This weekend, I was invited back to Old Westbury Gardens on Long Island for their annual Taste of Spring event. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you might remember that I attended (and blogged about) the Taste of Spring for the first time last year.
This time around, I brought my whole family along with me since it was my mom’s birthday weekend, and we all had an amazing time at the Gardens. We got extremely lucky in that the sun was shining and the weather was pretty mild compared to how cold it’s been, which really allowed us to appreciate to the gardens’ breathtaking views and ambiance.
From six to nine, we visited various tents that were set up behind the Garden’s main house (read: mansion), which were filled with treats from the event’s caterers and purveyors. We wandered around the stunning main mansion, sampled endless bites, sipped local wine and beer, and mingled with friends. All in all, it was a wonderful night.
This year, the highlight for me was the spread put out by Sterling Affair, which has had possibly the best “tastes” for two years in a row now. Both the mushroom risotto and trout salad in purple potato cups were out of this world, and their display was elegant and modern!
Across the patio, there were not one but two tables with taco tastes. First was this amazing pulled pork tacos – so simple, but savory, saucy and satisfying with just the right amount of heat. But my favorite were the ahi tuna and mango salsa mini tacos with micro greens from K Pacho! No party like a taco party
Another favorite back from last year was the thick, juicy, unbelievably tender beef filet served up by Bryant and Cooper steakhouse, which was served with a thick, dreamy mushroom and shallot sauce. It was meltingly tender.
Totally in character for me, I had two top desserts picks. First was a poached pear with Gorgonzola whipped cream and a white wine reduction. This brought me right back to our culinary school poached pears, that I topped just about every pie and pastry with since I couldn’t get enough. The tart bite of the Gorgonzola cream complemented the super sweet pear really well.
The other was the pistachio-crusted beignets. Oh. My. God. These were unreal. I must have ate about twenty of them, as I kept going back to grab more (and when the Sterling booth quickly ran out, I felt kind of guilty). A dense, cakey doughnut filled with a raspberry jam, and rolled in crushed pistachios and a slight bit of sugar – absolutely addicting! I’m already brainstorming all the confections I need to try this crumbed pistachio topping on. I’m thinking pancakes might be first…
Sixpoint and Blind Bat Breweries were also there, doing really enjoyable and informative beer tastings. Though there was delicious wine flowing as well, this year we really couldn’t get enough of the beer! The Golden Ale, also known as Hell Gate, from Blind Bat was my favorite – a slightly maltier version of a traditional Pilsner – crisp and refreshing!
Finally, my friend Ashley who is a reporter for Long Island cable provider Optimum was at the Taste of Spring, covering the event, and interviewed me about the event since this was my second year attending. I’ll be sure to post a link to the video on the blog as soon as that hits the web.
Hope everyone had a great weekend! What do you do to celebrate the start of spring?