5 Amazing Taste Takeaways from the 2019 LV Food & Wine Festival

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Food and Wine Festival

The Sands Bethlehem Event Center hosted the 2019 Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival on Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2. Organizers said the event drew record attendance.

If you attended this year’s Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival Saturday and Sunday at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center, you ate and drank for a good cause. The annual event–which celebrated its 10th anniversary–is a major fundraiser for Northampton Community College’s scholarship fund, and over the past 10 years attendees have raised nearly $2 million for education.

Dozens of well-known Lehigh Valley area restaurants participated in this year’s Mardi Gras-themed Grand Tasting; some on both days and others solely on either Saturday or Sunday.

Food Festival

Loccal favorites the Craig Thatcher Band performed live on stage Sunday at the Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival.

On Sunday, we did our best to try everything–not an easy task given the number of restaurants represented–and the following bites topped our list of favorites.

Two Hellertown area establishments–Hellertown Bakery and Steel Club–participated in the 2019 Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival, which organizers said had record attendance. For the complete list of participating restaurants, click here.

The Top 5: By Kristina Gonzalez (follow Kristina on Instagram: @kay_gourmet)

Molinari’s (Bethlehem) – Focaccia Muffuletta

Molinari’s stayed on theme this year with their delicious Muffuletta made with their homemade focaccia bread. The bread was the perfect fluffy vessel for the salty layers of meat, cheese and olives. I could have easily eaten a whole sandwich!

Food Festival

A muffuletta is a traditional New Orleanian sandwich made with Italian meats and cheeses. Molinari’s version made with fresh focaccia was delicious.

Stoke Coal Fire Pizza (Easton) – Strawberry Gazpacho with Blackened Shrimp

With a ton of New Orleans flavors being packed into many dishes at the festival, the Strawberry Gazpacho with Blackened Shrimp from Stoke was the perfect dish to cleanse the palate. The gazpacho was just slightly sweet from the strawberries, and featured just the right amount of smokiness from the blackened shrimp, making it extremely balanced.

Food Festival

Strawberry Gazpacho with Blackened Shrimp was one of the dishes served by Stoke Coal Fire Pizza Sunday at the Food & Wine Festival.

Emeril’s Fish House (Bethlehem) – Seared Gulf Shrimp & Kimchi Fried Rice

If there’s anyone who can do a Mardi Gras theme right, it’s Emeril. The Gulf shrimp in this dish were cooked perfectly, and the kimchi fried rice was layered with flavors. You got the kick from the kimchi, which was lightened up by fresh cilantro.

Food Festival

Seared Gulf Shrimp & Kimchi Fried Rice by Emeril’s Fish House

Momento Pizzeria & Restaurant – Ricotta Gnudi with Black Truffle

Hands down, this was my favorite dish from the festival. And it won First Place in the Best of the Fest competition. The Ricotta Gnudi (ricotta dumpling) was a cheesy explosion of flavor in my mouth that I was not expecting. It was so decadent, and truly a standout item. I’ll be making a trip to Momento in Stroudsburg soon.

Food Festival

Ricotta Gnudi with Black Truffle was one of the dishes that helped Momento of Stroudsburg win first place in the Best of the Fest competition at the 2019 Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival this weekend.

Burgers and More by Emeril (Bethlehem) – Salted Caramel Bourbon Brownie Milkshake

We can’t forget about dessert. Especially a boozy one! This milkshake had just a hint of bourbon and fudgy chunks of brownies in it. It was super creamy and rich, and I wish they would have filled my wine glass with it.

Food Festival

The Salted Caramel Bourbon Brownie Milkshake shots served by Emeril’s Burgers and More were a big hit.

Cheers to another great Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival!

Additional photos from around the 2019 Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival

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