We had a great day Saturday at the New York City Wine and Food Festival. We got up bright and early Saturday morning and dropped off the kiddos with Grandma and Grandpa for the weekend. Trevor and I grabbed an early train out of Albany and headed into New York City to check out the ShopRite’s Grand Tasting at the New York City Wine and Food Festival.

Outside the food festival on Pier 92

Outside the food festival on Pier 94

We dropped our stuff at the hotel, got some goodies in a ShopRite welcome bag then headed over to the food festival, which was on a pier overlooking the Hudson River. We were lined up for a while, waiting to be let in and I spotted Chef Ludo Lefebvre from The Taste, one of my favorite shows. You could get a photo with Ludo on your way into the festival.

Chef Ludo from ABC's "The Taste"

Chef Ludo from ABC’s “The Taste”

After making our way into the festival, we just started eating. I think we tried most of the food samples that were out, and then some wine and booze. I think every liquor company in America had samples out. Some of the highlights for me were the smoked meats from Fossil Farms. They had a chef carving a pig leg at the table and the smoked ham was delicious.

A chef cuts a smoked pig leg at the Fossil Farms

A chef cuts a smoked pig leg at the Fossil Farms

The Kickin' Mule from Tito's Vodka

The Kickin’ Mule from Tito’s Vodka

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Trevor is modeling the neck strap wine glass holder we all got (and most people wore).

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A churro soft pretzel – yum!

Also a highlight (not so much for Trevor) was the cocktail at the Tito’s vodka booth. It was The Kickin’ Mule and had a great spicy bite for me. I definitely could’ve had a whole one. Not a cocktail you can drink all night long, but a nice change from my usual. Also a high point for me was Gatherer’s Granola. They’re literally from Schenectady and I’d never tried their products before. The coconut granola blend was delicious and I’ll definitely be picking some up.  DSCN0128

While at the food festival, we saw several cooking demonstrations. We started at Martha Stewart’s. It was just okay for me. She was using a pressure cooker, and I don’t have one and don’t have plans to buy one. Rachael Ray was really energetic in her presentation and definitely an old pro at the live cooking demonstration. The best (by far) was John Besh and Aaron Sanchez. The New Orleans chef and Chopped judge are best friends, and have opened Johnny Sanchez together in Baltimore, and will be opening another location in New Orleans. They had great energy and really played off the crowd. While they were cooking, they handed out samples and women were literally running up the aisles to get a bite of fried lobster. Trevor wanted me to push and shove, but I told him no 🙂 

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I worked for a bit for ShopRite, handing out recipe cards (including one of my own!). It was really cool to talk to people and tell them about the ShopRite Potluck blog (and my own).

Rachael Ray at her cooking demonstration

Rachael Ray at her cooking demonstration

John Besh and Aaron Sanchez

John Besh and Aaron Sanchez

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Trippy elevator in the Hudson Hotel

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Our room – note the mirrors on both sides to make the room feel bigger.

After the food festival, we went back to the Hudson Hotel to officially check in. Our room was hysterical. It was a typical New York City hotel. We didn’t have a window and you could lay in bed and watch the other person in the bathroom. It was a gorgeous hotel though, and a great location to stay.

After we checked in, we walked to get dinner. I wasn’t super hungry, but hadn’t really eaten a full meal all day. We stopped at Rosa Mexicano and had an amazing dinner. We got the big guacamole with some steak tacos (for me) and enchiladas (for Trevor). I also had an amazing skinny margarita.

Christen at Rosa Mexicano

After dinner, we took a walk to Columbus Circle and did a little shopping (hello, Sephora!) and walked back to the Hudson.

It was a great day and I’m pretty sure we walked 20 miles! A big thanks to ShopRite for the trip to NYC and allowing me to represent the Potluck blog! We had a great time! We got up bright and early Sunday morning to head home for my mother-in-law’s special surprise birthday party!