On Thursday, August 17th Bloomingdale’s Housewares brought shoppers together for a special event, and it really was! Incredibly, it was open to the public and completely free. How often does that happen? Hosted by Bon Appitit and Krista Stites, pastry chef at High Street on Hudson, this “under the radar” event had some of the best bites in town. First, let’s begin with open bar featuring authentic Blanc de Blanc Brut by Delacroix. The specialty cocktail of the night was a combination of watermelon shrub, Contrato Bitter, sparkling wine and orange zest called “Those Chelsea Afternoons.” I’ve never had Contrato Bitter before, although admit I’m not a big drinker. So I did a little research and discovered it’s an elixir created from brandy infused with multiple herbal ingredients, including aloe, wormwood, orange peels, cloves, cardamom, gentian, hibiscus, enula bell, juniper berries, mint, rhubarb, sage, swertia, nettle, ginger and more. Interestingly, several of the ingredients have been used in herbal medicine. Take for example Gentian, which has been used in numerous medicinal applications although studies have not shown any significant clinical efficacy. Efficacious or not, this cocktail was absolutely delicious and refreshing! The ambience was spot on, reflecting the hosts’ sophistication as waitstaff presented a delicious assortment of food. First, there was the Afrigato Bar (shown in the cover photo) which included a choice of delicious toppings mixed with gelato. Next came the Mini Red Eye Danish – beautifully presented & resembling a rose. Inside the Danish was Benton’s ham with local cheese and espresso gravy. The combination of the gravy and ham was unlike anything I’ve ever had before and totally delicious. After that out came a tray of skewers labeled “Beet Bites. ” This dish was basically the vegetarian version of beef skewers and I really liked it. A few guests seemed confused, perhaps it was the presentation or maybe they simply disliked beets. I thought it was creative and wonderful. I felt similarly about the next treat – a black-and-white cookie that wasn’t really a cookie. Rather it was caviar and sour cream on a crispy potato toast. At first glance, your foodie brain expected something sweet based upon its appearance but it was actually mildly savory and salty. Very creative and again something I’ve never tried before. Lastly there was tuna tartare with sesame seeds — a real crowdpleaser and also very delicious. To end a perfect evening, guests received a small goodie bag. I didn’t get a goodie bag, I was too busy enjoying myself to bother. After the event I did a little shopping in the Housewares section. The selection was excellent and I saw a few Le Creuset items, one of my favorite brands and of which I have several already. I also saw several new items that I liked and plan to revisit later in the year. All in all, this was definitely one of the best store events of the summer! I had no idea what to expect when I signed up but I’m very glad that I took the time to go and discover some great new food, beverages and wonderful cuisine from the creative team at High Street on Hudson.
In case you’re curious – High Street on Hudson is located at 637 Hudson St. near the Standard Hotel, Whitney Museum and a few blocks down from Chelsea Market. High Street on Hudson’s menu may be found on their website – link here.