Last night, I had the pleasure of attending The Chocolate Factory's 5th Annual Taste of LIC held at Gantry Plaza State Park. Although the event was held here last year as well, I think due to last night's favorable weather, it was even more successful. There was certainly an abundance of restaurants where you could sample more goodies and it was fun to see the new-kids-on-the-block (that haven't officially opened), showcasing their wares.
Below are my highlights of new things, old things and really unusual things that made me stop.
Madera - This newly opened Cuban Grill was represented with an offering of baked coconut shrimp, guava and cheese empanadas (which were delicious) as well as slow roasted pork and ropa vieja (shredded beef). Although they had difficulty keeping their dishes warm, you could tell they were well made and I'd be curious to sample their food at the restaurant. 47-29 Vernon Blvd, LIC. 917.402.7019
Breadbox Cafe - Even though this place hasn't officially opened, the food looked and tasted promising. It's nothing fancy, made up of simple salads, sandwiches, quiches and baked goods, but the ingredients seemed fresh and tasted delicious. It could become a good breakfast or lunch standby, and the owners mentioned that they'll also offer dinner. 47-11 11th Street, LIC. 718.389.9700
M. Wells - I was intrigued to learn that a Quebeco-American diner is coming to LIC. The dish they served last night, a slow roasted pork dressed with a sweet maple reduction, was so memorable and left my mind and palate thoroughly intrigued. I'll get back to you with more details about their official opening. 21-17 49th Avenue, LIC.
Wunderbar - Wow, when I saw the generous offering of bratwurst, weisswurst and all the fixins such as German potatoes, sauerkraut, red cabbage and German-style onions, I couldn't miss it. Wunderbar's representatives were really great and piled everything expertly in a disposable dish (pictured above) and even dressed it with spicy mustard. The whole thing was just delectable and reminded me of being back in Eastern Europe. YUM! 37-10 11th Street, LIC. 718.937.2337
Tournesol - Tournesol never fails to deliver and as they do each year, they featured an egg/bacon/onion quiche paired with champagne. Every year it's this dish and every year, I devour it. Tournesol uses a really amazing, thick-cut hearty bacon that's wonderful to sink your teeth into. 50-12 Vernon Blvd, LIC. 718.472.4355
Lounge 47 - After hearing a lot of good things about their wasabi deviled eggs, I finally got to taste one. And was it good! Being a huge fan of deviled eggs in general, I had a feeling I'd enjoy this but wasn't ready for the subtle hit to your palate from the strong wasabi. The flavors definitely woke your senses in the best possible way and the dish was addicting to say the least. 47-10 Vernon Blvd, LIC. 718.937.2044
Sage's Bacon Brownie - The Sage General Store really brought it up a notch with their bacon brownies. As soon as I heard the words bacon and brownie in the same sentence I was so down to try it. The actual brownie was really chocolatey, using good quality dark chocolate and flavored with small bits of bacon. The taste wasn't overpowering but powerful enough to recognize its distinct smokiness. It was truly incredible and I went back for seconds. 24-20 Jackson Avenue, LIC. 718.361.0707
Omni's Truffled Honey - This unique item from Omnipak Distributing Company was unforgettable. Paired with crumbly parmesan cheese on top of rustic focaccia bread, it delivered the perfect bite. The sweetness from the honey brought a smile to your face and you couldn't help but be surprised by the truffle essence that lingered on your tongue after each bite. I'm certainly going to probe further and find out where this product is ditributed.
El Ay Si's Homemade Candy - Distributed to all guests in a cute little paper bag with El Ay Si's insignia, these little treats were just adorable. Individually wrapped in old fashioned wax paper, they consisted of rich, fudgy candy flavored with banana. How inventive yet nostalgic at the same time! The bag also included a $10 gift certificate to El Ay Si, which will surely come in handy. 47-38 Vernon Blvd, LIC. 718.389.8781
What did you think of last night's event?