I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to attend KFWE 2018 with my husband. We tasted some great wine and delicious food. Just for fun, I am going to walk you through our night in order of our drinks (and the dishes we had in between them). Having the KFWE app on my phone, made navigating the tables very easy, and allowed us to make a game plan before entering the room. If you plan to attend KFWE in the future, I would highly recommend downloading the app.
Our first stop of the night was to the Heritage Kosher table. We tasted the first ever kosher American foie grois at Kosherfest back in November, and were excited to taste the other new duck products that they came out with. We had the charcuterie sampler and the duck ramen bowl. My favorite was the smoked duck magret (breast). I loved the mild smokiness complimented by the texture of the duck.
Next stop was to the Mixology table for drink number one, Hubs and I each had a mango margarita. Lucky for us, this table was located right next to the Urban Pop table. I knew that the crowds would soon be gathering around so I decided to have a pop then and there just to make sure I got one in. I had the salted caramel dipped in chocolate, toasted coconut and homemade butterfinger candy crunch. Every time I enjoy an urban pop, it still takes me a minute to believe that they are pareve! Right next to the Urban Pop table was the most incredible looking doughnuts from Sesame (more on those later).
Next we went to Judd’s Memphis Kitchen, I heard all about his famous $100 burger and was excited to hear that he turned them into meatballs for the night. He also served up fried chicken with maple bacon aioli; I would put that stuff on anything, drink it with a straw by the gallon, smear it on a boot, you get where I’m going with this……. It was AMAZING!!!!! Right around the corner, was Grow and Behold who were sampling their Denver and skirt steaks, as well as their jerky. If you’ve never had their meats, then you don’t know you are missing, the quality is not comparable to other meat. Moving our way around the room, next we tasted the beef and truffle gnocchi from Diamond Kosher Caterers; it was one of my favorite bites on the night.
The crowd started to grow, so we thought it would be a good time to move onto the VIP area a short walk away at The Current. The first thing that hit us when we walked in was the stunning view of the Hudson River through the glass walls. The lighting and decor were beautifully arranged by Bon and Oak Events; it all really had that VIP feel. Here we had drinks number two through four (Hubs probably had a few more than that). The bar at The Current was next level. On one side there was top shelf scotch and bourbon, and on the other were a variety of fancy French and Israeli wines. My first drink was a vodka lychee cocktail, followed by a couple of glasses of the very delicious and expensive Chateau De Rayne Vigneau. It is a very rich, sweet white wine with flavors of honey and fruit. If it isn’t clear yet, I really like sweet drinks 🙂 .
I sat down for a few while my husband talked it up with the very classy gentlemen who were pouring the liquor. He drank Tomintoul 21 and 25, Boondocks 8 year and American Oak, and lastly had the Abuelo Centuria rum. (If you are like me, all those words mean nothing 🙂 . If you are like all the people at the bar, then you know that he tasted some really good quality stuff)! Our favorite bites from Reserve Cut (who supplied the food for the VIP room) were the pulled beef tacos, mushroom soup shooters and bacon wrapped dates. There were also VIP treats in the room from The Nuttery, who had an adorable little trolley with candied nuts, Popinsanity popcorn and delectable halva. We were just about ready to head back to the rest of KFWE, but, not before having a glass of Binyamina’s The Cave (Hameara), a smooth, deeply bodied red wine with hints of black raspberry dark chocolate and oak.
At this point, we weren’t at all hungry, so we took a break from the food to watch Naomi Nachman at the onsite taping of the Kosher.com show. It was a thrill to see her in action. Since the Kosher.com booth was set up near the dessert tables, I gave in to the pressure of those heavenly smelling doughnuts from Sesame. The doughnuts were amazing; sweet, light and fluffy with the most delicious toppings ever. Sesame was being very gracious and had bakery bags for people to take doughnuts home (for their kids or a midnight snack, whichever came first). I had the lotus there and we packed up a couple for later.
By this point, I really just wanted to walk around to see the trends and the tables we might have missed and of course, drink a little more wine. Ari White was there with his hardworking crew and amazing sausages. Silverleaf Caterers had one of the best mashed potatoes I have ever eaten. We also tried Kosher Poke, they offered salmon and tuna poke plates, topped with edamame, chiles, avocado, and crunchies. The poke really packed a punch of flavor and texture (and sinus clearing abilities from the chilies).
Our last wines of the night were, you guessed it, sweet and fruity! The fruit wines from Morad are always refreshing and delicious. My favorites are their lychee and passion fruit flavors. Lastly, we went onto the Tzafona table where we thoroughly enjoyed the Vidal Ice Wine. Fun fact; the ice wine is used by Heritage Kosher to make their torchon of foie grois, how cool!
The last stop of the night was at Graze, for their house made beef jerky. It wasn’t your typical jerky that was rubbery and difficult to chew. The jerky was surprisingly soft, with crazy good flavor. All flavors were awesome, but our favorites were Shock Top Belgian Ale, Craft Beer and Bacon, Tequila Lime and Smoked Pastrami Strip- honestly I’m sad that I don’t live closer to have it more often! Hey Graze, do you deliver to Monsey?
Our drive back home was filled with talk of all the incredible food and wine we ate, and all the fun people we got to schmooze with. If you kept track as you were reading, the total number of drinks that I had was 8, my 9th and final was a soothing cup of tea accompanied by one of those glorious custard filled doughnuts from Sesame, a perfect ending to a really enjoyable night!