Monday afternoons aren’t generally the highlight of anyone’s week. But for those of us lucky enough to get an invite to Joe Bastianich’s annual Wine & Swine party, and a ride up to Greenwich, Connecticut, this was a pretty great way to kick things off. As you might guess from the name (embossed on the spring green bracelet you had to wear to get in), there were tables and tables of very good wines—along with Bastianich's own labels, bottles being poured included JL Chave Crozes Hermitage and Domaine d'Eugenie Vosne-Romanee. There was also an outrageous buffet—Andy Nusser of Tarry Lodge in Port Chester, New York (generally deemed the toughest reservation in the New York area these days) dished out amazing smoked-trout panzanella salad; Esca’s Dave Pasternak served sumptuous octopus and gigante beans; Boston star chef Michael Schlow flipped the juicy horseradish-crème cheeseburgers that won him the best-burger title at the South Beach Wine & Food festival last year; and Mario Batali sliced up expertly charred steak (and served the ginormous bones separately). Last of all, the succulent pig that had been roasting on the driveway. And yes there was a stage, and up on that stage was Bastianich with a guitar and a mic (as anyone who saw him solo at his recent Red Zeppelin event at City Winery knows, he's pretty good). Still, this from Batali: “If you have to throw a party to get people to listen to your music, that pretty much says it all."
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