Forest Hills resident Mike Arcati attended with wife Delia, friends Justin and Julissa of Rego Park, and Jonathan, who made the trek from Seattle. Among the foods they enjoyed was pesto pizza.
“Just being there to hang out with other foodies under the historical Forest Hills Stadium was fulfilling in itself,” he said. “I explored more of the stadium that I have not seen even after attending concerts.”
Evan Solomon and his wife Karen, also of Forest Hills, wanted their children Jasper and Michael to experience the festival.
“I liked the whole layout of the event, including going up on stage and seeing what is normally the VIP rooms for the attractions,” he said. “It's nice to know that people realize that an event doesn't have to be in Manhattan or Brooklyn to be popular and successful. We have great space right here in Central Queens.”
It was a large family-and-friends affair for Roxanne Krawczyk of Forest Hills.
“After trying about half the vendors, I definitely have a list of restaurants I would like to visit to try their full menu,” she said. “The tacos from Casa Enrique will definitely be on my mind, and the dumplings from Dumpling Galaxy were also incredible.
“With so many restaurants in the boroughs, it’s hard to discover it all, but this event gave you the chance to learn of places located so close by,” Krawczyk added.
Eeeeeatscon was also a draw for young couples. Doris Lee traveled from the Flatiron District and attended with her boyfriend and two friends.
“I really appreciated how clean, modern, and Instagram-able everything was,” she said. “Highlights included the free stuff, such as from the Amex Gold Lounge, as well as the speaker series.”
There were approximately 30 food vendors, and guests dined on blankets and at picnic tables. The Albi Room presented by Showtime and Shameless offered cocktails, and the Kidding Photo Booth by Showtime let attendees put themselves on the set of Jim Carey’s new series.
The Stella Artois Airstream Café featured bocce, while the Zagat studio enabled visitors to explore Zagat throughout the years and pin their favorite restaurants on a map. Children were entertained in the Kids Area and in the Edible Schoolyard, with hands-on gardening and cooking activities.
“It was a nice day, with a really nice vibe, and it was great to see a lot of like-minded people enjoying such good food,” said Jeff Zilberstein, who brought his wife and two children. “Most of the time these events take place and food is an afterthought, but having food front and center was kind of a cool and unique experience.”
Jordan Salcito, founder of Drink RAMONA, used the event to launch RAMONA Sicilian Lemon.
“Every time I went to a ballgame or what calls for a traditional 'beer' moment, I opted for water since I've never enjoyed a cold, refreshing beer in the romantic, traditional sense,” he said of the inspiration for his product. “It led me to realize that no delicious, wine-based, all-natural, and organic version of a spritz existed. I figured we might as well make one in a ready-to-drink format.”
Caviar presents The Wine Room hosted panels like “The Breakfast Club: Best wines to drink before you eat today” and “Fluent Not Affluent: A discussion about making wine more accessible and less stuffy.”
The “Eat Like A Champion” panel featured Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon, and “How The West Was Won” featured chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, who influenced the Los Angeles restaurant scene.
“Origin Stories” was a discussion with Tim and Nina Zagat and The Infatuation co-founders Chris Stang and Andrew Steinhal on brand-building and valuing community.
“The core principle was listening to people and having them share their experiences and give restaurants ratings for food, décor, service, and cost,” Nina Zagat explained. “Going out to eat is a great joy in life, and it’s more fun when you read about a place and you get to see all the little perks.”
“Zagat built real relationships with the community,” added Stang. “We had this whole idea of not wanting to feel so serious, but if it’s fun and funny, it feels more inclusive and more accessible and relatable.”