Your Fall Fest Correspondent, reporting for duty
I took copious notes, only to return home and promptly lose them. So, here, today, I sit, prepping to perform the sort of early-onset Alzheimers prevention exercise I should attempt more often. I'll give you the broad strokes of what stood out in Jamie's list of "bests" a la our favorite fashionisto, Mr. Blackwell.
Best overall food theme: duck. Roasted, patéed, confit'd. You name it, they did it. With figs, with chevre, with a plum reduction. Without a doubt, duck stole the day.
Best duck I tasted: The duck and white bean chowder from Salthouse. It was deep and smoky and savory and more than a little reminiscent of a fine cassoulet. Nice work, saltdudes. And that means you, guy-wearing-the-"Got Weed?" tee.
Best non-duck foodstuff at the Fest: The parsnip and vanilla bean soup from Frisée. I'm pretty much a sucker for anything with that exotic, fragrant vanilla pod scent, but the parsnip pairing was a revelation I'd not seen before. Hats off, Nathan Niebergall--nice guy/chef/co-owner who poured us wine from his own secret stash. (And no, that's not why he gets a mention here.)
Best wine tasted: A 2006 gewurtz from Gundlach Bundschu (say that 5 times fast). With notes of lychee and apricot, it was the perfect blend of sunny and crisp, much like the day itself.
Best non-wine drinkstuffs: Hangar One's herbal eau de vie blends, like the Aqua Perfecta Basil flavor featured in the cocktail competition where some of the city's finest got their mix on.
Best place to lounge and enjoy the dulcet tones of the bossanova band laying down some Gilberto-style beats and reflect on the joys of food blogging: These very Miami space pods. (note essential tools of the trade: wine glass and pen).
Best reason to feel like a "coastal elite" sipping chardonnay while Joe Six Pack curses all your ilk: Realizing there were also massage tables at this already precious & decadent event.
Best reason to start blogging again: because I forgot how fun this is. Thanks for reading, and come back soon. I think I'm inspired to pick up where I left off, and as you all know, fall is my favorite food season, so kitchen adventures are imminent, methinks. And with that string of lovely soft-i assonance, I'll bid you adieu cheeselings. Oh yeah, I almost forgot:
Best reason to wrangle a free ticket to Fall Fest that would otherwise cost $95: All-you-can-eat fromage!