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New Times Pairings 2012: The Winning Dishes

The 2012 New Times Pairings was a fine vintage indeed.
The 2012 New Times Pairings was a fine vintage indeed.
Christina Mendenhall

See also: Pairings 2012 at Broward County Convention Center photo gallery and Pairings 2012: The Five Best Things I Ate

If the number of slain bottles and shimmying hips was any indication, there were more than a few rough wake-up calls this morning for the 1,500 or so attendees at Thursday night's fifth annual New Times Pairings. The event, held on three levels at the Broward County Convention Center, boasted more than 40 restaurants and food vendors and as many wine and beer pairings. Plus liquor samplings, live music, and giveaways.

It was a lot of eating and drinking, but the five Pairings judges managed to get it done. Those sampling the cuisine in an official capacity were: Laine Doss (New Times food writer), Zach Fagenson (a New Times restaurant critic), Christine Najac (author of the Food Lovers' Guide to Miami & Fort Lauderdale and editor of southfloridafoodandwine.com), Renée Quinn (chair of JA World Uncorked wine and food event), and James Carras (Himmarshee Village Association, head of the Greek Festival in Fort Lauderdale, and longtime judge at New Times Beerfest). Find their official picks after the jump.

New Times Pairings 2012: The Winning Dishes
Christina Mendenhall

Best Sweets: The Gelato Shoppe Petrini took the most votes, as judges dug the assortment of flavors the Boca-based sweets shop brought to the event and the pairing with NV Caposaldo Sweet Moscato. Other sweet treats that had attendees buzzing (and are worth a mention) were the beer truffles from Lush Confections which were matched with an assortment of brews from Florida Beer Co.

New Times Pairings 2012: The Winning Dishes
Christina Mendenhall

Most unique bite: YOLO and its Mediterranean-inspired octopus carpaccio was matched with the Seeker Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand 2011. One judge noted this was an "excellent pairing" for the dish, which incorporated paper-thin slices of octopus with a farro grape tomato and feta salad.

New Times Pairings 2012: The Winning Dishes
Christina Mendenhall

Most decadent: New to Pairings, but ready for the show was Rebel House, which earned kudos for its indulgent crispy lamb belly with green mango "kimchee," spicy peanuts, and rebel hoisin. The dish was paired with a Pali Wine Co. 2009 Riviera Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast.

New Times Pairings 2012: The Winning Dishes
Laine Doss

Best Overall: The Grill on the Alley scored big with braised short ribs served atop horseradish mashed potatoes and paired with Messenger Red Wine #1.

Other notable dishes that drew rave reviews came from El Jefe Luchador (tacos de barbacoa with smoked mushrooms, pickled onion and corn salsa fresca and truffle crema), Lauderdale Grill (ahi tuna nachos), Old Heidelberg Deli (an assortment of grilled sausage and canapes), Sea Level (spicy tomato gazpacho), and Steak 954 (cucumber gazpacho).

What was your favorite dish of the night? How 'bout the best libation? Let us know in the comments, and find a few more fun images from the event, after the jump.

"Hell's Kitchen" alum and Palate Party owner Robyn Almodovar and her lovely wife cooked up a storm to feed the hungry crowd at Pairings.
"Hell's Kitchen" alum and Palate Party owner Robyn Almodovar and her lovely wife cooked up a storm to feed the hungry crowd at Pairings.
Tricia Woolfenden
One of the restaurant's trademark Mexican wrestling masks watches over the table at El Jefe Luchador.
One of the restaurant's trademark Mexican wrestling masks watches over the table at El Jefe Luchador.
Tricia Woolfenden
Florida Beer Co. was generous with the pour, but always encourages responsible consumption of the Ape.
Florida Beer Co. was generous with the pour, but always encourages responsible consumption of the Ape.
Tricia Woolfenden
Spent corks and empty bottles: Signs that Pairings is ready to wind down.
Spent corks and empty bottles: Signs that Pairings is ready to wind down.
Tricia Woolfenden


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Related Locations

miles
Broward County Convention Center

1950 Eisenhower Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

954-765-5900

www.ftlauderdalecc.com

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Yolo Restaurant

333 E. Las Olas Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-2259

954-523-1000

miles
Rebel House

297 E. Palmetto Park Road
Boca Raton, FL 33432

561-353-5888

www.lifetastesbetter.com


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