Friday, June 12, 2009

Taste of LIC - Dessert Overload

For the second year now, I attended the Taste of LIC event. I thought that last year's venue, the rooftop of the East Coast Tower apartment building was spectacular, but this year at the Gantry Plaza State Park it was just as (if not more) beautiful. It was fortunate that the event was tented, as the weather was soupy and on the brink of rain. But that didn't stop people from leaving the tents for a much needed food break, enjoying the beautiful city view near the East River. It was gorgeous and relaxing.

I sampled so many yummies that night that it was hard to decide what I liked best. But alas I chose a couple of favorites below that I'll be checking out again - and I encourage you to try them too.

Communitea - They impressed me with their sweets last year, and this year it was the hummus/avocado sandwich I was after. It was unfortunate that the bread got a bit soggy from the humidity but the hummus/avocado spread was delightful - light, creamy and also filling. I liked that it was healthy and you could tell that they used good quality ingredients. They also had various wonderful desserts; one of which I tried was the mini-brownie and it was pure decadence.
10-10 50th Ave, Long Island City, 718-383-9315

Manducatis Rustica
- Wow, the offering here was impressive! In addition to savory dishes such as their signature mushroom/spinach quiches, they had a plethora of desserts. I simply couldn't refuse them and tried the walnut cake and a cup of chocolate mousse. I liked both but preferred the walnut cake, which had a soft consistency and a floral, honey finish. It tasted very homemade and I loved that. The chocolate mousse was a winner too but was just a tad too sweet for my tastebuds - the texture was lovely though. 46-35 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, 718.937.1312

Testaccio - This was an exciting discovery, as Testaccio hasn't yet opened (but they plan to in early August). So even though it was a tease, this Northern Italian restaurant offered a lovely starter of figs topped with mascarpone cheese and pine nuts. It was a clean, smooth bite and slightly decadent from the dessert cheese. I could see myself making it at home and especially for guests. 47-30 Vernon Boulevard, LIC,

Tom Cat Bakery
- There's a reason why movie studios use Tom Cat to do their catering - their products are fantastic. Although known for their breads, they also make spectacular pastries and I tasted their raspberry bar at Tuesday's event. Yowza! Out of this world - the crumbly top was crunchy and buttery and the raspberry filling was just the right amount of sweet and sour. I wanted to have a mere half but couldn't leave it uneaten because it was that good. 43-05 10th Street, Long Island City, 718.786.7659

- Look I know what you're thinking, it's a supermarket...but I had something really, really delicious there, the quinoa salad. Mixed with pistachios, dried cranberries and a citrus dressing, it was a wonderful side that I'd definitely buy or make for myself. A healthy dish, I loved the heartiness of the quinoa (starchy) mixed with the sweet dried fruit and the savory nuts. Fun and imaginative!
4-85 47th Road, Long Island City, 718.606.9786

I hope that you have an opportunity to visit some of these places because they really are great.

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