Taste of Tribeca is a foodie’s dream—an outdoor culinary festival, featuring acclaimed downtown Manhattan restaurants and superstars of the food and wine industry. But it gets better; proceeds from the benefit event are donated to fund enrichment and music programs for P.S. 150 and P.S. 234, two local public schools. Founded 19 years ago by parents who owned restaurants in the area, Taste of Tribeca has become a popular gastronomic event that now includes 75 restaurants.
Despite Saturday’s gray skies, Duane Street in Tribeca, was thick with a hungry crowd, eager to try what was prepared by the chefs. From 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the food curious and families socialized and ate, while at the same time supporting the cause. The smell of diverse cuisines, from rustic Italian, to modern American, instant Asian and almost everything in between, filled the air. Each $50 ticket allowed the holder to sample six tastes, just enough to get a taste for Tribeca.
Some of the most popular came from neighborhood favorites like Walker’s, Takahachi, Kutsher’s Tribeca, and Maxwell’s, serving up classics from pulled pork or pastrami sandwiches to sushi. Odeon and Billy’s Bakery provided sweets like assorted ice cream flavors and tiny red velvet cupcakes. Other restaurants featured more unfamiliar items— Cercle Rouge’s salted cod and tomato compote crustine or Blaue Gans’s sausage dumpling with sauerkraut.
Merton Friis, general manager of Aamanns-Copenhagen, noted that the restaurant, which opened around six months ago, was taking part in its first Taste of Tribeca, but he hopes to be involved in the future. He said that people generally think that the event is just “awesome” for the restaurants or the schools, but he believes it is great for the community as a whole because everyone comes together.
Taste of Tribeca is not only about food, but it is also a broader cultural experience, highlighting the richness of Tribeca. City Winery provided live music. The day included a wine tour with free in-store wine tastings at neighborhood shops like Maslow6 and Tribeca Wine Merchants. There were also activities for kids in the Kid’s Zone, underlining the family-oriented nature of the event.
About 4,000 tickets were sold, online and day of, but the turnout was much larger according one of the parent volunteers, Jimmy Carbone. Mr. Carbone also mentioned that not only did the restaurants donate food, but also parents, students and alumni of the schools devoted a lot of their time to make the festival a success. He explained the scope of the event changed about eight years ago as support for the neighborhood grew, transforming it from something like a school block party into a corporately sponsored, culinary festival known throughout the City.