Event: Edible Escape 2015 foodie expo Thurs. Nov. 5, 2015
Spirikal’s bottom line: Edible Escape foodie event never disappoint its guests with good food and spirits, all done with passion, knowledge and heart. In spite of the rain, turnout was huge, and the space this year in Brooklyn offered New Yorkers a change of scenery in trendy Dumbo. With so much to sample and people to meet, what was there not to like?
Review: I almost arrived late because of work, but I managed to get there just before 7pm after nearly getting lost. The bouncers at the Brooklyn location this year scruplously checked IDs and controlled the crowd lining up to get in. Unfortuately, my date canceled last minute, but I donated my extra ticket to some lucky geezer.
This years event featured a lot more variety. My first stop was the wine. I had had a shit day and needed the odd glass or two of red vino. The expo’s wine merchants had a lot Chardonnay, which I don’t particulary fancy, but the dry, red wine from Wölffer Estate on offer was a welcome treat. After refueling, it was time for some food.
I stopped to get a pulled beef slider with homemade pickles. Gosh that was good. While so many places serve dry, salty pulled pork or beef sandwiches, these were a revelation. Moisty, well-seasoned and incredible tender, they just melted in my mouth.
Hotel Vermont served what I think was the dish of the day: panfried gnocchi with sautéed wild mushrooms and a kale beurre blanc, which brought a welcomed acidity to the creamy gnocchi. They also had a maple and sage flavored cocktail really clever because it wasn’t sweet. I, for one, hate really sweet drinks, but here, you just got that hint of sage and slight lingering maple flavor. With a nice clean finish, the cocktail was a perfect palette cleanser. Yummy.
I next visited Moroccan wine merchants Ouled Thaleb, who offered visitors red Sauvignon, Chardonnay or a rosé. Ichose the red, which was beautifully made and almost tasted like a deep Syrah. If I were making a classic French dish like œufs en meurette, I think this dry wine, with its full body and spicy endnotes, would do nicely. After chatting with the wine purveyors, I went to try some soul food at the Brooklyn Commune stand.
There were other stalls with Venezualan arepas – which is an open faced pita with avocado purée and some with chicken. Really good.
There were two Indian stalls, Mukti’s Kitchen showcasing spices and the other traditional Indian sweets from Bittersweet NYC. I’m a big fan of besan ladhoos, but although these looked pretty, the texture was wrong. Normally, a besan ladhoo should have a sandy-like texture, almost like a sablée biscuit, which disolves in your mouth; however, these were strangely chewy and had some very hard silver-pearl decorative candy on top. Well, so much for not cracking my fillings. I decided to check out the other stuff.
Besides wine and beer and the maple-sage cocktails, I sampled an interesting buckwheat-like whisky from Sullivan County in the Catskills – which techniquely can’t be called whisky because of its ingredients. I have to say that it’s not to everyone’s liking. It had a sort pancake taste and a deeply warming sensation. It’s the kind of distilled liquor that makes you think. I had to confess it grew on me the more I sipped it.
In the need of another palette cleanser, I checked Segura Viudas the next-door Cava distributor, who had rosé and brut sparkling wine, I tried the rosé, but for me, it was far too sweet.
I hunted some more food after four drinks, and I came across Red Star serving an experimental Southeast Asian duck crostini with a Sirracha-esque sauce. The crostini was delicious, but the grilled duck was too dry. I thought the sauced would have added some needed moisture, but it almosted overpowered everything. It was a good idea, but its execution let it down a bit.
I ended my eating adventure with chocolate truffles from the Le Soleil d’Or, Cayman Islands. Although I didn’t win the two-ticket trip give-away, I had only happy memories of the sights, tastes and aromas that lingered with me on my way home.