If you follow any food blogger in the Connecticut area, chances are your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media feeds recently were bombarded with tantalizing tails from the Greenwich Wine + Food Festival presented by Serendipity Magazine.
To sum up: Even better than last year. We came. We saw. We ate. We drank. We had a blast!
We arrived just in time to catch the panel discussion being led by our good friends Danny and Kristien of OmNomCT.
They chatted with Chef Eric Ehrlichson of Bistro V, Chef Jess Bengston of The Granola Bar, and Renato Donzelli of Basso Cafe about inspiration and the local restaurant scene.
Then a group of us food bloggers hit the Culinary Tent. We roamed haphazardly from vendor to vendor sampling drinks and small bites.
What better way to begin our day than with a gin and tonic from Miller’s gin.
I loved seeing so many restaurants that source ingredients from local farms and artisans. All Souped Up made a delicious butternut squash apple soup.
I could mention the tender pork, but seriously, I really loved the housemade potato chip holding it all together from Harvest Wine Bar.
Barcelona Wine Bar knows how to draw attention. They were carving up delectable slices of Iberico ham.
The butternut squash combination on little crostini from Simply Delicious Catering was another seasonal, locally sourced favorite.
Black Hog Brewing out of Oxford, CT was there with SWAG and Granola Brown on tap.
We loved the beef jerky from Fleischer’s Craft Butchery.
Full Moonshine offered up a plethora of mixed moonshine drinks.
In addition to shots of Turmeric Tonic and Green Juice, Green and Tonic had a delicious chick pea and lentil salad.
Salty and incredibly creamy, this gouda from Greenwich Cheese Company was amazing.
I was so happy to see Danbury restaurant, Mezon, among the mix of vendors. The oxtail over creamy yucca was out of sight. Lots of people must have thought so too because they sold out early.
Rye House Port Chester was shaking up some nice whiskey cocktails.
After we housed the main culinary tent, a few of us decided to actually pause for a moment. However, Danny and Renato headed over to another tent for a beer (or two).
The highlight was a special cask of Blue Point Pale Ale that was Cascade dry-hopped.
After our short respite from stuffing our gullets, we all went over to the Empire Casino tent for the Top Bartender Showdown, moderated by none other than Gary Dell’Abate.
Winner of the Top Bartender Showdown was Sasha Jarufe from Harvest Wine Bar in Greenwich won the Judges choice. Dimitrios Zahariadis of Highland Brass Co. in Waterbury, CT won the People’s Choice. (He got our vote and not just because of his killer beard, well, maybe we are a bit biased.)
Next up on the agenda was the Burgers + Beer tent, where the Burger Battle was going down complete with celebrity judges – Adam Richman, Alex Guarnaschelli, Geoffrey Zakarian, and Rocco DiSpirito.
Plan B was the winner of the Burger Battle for the Judges Choice – the third year in a row! Westchester Burger won the People’s Choice.
And, finally, our last food and drink stop of the day was the Tacos + Tequilla tent.
Our favorite was from Boxcar Cantina. And when one of the sous chefs asked if we wanted to try the super secret experimental hot sauce we all said sure. Surprise ! That stuff was crazy hot! Needless to say lots of funny faces during and after that tasting experiment.
We lingered a bit longer to check out the headlining band, Little Big Town, but our resolve was fading and we decided to call it a night. We headed home satiated, smiling, and full of fun memories.
Thank you so much to all the folks at Serendipity Magazine and Shelley from Splash PR for inviting us to the Saturday Culinary Village. We already can’t wait for 2016!