Notes From the Grand Tasting

We hit the final Grand Tasting of the New York City Wine & Food Festival yesterday and sampled our way to a full belly and a head warm with wine. Here’s some of what we learned, and a slideshow for visual stimulation.

Gordon Finn, Alto’s chef de cuisine, filled in for Mike White at Convivio’s table. “None of the dishes from Alto could really work in this environment,” said Finn, who served Convivio’s chicken pâté on toast with caramelized onions. The bite “transports well and can be made for the masses.”

For Olives NY, Sebastian Jaramillo made a Stewart’s root-beer float with butternut-squash ice cream, ginger ice cream, and crushed Amaretti cookies. So is he part of the fancy-float trend? “Bullshit,” said the chef. “We did this for Food & Wine five months ago.”

Akhtar Nawab of Elettaria is fine with Frank Bruni deeming his restaurant female: “If that means it’s filled with beautiful women every night, fine with me.”

Boqueria attracts the ladies, too, much to Chef Seamus Mullen’s delight: “I love to walk through the restaurant and see someone in a dress and in heels eating offal and house-made sausage.”

Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli of Butter on her love for fresh vegetables: “I’m like a fashionista at a Gucci sale when it comes to the Greenmarket.”

Notes From the Grand Tasting