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Credit: Ryan Shea

We were absolutely delighted to attend our first ever New York Wine & Food Festival this year, as this happens to be the premiere food event for Manhattanites and tourists alike to enjoy.  There were a multitude of events that we got to head to this past weekend, and one of them was their Grand Tasting, brought to us by Shoprite, and taking place at the massive and gorgeous Pier 94 on 52nd and 12th Avenue.  What I took away from this part of the Wine & Food Festival is that there was some things old, some things new, and some things completely unexpected.

Credit: Food Network
Credit: Food Network

One thing that I had a feeling about but really didn’t discover until I got to the Grand Tasting was just how busy this actual festival really is.  Pier 94 is gigantic, and was able to host so many different types of vendors, live shows, demonstrations and more, that you really need a little while for it to really sink all of it in.  As a huge foodie, I don’t think I have ever had such a variety of cuisines in a two hour time frame.  I’m sort of shocked that I don’t have stomach pains as I am writing this, however every type of food that I tried was absolutely phenomenal.

Wine & Food Festival
Credit: Ryan Shea

Even though there were massive Food Network stars present, from Robert Irvine, Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray and more, I was more excited from a press angle to see all the vendors that were in attendance for this amazing festival.  There was such a wide array of what could pique your interest, not only for food and drink but for decor, home furnishings and more.  Samsung was front and center to showcase their suite of kitchen products, which also treated us to bite size cheesecakes, meatballs, and more.  Other major vendors that I loved included Coca Cola, who were situated pretty much in the middle of the event.  They were cracking open ice cold Coca Cola products for everyone to enjoy, as well as an old fashioned ice cream parlor where people could sit and relax before heading back into the madness.

Wine & Food Festival
Credit: Ryan Shea

Something that i really enjoyed at the Wine & Food Festival grand tasting was all the different restaurants that participated this year.  What was even better was there were ones that we have done fabulous reviews for in the past at Manhattan Digest, and were delighted to see that they had a booth at this year’s festival.  This included Schmackary’s, which served up some amazing chocolate pretzel cookies, as well as Davio’s Northern Steakhouse, Strip House and more.  Hence the “something old” aspect I wrote about earlier on.

Wine & Food Festival
Credit: Ryan Shea

The restaurants that I have not been to yet, however, definitely showcased their amazing products.  Many of whom were based here in Manhattan but several top restaurants all over the country came to the belly of the beast to make everyone familiarized with their tasty food.  Local standouts included Pergola, North Square, Andaz 5th Avenue and many more.  Other highlights for me came from Sweet Pearl’s Cheesecakes, Thafassa, Salt New American Table, and more.

Wine & Food Festival
Credit: Ryan Shea

Shoprite, who this event was presented by, had several of their products showcased at their individual stations within the festival. There were many tasty products to choose from, but I made a beeline for the Nutella crepe, which was absolutely delightful.  I was even more excited to see that they had a little sample size in the goodie bag we were given on the way in.  Yay.

wine & food festival
Credit: No Kid Hungry

One table that i definitely wanted to stop by, in the midst of all this Wine & Food Chaos, was the No Kid Hungry table.  I had worked with No Kid Hungry at my main job for a campaign about hunger in our nation, and was delighted to meet some of the people who work there and do wonders for such an amazing cause.  Many of us have no idea how thousands of kids go to bed hungry every day, and there are several factors that go into that where we as a nation can help.  Check out their official site for more information.

Credit: Ryan Shea
Credit: Ryan Shea

Overall, this particular event was a magical experience that I had a blast at, and one of many from this weekend that we had a blast at.  Check our site today and tomorrow for more features on this spectacular event.  For more information on the Wine & Food Festival, click here.

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