Monday, April 24, 2006

Food Network Party at Bar Americain (Midtown)

One of the perks of my job working in media is the corporate party and one of the best corporate parties I’ve attended was Food Network’s Revealing of The Next Food Network Star hosted by Bobby Flay at his restaurant Bar Americain in mid-town Manhattan.

The restaurant was closed to the public for the party and the place was packed with about two hundred people including Food Network chefs, contestants from the show, advertisers, and executives from the network.

However, the real focus was on the food. Hors d'oeuvres included an amazing array of fresh raw oysters, lobster and avocado in a citrus vinaigrette, shrimp in pesto sauce, sautéed wild mushrooms on toast, mini crabcakes, pulled pork in BBQ sauce of toast, and rotisserie chicken. The buffet included cauliflower in gratin, yellow corn in cream sauce, halibut with avocado salsa, beef tenderloin, and spicy BBQ chicken. Desserts included an incredible array of chocolate goodies including dark chocolate brownies with hazelnuts and cherry and almond cookies with raspberry.

While the wines at events like these are pretty innocuous, the liquor was top shelf and I was able to finagle two glasses of fantastic port that I probably would have not otherwise ordered on my own.

The Ports

The first was a full bodied 1980 Warre that tasted like pure blueberries to me with a nice long finish.

The second was a 1997 Churchill which was pure crème de cassis, more medium bodied with a medium long finish,

Both were excellent in my opinion but I thought the 1980 Warre was more unique to my experience of ports.

Overall, the party was a fantastic experience and the food presented at Bar Americain was so good that I would definitely return for a “real” visit for dinner.

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