We used to drive to the Fancy Food Show in New York and park in this handy 24 hour monitored garage. It was a short walk to the Javits Center and also had easy access to the New Jersey Turnpike. We have, however, discovered the train which stops in Alexandria (not the Acela, that was disappointing) and within 4 hours or so you are at Penn Station in New York. We stay at the Cosmopolitan Hotel which is right on the Subway 2 and 3 Line from Penn Station. The NASFT now provides a well designed app so that you can search through all the exhibitors, set up your own tour, make a few notes, even create a profile of what you are interested in and it will give you a list of possible exhibitors that might interest you. It was a marvelous time saver and made our 24 hours doable. We checked our suitcases at Javits and hit the booths and pavilions. But more about that later
We really struggled to get a cab at the close of the show and used Uber instead. Good idea, especially since we had a lovely air conditioned
drive. I learned very quickly to answer the mysterious call on my cell phone (it is the driver)through the Gay Pride Parade in a clean car with a driver who did not do heart stopping racing maneuvers. (FYI–if you register your American Express card with Uber, you can use points and take advantage of promotional discounts with Uber) So our ride–which lasted an hour between the parade and rush hour–didn’t cost any out of pocket cash. Plus we saw some fascinating peeps! Some of the cars are wifi connected and have nice magazines too.
Since we carried Marcus Samuelsson’s book Yes, Chef , (it is a great read) his restaurant, Red Rooster was our destination (also on the 2 or 3 line) Definitely make a reservation as the joint is hoppin’! It’s got great food, lovely and courteous staff, funky decor and atmosphere, a live band makes it noisier but in a neat way.
So between Larissa’s Cucumber and Yogurt Soup and my Asian style crab salad plus a couple of their great cocktails, we were happy campers. And the second courses did not disappoint: from Helga’s Meatballs with fluffy mashed potatoes and lingonberries and pickled cukes to my roast chicken with kale & quinoa (roast chicken was in the “Best Ever” Division). There was no other solution but to order more cocktails as they were so slurpily good with our food. We could only split his donuts (like the Tuscan bomboloni) Light and poofy, not a touch of grease, and filled with a pastry cream lightly infused with sweet potato puree. We could (and did) dip them into a whipped cream cheese (not Philadelphia style). A good espresso to cut the fat is always a nice idea. A final note–the staff is great about getting you a cab and do so joyfully.
So now a few notes about the show: Larissa has had honey on her mind. And we are going to bring in our winners shortly (tastings on Saturdays in August) which will include a knockout Thyme Honey from Greece, Cherry Blossom Honey from France, and a Lupenella Honey from Italy. We tripped over some new Fallot mustards and Martin Pouret vinegars which will be on our shelves this fall.
The other thing that was in Larissa’s brain was to find some top notch Greek olive oils. She has found a gold mine from the same distributor as the thyme honey. It has been a five year search, and we think you will be really pleased when we have a tasting this fall. Also by just turning the corner at a HUGE booth, where the staff was not particularly helpful, Larissa found our long lost organic ketchup, plum tomatoes from a small group in Spain. We could not believe it…sometimes you just have to walk further. And our final note is that we are bringing in some scrumptilious Italian figs poached in rum syrup, blond panforte and some ricciarelli
But you will have to wait until December for those.