The horses are busy gearing up for the third (and, considered by many, the hardest) leg of the Triple Crown, spectators are finalizing their outfits (you found your swanky hat, right?) and in the kitchens, at Belmont Park, the staff is preparing to serve the 90,000 spectators expected to attend.
They’ve actually been planning the menus for this year’s Belmont Stakes for a year. They started holding weekly meetings on the food, right after last year’s Belmont Stakes.
A Milestone Year at Belmont
“This is a milestone year for Belmont Park, so we want fans to enjoy a menu that’s worthy of the occasion, and has a distinct New York flavor,” said Centerplate Regional Vice President Bobby Dichiaro.
The Belmont Stakes is the oldest of the three Triple Crown events. The race dates back to 1867 when it occurred on a Thursday at Jerome Park. This year, when Justify attempts to become just the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown, (American Pharoah was the last winner in 2015, previous to that no horse had won since Affirmed in 1978), marks the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes.
What to Eat and Drink at the Belmont Stakes
While post time for the Belmont Stakes isn’t until 6:37 p.m., there are a number of races at Belmont throughout the day. And there’s also a lot of food. The chefs at Belmont Park create the menus for the day, based on what they can source using as many New York purveyors as possible.
The day starts with brunch items, including lox and smoked fish with cream cheese and jellies, melon, and Greek Frittata with roasted red pepper, asparagus and artichoke topped with heirloom tomato and feta salad.
From noon to 2:30 p.m., Belmont Park plays homage to different New York style food with an Adirondacks style meal (Crown Maple Baked Turkey Breast, Grilled Sweet Potato Salad and more), Street Fair food (Duck Confit Street Tacos, Pork Carnitas, Pepitas and more), Italian (Sweet Sausage filled Porchetta petite sandwich, Individual Neapolitan Vegetable Lasagnas and more) and classic New York Steakhouse food including a Delmonico Ribeye with “Signature” Steak sauce).
Later on in the day, you’ll be able to snag Eataly cannolis, Ferrara NY cheesecakes, soft pretzels, Coney Island water dogs and black & white cookies.
To drink, you have to have at least one Belmont Jewel, made with Woodford Reserve bourbon, lemonade and pomegranate juice but also expect to find New York-produced wine, beer and spirits options.
Just try not to get so caught up in the food that you forget to watch the main event.