Since hitting the scene nine years ago, the New York City Wine and Food Festival has grown into a multi-day, citywide, food lover’s paradise. With dozens of events, there’s something to be found for everyone. I had the pleasure of attending the Midnight In Paris Dessert Tasting event, hosted by Dominique Ansel, of Cronut fame. A few local bakeries have their respectable versions of the croissant-donut hybrid, including Enrico’s in Hartsdale and Stew Leonard’s in Yonkers.
In the few short years since the introduction of the Cronut, Ansel has rocketed to the top ranks of New York-based pastry chefs. For this event, he handpicked a selection of Manhattan bakers and pastry chefs he considers to be among the best, to present a selection of desserts for tasting at the beautiful Prince George Ballroom in the Flatiron District.
The event was set up as a sort of all dessert cocktail party, complete with flowing Champagne and DJ. Each bakery/restaurant had a station along the perimeter of the room, where they displayed their work in lavish form. Near the front was Sweets By Chloe, with cake and ice cream push pops, a classy take on a childhood favorite. Next to them was Cookshop, with Pont Des Arts-inspired mini tarts. The Dutch presented an apple pie parfait, while Epicerie Bouloude, offered a sprawling array of Paris-themed mini cakes, attracting much attention throughout the night. Altamarea Group, whose portfolio of high-end eateries includes Bedford Post Inn, served an interesting and accurately yeasty-tasting brioche ice cream, while Craveable created a peanut/bacon opera cake. My personal favorites were the visually (and palate) stunning work by Thomas Raquel of Le Bernardin, who offered a molecular piece, consisting of slow-roasted apple, cinnamon cremeux, and frozen spiced cider; the simple yet elegant work of Miro Uskokovic, of Gramercy Tavern, with a classic chocolate chip cookie and vanilla milk, and of course Dominique Ansel’s adorable chocolate escargot, consisting of milk chocolate, beurre noisette, orange, and salted caramel. It was almost like a better version of a Ferrer Rocher truffle.
As a dessert lover, I had a terrific time, and can’t wait to attend whatever events are offered next year. The New York City Wine and Food Festival is a yearly event, taking place in mid October. For those wishing to dine at one of the various eateries featured at this event, they are all an easy train ride away from Westchester.
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