Culinary Epiphany: Fairway Market “Dinner with the Masters”

Earlier this week I was invited to an exclusive blogger dinner at the Fairway Market Cafe and Steakhouse on the Upper West Side. Dubbed “Dining with the Masters,” this event featured Cheesemonger Steven Jenkins and Sommelier Joshua Wesson pairing a few cheeses and wines together alongside a three-course meal.

Living in Brooklyn, I head to the Red Hook Fairway but I’ve been many times to the 74th and Broadway location and literally had no clue what they have hiding upstairs. Chef Mitchel London, Mayor Ed Koch’s official chef at Gracie Mansion for 7 years, helms the kitchen of the cafe/steakhouse and has brought his unique culinary style to the standard classics Fairway is famous for (have you had their meatloaf? its amazing). Open 7 days a week, they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and offer $1 off beer and glasses of wine from 3-6pm. It’s an impressive operation that has the luxury of being and arm length away from a bevy of fresh produce, specialty goods, cheeses, breads, meats and seafood.

The space is a little busy; hanging from the rafters are detailed posters of upcoming events or current specials, the acoustics aren’t the best for dining and it’s steps away from the organic checkout line. But this isn’t a 5 star restaurant, even though the food  is deliciously good so go in knowing that this isn’t the spot to have a quiet meal and conversation.

*Lollipop Lamb Chops with Eggplant Gratin*

*Peach Apricot Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream*

The wine and cheese pairing was really enlightening…I found some new favorite cheeses (a goat’s milk Leonora and a sheep’s milk Moliterno Gigante) and found that I do NOT like Moscato and Lambrusco wines. But the star of this event was the food that Chef Mitchel London served alongside each pairing. I nearly inhaled the peach apricot tart and when my friend Sarah pushed her tart shell aside (she ate the ice cream and fruit) I embarrassingly asked her if I could eat her remnants :)!

It’s a real shame I can’t take more advantage of what the UWS Fairway has to offer but I’ll always keep the place in the forefront of my mind when up there and will definitely be recommending the place to others. Check it out…they have a great mediterranean lunch special for $11.

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