festivals and events
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the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
Thursday night, the 5th annual New York City Wine and Food Festival kicked off with two of the weekend’s most anticipated events. And though I would’ve loved to witness food royalty roast Anthony Bourdain, the Italian in me couldn’t bear the thought of missing one of my favorites—Meatball Madness hosted by the lovely Giada De Laurentiis. “This is the best Meatball Madness ever,” Giada exclaimed about the ‘always sold out’ event, which is in its fourth consecutive year.
The large-scale tasting showcased dozens of the city’s best chefs, who rolled out their version of the perfect bite. Hundreds of meatball maniacs packed into SoHo’s 82 Mercer to sample 36 different types of saucy spheres—in styles ranging from traditional Italian polpette with tomato gravy to pretzel-stuffed Austrian balls and Spanish oxtail albondigas.
Judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Geoffrey Zakarian and Anne Burrell, along with Pat LaFrieda and Mark Pastore of sponsor La Frieda Meats, crowned Gabe Thompson of the soon-to-open L’Apicio the night’s big winner for his Amatriciana version. The carnivorous crowd also casted their votes and Donatella Arpaia snagged the coveted People’s Choice Award for her mother’s classic recipe of melt-in-your-mouth tomato braised veal meatballs.
Aperol Spritz cocktails, a selection of vino and sparkling San Pellegrino refreshed partygoers, while a display of cake pops from pastry hotshot Johnny Iuzzini provided some sweet relief. Meatball Madness started off the NYCWFF in delicious fashion and everyone seemed to have a ball—while devouring dozens!
Nobody can throw down quite like Guy Fieri can. After four mind-blowing days of food and drink-filled events, the culinary rockstar helped worn-out partygoers power through one more crazy night of debauchery at his closing bash, Party in Guy’s Garage.
During the wild 80’s themed blowout at the Highline Stages, guests were greeted at the door with neon shades, tumblers for booze and were bombarded by sights and sounds of the totally awesome era. There was big hair everywhere, throwback movie clips projected on the walls, vintage video games, the decade’s best hits blasting from The Ronald Reagans tribute band, and even an Axl Rose lookalike. This party was as hot as Jake Ryan on prom night.
Savory eats included roast beef sliders from This Little Piggy, creamy artichoke pizza slices from Artichoke Basille, and a spread of smoky BBQ grub from the Triple-D host himself, along with sweet treats from Led Zeppole, chunky chocolate cookies from Levain Bakery, and plenty of sugary cocktails to wash it all down with from party sponsor Pucker Flavored Vodka.
Best part of the entire night? When Festival founder, Lee Schrager, announced that this year’s NYC Wine & Food Festival raised $1.5 million for charity! Talk about a rad way to end Sunday Funday.
Congrats to everyone on another amazingly successful NYCWFF!