“It’s autumn, they said. It’ll be beautiful, they said.” For those of you who live in New York City, I’m sure you can sympathize with my disappointment in the city’s reluctance to embrace fall foliage. We live in the northeast, after all, and have come to expect a whole lot of spectacularity from autumn. But we were lied to.
Luckily, wino Jonathan Cristaldi (aka Jonny Cigar) contacted Untapped Cities about a harvest festival in the Hudson River Valley. According to the information we were given, fall was actually happening there. So we caught a train to Poughkeepsie and ran straight into one of the most serene vistas I’ve seen on this side of the country.
The event was hosted by Millbrook Winery and Vineyards, the flagship wine guys of the Hudson Valley. Set on their beautifully expansive vineyard, the event could not have seemed further away from New York City. Millbrook enlisted the help of Jehangir Mehta, executive chef and owner of both Metaphor and Graffiti, former runner-up in The Food Network’s Next Iron Chef, and upcoming contestant on Iron Chef: Redemption.
He put together a stunning four course lunch with perfect wine pairings (from Millbrook, of course). From Korean chili duck grilled cheese sandwiches to lamb shank and garlic sweet potato fries, the meal was ethereal (if a meal has ever been). In fact, knowing that one of the best meals of my life is now 24 hours in the rearview mirror, I am now preparing boxed beef stroganoff for dinner. Because, really, it won’t get any better… so why try?
The afternoon was accompanied by a mini “Millbrook Iron Chef” competition, where guests had to dream up with their own dishes based on a list of ingredients chosen by chef Mehta himself. A raffle and a shot of savory Riesling capped off an incredible day that forced us to rethink spending so much of our lives trapped on this urban island we call home… for a brief moment, anyway. Enjoy the photos!
On The Grill