This past weekend, I had a gastronomically wonderful time at the Montclair Food & Wine Festival. The 2nd annual food and wine festival was spearheaded by Melody Kettle, Foodie Blogger, President & Treasurer and raised money for St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital as well as a culinary scholarship fund. It was a memorable “foodie” weekend that celebrated food and wine in a relaxed, intimate, fun and delicious atmosphere. The festival kicked off on May 31, 2014 with three days of events: a “Grand Tasting” on Saturday night at the art museum, a “Seminar Series” on Sunday and a “Gala Dinner” at the Manor on Monday night. I was fortunate enough to attend both the grand tasting and the gala dinner. Heaven.
On Saturday evening, I enjoyed a dizzying array of fresh and gourmet dishes like artisan cheeses, small plates, soups, desserts (and so much more) that were paired with fabulous wines coordinated by Gary’s Wine & Marketplace. I sipped and slurped and gulped and chewed my way around the beautiful food displays enjoying the mouth-watering food, wine, beer, vodka and tequila in a way that was quintessentially Montclair – simply delicious. Among my favorites were Montclair’s Brick Lane Curry House’s Indian style street food and the asparagus soup at 100 Steps, Cranford, NJ. In addition, Brooklyn Brewery was there with a delicious beer called Brooklyn Blast. Mmmmmm! What a wonderful night!
On Monday evening, I tasted and savored the evening away at the gala dinner. Seated in a beautiful ballroom at The Manor, West Orange, NJ, I was served mouth-watering dishes that were perfectly paired with scrumptious wine. Sharon Sevrens of Amanti Vino did a superb job not only of pairing delicious wine with fabulous food but also explaining the pairing as the dishes were served. From the Tomato Gazpacho Soup by Chef Ariane Duarte to the Scallop Crudio by Chef Ryan DePersio to the perfectly Poached Duck Egg by Chef Francesco Palmieri, my taste buds danced and I was on Cloud nine. Next up on the menu was the perfectly seasoned Red Snapper by Chef Michael Carrino with ginger potatoes and pickled red onion. Then onto the succulent Sweet Spiced Beef Short Rib with Braised Greens by Chef Floyd Cardoz! To finish the evening, we were treated to a delicious sweet plate of Dark Chocolate Pretzels, Napoleon Ice Cream, Milk Chocolate Mousse Fruity Crisp and a White Chocolate Cream Torte by Chef Mitchel Altholz with Chef Duane Hendershot. Dessert was also served with a cocktail from Busted Barrel Rum called Rum and Blue. Delicious.
I can’t wait to see what 2015 will bring! Two thumbs up to Mrs. Kettle and the Montclair Food & Wine Festival for a successful and truly unforgettable series of fun and fantastic “Foodie” events!