We got there as the doors opened, hoping to hit the best spots before they ran out of everything. Kudos to HP for her strategy--it worked quite well! We zoomed around the first floor and took it all in, had a sip or two of wine, a cube or 3 of cheese, and then headed upstairs for the main floor.

On my way to the upstairs, I spotted Baiting Hollow Farms Vineyard (you may remember it from this post!) I introduced myself to Paula, who was gracious, friendly, and also pouring some of their delicious wines.

I had a sip or two of their crisp, just-sweet-enough Riesling and let Paula & Company get back to work. I can't wait to visit them again this summer when ABF comes back for a break from London!

There were so many great vendors, wonderful wines, and delicious dishes. This event was so fantastic--I can't wait until 2012!

The first tidbit to greet us upstairs was from Vandaag restaurant, located in the East Village. Hello, oak-smoked duck breast on a beer-bread crisp with watercress and a ranch dressing! This was so sinfully delectable that we came back again--when I raved to the chef, he winked and put TWO more on my plate. Sweet!

The next food stop was Red Hook Lobster Pound--I was all atwitter with excitement, darn near drooling as we waited in the growing line (again, kudos to Holly P for getting us there so early!). I watched them buttering and grilling the hot dog buns, arranging the lightly-dressed seafood in a towering pile, and whisking them our way. We went around the corner and sat down to snarf them--that's when I realized these weren't LOBSTER rolls, but shrimp rolls. Womp womp.

Yeah, yeah, I get it--much cheaper to give away pounds of shrimp vs. lobster, but still, what a letdown! The shrimp was fine, good dressing and nice crunchy bits on top, and a good match for the rest of my Baiting Hollow Farms Vineyard Riesling, but not the star of the show just yet.

On to our next round--we tried some reds from Duckwalk/Pindar (Pindar is where ABF & I had our second date), then went to the next booth for some homemade mortadella on a cracker, dressed with wholegrain mustard and a cornichon. I love everything on this dish. ZOMG. I intended to go back for more, but got distracted by.....

Spicy lamb burgers! Holy savory showstopper. The crew from Rose Water was slamming to get these dishes out. The smell was outrageous, and the pickled veggies had me raring to eat. The sous chef was quite friendly, and while we waited for the assembly, he placed a single pickled chickpea on my plate and told me to try it. The chickpea was zingy and delicious--couldn't wait for the burger!

He was clearly passionate about his work and loved to share it--I love that in a fellow food fan.

While Holly P hovered for our food, I stepped to the right and got the red blend from Shinn Estate wines. I told the man at the booth that we wanted something to go with the lamb burger, and he suggested their red blend. It was a lovely match for the expertly-seasoned, pause-worthy burger, which we tried not to immediately inhale. The mint pesto was a perfect, piquant touch.

We stopped for a sweet treat--strawberry shortcake tucked into the corner. The berries were succulent--deep, red berry flavor with sweet cream. The biscuit was a bit dry, but it had good flavor.

I don't know who made this manchego cheese ball, but I would like to thank him or her. Profusely. Yummina yummina!

These bites of brown butter cakes with goat cheese 'frosting' stopped me in my tracks...and sent me back for round 2. These were at the table hosted by The Cleaver Co & The Green Table. 12 more of these, please!

One of the best bites of the night: Buttermilk biscuit with braised Flying Pigs Farm pork belly and Blooming Hill Farm pickled ramps (all local ingredients from the Ici Kitchen- "ici" means "here" in French). WOW. I wish I'd had another one of this bite, too. Succulennnnnnnnnnnt!

I heard someone describe Buttermilk Channel's (SO high on my Restaurant Wishlist right now!) zucchini & basil soup as their favorite dish of the night, but I think I'm just not a cold soup fan.

It would take me all day to list all the wonderful winemakers and restaurants featured here--I finally got to sample Macari, Shinn Estates, Palmer, Croteaux, and Raphael, as well as ones I've already tried and loved: Bedell, Baiting Hollow Farms, Channing Daughters, Wolffer, Duck Walk, and of course, Clovis Point! Thanks ever so much to Holly P for inviting me to be her +1--what a fantastic night.

Coming up in the last full week of June: Eat Drink Local week--I'll have to sample more deliciousness then!


holly said...

Great fun, great food and great company! Just one note, it's actually Red Hook Lobster Pound, not Lukes :) It was still shrimp, but credit where credit is due :) xo

LKPheartsfood said...

Ack! You are right! Fixing now :)

Dee said...

holy cow! this looks like such a wonderful event!

yummyness all around!

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