Yesterday night, I attended 2010 New York Taste as a press correspondent. As I had mentioned previously, New York Taste is a foodie’s dream, with tastings from over 40 selected NYC restaurants, with chefs such as Marcus Samuelsson, Morimoto, Andrew Carmellini and Josh DeChellis. The really great thing is that a portion of the event’s proceeds will benefit City Harvest to help fight hunger. And what did they have for us to nosh on? Let’s jump right in, shall we?
First, we have squid with edamame, fresh peanuts, and Thai basil (first picture), courtesy of Anita Lo of Annisa. The squid was perfectly prepared (squid can sometimes be overdone and tough, blech! This one was great though), and the edamame was not overcooked either. Yum!
My next stop was at the table of Josh DeChellis, of La Fonda Del Sol. His offering of maple cured egg yolk with Jamon Serrano and pimenton picante was calling my name. I’m a sucker for egg yolks (I’m of the runnier-is-better school) and maple? OMG. I watched as he added the finishing touches:
And I grabbed one of those suckers in my hot little hands. Just look at that perfectly prepared yolk! I mean, come on:
It was scrumptious – the saltiness of the jamon and the rich yolk, topped off with a sweet/salty/spicy touch was just perfect. I went back for another. Then I had a brief conversation with Mr. DeChellis about the perfection of the poached egg. Then I took a picture of him and the eggs. I’m pretty sure he was sick of me by that point, so I moved on. But not before this – smile!
My next stop was at the EN Japanese Brasserie table, which had a Washugyu beef cheek brasied in red miso, with freshly made scooped tofu with wari joyu. Beef cheek is a tender, flavorful cut – as you can see, the little boats of beef were being scooped up before I could even take a proper photo!
I next headed over to Fatty Cue, where HELLO! A pig head greeted me:
Om nom nom. Fatty Cue had fatty (of course) cuts of pork with maple cider and winter green curry. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – duck and pork are my two absolute favorite types of meat. Yum.
Next on my list was Hill Country Chicken, which had mini Texas hand rolls. Now I know I’ve got small hands and that everything’s bigger in Texas, but I had to use both mitts to grab onto this roll. The chicken was tender and the slaw provided just a touch of sweetness:
I stopped by the James table, where a chicken Cordon Bleu was dressed up with Parma Cotto, Taleggio and Black Truffle Salad. That finely slivered truffle was calling my name, and if you listen real closely, I think it’s calling you too:
Think I was slowing down by this point? No way, buddy. I hustled on over to Morimoto, where the chefs were putting the finishing touches on spicy king crab:
The crab was so good that I, um, gobbled up the sample before I snapped a photo. But you can imagine how scrumptious it looked, right? The spiciness added a warmth that was strong but not overwhelming, and the king crab was meaty and fresh.
Then, on to Aquavit, which had a really cool display to feature its cold smoked Nantucket Bay Scallop with red cabbage sauerkraut and horseradish emulsion. The scallop was fresh and ever so pleasantly briny.
These suuuper crazy deviled eggs then caught my eye. At the Riverpark table, we had beet-pickled eggs with smoked white fish and horseradish. Beet pickled! Genius. Looked awesome and tasted good to boot. The Easter bunny would approve.
By this point, I was starting to slow down a bit, so I had to choose judiciously. I saw one of my favorite meats at L’Ecole, the Restaurant of The French Culinary Institute – they featured duck with leek-raisin curry and duck eggs. Duck plus duck egg? I’m sold:
Continuing on my quest that started at Le Fonda Del Sol for the slow cooked egg, I made sure I stopped by the Bar Basque table. They had a fairly elaborate setup to prepare their sample of poached farm egg, olive oil crushed potatoes, red peppers, serrano ham and cheese broth. There are so many things right with that sentence. Witness below the crispy serrano ham in the center basket and the poached eggs ready to be consumed by moi.
And the finished product:
I couldn’t wind down my entree sampling without a stop by Marcus Samuelsson’s table for his much talked-about newest endeavor – Red Rooster Harlem. I got a sneak peak of their offerings, dished out by none other than Marcus himself!
And on the menu that night – gravlax on waffles with purple mustard. Mmmm mmm good!
I’m not kidding, I was really trying to wrap things up at this point (so I could move onto dessert, duh), but THEN I saw Telepan‘s squash tortellini with red cabbage & dried cherries, which I felt was very seasonally appropriate and therefore warranted a sample:
and it was worth it.
Ok, and THEN I was almost done, but then I saw Andrew Carmellini of Locanda Verde – and well, he was serving lamb meatball sliders with caprino and pickled cucumbers. Once again, so many things right with that sentence. I needed to try, and boy was I glad I did:
Finally, I was ready to wind down the savories, finishing off with a soup. George Mendes, of Aldea fame, showcased a lobster soup with coconut, chorizo and coriander. It was rich, creamy and had just a hint of heat. I had to snap quickly as these little soup shooters were being snatched up left and right!
What a perfect way to transition into desserts! With a little refreshment from the fully stocked bar, I was ready for Round 2.
I next stopped for these lovelies – parsnip custard with Dominican chocolate, hazelnut and brown butter, from Le Bernardin. I would have never guessed there was parsnip in these from first taste, but if that means it’s healthy, sign me up (Yeah….I don’t think that means it’s healthy):
Pichet Ong’s Spot featured soft cheesecake with Valencia oranges, blueberry compote, walnut soil and raspberry foam. As a huge fan of foams, “soils” and other textural experiments, I was eager to try this creation. The sample was light, airy, and slightly tart – I devoured it pronto.
BLT Fish also had victuals of the dessert variety, with its take on a caramelized bananas and rum parfait. I believe the two best things to caramelize are the banana and the top of a creme brulee, so this was all good by me. They had parfaits as far as the eye could see:
Thought I was done with dessert? Not remotely! Blue Hill at Stone Barns offered a homemade yogurt with pine nuts and Forono beets. Yogurt and beets, aye? Not a combo I’m too familiar with, but the mild sweetness of the beets complemented the tangy yogurt perfectly. The pine nuts added a needed crunch.
My next sweet selection was the honeycrisp apple confit with Speculoos Biscuit and smoked cinnamon ice cream, from Daniel:
I’d like to think this delectable dessert didn’t “count” because apples are good for you and isn’t cinnamon supposed to have some positive benefit? I thought so as well, so I ate two.
I walked by this tree several times before I noticed that it was the setup for Park Avenue Autumn‘s table – perched all over the tree were mini caramel apples – do you see them? I guess dessert does grow on trees:
I finished the evening with apple cider doughnuts and butterscotch from Colicchio & Sons. I’m pretty sure I had sugar on my face by the time I left, but the coat check girl didn’t say anything, and it was well worth it for these sugary morsels. Mmm…
I walked (or rolled) out of the New York Taste event stuffed beyond imagination, and I only wish I had room to sample more! The magnitude of culinary talent was amazingly delicious, and I’m happy to have shared a taste of it with you. Thank you, New York Magazine for the opportunity to cover this event!
Which of these dishes would you like to try?