Wednesday, November 3, 2010

2010 NY Taste is the Talk of the Town

New York Taste, this week's anticipated food event was a smashing hit in my opinion.  Not only did it present an opportunity to rub elbows with New York's hottest culinerati, the food was off the charts.  Aside from the usual (yet excellent) suspects such as Blue Hill, Daniel, L'Ecole, Le Bernadin, Morimoto and more, there were also plenty of hot, sizzling newcomers such as Fish Tag, Graffit, Hill Country Chicken, Riverpark, Spot Dessert bar and more that really impressed.  Here's a comparison of my favorite oldies and newbies from this year's New York Taste.

The Oldies

Locanda Verde - Making its debut at NY Taste last year, Locanda once again did what they do best - simple, playful comfort food.  The adorably presented lamb meatball sliders that you see above were so excellent, I even came back for seconds, which is quite rare for a sensory overload experience such as this one.  The meat was not only soft and juicy, it also had a hint of curiosity that made your eyebrows go up.  Mmmm...must've been the sharp pickled cucumbers.  377 Greenwich Street, New York NY 10013.  212.925.3797

Le Bernadin
- Leave it to Le Bernadin to do something spectacular.  I was excited to see Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis, who I've taken an instructional class from recently, manning the station.  The goods at this table included a dark chocolate parfait, sandwiched between parsnip mousse, which was deliciously mild and sophisticated.  I liked that this dessert was deceiving in that it looked super rich, but was actually quite light.  155 West 51st Street, New York NY 10019.  212.554.1515

Park Avenue Autumn
- First drawn to this restaurant because of its eye-catching display of a leafy tree, I looked further to see that there were little apple lollypops attached to its branches.  How creative!  It was fun to pick the apples off the tree and I loved that they were soft but not too sweet, sporting savory crunchies, which provided a nice juxtaposition of texture.  100 East 63rd Street, New York NY 10021.  212.644.1900

The Newbies

Bar Basque
- The most intricate table-side preparation went into Bar Basque's poached farm egg with olive oil crushed potatoes, red peppers, Serrano ham and silky cheese broth.  It was an experience just watching all the pieces come together, and once everything was compiled, it created a beautifully colorful plate of sophistication.  The egg was soft and velvety while the Serrano ham was smoky and crunchy and the red pepper added a hint of acid.  Overall, it felt interesting and innovative and like something I'd gladly have again.  839  Avenue of the Americas, New York NY 10001.  646.600.7150

- Another egg dish won over my heart and my stomach.  Looking gorgeous with a light magenta sheen on the egg white, it made me stop.  Once I took a bite, I knew I had to come back for seconds.  The egg white was dense and rich with a pickled, briny taste from the beet mixture it soaked in for a day, I found out.  And the interior....that was creamy and smoky from the whitefish concoction nestled inside.  This was no ordinary deviled egg, that's for sure.  450 East 29th Street, New York NY 10016.  212.729.9790

Spot Dessert Bar
- Known for his creative, non-traditional approach, Chef Pichet Ong had a stellar dessert showpiece at this year's event.  A soft cheesecake with seasonal fruit sorbet and walnut cookie crumbs first seemed run-of-the-mill but was anything but.  The cheesecake was tender and almost mousse-like, combining sweet and tangy flavors that just felt right.  Your tastebuds got a small reprieve from all that decadence with the refreshing sorbet and a mouthful of crunchies that made you work a bit.   13 St. Marks Place, New York NY 10003.  212.677.5670

If you went to this year's event, I hope you had as much fun as I did.  And if you didn't have a chance to check it out, I hope this convinces you to be a part of it next year.  Remember that a portion of the proceeds go to City Harvest.

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