Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Taste of Tribeca 2011

Ten well-known chefs.  Ten courses.  Ten of Tribeca’s best restaurants.  Was I on the set of a new Food Network reality show?  No, just an attendee at the Taste of Tribeca press preview lunch on May 4th.  Even as a major foodie, I was in for an overwhelming afternoon of indulgence.  With my efforts to make it to yoga class in the morning, and to only have a Greek yogurt for breakfast, I still left the press preview painfully stuffed (yet, blissfully happy).  The Taste of Tribeca is an annual event (celebrating its 17th year) to benefit P.S. 150 and P.S. 234.  Seventy-five restaurants will set up shop this year on May 21st, where attendees will choose six tastes for each ticket (advanced tickets are $40).  For the first time, there will also be a cocktail party on May 17th at Macao Trading Co. from 6-9pm for $75 per ticket, which includes a ticket to the actual Taste of Tribeca event.
The press preview was held at Toro Lounge in the basement of Plein Sud within the Smyth Hotel (speaking of reality television, yes, the Karadashian sisters did rent the penthouse).  Plein Sud's Chef Ed Cotton welcomed everyone as they arrived, noting the strong sense of community among Tribeca neighborhood restaurants: “If I run out of something - sugar, flour, white anchovies, whatever - I can run over to Marc Forgione and borrow some.”  Joking aside (and a few sips of white wine down, because why not get a little tipsy during your lunch break?), the tasting began.  As each course was served, the chef who created the dish came out to describe what were about to enjoy.  You may recognize many of these local chefs, such as the 2010 Iron Chef winner Marc Forgione, Next Iron Chef contestant Jehangir Mehta, and Chopped judge Marc Murphy.  The preview was delicious and truly highlighted what a ticket holder can expect at Taste of Tribeca.  I honestly would not be able to choose just six items to enjoy at the event.
We started with a Pork Rillette (herbed mayonnaise and a pickle) from Chef Ed Cotton of Plein Sud.  This mini sandwich melted in your mouth as it was packed with tender meat.
A Crab Bruschetta was served next from Chef John Sierp of M1-5, which left my coworker and foodie friend Kris Alcantara speechless.  For a restaurant known for “bar food”, the fresh lump crab meat resting on chopped tomatoes and a crispy toast was much more gourmet than one would expect.
Mehtaphor’s Chef Jehangir Mehta introduced his Spiced Kababob, which was the perfect bite-sized Indian-style meatball.
For a Mexican treat, we were served Taco’s de Carnitas (with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa) that had the right amount of kick from Chef Aaron Sanchez and Chef Angel Tenesaca of Centrico.
Stuzzicheria, known for their meatballs, brought Chef Ron Suhanosky’s Chicken Liver Crostini, which was too strong for my palate, but was enjoyed by my fellow editors and bloggers.
Chef Ralpheal of Thalassa treated us to an Olive Oil Cured Diver Scallop over Caviar Mousse.  As a seafood lover, this dish was one of my favorites of the afternoon.  The Scallop was right-off-the-boat fresh and I could have eaten a second.
For a heavy, creamy pasta dish, Chef Rocco Cadolini of Roc served Orecchiette with Spicy Sausage and Butternut Squash.  Of course I could barely take more than a few bites this late in the tasting, but I enjoyed each morsel I could stuff down.  This meal would be the ultimate comfort food.
The best course of the day was served next by Marc Forgione.  A Buffalo Prime Rib (with Ramp Chimichurri, Pomme Fondant) was cooked to medium-rare perfection, served along with a Steak Tartare that sang sweet and sour notes.  This dish alone is worth purchasing a $40 ticket for.
When the two dessert courses were served, everyone was beyond full, but couldn’t resist sampling the chocolate focused treats.  Chef Marc Murphy of Landmarc brought S’mores Cookies, which would make any kid (or any adult yearning for their childhood days) a happy camper.  These chewy and gooey chocolate chunk and marshmallow cookies were better than anything the Girl Scouts have to offer.
The final course was a Warm Molten Chocolate Cake from Chef Madeline Carvalho Lanciani of Duane Park Patisserie.  The best (and possibly only) way to describe this rich fudgy dessert, that had all of the ladies at my table in awe, is to state that it serves as the ultimate food-gasm.

Foodies of New York City, mark your calendars for May 21st and be prepared to enjoy some of the best food from some of the city’s brightest chefs downtown at Taste of Tribeca.

Order Taste of Tribeca tickets here.

1 comment:

  1. I like to try Taco’s de Carnitas. The food looks delicious and yummy. Please let me know how can I find this place.


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