KFWE15: Food, Glorious Food: A Review

Many thanks to to Vicki Garfinkel  of VICKIGJ PR for the opportunity to attend KFWE. For inquiries, please contact her at vickigj@gmail.com All opinions and recommendations expressed in this post are my own and are unsolicited. For the entire photoset of my experience at KFWE, please click here

As many people who attended the evening (food) portion of KFWE in 2014 can attest, there was many a fervent prayer that this year, 2015, would be better. Everything from last year felt off and short of the mark – from the way the venue was laid out, to the food that was almost-but- not-quite-there.

I have to say that 2015 is the year fine kosher cuisine got its groove back. With few exceptions and an overabundance of brisket and charcuterie, this year was fabulous. Nearly everything I tasted was spot-on, and the level of sucessful execution was higher than ever. I for one am sincerely glad I decided to come this year.

Let’s get hungry and talk about food, shall we?

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Ari White of Wandering Que, Got Cholent, and Gemstone Catering fame led it off right from the start. His Wandering Que display during the day (the wine portion) of sliders, ‘chettas, and lamb belly bacon were absolutely perfect with all the wine and liquor. A few of my fellow bloggers and I would taste a few wines, feel a little tipsy, then go back and visit Ari’s booth for meat goodness. I couldn’t get enough of the carnechetta and the vealchetta – his kosher take on panchetta, and one that is really delicious. The thinness of the slices and the flavors – it was magic. Simply incredible. And the lamb belly bacon was so spot-on for taste, thickness/fatiness, and mouth feel, I wanted to take some home and fry it up. I even thought about what might happen if I dipped it in melted chocolate…

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While we are on the topic of charcuterie, I have to say that I tasted bresaola from a few different places that day. Without question, the best came from Prime Grill. Almost buttery in taste and sliced paper thin, I could have eaten this a whole evening. But then there would have been none for anyone else. And there were other delicious things to try, so let’s move on, shall we?

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Chagall Bistro served a beef tartare with a homemade potato chip that made me smile. Rich and smooth, I was very surprised – I am not a fan of many completely raw protein presentations in general, but I could have eaten another helping of this with pleasure. They also served a seared tuna a la Provencal that made me want to cry. I wanted to try it so badly – it looked that perfect! But I had just eaten the beef tartare and for kashrut reasons I don’t eat fish directly after meat so that was that. I’m putting Chagall Bistro on advance notice: the bistro is not far from my house, so I will be stopping in some time in the near future.

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T Fusion Steakhouse was on point again this year – a pulled brisket with microgreens served on a crispy-bliniesque chip with a balsamic reduction. Not too rich, the crisp of the chip and the juiciness of the brisket, with the hint of herbal from the microgreens made this one of my favorite offerings of the evening.

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Estreia, to me, was a new find – and I am so glad I did! The duck confit with mango salsa on crostata was excellent, and their brisket on mashed potato with remoulade sauce was simple and delicious. I would keep my eye on this place – I have a feeling more delicious things will come from here.

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The Loft presented for the first time, and it was a delicious introduction. They are literally 4 blocks from my house, and it makes me so proud. Fine dining has come to Boro Park. Their polenta square was so good – but again, I had to leave some for other people, you know.

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Miami Beach Chocolates – why oh why does Miami get to have them?! They need to come to New York and give the folks here a run for their money! Their chocolate is the new gold standard in non-dairy chocolates. It is blatantly obvious that this is a chocolatier who takes pride in their work, and is commited to their craft. I told him I tasted Callebaut in the amaretto bonbon I sampled, and he nodded. ” That and some others – you must be a chocolatier yourself to pick that out in there.” We talked shop a bit while I sampled another creation and tried not to swoon.

One person I missed there this year was Heavenly Caterers. I was sad not to see them.  I also was hoping to see Breadberry, but alas, no. Perhaps next year. Bottom line is that this year raised the bar. Next year I would like to see less charcuterie and pulled brisket, Breadberry and Heavenly Caterers make an appearance, and more fish options. But even with this wishlist, I have to say that the KFWE this year was the best yet, and I looked forward eagerly to see what awaits next year.