Thursday, October 23, 2014

New York State of Mind

The past few weeks have really flown by and before I even knew it, it was time to hop on another plane to New York for the Extended Stay America trip to the New York Wine and Food Festival
We flew in early Friday morning and as soon as we dropped our bags off at the hotel we headed straight to the Festival site. I couldn't believe what a great job Extended Stay had done recreating a hotel suite in the middle of a warehouse! It looked great and was so fun to see the behind the scenes set up of the booth. Friday and Sunday were the best days at the Festival crowd wise. Saturday was really busy and very crowded. I highly recommend doing one of the less crowded days if you ever get the chance to go it was much more enjoyable!
And look what they were going to hand out to everyone that walked by:
 After looking at the Extended Stay display we made our way through the walls and walls and walls of food, wine and liquor samples
 There was a healthy mix of food companies serving samples of their products
Liquor companies serving delicious cocktails
and plenty of stops that had samples and cute little activities to participate in to win prizes at their booths
The offerings were delicious and I was so glad we had a few days at the festival so we could pace ourselves 
Part of my prize package was tickets to the Grand Tasting for the weekend and passes to the exclusive GEMs room:
The Southern Wine & Spirits of New York Trade Tasting is an exclusive invitation-only experience for SWS’ top clients and partners. Network with industry peers while sampling dishes from top New York City chefs and learning about new trends and products in the food and beverage industry. For the first time ever, NYCWFF is proud to present the Wine GEMS Collection Room presented by Nespresso and the Boutique Spirits Collection Room, where guests can taste rare, exclusive, or limited vintage wines and the finest craft, artisanal spirits from Southern Wine & Spirits’ and Lauber Imports’ portfolios.
 This was my kinda place!
They had a huge Nespresso display and walked you through a chocolate, wine and espresso tasting
 it was delicious and informative and I wish my espresso was always served like this!
 This duck Baklava was Sooooo good, I had to stop myself from getting another
 and I really loved Cupcake wine's walk up booth! Super cute!
 Barilla was serving numerous pasta dishes and I loved their pasta filled line dividers
 After the festival, we headed back to the hotel and changed to go to the Skylark
 My sweet husband made a reservation for us here and it was perfect! Gorgeous views of the city and we were able to just relax and take it all in
 I tried their Sommelier Cocktail which was vodka, malbec, st. germain, crème de cassis
plum bitters, ginger ale & champagne grapes
It was very yummy and reminded me of a lighter, less sweet sangria
 We ordered the deviled eggs with cilantro, lime, mild chilies,
tamarind, crispy shallots- totally delicious! I've never met a deviled egg I didn't like and we tried the herbed fries with truffle aioli I practically scarfed down by myself.
 I also tried the CoCo- a stylized fruit & botanical infusion, peach, violet, chartreuse, st germain, nolet’s gin, sparkling with prosecco, floating strawberry pearls.
On the menu the "floating strawberry pearls" were the selling point for me, but this one was just ok. I've had way better bubbly cocktails before. Louis got the Fort Knox- elijah craig bourbon, reposado mezcal, yellow chartreuse, honey syrup, grilled lemon ice block and it was SO good! I had never tried chartreuse before and I really enjoyed the grilled lemon that came through once the ice started to melt.
 After leaving the skylark we took a walk through Times Square
 The fall weather was so perfect coming from muggy gross Texas heat and it was the perfect first night in NYC!

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