I have something of a culinary crush on the James Beard Foundation (JBF). Everything about this venerable institution shines like a beacon in the world of food, from their stately brownstone, to the elegant dining rooms, to the tantalizing dishes they set down before you.
JBF have partnered with Stonehenge, a company that presides over many of New York’s luxury rental buildings, to marvelous effect, and this summer has begun with a series of tasting parties that combine exquisite small dishes with of-the-moment cocktails and breathtaking views.
Tickets to June’s Sunset Social for foodies under 40 at The Olivia, a Stonehenge building with remarkable views, were coveted only slightly less than those to Graydon Carter’s annual Oscar party.
The Olivia’s 36th floor rooftop was swarmed by a bevy of Stonehenge residents and JBF members eager for fine finger foods, delicious drinks and tunes from the DJ. Participating restaurants included The Americano, Casa Nonna,Gastro Bar, La Newyorkina, Rouge Tomate, Wild Edibles and Wong. Here’s a taste of what it was like to be there:
Gavin Citron, Wild Edibles ; Black Crescent Oysters
- Pairing oysters with Poems Cava Brut Rosada NV created a lovely contrast of brine against crispness, and the accompanying cocktail sauce added a tart, citrus bite.
Kenny Tufo; Casa Nonna
- Veal & Porcini Mushroom meatballs - Each large platter of the rich, moist meatballs were cleared from the platter within minutes.
John Walsh; Gastro Bar
- Cappuccino of Scallops, Cauliflower and Squid Ashes : Tasted like it sounds – delectable. A marriage of flavours unique and rich with a touch of butter.
Cristian Molina; Rouge Tomate
- Rush Hour – Whistlepig straight Rye whiskey, Cynar, Housemade Rosemary-Grapefruit Syrup. Grapefruit Juice, Bitters, Lemon Thyme Garnish.
- A swift kick in the taste buds, in the best way possible, with the rosemary adding a touch of soothing herbaciousness.
- The Strawberry Fair – Lemon Verbana-Infused FAIR Quinoa Vodka, Local Strawberries, Aperol, Lemon Juice
- I loved that they didn’t use a strawberry syrup coction, but instead took the time to muddle fruit, resulting in a fresh and fruity concoction. This vodka is produced in France using quinoa, so you ca tell yourself you’re drinking booze with nutritional value!
Other standout refreshments included:
Beers; Stella Artois, Leffe Blond & Hoegaarden
Wines; Poema Cava Brut Rosado NV, The Seeker Sauvignon Blanc 2011, The Seeker Chardonnay 2010, The Seeker Malbec 2010 & The Seeker Cabarnet Sauvignon 2011
Whatever your poison, they most likely had it.
Happy Summer folks! Drink, be merry and cook until you drop !