Tag Archives: nymag

New York Taste Event 2014: Thanks NY Mag!

17 Nov

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, Barbutobetony, 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.


But now onto the food!  I was impressed to see many of the celebrity chefs working their booths, including Alex Guarnaschelli at Butter and Dale Talde at Talde.

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!


Grub Street Food Festival ::UPDATES!::

6 Dec

I was SO excited when I heard that Grub Street (the food section of New York Magazine) was going to be holding a food festival when some of my favorite people were in town to visit.  I immediately picked this as our first destination.  Some fantastic restaurants that I had wanted to try were going to be all in one place.  I was SO excited!


And then we got there… It was being held in a very small, fenced off area and it was packed TO THE GILLS.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m short, but I HATE being in a place where I can’t see past a huge group of people.  ESPECIALLY when I want food!  You couldn’t see where lines began or ended nor what each place was offering.  I would have GLADLY waited on line for many of these places, however, it was so damn packed that it was uncomfortable and frustrating.  I was ready to throw in the towel, but the team calmed me down and came up with a plan of attack.  We would all find one place with interesting stuff, get it, and meet back towards the front to share our spoils.  Ready… Set… GO!


The first place that caught my eye was selling chocolate chip pretzel cookies. So I got one of those and it was unique and delicious.  Surprisingly soft.  Unfortunately, I never got enough room to take a picture of where it came from.


UPDATE: In a fortuitous turn of events, I happened upon a stand for this very company when I went to the Columbus Circle Holiday Market this past weekend.  So now I know… Sigmund Pretzelshop make fine pretzel cookies!

I also decided to try the cheddar truffle pretzel while I was there this weekend.  It was good, but could have been more truffly. 🙂

I REALLY wanted some risotto balls that were being cooked near the front, however, they obviously didn’t anticipate the amount of people and said it would be at least 10-15 minutes before new ones were out.  I diligently waited since it was near our waiting spot, however, when they finally came out there were only about 6 to buy… so I didn’t get one.

I still had a bit more time, so I found a place near our meeting spot with a shortish line called The Smile that was serving grilled cheese sandwiches.  It was good, but a bit too generic.  Not exactly what I would serve to people to convince them to come in to try a meal.


Mike proudly came back with a short rib sandwich.  It was VERY tasty! Wish I knew where it came from…


Our friend Sarah came back with an empanada.  I couldn’t eat it, but I hear it was good.


Our friend Mark, however, came back with the winner… Fried Pumpkin Pie.  GENIUS!  Everything about this was sensational!  If I knew where this came from, I’d get this again in a heartbeat.

UPDATE 2!  Thank you Lillian for sending me this link that talks about what to eat at the festival.  Here I learned that the fried pumpkin pies came from Melt Bakery.  (By perusing their site, I found out that they have classes!  I also found out that they DELIVER! And they are most famous for their ice cream sandwiches.  Goodbye diet… HELLO Melt Bakery!)


A funny side-note, however… Bethenny Frankel (best known for being on the Real Housewives of New York), was filming her new(ish) show at the festival when we arrived.  Mike even gave her a fond “How You Doin?”  She had a full crew with her, and I’m surprised she was there with all of the people.  But it was a fun local celeb siting.

It pains me at how frustratingly crowded this was.   The small, gated area made it quite miserable.  I hope that they will do this again, only do it in a larger area that isn’t so confined.  I probably would have spent a good deal of money trying the various places, happily waited on line, and returned to my favorites for full meals later on.  What a loss.  BUMMER!

Next time Grub Street Food Festival… Next time!