festivals and events
raves and reviews
the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
More than 40 chefs, hundreds of hungry carnivores, thousands of pounds of meat. Last Saturday’s Meatopia on Randall’s Island was an ambitious culinary spectacular where whisky and beer flowed freely and meat reigned supreme. Event founder Josh Ozersky seriously upped the ante from last year’s meat-filled fest and successfully executed one of the most organized and enjoyable food events of the year—in spite of some wet weather.
Some of the highlights and best bites from Meatopia 2012:
The talented lineup of chefs and pit masters showcased at this year’s “City of Meat” (including Marc Forgione, Alex Guarnaschelli, Franklin Becker, April Bloomfield, Naomi Pomeroy and many others) focused on utilizing whole animals, and dished up a dizzying array of meats prepared in every way, shape and form. A few of the most mouthwatering dishes included Pat LaFrieda‘s whole marinated Creekstone steer, Justin Smillie‘s succulent spit-roasted short ribs, Portuguese paella with soft egg and jalapeños from Anthony Goncalves, tender grilled rib steak with bone marrow butter and pickled grilled onions from Marc Forgione, and the undeniable crowd favorite, Aaron Franklin’s BBQ beef brisket—which blew away any preconceived notions of what brisket should taste like.
While the event was in full swing, dark grey clouds rolled in and the sky opened up on the carnivorous crowd. Luckily, the Amstel Light and Diageo tents provided shelter from the rain, along with music, entertainment and unlimited tasty beverages. While weathering the storm in the George Dickel Tennessee Whisky tent, I had a blast watching Discovery Channel’s Jimmy DiResta handcraft an entire wooden bar from scratch and downed delicious whisky cocktails like the “Possum Eatin’ Peach Pits”—my favorite drink of the night, and the perfect complement to the savory all-meat menu.
Congrats to another successful Meatopia! Looking forward to even more meaty madness in 2013. And to tempt your taste buds in the meantime, dive into the peachy punch cocktail recipe below:
Possum Eatin’ Peach Pits Recipe
1 ounce George Dickel Tennessee Whisky
1/4 ounce Stirrings Peach Liqueur
1/2 ounce Olorosso Sherry
1 teaspoon Amaro CioCiaro
1/2 ounce black tea
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
Slices peaches and strawberries for garnish
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker; Shake well. Pour contents into a rocks glass. Garnish with sliced peaches and strawberries. Cheers!
From down on Duane Street to up on Columbus Ave, the West Side of Manhattan was buzzing with some of the year’s best culinary celebrations this past weekend. On Saturday, with my sister and friends in tow (and blissful disregard for the impending swimsuit season), I ate my way through Taste of Tribeca before heading uptown to the Best of the West.
Taste of Tribeca is a day filled with food, fun and festivities to support programs for local elementary schools, P.S. 150 and P.S. 234. Besides offering some of the best dishes from more than 80 area establishments, this unique fundraiser demonstrates the camaraderie among the neighborhood’s many restaurants and families.
Unlike other tasting events, Taste of Tribeca offers you a tasting card, which is good for six plates of food—the hardest part is deciding which booths to hit. Having already tried ten of the day’s offerings at the press preview lunch a few weeks ago, made it even harder to choose! With such an incredible lineup, you need a strategic approach. My advice is to split plates with friends, so you can sample a variety and then go back for more of the ones you really loved. Though at this year’s event, there wasn’t much not to love.
Popular savory bites included Terroir’s meatball sandwich, Marc Forgione’s bison prime rib with ramp chimichurri (which drew the longest line by far), Max‘s cheesy meat lasagna and Locanda Verde’s lamb meatballs with pecorino. Sweet relief came from a variety of confections, such as creamy gelato from The Odeon, chewy s’mores cookies from Landmarc and mini cupcakes from Billy’s Bakery. And polishing off the last ooey, gooey bite of Duane Park Patisserie‘s sinfully decadent molten chocolate cake convinced me that Rapture had come a few hours early. I thought I had died and gone to Heaven.
Thalassa‘s olive oil cured Diver Scallop over Caviar Mousse and Zucchini Fritters, wrapped in Kataifi
Marc Forgione served his tender High Plains Bison Prime Rib with Smoked Salt and Ramp Chimichurri
Chunky Maine Lobster Roll with grapefruit-splashed greens from Church Lounge
Centrico turned up the heat with their Tacos de Carnitas and Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Pork Rillette Sliders with House-Made Pickles and Tomato Jam from Plein Sud
Got milk? Children and adults alike loved Landmarc‘s chewy and chunky S’mores Cookies