Tickets are on sale for Taste of Tribeca

It just ran through my head that Taste must be coming up, and sure enough, tickets are on sale now. Here’s the ticket site.

The details: Saturday, May 18, 11:30a to 3p, rain or shine. Tickets this year are $55 for the early birds; $800 for a VIP table (under the tent with runners bringing the food) of four or $1200 for a table of six. The prices will go up after May 12, but the tables usually sell out quick.

This is the event’s 30th anniversary — it’s hosted by and benefits a joint partnership between PS 150, which of course moved to Fidi, and PS 234. And it only happens because of the generosity and the inventiveness of our neighborhood restaurants and chefs.

The idea was dreamt up by a few parents from PS 150, after the city cut the school’s arts program and folks here were looking for a way to build the arts back into the curriculum. “This is, after all, Tribeca,” said Steven Wils when I interviewed him for the 25th anniversary in 2019. Rocco and Electra Damato, who own Bazzini Nuts, joined the effort along with Deborah Pearson, and the plan was hashed out over meetings at the Bazzini market (now Sarabeth’s).

That first year, 1994, the team wrangled 18 restaurants to line up on the cobblestones of Jay Street, between Greenwich and Staple; “I can’t remember anyone who didn’t want to be a part of it,” said Wils. Tickets were $18 and the school made $28K. “It was packed,” said Wils, who notes that back then, Tribeca was “sort of a hip place to visit,” and a destination for restaurants. The group was shocked they made that much, and they knew they were onto something. “It was new, it was a good thing, and it was a blast.”

A couple years later, PS 234 parents were brought in and the event moved to Duane, where it’s been ever since. Some real neighborhood classics were among those first participants: Chanterelle, El Teddy’s, Capsouto Freres, Acapella, Salaam Bombay, Montrachet. And of course there is the elite class that is still going, 25 years later: Bubby’s, Bouley, Gigino, Tribeca Grill, Duane Park Patisserie, The Odeon, Walker’s.

The event was cancelled in spring 2020, when organizers began a fundraising effort for local restaurants that connected their culinary efforts with city non-profits that were in the throes of covid work. It was amazing and ingenious and in fact kept the streak going. Taste wasn’t the public celebration that we were used to, but it was still a tribute to and a benefit for our local restaurants. They also cancelled 2021, since we were still in a covid fog; that makes this year the 30th.

I hate publishing lists, since inevitably someone is left off, so see the list of 2024 restaurants on the Taste site here. There are dozens, along with participating wine merchants — a great addition as of a couple years ago. My hot take: eat through your punch card on Duane, then make the rounds for happy hour.