A Taste of Taste of Tribeca

The press preview menu (click to enlarge)

I exercised this morning, stretched a bit afterward, and tried not to eat too many of the Tate’s cookies in my pantry, but none of it mattered: I left the Taste of Tribeca press preview painfully stuffed. There was really no way around it, given that the lunch was 10 courses, including two desserts (that some of them are only a bite or two is irrelevant).

If you don’t know, Taste of Tribeca is an annual benefit for P.S. 150 and P.S. 234—this is the 17th year—where restaurants set up stalls on Duane Street, and attendees get six tastes for each ticket (early-bird tickets are $35). This year’s is Saturday, May 21. The organizers sold 4,200 tickets last year—up 1,000 from the year before. And 74 restaurants have signed up for this year’s event—never before had more than 68 participated. For the first time, there will also be a cocktail party on May 17 at Macao Trading Co.; tickets are $75, but that includes a ticket to the actual Taste event. You can buy all Taste tickets here.

M1-5's crab bruschetta

The press preview was at Toro Lounge, underneath Plein Sud, which is celebrating its one-year anniversary. Chef Ed Cotton came out to welcome everyone, and he remarked what a sense of community there is among neighborhood restaurants: “If I run out of something—sugar, flour, white anchovies, whatever—I can run over to Marc Forgione and borrow some.” As we were served each dish, the chef came out and said a few words. It was remarkable how many of local chefs have television experience: Ed Cotton, John Sierp of M1-5, Jehangir Mehta of Mehtaphor, Aaron Sanchez of Centrico, Marc Forgione, and Marc Murphy of Landmarc. Meanwhile, someone should probably sign up Stuzzicheria‘s Ron Suhanosky and ROC‘s Rocco Cadolini, given the effect they had on the women at my table.

Marc Forgione

Today’s preview was delicious, if heavy on meat, and there wasn’t a dog (literal or figurative!) in the bunch. My table seemed happiest about Duane Park Patisserie‘s molten chocolate cake. “We usually make two to three hundred more than we’re obligated for,” said DPP’s Madeline Lanciani in her introduction, explaining that she’s fortunate in that her stall is right in front of her bakery, so she can keep cakes coming out hot from the oven. “By 2:30, we’re out of the eight hundred or so that we’ve made, so we just keep making them.”

As you may have heard me complain, I recently dropped my camera, so these photos are awful—and Toro Lounge’s romantic lighting didn’t help. What’s more, my scanner is refusing to communicate with my computer, so I can’t scan the menu. It’s enough to make me wish I had drunk the wine at lunch. Thanks so much to Wendy Chapman, who shared her photos—except the crummy one of Forgione, which was all me. See you on May 21!

Mehtaphor's spiced kabob

Plein Sud's pork rillette slider

ROC's orecchiette with sausage and butternut squash

Duane Park Patisserie's molten chocolate cake


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