Friday, September 23, 2011

San Gennaro Festival

This past weekend while Erica's dad was in town, we went to eat at his favorite Italian restaurant Angelo's of Mulberry St. in Little Italy. Normally I love going to Little Italy for no particular reason, but this time it was even better since The San Gennaro Festival was taking place!

The 85th Annual San Gennaro Festival is the city's largest and longest running outdoor festival. It is held from September 15th through September 25th on the streets of Little Italy. Most of the restaurants set up a street side seating area to watch all of the festivities. There were a few carnival rides, vendors selling everything from jewelry to Italian aprons and other types of food carts selling different types of cuisine (I don't know who wouldn't want to eat Italian food at an Italian festival in Little Italy though). It also hosts a famous cannoli eating contest!

We decided to eat lunch first since we were starving. Angelo's was absolutely delicious! Everyone's meals were absolutely amazing. (I know this because I have an obsession with eating off other people's plates and sampled each person's meal.) The food was true Italian food and the atmosphere was sophisticated, but not uptight. I can't wait for my family to come visit so I can take them there!

After lunch we stopped by the Ferrara Bakery & Cafe since they are known for their amazing desserts. They had about four different booths set up and were selling sweets like crazy. I decided on a cannoli since I had never had one. It wasn't my favorite thing ever. I wasn't a huge fan of the pastry shell and the inside wasn't all that amazing. Erica and her dad love them though. I want to go back and try some of their other delectable desserts soon though.

While Erica and Tyler ordered gelato, Mr. Johasky and I walked down the street to the stage area. There was a man singing Frank Sinatra songs and I really enjoyed it. I have always said if I could meet a dead person, it would be him. I love all his music and Mr. Johasky and I sang along with the songs while walking down the street.

As we were standing by the stage we noticed a crew of Ferrara pastry chefs building a humongous cake to celebrate the festival. Much to the guys' disappointment, Erica and I watched them build the cake for about 30 minutes. It was so exciting each time they added a new layer and iced the cake. The piping bags they used were HUGE.

They had a blueprint of what the cake was supposed to look like when it was finished and it was awesome. We decided not to torture the boys anymore since it would be a while before it was finished and left to explore the festival some more. The streets were so crowded though we didn't get very far before we gave up. It worked out anyways because I had to go meet up with my friend Kara who came to visit from Boston and the cable guy was scheduled to come set up our cable around the same time.

Overall the festival was amazing and our lunch was even better. I enjoyed getting to know Erica's dad and being able to explore Little Italy with them. It was nice to see so many people out in the streets in the beautiful weather. I'm so happy we went and I already can't wait to go again next year!

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