Tastes food festival

I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for nearly 10 minutes just now, trying to decide whether I should blog about another NYC highlight or about my food today. This weekend had so much blog-worthy material but I know some of you really miss my “what I ate today” posts. I think I’ll do daily highlights every other day and share some NYC tidbits in between. Does that sound good?

So this past Saturday afternoon we attended the Tastes food festival, which raised funds for the NYC Lab School for collaborative studies. Twenty seven restaurants from the meatpacking district through Chelsey had booths set up and tempted attendees with their delicious eats. Each ticket allowed for 6 “tastes” so we definitely had to make some hard decisions. 😉

A few pictures of the “set up”

The scene with this couple dancing right in front of the giant blueberry bottle-man cracked me up – I had to take a picture 😆

So after browsing through the booths, I decided on a roasted eggplant salad with feta cheese from Pastis to start.

This was not bad but not great (too much dressing maybe?). My least favorite plate of all.

Next The Simple Kitchen table caught my eye with the bright cups of chilled local sweet pea soup

How gorgeous are these?

This was so perfect on an incredibly hot day – creamy yet refreshing. Amazing!

I actually stumbled upon that table on my way to the Bombay Talkie‘s tandoori shrimp with dates and mango lassi. My sister, Derek and Adam all LOVED this dish. I had to know what all the buzz was about!

Too bad this photo came out so blurry because this was another winner. The shrimp was super flavorful with all the quintessential Indian spices and the date was a fun sweet break between the 2 savory bites. The mango lassie was just okay.

A quick eating break for some pictures :)

Back to food…

Taste #4:

Tortilla Espanola con boquerones y guindilla peppers from Tia Pol – basically a fried potato cutlet base with sardines and pickled green beans

I really really loved this – so many textures and flavors! Of course the pickled veggies put this over the top for me. Yes, I’m obsessed!

Taste #5: Fluke crudo from 5 Ninth

Fluke with tapioca and cucumbers – super clean and refreshing!

I was getting really full at this point despite the fact that these were pretty small portions (and I didn’t even eat some of them in their entirety) so we decided to walk around the neighborhood and come back for our last few “tastes.” It was a great idea because we actually ended up passing by a lot of the restaurants that were featured (which was cool), had a fun time browsing through various shops in the Chelsey market (see this post for some pics from there) and worked up a tiny bit of an appetite… at least to manage a few more bites of food. 😀

Taste #6:

Lucy’s Whey is actually a cute cheese shop that carries gorgeous artisanal cheeses, condiments and other specialty items, so this table combined a few of these delicious treats in one.

Cabot clothbound cheddar from the cellars at Jasper Hill with McClure’s garlic dill pickles on Amy’s Bread pumpernickel baguette

I received 2 little toasts and shared them with my group – this was definitely an amazing combo – sharp aged cheddar + pickles + hearty bread = love :mrgreen:

So that was supposed to be it, but the guy checking my ticket at Lucy’s whey actually saw that it was supposed to be my last taste and just let me have it for free. I was pretty psyched about being able to taste one more thing from a great NYC restaurant…

Let’s try this again… Taste #6:

Shaved tuna with coconut lime broth, watermelon fizzy drink + cookies to go from Spice Market. As chef Anthony Ricco said: “The best deal in town!” 😆

This was so delicious, it actually made me sad that I ran out of tastes from my ticket. The coconut lime broth was incredible – kind of creamy yet light and undeniably Thai. It was fun having cookies later as well. There were 3 mini ones – the peanut butter one was my favorite, the other 2 had too much nutmeg for my liking.

I love events like that because they expose you to many wonderful restaurants all in one place. I would love to go back to every single one of the restaurants from my chosen tastes (well Pastis didn’t impress me but its reputation proceeds it). What a great neighborhood event and definitely the ultimate brunch! Another reason to love NY – there is always something super cool going on. Have you ever attended an event like this? This definitely beat any other “street fair” I’ve ever been to.

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