Toasting the Big Apple

An energetic crowd of nearly 1,500 wine and food lovers gathered at the glamorous Oscar Hammerstein Ballroom for Wine Enthusiast’s signature wine and culinary event in Manhattan.

On Thursday, May 3, 2012, nearly 1,500 wine and food lovers filled New York City’s premiere venue, the 12,000-square-foot Oscar Hammerstein Ballroom, for the 12th-annual Toast of the Town New York event—a Wine Enthusiast signature wine-tasting and culinary extravaganza.

In the two-tiered, opulent space, oenophiles and gourmands enjoyed more than 500 wines from 70 producers like Castello Banfi, St. Supéry, Concha y Toro, The Hess Collection and Louis M. Martini, as they sampled small plates from 36 of the city’s finest restaurants, including three eateries named in Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Best 100 Wine Restaurants list in 2011: Picholine, Veritas and Crabtree’s Kittle House.

Standout dishes included foie gras espresso shots from Lugo Caffè, sesame-crusted Dodoni feta bites from Molyvos and Alaskan salmon roe caviar with buckwheat blinis from Firebird. Not to be outdone, decadent desserts on offer included frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity 3, mini red-velvet cupcakes from Butterfly Bakeshop and chocolate peanut butter cupcakes from The Hudson Cakery.

Spirits and beer fans also had plenty to indulge in: Farmer’s Gin, Crop Vodka, Michter’s Bourbon and Allagash White Belgian Witbier, to name a few.

Attendees also accessed the exclusive second-tier lounge, sponsored by Mezzacorona, which featured tables and seating, jazz tunes courtesy of the Nick Russo Trio and wines like Mezzacorona’s Pinot Grigio, Mezzacorona’s NOS Riserva and Stemmari’s Nero d'Avola—not to mention prime views of the bustling scene below.

An added bonus? Fans of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New Jersey and NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice were delighted to see TV star Teresa Giudice at the event, as she graciously greeted guests and poured her newly released Fabellini Sparkling Wine.

Lauded as one of Manhattan’s finest concert venues, the ballroom’s excellent acoustics were perfectly highlighted by the Jonny Hirsch Band, who played mellifluous tunes that kept the crowd buzzing until late into the night.

For more information on upcoming Toast of the Town events in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, click here.

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