My job has a lot of perks. Because we work with a lot of magazines and websites, we get to take advantage of some of their more exclusive events. Usually the events are more like big parties, which are fun but not really my thing. But when New York Magazine (which also happens to be the only magazine I read as a consumer, every issue) invited me to their annual TASTE event, I was thrilled. They even let me take a Plus One, so I had to invite fellow food lover and blogger, That Lori, of Stuff I Ate, to join me.
I’ve always wanted to go to TASTE, seeing as though it features a taste from some of the best restaurants in NYC, including some of our favorites, all’onda, Barbuto, betony, Butter, Gramercy Tavern, and NoMad.
The event was in a space called The Waterfront Building on 11th Avenue between 27th and 28th Streets. It was built in 1891 as the Terminal Stores building and it looked (and looks) like a medieval fortress. Rail lines ran right into the building from the Hudson river docks and when it was built, it was the only building with direct access to the river, the road, and the rail.
It was a great space for this event; long and narrow with enough room to get around (though when the masses came in, we were certainly tripping over each other (and the poorly placed floor lights). Though it certainly felt crowded at times, we never waited more than a few minutes for any food (though by the final hour, most were out of food… not that we could eat any more at that time anyway though!)
As we walked through the event, I kept noticing that they had great music on. I was actually surprised when we got to the end and it was a live band. They sounded like a recording. Great band.
One of my favorite celebrity chefs, Jonathan Waxman, was behind his Barbuto table. As soon as I lifted my duck liver pâté crostini with apples and saba up to take a picture, Chef Waxman immediately laughed at me and said I was being cute by taking a detailed picture. I blushfully told him how much I loved his chicken at Barbuto and he told me that he hopes I loved his duck liver even more. I’m not star struck by many people, but for some reason, Chef Waxman turned me into a giggling little girl.
And yes, his duck liver was superb (though blurry in this picture, seeing as though I was giggling…)
Here were some of my favorite bites of the evening:
Truffled hummus from Claudette. I would never have thought to bump up hummus by adding truffle, but this was spot on. From now on, if I want to make my hummus a more elegant meal, I will be adding truffle salt.
And while we’re on the topic of truffles, Toloache was serving a beautiful slice of raw tuna with quinoa, avocado aioli, and fresh slices of truffles. It also had a spicy sauce on top which they (kindly) left off of mine. This was so fresh and just popped with flavor.
The Writing Room was serving a chicken liver mousse with green apples. The mousse was so fresh and the apples were a great foil for the richness. A very enjoyable bite.
Sadly, there was so much food that by the end, I just couldn’t fit another bite. But I just loved the look of these lettuce cups with egg from Tao.
But my favorite bite of the evening was squash with pistachio and truffle from Piora. It was so good, that Piora jumped right to the top of my list for next restaurant I want to try.
My favorite dessert was the chocolate lollipops from Wallsé. They were so rich and had such amazing flavor. I went back for one more at the end of the night, but no surprise, there were none left.
I loved this event and even if I don’t get the opportunity to go as a guest next year, I think it will be worth it to pay for it and bring Mike. It was an absolutely delicious and fun evening.
Thanks again, New York Magazine!