Review: The Glenlivet 14 Year Old Drop Shop Happy Hour

Rain or shine, whisky brings people together!

Private Event (c) Alyssa Tognetti from WhereNYC

I was fortunate to attend The Glenlivet 14 Year Old Drop Shop Happy Hour on September for the launch event for The Glenlivet 14-year-old expression. On display at the event were clothing from The Glenlivet’s NYFW partnership with designer Prabal Grung. It was truly a purple affair!

Cocktail Time (c) Alyssa Tognetti from WhereNYC

Each station included different boozy treats from The Glenlivet. Cocktails served with the new expression were The Purple Rain, a beautifully layered scotch drink with wine that is a riff on Scotch Sour, a “New” Fashioned, complete with a branded ice cube with ice. Guests were able to try the new spirit neat or on the rocks.

New Fashioned (c) Alyssa Tognetti from WhereNYC

Another area included ice cream and root beer floats made the Glenlivet. As I ate the ice cream, I noticed that suddenly it was purple. It was a beautiful sight.

The menu (c) Alyssa Tognetti from WhereNYC

The main draw was The Drop Shop truck. Inside, the guests could find some fun The Glenviet swag from Prabal Grung and pick the designs to print. While waiting for their shirts, partygoers could try an array of fruity candies.

The night was truly magical despite all the early September rain, which actually made it fun especially when it got later in the night when it dried up, partying on the streets of Soho.

The Purple Rain Cocktail (c) Alyssa Tognetti from WhereNYC

Review: Eater’s Young Guns Ode to Princess Pamela

Imagine going to a secret dinner party in a NYC apartment with plenty of soul food and entertainment to top off the intimate affair.

Princess Pamela Display (c) Alyssa Tognetti from WhereNYC

Believe it or not, this was a regular occurrence in the 60’s in NYC’s alphabet city, where Princess Pamela took in some of the city’s shunned and fed them. Her dinner parties are legendary and recently has had a resurgence in the last few years due to Rizzoli’s release of her cookbook. To further honor her incredible deeds (and legendary parties), Eater dedicated a night of their young guns series to her.

I was invited to one of three events a part of the Young Guns series. Since 2012, Eater has honored up-and-coming talent in American hospitality through the Eater Young Guns franchise – the annual search for the most inspiring young chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers, managers, and hospitality professionals in the country. The Young Guns are under the age of 30 or have to have been in the field for less than five years.

Doors to the party (c) Alyssa Tognetti from WhereNYC

In late July, Eater hosted its first-ever massive consumer event – the Eater Young Guns Summit – bringing the EYG franchise to life, with Grey Goose as the premier sponsor, with impactful panels around the future of dining and restaurant culture, with a focus on inclusivity and diversity, for 800+ attendees. Speakers of note included chef Marcus Samuelsson, Amy Sedaris, and NYT bestselling cookbook author Alison Roman. There was also a bustling marketplace featuring the latest and greatest from the food world, from snacks to kitchenware and more. Eater designed three pop-up dinners as a part of the EYG Dinner Series, in partnership with Young Guns, who also host these dinners.

Yummy food from the evening (c) Alyssa Tognetti from WhereNYC

Eater’s Ode to Princess Pamela was surrounded by a lot of secrecy. Attendees did not know where the event was being held until the day before. Then when the email arrived, it was like getting the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Fig 19 was the place to be to Thursday.

Amanda Kludt, the Editor-in-Chief of Eater (c) Eater

As I entered, there was a bare room filled with food and a set up with photos of Princess Pamela.

The food included oyster, collared greens, crab cakes and cheese grits. Food I haven’t had in so long but hit the spot. Each of the items was curated by Eater’s Young Guns from Princess Pamela’s cookbook.

Harlem Highline (c) Alyssa Tognetti from WhereNYC

Grey Goose was a sponsor to the event, offering two great cocktails, the Black Berry and the Harlem highlife. Each had a different vibe and highlighted different aspects of the spirit.

Francesca Chaney of Sol Sips took the mic and explained why she chose to do an event based on Princess Pamela, a figure who’s only become popular in recent years. She also informed us that some of the music from the band tonight actually came from Princess Pamela’s cookbook. We also heard from DeVonn Frances from Yardy and Amanda Kludt, the Editor-in-Chief of Eate

DeVonn Frances from Yardy (c) Alyssa Tognetti from WhereNYC

These are the first of the Young Guns series. Keep your eyes out for more of their fabulous events.

The Black Berry (c) Alyssa Tognetti from WhereNYC

Review: Brew Lab Tea x Scarpetta Botanical Cocktail Tasting

I’ve always passed Scarpetta in Nomad on my way to work wondering about the food and how the cocktails tasted. Then I was recently invited to Brew Lab Tea and Scarpetta’s Botanical Cocktail tasting to discover the wonderful world of tea cocktails.

The Violetta © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

At the event, I was greeted with  La Dolce Vita cocktail, a blend of the prosecco, vermouth and  Spring Trellis Syrup. It was a great starter to get my night going. While sipping on this tasty treat, I met Brew Lab Tea’s Founder & Tea Sommelier, Jennie Ripps who educated me about her brand and their partnership with The James Hotel Nomad’s restaurants Scarpetta and The Seville. Each of the cocktails served from Scarpetta’s Head Mixologist, Brad Carnation, a variety of spirits, teas, and botanicals.

The Violetta ingredients © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

Each cocktail was more fascinating than the next. The No-groni is a unique blend of teas to make a virgin drink of this classic cocktail. The Violetta cocktail is an eye stopper of a cocktail due to its purple color from the pea flower tea syrup used. My ultimate favorite was the NY Whiskey Sour, a classic take on the New York Sour but with a malbec chai ice cube that transformed the taste of the drink after each sip.

NY Whiskey Sour © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

At the end of the night, I was able to leave by making a blend of the teas used for these cocktails. This parting gift will ensure that I make some of these sippable cocktails from the comfort of my own home.

Review: Arran Whisky Burn Nights Event

Whiskey is water from the gods! So good, so tasty. I’m always trying to broaden my horizons with whiskey since I’ve acquired a taste for it over the past two years.  A new one came past my desk recently, Arran Whisky. I was fortunate enough to receive an invite to their Burns Night Event.

Bagpiper © Alyssa Tognetti for WHERENYC

Upon my arrival at Scottish gastro-pub Highlands NYC, I knew this would be fun. From the tartan lampshades to the buck head trophies on the walls.  I sat a long table with some of the most sought-after NYC spirit writers and bloggers with an array of beautiful brown whiskys. We were greeted with Rabbie Burns cocktail and appetizers of blood sausages, Eventually, our Scottish brand ambassador David Ferguson explained the whiskeys to us. One by one, we sipped their single malt, 10 year old malt, 21 year old malt, and machrie moor. Each whisky had their own distinct flavor from being spicy to peety. After the tasting was over, we had a traditional bagpiper play in front of us. It was so amazing to have him play familiar Scottish tunes in such an intimate space.

A welcomed  apéritif  © Alyssa Tognetti for WHERENYC

Then the owner of the Highlands NYC, took out the much-anticipated haggis. Yes, haggis, a traditional burn night’s dish. Everyone received a small piece of haggis with mashed potatoes and turnip. I actually, really enjoyed it, despite the bad rap on this side of the Atlantic.

Haggis © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

We enjoyed our food and our drams. If you are looking for fine scotch, Arran Whiskey is a definite must on your shopping list.

Review: Caravan Studio at the Gregory Hotel

On December 13th, I entered the Gregory Hotel searching for the Caravan Studio. After the kind concierge showed me the tucked away entrance, I knew this would be an experience of a lifetime.  Up the windy stairs, I found a secret salon known as Caravan Style Studios, a place that VIP’s and celebrities know fondly about. Cutely decorated, I found myself looking at La Hive beautiful collection of couture and eying their wall of air plants (my fave).

The Coffee Table Books (c) Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

As I sat in the chair to get my hair did, I spoke to the stylist about cosmetics I reviewed and some of my favorite products, and not to mention how people mess up a good ole fashioned cocktail. As we spoke, she curled my hair so wildly that it reminded me of my senior prom, but now at this age, I had more appreciation for. I wore my hair wildly and fierce. After I got out of the chair, I tried one of LaHive’s beautiful white dresses that made the look.

My gorgeous hair (c) Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

Caravan Studio is open select time of the year and for VIP’s. The products they carry are the Gregory Hotel..  If you have a chance to get your hair and makeup done there, it’s truly magical. They partner with Sheree Cosmetics, Will Lane, LAHIVE and KISS YOUR CRAVINGS GOODBYE to totally give your do the complete look. Plus, having a can of rosé during your appointment never hurts…

If you ever have a chance to get your hair or makeup done by Caravan Studio, I highly recommend. You’ll remember it from years to come.

Review: The Johnnie Walker Pop-Up Shop Powered by Giftagram

On December 12th, Johnnie Walker hosted an exclusive look at their pop-up store for their VIP’s. This holiday pop-up powered by personal gift concierge app Giftagram allows last-minute shoppers at Brookfield Place’s stunning Winter Garden atrium the ability to engrave Johnnie Walker bottles and the scotch whisky tastings during the holiday season.

VIP’s used Giftagram, a personal gift concierge app to order a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label right from the engraving studio. The bottle was engraved on the scene, so guests had the ability to walk away with a personalized bottle in-hand or have it shipped to someone special just in time for the holidays. Guests are able to engage their own bottles from now until December 24th.

Cheers © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

The Westchester Saturday High Intensity Internal Training

Cover image © Alyssa Tognetti

I love a good ole fashion workout challenge. I needed to find something different to do since my personal trainer wasn’t available over the week.  Conveniently, I was invited to check out one of Susan Sweats High Intensity Interval Training at the Westchester Mall that weekend and it surely was an intense workout.

Lindsay from Fly Wheel showing us her moves! © Alyssa Tognetti

I got to the Connect Lounge at The Westchester Mall to find mats laid out for our workout with towels. As soon as I saw this, I knew I was going to break a sweat! I brought my Detoxwater to help give me a boost during the workout.

Our teacher Lindsay from Fly Wheel Scarsdale, got us pumped with great tunes. We did plenty of squats, lunges, and planks. The class managed to do 45 minutes of heart-racing activities.

Afterwards, we received a voucher for free parking and discount for The Little Beet for a job well done. It was totally worth it!

This series will continue in the new year. I look forward to the next one!!

Review: Chocolate & AMP; Cheese Party

Cover image © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

If there are three delicacies in the world, in my book it would be chocolate, wine, and of course, cheese. Warburg Realty hosted a chocolate launch party with Milène Jardine Chocolatier in the lovely Manhattan to celebrate their new flavors.

Chocolate © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

Milène Jardine Chocolatier offers artisanal, international chocolate truffles inspired by my personal mantra: Live by Love. I discovered why guests were raving about their chocolatey goodness before I even entered the room. These high-quality chocolates were exquisite yet complex that kept making me run back for more.

How to pair your chocolate © Alyssa Tognetti at WhereNYC

How to pair your chocolate © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

On the table in the main room, there where several flights of chocolate, cheese, and wine that were carefully curated to enhance each flavor. Each station had a slate with directions on how to pair each chocolate with cheese and wine provided by Barterhouse Wines. Each pairing was more delicious than the next

Cheese Grotto © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

The cheeses were kept fresh with the Cheese Grotto. They were phenomenal to look at and made the cheese taste great.

This event was everything my heart (and stomach) ever desires.

REVIEW: “Prescribing Hygge” event at BoConcept

Cover image: © Alyssa for WhereNYC

Hygge Cocktail (c) Alyssa Tognetti for WHERENYC

I recently was invited to BoConcept, an amazing furniture store that with bold designs and stylish furniture, to an event simply called Prescribing Hygge.  In partnership with VisitDenmark and Scandinavian Airlines System, the night was filled with Danish delights.  Hygge has been super trendy lately, so I figure this was the best opportunity to learn what it is.

The Little Book of Hygge © Alyssa Tognetti for WHERENYC

What is Hygge? Yes, it’s a funny looking word but it is also inexplicably linked with Danish and Scandinavian culture. With no direct translation to other languages, at its core, hygge is simply about warmth, closeness and spending quality time with the people we love. The Little Book of Hygge Author and CEO of the Happiness Research Institute Meik Wiking spoke about the current cultural trend of hygge I learn about how spending time with other and talking about how to hygge makes everyone friendlier.

Culinary Personality and Scandinavian Chef Fredrik Berselius recreating traditional Danish dishes, which includes great rice pudding. On top of that, there were danishes that were to die for.

One of my favorites were cocktails from the new book Spirit of the North by Selma Slabiak. She made three cocktails from the book. My personal favorite was the white glogg with almonds on top. Truly, delicious.

I loved all the Danish and Scandinavian touches. My personal favorite was the How to Hygge Viewmasters. I encourage everyone to hygge more and hopefully, I can visit Denmark soon.

Review: The 2018 Big Chocolate Show

Cover image: Chocolat Moderne’s creamy display © Kei Hayashi for WhereNYC Chocolate Show

Is there anyone who doesn’t love chocolate? Believe it or not, there’s a whole week in NYC that is dedicated to the rich tasty dessert, chocolate. The main event of the whole week is known as The Big Chocolate Show! This 2-day tasting event had main stage demos and classes taking place throughout the day. Now its third consecutive year, the Big Chocolate Show is an amazing showcase of sinful, creamy indulgence.

Chocolate On Maui © Kei Hayashi for WhereNYC

More than 200 chocolatiers, artisans, chefs, authors, purveyors and experts from around the world offering chocolate tastings and ticketed master tasting classes throughout this mouthwatering and festive weekend. 

Hopping from table to table, I must have jumped a couple pant sizes, trying different treats and stuffing myself with each bite. Some of my favorite goods were Cookie DOH Cones from The Dessertist, which had my favorite cookie dough in an ice cream cone.

Hudson Valley Marshmallow Co. had different flavors of marshmallows including salted caramel, which was to die for. Atlantic Confectionery Company had beautiful and delicate chocolate hearts. I tried chocolates with various ingredients such as ginger, lavender and quinoa.

Alyssa Tognetti (c) for WhereNYC

The Dessertist’s Cones – Alyssa Tognetti © for WhereNYC

And of course, who could forget Chocolate On Maui, the Hawaiian-based chocolatier who blends exotic flavors such as passion fruits and orange bringing a little acidity and Macadamia nuts for added texture.

A true delight. 

Arcay Chocolate from Venezuela © Kei Hayashi for WhereNYC

Other memorable twists included: Euphorium Brooklyn – a local artisanal chocolate maker who blends ingredients from Japan. The surprise was a Japanese plum or ume-flavored chocolate, inspired by the story of historical Japanese scholar/ poet/ politician around 9th century, Sugawara no Michizane. It was his poem about plum tree flavor as a melancholic memory that inspired the creation.

There were creative designs as well including the quirky Roni Sue’s Chocolates, whose beautiful chocolate bars decorated with dried fruits and swirled with white chocolate over dark chocolate to create swirls, reminiscent of a Jackson Pollock painting on a brick of chocolate.

Beautiful displays at the Big Chocolate Show © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

For fans of boozy chocolate delights, the Big Chocolate Show did not disappoint.

This year there is an entire 21+ section with chocolate spirits and cocktails- YUM, including the Saturday night event with the Cocktail Guru.  The Cocktail Guru & The Big Chocolate Show’s Decadent Evening of Chocolate & Cocktails is a curated two-hour walk-around tasting. Guests will visit stations stocked with an array of chocolate-friendly liquor brands that are paired with a selection of bespoke desserts and dishes made by NYC’s premier chocolatiers and chefs.

Punch from the Cocktail Guru Alyssa Tognetti © for WhereNYC

At the bar, chocolate purists and cocktail lovers can taste signature lines of chocolates while watching some of NYC’s finest mixologists shake, stir and serve custom libations designed to bring out the best in each variety. This event includes unlimited chocolate, pastry, spirit, and cocktail samples. I sampled a few of Jonathan Pogash’s cocktails. They were delish, of course.

Besides the oh so delicious chocolate, there were other vendors like rum brands, a fragrance house that made chocolate scented perfume and massages!  It was quite a day of pampering!

If you ever have the opportunity to go to The Big Chocolate Show, I highly recommend.  You surely won’t be hungry after. For more information about next year’s show visit: bigchocolateshow.com

Kei Hayashi contributed to this article.