Everyone’s favorite food fest returns as the first major county event post-pandemic, with new events and even more great food and drink.
Westchester Magazine has teamed up with the Westchester County Office of Economic Development to mark the return of our annual Wine & Food Festival. As Westchester County’s first large-scale event since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, the fest showcases local restaurants, food trucks, drinking and dining brands, and tons more.
“Westchester has come back stronger than ever from the pandemic, so this is our salute to all chefs and restaurants who persevered and found ways to stay open during the pandemic,” says Sam Wender, publisher of Westchester Magazine. “We look forward to celebrating all our favorite dining establishments this fall.”
This year’s week-long festival will feature more than 100 local restaurants, plus an expertly curated selection of sumptuous wines from around the world across five days beautiful days.
Tuesday, September 21
Italian Wine Experience With Kevin Zraly
Experience a wine tour of Italy up on the 42nd floor of Opus Hotel at Kanopi Restaurant and Event Space. In addition to heavy hors d’oeuvres provided by Chef/Owner Anthony Goncalves and samples of fine wines highlighting different regions of Italy, renowned author and wine educator Kevin Zraly will hold condensed wine seminars during the event. Stay after the event for a special dinner offered by Chef Anthony.
Location: Kanopi, White Plains
Time: 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Individual Ticket Price: $95
Individual Ticket Price with Dinner (starting at 8pm): $150
Wednesday, September 22
Party on the Pier at Playland
Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Festival’s newest event moves to the beach. Guests will enjoy a fun-filled evening on the Playland boardwalk overlooking the beautiful Long Island Sound while enjoying samples of summer favorites from local restaurants and food trucks plus beer, wine, cocktails, and music. The highlight of the night will be our 3rd Annual Bartender Shake-Off, featuring Westchester’s top bartenders competing for Best Bartender honors.
Location: Playland Pier, Rye
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Individual Ticket Price: $50
Party Pack of 10 Tickets: $450
Thursday, September 23
Burger & Beer Blast
The annual Burger & Beer Blast just keeps getting bigger, better, and more delectable than ever. Westchester’s ultimate party, the Burger & Beer Blast pits 30 local restaurants in a competition to serve up the signature burger that will reign supreme. Guests get to sample, vote, and proclaim the winner. With craft beer, food trucks, wine and spirits, plus music, the Burger & Beer Blast is this summer’s hottest ticket.
Location: Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla
Time: 6 p.m.-10 p.m.
Individual Ticket Price: $75
Party Pack of 10 Tickets: $700
Friday, September 24
Wine Collector’s Dinner (Open That Bottle!)
Westchester Magazine proudly presents the first-ever Wine Collectors’ Dinner, an exclusive wine dinner to end all wine dinners. This is the chance for all Wine Connoisseurs to tap into their collections and share their most valued vintages with other wine lovers. If you were holding back a bottle waiting for the right group to share it with, now is the time to pop that cork! This luxe showcase of unique vintages, which includes a champagne reception and live charity wine auction, will be an experience for every guest to taste and share the rare vintages that other guests bring from their cellars. Guests will also enjoy a memorable dinner specially selected and prepared by Westchester’s top chef, Peter X. Kelly.
Location: X2O Xaviar’s on the Hudson, Yonkers
Time: 6:30 p.m. – Champagne Reception; 7 p.m. – Dinner & Bottle Share
Individual Ticket Price: $185 per person (includes tax & gratuity) plus minimum of one bottle per person OR one magnum per couple
Saturday, September 25
Grand Tasting Village
The signature event of the Wine & Food Festival, the Grand Tasting Village features live chef demos, tastings from 40+ local restaurants and more than 200 wines and spirits. Chef demonstrations and a variety of food trucks create a gastronomic delight for food and wine lovers. For those looking for something a little more personal, there is the Party Line Connoisseurs Tent. This private area features an exclusive lounge with the event’s highest quality wines along with dishes from the area’s top restaurants. Wine expert, author, and educator Kevin Zraly will lead wine seminars throughout the day focusing on the vintages being served in the Connoisseurs Tent.
Location: Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla
Time: 12 p.m.-4 p.m.
Individual Ticket Price: $85
Party Pack of 10 Tickets: $800
Party Line Connoisseur Ticket: $125 – includes admission to the Grand Tasting Village, the exclusive Connoisseur Tent featuring rare, high-end wine and food, and reserved seating at the chef demos (*Limited tickets available*)
“We are thrilled to welcome back Westchester Magazine’s Wine and Food Festival this year, and what better place to kick off the celebration than at Party on the Pier at Rye Playland,” says Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “Our County’s eateries struggled through the pandemic, and we want this week-long festival to symbolize the return of the finest foods, spirits, and award-winning establishments that Westchester County has to offer.”
“This year’s Wine & Food Festival is a very positive sign the County is bouncing back,” adds Bridget Gibbons, Director of the Westchester County Office of Economic Development. “We welcome our neighbors and new visitors to see the beauty of Playland, the County’s historic gem, while sampling new flavors, including from our food trucks, an industry on the rise of re-emerging from this pandemic, like so many other local businesses.”
While attendees may feel as though this is truly a return to pre-pandemic celebrations, health is not being taken lightly at the resurgent festival; all attendees must be fully vaccinated and show either the New York Excelsior Pass or a valid ID and vaccination card to enter, and all events are 21+ as usual. For out-of-town attendees, several local hotels are additionally offering stay packages which include festival passes and free shuttles to and from events, including the Sonesta White Plains, Sleepy Hollow Hotel & Conference, Westchester Marriott, Cambria Suites, Courtyard & Residence Inn by Marriott, Hampton Inn & Suites Yonkers-Westchester, and more.
Westchester Magazine‘s Wine & Food Festival is one of the largest food festivals in the lower Hudson Valley and typically draws upwards of 7,000 guests each year. For tickets and more details, click here.