Monday, May 23, 2011

Taste of Tribeca 2011: Terroir, Bouley, Duane Park Patisserie, Mark Forgione, Pepolino, The Harrison

On Saturday, Taste of Tribeca took place with over 60 restaurants from the Tribeca area.  

For over 15 years, area restaurants have banded together to offer signature samples from their restaurants to help raise money for New York public schools 150 and 234.  Each ticket purchased includes a tasting card entitling attendees six tastes from any participating restaurant.

Fortunately, the gloomy overhang of the week broke Saturday, and the sun and warmth brought everyone out in droves for an afternoon of feasting.  

Lines were ever long for the more popular chefs, but even the longest that I stood in (Marc Forgione) moved relatively quickly (~7 minutes).  Here are the snapshots of the day along with the six items I tasted!

Beautiful seafood soba salad from Kori
Cupcake tower from Tribeca Treats
The Tribeca firemen from Ladder 8 served up stuffed mushrooms.  What a hot booth! ;)
Hungry after gazing after the initial tables, I knew I wanted to try something meaty first, and Terroir's meatball sandwich fit the bill.

I got super lucky - the gent scooped out the final meatballs from the pot right at my turn!

Noted in New York Magazine as one of the top 100 sandwiches in the city, at #9, Terroir's meatball sandwich is indeed delicious - the red sauce, the nice heartiness and bounce of the meatballs and the soft pliant bun makes it an all around winner.

Scalini Fedeli's porcine ravioli in a porcine black truffle cream sauce. 
Duane Park offered gougers with crawfish remoulade, but I just rather liked this pot of boiled crawfish.  Mmm crawfish.
Bubby's Pie Co. apple brown betty

Landmarc Tribeca's s'mores cookies
Marc Forgione definitely had the longest line at the event.  I knew I recognized his awesome mohawk from something I watched on television, but I still didn't know why I knew him somehow.

Last night, I watched Iron Chef America and quickly realized he is the new Iron Chef.  What a hip guy!  And he was so nice - he posed for pictures with anyone who wanted them (mostly Asian ladies).

Marc grilled up high plains bison prime rib.  (Wolf whistle here)

The bison prime rib slice, topped with a verdant ramp chimichurri, was sooo tender.  My only complaint was that the meat melted in my mouth way too fast.

Duane Park Patisserie is noted as one of the best bakeries in the city; their booth was stationed right outside their restaurant so they were able to keep churning out freshly baked molten chocolate lava cakes topped with bittersweet chocolate sauce.

The cake wasn't oozing out a chocolate center, as one would typically expect with a molten cake, but it was still rich, warm and absolutely decadent.  

David Bouley's flagship and 2 Michelin starred restaurant, Bouley, provided an option of either calamari risotto with black truffle sauce or a soy panna cotta.

I can never say no to calamari.  Or black truffle sauce. The combination of the chewy rings of calamari, the creamy risotto and earthiness of the truffle was a delight.

Brick's cute display of chocolate budino served in eggs

I went light with my fifth taste at The Harrison which dished up small plates of mixed seafood ceviche topped with taro chips.  The ceviche was fresh, not too citrusy, and the strands of taro added the perfect bit of crunch.

Pretty (forgot which vendor this is from)
Zucker's Bagels & Fresh Fish prepared fresh smoked salmon on site to construct pretty croissant sandwiches

I was intending to try out Locanda Verde's lamb meatballs, but they ran out when I arrived and were restocking in 5 minutes.  I took it as a sign that it wasn't meant to be.  And I couldn't quite shake this image I had seen earlier involving someone carrying an unbelievable slice of cheesecake.  So I beelined for the ricotta cheesecake from Pepolino as my final taste.

Oh goodness, this cheesecake tasted just as lovely as it looks!  The filling is so light and airy, creamy without being rich, with a bit of sweetness embued in the puff-pastry like crust.  A rather remarkable cheesecake !  Made with ricotta !  I think it is my new favorite cheese ever, so versatile and delicious.

Besides food, there was also a bit of entertainment provided by a great folksy band playing at the far end of the festival as well as

some kid friendly performances and

face-painting and hair color spraying for suggested donations.  I particularly like how scary the hair color station looks with the girls hiding their faces behind towels.  Oh, the price of beauty!

A surprise treat after filling out your card was that if you turned your card in at the Bazzini's Nuts table, you can pick a bag of nuts to take home!  Best souvenir ever!

This was my first year at the Taste of Tribeca, and I am glad I finally attended.  It's a great event filled with a lot of culinary talent.  It was so hard for me to pick six tastes; I could have easily eaten a dozen more tastes (especially with my elastic pants!).

If I can get out of my outdoor food festival craze, I am headed straight back to Tribeca to eat proper meals at these establishments - these samples have definitely whet my appetite!


  1. Oh man. That looked like so much fun!!

  2. Daaaaaaaaaamn, that meatball sandwich looks incredible! Looks like I picked the wrong festival to go to this weekend.

  3. those meatballs look so incredible!!!