G’Day Mate! An evening of Australian lamb and wine in NYC!


Every once in a while due to having a blog that covers life in the Big Apple I am offered opportunities to experience some things that actually surprise this jaded NYC citizen. One of them recently was a cooking demonstration and dinner that featured lamb as the main ingredient. Now, I have to admit that I really wasn’t a big lamb fan but did enjoy the occasional lamb lollipops handed out as a snack at certain business events and functions I have atteneded over the years. Lord knows I had no idea how to cook it. After the recent evening’s soiree at Fairway Cafe & Steakhouse I can now admit to being a bit converted into a fan of lamb. It was an enjoyable evening featuring terrific demonstrations of lamb and wines from Australia, followed by a full four course sit down dinner. I had a feeling this event was going to be a hit when I was greeted with a glass of Stone Dwellars Sparkling Brut as soon as I walked in! Yes, we fancy!


The cooking presention was performed by Fairway chef Vincent Olivieri. I have to say he was very professional, funny, and cordial while also keeping the cooking demo interesting. Prepping the meat is actually really simple and he showed us ways using different oils and seasonings to help bring out the flavor when roasting a leg of lamb. All of what he listed can easily be found on Fairway’s shelves, or in any other grocery that you normally shop at. I had no idea it was not that complicated. The way he taught us made it seem that even the most novice home chef could do it. I really need to get in my kitchen more and start experimenting with my skills!


Along with the cooking part was a selection of terrific Australian wines being offered throughout the evening, and hosted by wine guru Joshua Wesson. He knows his stuff when it comes to wine! We were treated to seven different wines starting with that Brut, and then followed by generous pours of Paringa Sparkling Shiraz, Yalumba Y Series Viognier, Punt Road Chardonnay, Stone Dwellars Pinot Noir, Yalumba The Scribbler Cabernet Shiraz, and a dessert wine Yaluma Museum Muscat NV. Oh my! I enjoyed all but the star of these wines had to be that Sparkling Shiraz! It was like drinking a fizzy wine, and would be a wonderful chilled libation to enjoy on a warm summer day picnic. Heck, I could drink a bottle of it while sitting on the couch watching tv anytime!


What more can I say other than that the meal we experienced here was pretty delicious! We started with an appetizer of Mustard Crusted Rack of Lamb with Fig Chutney. Yum! Can I have another?


A Ceasar Salad that had some outrageous dressing on it. It was more like a chopped salad version. I could have eaten three bowls of this!


Whole Roasted Rack of Lamb served with Parsnip Turnip Mash and Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Holy moley this whole plate was awesome! I absolutely adored the brussel sprouts and as you can see in the pic there was a melt in your mouth piece of thick bacon on it. The lamb was so tasty, lean, and reminded me of eating a prime rib. It was so good! The inner fatty in me could have eaten another plate if I could have snuck another one out of the kitchen. Who do I have to bribe here?


Did I mention that with each course the wines were paired with them? So not only are we all feasting on wonderful eats we are washing it down with delectable wines to help accentuate the flavors of the foods. The staff here at Fairway Cafe were so attentive and generous with the pours I must say. A big “thank you”for that!


What, did I almost forget the dessert we were served? Mitchel London’s Apple Tart. Warm, crispy, flaky, mouth watering yumminess topped with vanilla ice cream. I basically licked every crumb off the plate. No, really, I did lick the plate off. In front of everyone. I have no shame when it comes to scrumptuous food!


All in all it was a splendid evening and so glad I participated. The night was well attended and the proceeds gathered here went for a great cause – the New York Common Pantry – New York City’s largest community-based food pantry which is designed to meet the needs of our families by providing culturally-appropriate and nutritiously-balanced food.

So many great foods out there that are simple to make if given a chance. Now I know how a proper leg of lamb should be prepared and served. I might give it a try but surely won’t be competing on ‘Top Chef” anytime soon. Chef Olivieri has nothing to worry about when it comes to me working in the kitchen. Yet, it is fun to explore new foods and expand my palate at times!

Fairway Cafe & Steakhouse – http://www.fairwaymarket.com/

New York Common Pantry – http://www.nycommonpantry.org/




44 thoughts on “G’Day Mate! An evening of Australian lamb and wine in NYC!”

    1. Hey Dave!

      They have some good products, but some are pricey. You need to hunt around a bit as there are plenty of sales going on. I live by 86th street location. Terrific seafood, meats, and produce section.

    1. Hey Angel!

      Thanks! I’ll be sure to get you into the next one! I’m sure with your blog you get more than enough offers for stuff Mr All Media!

  1. Growing up in Florida, where there are about as many sheep as avalanches, I didn’t think I liked lamb. However, since hopping the pond, I have discovered a serious appreciation. SERIOUS! Especially when perfectly paired with an adequate red.

    What an opportunity to attend this demonstration/dinner! I hope you took notes! Could prove mighty impressive come Easter!

    I’m jealous!

    1. Hey Kimberly!

      I hear ya! I now have an aquired taste for it now that I enjoyed it prepared just right!

      I still won’t really attemp to cook it. I’ll leave that to my parents!

  2. I loooooove lamb! Let me repeat … I loooooooooooooooove lamb! Roast, rack, leg, chops, even lamb burgers. We eat it often and I was glad to hear you are a convert. Lucky you to have such a fabulous introduction to how to cook it and what Aussie wines to drink with it. Oh, and those veggies they served! YUM! And that dessert! I believe that you licked the plate. I can picture you doing that. If you ever eat dinner at my place, I’m not serving you that. I’m sorry. But I will get some Sparkling Shiraz … just for you!

    1. Hey Patricia!

      Ha! It was a finger licking plate licking good meal! I was surprised how easy it was to cook. Also, if you ever get your hands on that Shiraz I am coming over!

  3. Awesome recap!
    Had a great time. Looking forward to more events like this!
    Mine goes up tomorrow so keep your eyes peeled. And I borrowed some of your pics. thanks in advance! lol

    1. Hey Reesa!

      Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting!

      It was such a terrific event! The food and wine paired so well. I would recommend going to one of this if approached with an invite. So spoiling!

  4. Okay, hold up…cuz I got my daughter, Inion hanging over my shoulder drooling & telling me what to write…ready? “Is chef Vincent Olivieri, Married?” ha! She said if he isn’t, she’s headed for the Big Apple!! Her two favorite things. Wine…& wine! No Wine & Food! This meal looked incredible, Phil. I know it’s going to sound crazy, but I loved the rosemary & other herbs that served as centerpieces. Charming. Like you, the only lamb I’m aware of is the delicious lamb I eat in my gyros from the Greek place at the mall. I love them!!! Would most definitely be up for some of this. And no need for apologies on the Hot Apple Tart & licking the plate. They might have had to take the plate from us! LOL 🙂 And we weren’t aware that Aussie’s had the lowdown on lamb. Love this, as you very well know, Inion N. Mathair’s business manager is Nana, head female of our family tree, who was born in Australia, (Queensland) & we’ve been dying to visit. Makes sense as our grandmother, (her mother) loved her lamb & mint jelly. She would talk about her childhood & how her mom would make that. See, finally makes sense. We thought she was senile. lol. Seriously we thought lamb was a big Greek thing. Love your site but funny enough, we always leave, stomachs growling, drool flowing and angry as hell that we don’t have what you have!!! Sharing this culinary delight now!!!

    1. Hey Mathair!

      Yes, I had Inion drooling over me yesterday. Now she wants Chef Vincent? I am insulted! 🙂

      They did set up a great presentation from the cooking demo to the tables we sat at. I was quite impressed with the whole evening and the food was terrific!

      I love gyros too! Also, thanks so much for retweeting and posting my blog posts on Facebook. You both rock!

  5. The next best thing to attending such a fabulous event was reading your Post! One of my favorites, lamb, looked great as did the accompaniments, dessert, and the grand array of wines. A successful night in so many dimensions, especially the cause, benefiting the New York Common Pantry! Hats off to Chef Olivieri and the Fairway Cafe and Steakhouse!

  6. I love lamb, would have thoroughly enjoyed that day. But honestly with everything else they served sound like anyone could find plenty of deliciousness to eat. And then the wine too? Score!

  7. Man! You get to go to some baaaaaaaad stuff! Love me some lamb, especially washed down with some juicy reds. Some days I wanna be you.

    1. Hey Jill!

      There is always something to do or an event in NYC! Hope all is going well for you out on LI. Try to keep warm out there. This weather is crazy!

  8. Hi Phil…
    It really sounds yummy & good to join you in any adventure or culinary experience…
    I am begining to recognize the corners of the Big Apple and that´s priceless..
    Thanks for that and also for dropping by my blog the other day Phil
    I am sending you my best wishes for your week ahead xx

    Aquileana 🙂

    1. Hey Aquileana!

      I have way too many culinary adventures to even remember! The price to pay living in NYC I guess.

      Thanks for your support of my blog too!

      1. I guess I envy you!!! .. If I ever you to NY, I´ll keep in mind your blog in order to make a list of places I should visit. No doubt!
        Have a marvellous day !!! Aquileana 🙂

  9. Dude, this looks awesome! I love lamb and the entire plate (and the wine) looks delicious. I’ve tried to be more openminded about wine and enjoy Australian and Spanish brands moreso. And, tbh, they are often more affordable. You find the best outings- I’d love to do something like this in Chicago. So… you think you are ready to try making it yourself, chef Phil?

    1. Hey Jean!

      I am sure if you get in touch with some PR companies and get on their radar you can connect with some of these events. They are a terrific way to try out new things. This one was a great evening of food and wine!

  10. Fig chutney, apple tart, lamb, wine? I need to stop reading your posts so close to dinner time. Now I’m starving and I still have an hour commute home.

    Looks like an evening of yumminess. Now get into that kitchen of your and test out those skills you mentioned.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. Hey Patricia!

      Hope that you feasted when you made it home! I can never cook as good as this but might give it a try! Then again, everything delivers here!

  11. I don’t eat lamb, but it looks delicious! Everything does. 🙂 I love watching cooking demonstrations.. I’m a Food Network addict! You always find the best places!

  12. I don’t think I’ve ever had lamb. I’ve never been much of a meat eater, but the meals do look delicious (especially the wine and the dessert…) Lucky you to get to eat all that scrumptious food!

    1. Hey Sarah!

      I wasn’t much of a lamb eater either, but have to admit this was a really great meal! I eat all this food and good thing I work out!

  13. Okay, I am NOT allowed to read your blog first thing in the morning. I am starving AND craving wine– which is never a good sign on a Tuesday morn. Mmmmmm this makes me all cravy.

  14. I got hungry looking at the photos…… and i ate a nice dinner last light…. as always you find some amazing places. Stay warm, but if you are dining on Australian lamb and red wine, you already are!

    1. Hey Clay!

      I am trying to stay warm but at 18 degrees here in NYC it’s not that easy!

      Went out running the last two nights but I’m staying inside a warm gym this evening! Hey, thanks for the Wounded Warrior donation!

  15. What a brilliant way to spend the evening. I love lamb as it’s got so much natural flavour without having to season it like mad to get that taste. I also like my meat more cooked as I don’t want to end up bleeting all the way home, ha ha ha.

    Those pictures always look so tasty. Once again, I feel like licking the screen.

Feel free to comment! We all have opinions!