Ok, now that I have completely digested three-day frenzy known as the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival, I must say this was one of the more memorable ones. I was a little hesitant when I saw the majority of the events were taking place on Saturday.
Could the Grand Market concept work outside in a park setting?
With all of the events taking place outside, would the weather hold up?
Well, to be honest, I believe the Grand Market flowed much better in the outdoor setting. I just feel bad for those who had to deal with the passing showers Saturday afternoon.
Yes, the rain did come, but only the two Sunday events were relocated indoors.
I had the opportunity to attend several gatherings, and here are my highlights in no particular order.
1) Telling our waitress at Martorano’s that she forgot to share how Steve Martorano started out by selling sandwiches out of his house (as the editor of the South Philly Review I am supposed to be on top of these things). Little did I know that she would take the bait and add additional details that I didn’t know. The meal at this upscale Italian eatery was probably the best of the weekend.
2) Learning that Martha Stewart is a Derek Jeter fan.
3) Watching Robert Irvine dangle a squid around the room prior to eating the opening course (Octopus Carpaccio) for lunch.
4) Digging into my bucket at the clam bake on Bally’s Beach, and pulling out a lobster, clams, corn on the cob and more. This was a new event, and I think it worked very well. Yes, some lobster parts went flying across the table as guests tried to unsuccessfully crack the shells.
5) Having the tough task of tasting the cupcake offerings of executive pastry chef Deborah Pellegrino (thanks for the welcome package), and enjoying them so much that we made a farewell stop at Boardwalk Cupcakes to purchase some for the rest of the family. Warning: the selection process requires some serious thought and it’s extremely difficult to leave with just ONE cupcake.
I want to extend a special thank you to the ACFW team for putting together another amazing weekend.