Saturday, March 29, 2008

Coral Gables Wine and Food Festival

I did mention that I was attending this so I probably ought to say what I thought of it just in case anybody is following along and wants to know.

OK, I recognize that the point is to sell cases of mediocre wine and foul candy-flavored vodka, but some effort on the food end would have been appreciated at least for my part. On the other hand, since the only food there was a real line for was sausage subs I can see why most restaurants couldn't be bothered.

Still, I've never encountered such a mass of undercooked, overcooked, ill-conceived and more than anything else under-seasoned food. I didn't get to try everything I admit so I may have missed some gems, but the only dish that really jumped out at me as being flavorful, well-prepared and interesting was the ceviche from Novecento.

Christabelle's venison on creamy grits with a blackberry demi glaze was well done too, if a bit obvious and lost amongst the many slices of red meat on offer.

Other than that, I was deeply disappointed. I wanted to single out one or two dishes but as the list of offerings printed up bears little resemblance to what actually appeared I don't know who to blame. Somebody should have known better than to try serving a badly clotted macaroni and cheese and there was a Spanish squid stew that was inedibly past its prime but neither appear in the list. But as I said, mainly it was dull food blandly prepared. Did any of you go? What did you think?


Anonymous said...

I went and I loved the Palm Restaurant and I LOVED La Gastronomia. Overall I found the food samplings delicious and I cant believe you didnt find anything you liked.

billjac said...

I have to admit that I didn't try either Palm or Gastronomia so maybe they were both fabulous. And I did like Novecento's offerings.

What really disappointed me were things like the macaroni and cheese and Two Sister's flageolet ragout that they should have known don't keep well. Puchetta was making their risotto fresh on the spot to get around the problem. Now if they had bothered to put anything in it other than rice and Parmesan cheese, like, say, salt, they would have had something. At least they put thought and effort into making something that would work out on the street and not many places did.


I think you missed the best food!

It was a great festival & you cant go wrong it benefits a wonderful charity!

billjac said...

I think you may be right, foodie_lover. I must have just gotten unlucky with what I tried and then filled up too quick. I'll give it another chance next year and I'll be pickier about what I sample.