Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Taste of The Nation

Quinoa and vegetable salad from Felidia.

Monday night I took the digital to the Taste of The Nation. The evening comprised a massive tasting at the Grand Hyatt, which included demos and book signings. It was a good mix of restaurants from near Haute cuisine like Eleven Madison Park to the more down-home The Meatball Shop. Participating restaurants included Aquavit, Blue Smoke, Centrico, Dirt Candy, Hill Country, Porter House, Rick’s Picks, Rouge Tomate, Telepan, and Tabla to a name a few. There was also a great selection of cocktails from Cienfuegos, Clover Club, Pain Killer, PDT, Pegu Club, Dutch Kills and Rye House. The proceeds of the event went to benefit Share our Strength and their wonderful program to end childhood hunger in America. It’s hard to process children in our country (or any country) going hungry, making the mission of Share our Strength even more imperative.

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Meatball from the Meatball shop.
Spicy tripe from Maialino.
White corn pudding and sliced beef from Hill Country.
Pickles from Rick's Picks, a new spicy kind.
Pickled beets from Rick's Picks.
Poached egg on a vegetable panzanella salad from Rouge Tomate.
Perfect ice from Dutch Kills. Pom cocktail with sparkling water and lime.
Pate from Les Halles.
Arepas with pork belly and onion salad from Yerba Buena.
Shrimp wrapped in a ramp from Gramercy Tavern.
Carrot dumpling from Dirt Candy. Quinoa and vegetable salad from Felidia.
Fresh Sardine with burrata and caramelized onion from Le Cirque.
Fennel crusted tuna from Ed's Chowder House.
Short rib ravioli in brown butter sauce from Union Square Cafe.
Gruyere pretzel from Sigmond Pretzel Shop.
Minty strawberry and rhubarb with Blue Hill milk sorbet and a lemon cloud.
Stumptown coffee.
Coconut cupcakes from Porterhouse.
Red Velvet from Tonnie's Minis.
Variations on milk and chocolate from Eleven Madison Park.
Blueberry pie with creme freche from Blue Smoke.
The gift bag.
The Insatiable Critic aka Gael Greene has penned the first review of the week-old The Lion. It’s quite a scene already as it's run by Chef John Delucie of The Waverly Inn. Based on her review, the food is also good, which will only make it harder to gain entrance. [Insatiable Critic]

Custard at the Shake Shack
Ice cream weather is upon us. Here is a guide to some of the best spots for soft serve. While Tasti D-Lite holds me over most of the time, it’s impossible not to melt for the real stuff once in a while. I’m an especially big fan of the concretes at Shake Shack. [Restaurant Girl]

Earnings from Whole foods were much better than expected. Hopefully, this is an indicator that the economy is on it’s way up and recovering. The basket size per customer has gone up; the first increase since 2008. [Medill Reports]

We all know that you can never go wrong wearing black, but did you know it’s also in season on your plate? Black garlic, black walnuts, and black chickpeas are popping up on menus all around town. Many of these ingredients tend to not only look "cool," but taste earthier. [NY Post]
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