Put a bunch of bloggers, food critics, food journalists, and general gastronomic aficionados in the same room, get them talking, eating and drinking, and you’ve got (bad pun coming) a recipe for success.
Recently, Amy Kundrat, a contributor to CT Bites and fellow cycling/running kindred spirit, organized a food blogger meetup at Miya’s Sushi in New Haven. It was such a good time that she decided to do it again, setting up a four-course (plus intermezzo) dinner at the Norwalk eatery, Nicholas Roberts Gourmet Bistro.
The room included Stephanie Webster of CT Bites, Rinku Bhattacharya of Cooking in Westchester, and other food media types (one, whom I cannot name, writes for a very prominent publication). My friend Ron was there; so was Westchester foodie Cheryl, who writes great restaurant recaps on Facebook and needs to start her own blog. Hint, hint, Cheryl.
Nicholas Roberts is BYOB — it looked as though every person had the same idea and brought a bottle of wine. I toted along a trusty bottle of Seyval Blanc from New York state’s Glorie Farm Winery. Properly socially lubricated, we were ready to eat.
Chef Robert Troilo started us off with a colorful Napoleon of polenta and summer squash.
I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of flavor (not sure what I was expecting). The different textures and combo of balsamic vinegar, basil oil, and tart goat cheese gave each bite real punch.
Big flavor in this next dish too, the seared tuna steak.
Expertly seared tuna, a ginger truffle sauce, and a bed of broccoli rabe, one of my favorite vegetables.
Our intermezzo course couldn’t have been more appropriate on another sweltering summer day. Watermelon and a light sorbet — refreshing, and a welcome palate cleanser.
Rack of lamb in chimichurri, perched on a delicious potato and rutabaga gratin.
I’ve mentioned before that I can run hot and cold on lamb. I was in the red zone on this one — loved the marinated meat and gnawed on every bit of it down to the bone.
Dessert was all about super ripe, super in-season and super delicious peaches in a peach pie with pecan streussel topping.
With so many interesting food people in the room, my one regret is that I didn’t have the chance to meet all of them. We had bandied about the idea of making people pick up their plates and move around to different tables throughout the course of the night, but no one had the nerve to put it into action. Food blogging meets speed dating? Wait a sec, there’s a potential business idea there…
Anyhow, it was a fun night. These Connecticut folks have inspired their New York neighbors. We Westchester food zealots may soon try to set up a blogger meetup at a restaurant in our neck of the woods. Any suggestions?
Nicholas Roberts Gourmet Bistro
75 Main St.