Saturday, May 17th, was the perfect day for a picnic — the sun was shining, the sky clear blue, the weather just right. Taste of Tribeca, celebrating its 20th anniversary, fit the bill perfectly, with delicious eats, live music, free wine tastings and kid’s entertainment. Taste of Tribeca has become a highly anticipated New York City event that started with humble beginnings to raise funds for two area public schools.
A crowd of 7,000 lined Duane Street — babies in strollers, chatty parents and hungry foodies, even a few pups— eager to partake in all that Taste of Tribeca had to offer. Live tunes provided by City Winery echoed down the busy street and the smell of Walker’s smoky pulled pork, Sarabeth’s Tribeca’s succulent crab cake sandwiches and even Gigino Trattoria’s buttery garlic cavatelli floated in the breeze. Nothing, however, dampened the sounds of people satisfied with good food or the ringing laughter of the young volunteers punching tickets and running trays of food to VIP tables.
White tents peaked high in the sky, but the sun still fell on the throng as guests meandered from station to station, sampling restaurant offerings. With over 75 participating restaurants, attendees were hard pressed to choose the allotted 6 samples per tasting card. The array of options was impressive, ranging from elegant assemblages like the house-cured salmon with pickled onions and crème fraiche from Landmarc and chicken liver mousse from Distilled NY to easy favorites like chicken fingers from Dirty Bird to Go and massive whoopee pies from Tribeca Treats.
Lines wound long for neighborhood staples like the Odeon, one of the Golden Restaurants that have participated since inception, where guests waited for scoops of chocolate or mint chocolate chip ice cream. Another dessert favorite came from Golden Restaurant, Duane Park Patisserie— a dark and luxurious chocolate molten cake. As always, Nobu pleased this year with a stunning black cod with miso as did Locanda Verde with its meaty lamb meatball slider. Bouley earned raves with its mystery two-part taste, including a savory cracker topped with thick cheese and delicate truffle and a cherry parfait crowned with amaretto ice cream, as a sweet ending. Newcomer, Daruma- Ya, attracted a crowd too, with plump pieces of decadent pan-seared foie gras served atop sweet and sticky mounds of rice. Newbie Añejo, had people coming back for more with its fatty pork belly toastada.
Taste of Tribeca offers a culinary tour of the neighborhood’s diverse flavors with the feeling of a local block party. Some of the city’s most prominent restaurants, like Marc Forgione, Telepan Local and Acapella, also present bites to help out with the cause. The annual event celebrates Tribeca culture and Tribeca’s future by raising funds for the music and enrichment programs two neighborhood schools, PS 150 and PS 234.