Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bits & Morsels: Generation Harvest

The scene at Generation Harvest's epicurean event.

by Erin Frankel

This year, City Harvest's young professional group, Generation Harvest, hosted yet another amazing epicurean event filled with over 605 young, beautiful foodies and philanthropists. This year, Generation Harvest raised over $230,000, which is enough to feed over 900,000 New Yorkers in need of food! While beer, wine, and well drinks were flowing from the large bar in the center of the room, attendees walked around the space sampling delicious bites and libations from over 30 of the youngest and brightest chefs at the city's trendiest restaurants. Here's a few of my favorite dishes of the evening ...

L'Artusi's chef Gabe Thompson personally doled out his delicious summer tomato soup. I went back for seconds:
SushiSamba's chef Fernando Navas served a light and flavorful Hiramasa Crudo. The Hiramasa, a signature summer dish at the restaurant, is served with extra virgin olive oil, celery leaf, garlic cloves, fresh yuzu, and a dollop of sea salt. This dish demonstrates precise Japanese technique through a very traditional preparation. Here, Navas explained that he "complemented the amuse-bouche with truffle oil and fresh yuzu and a dash of sea salt to bring out flavors of the fish.":
Jimmy's No. 43's one and only Jimmy Carbone featured his special sliced, roasted duck breast with sauteed mustard greens and seasonal rhubarb compote over mashed turnips:
The Hurricane Club's Craig Koketsu and Lawrence Knapp provided crispy cones of salmon tartare with black sesame, jalapeno, and cream cheese:
Asellina's chef Marco Porceddu's stuffed roasted fig wrapped with prosciutto and goat cheese was a huge success. Everyone loved the aroma of the fresh herbs, the texture and the combination of ingredients. Both chef Porceddu and Erica Sklarek, the events and marketing manager, said that the "fig was an unusual and intriguing item that captured the interests of the patrons." It was so good, we forgot to photograph it.

La Mar Cebicheria's chef Victoriano Lopez made a light and tasty Peruvian ceviche — a concoction of fluke, red onion, Peruvian corn, yam, and a flavorful leche de tigre sauce:
A personal neighborhood favorite of mine, Corsino, had chef Tomas Curi twist his signature octopus all'amatriciana on a skewer with marble potatoes and salsa verde.

En Japanese Brasserie served a luscious cherry-smoked beef tataki on a stick with kinpira gobo, a sweet, spicy, and salty Japanese crunchy vegetables that are stir-fried and simmered for an extra kick:
The Meatball Shop's Daniel Holzman featured his special chicken meatball under a walnut pesto dressing with a side of summer corn and pepper salad:
Ed's Chowder House's Ed Brown featured a crab salad swimming in summer chilled split pea soup, all very pleasing to the palate:
Betel Bar & Kitchen's Brad Stewart served his legendary Chicken Betel Leaf with an Eggplant Shallot Relish:
Osteria Il Paiolo's chef Alex Palambo made his signature ricotta gnocchi, which was cooked on site because "everything they do at osteria is about the freshest food using the best ingredients," exclaimed Palambo.

Marc Murphy of Ditch Plains featured his signature Ditch Dog, a hot dog topped with creamy mac & cheese. This was Miss USA's Olivia Culpo's favorite dish of the evening:
Favorite dessert of the evening was Ron Ben-Israel's Chocolate Cake with Grand Marnier, a sensational cake with peanut butter filling and dark chocolate ganache, garnished with a sweet caramel sauce:
Ron Ben-Israel feeding his Chocolate Cake with Grand Marnier to Miss USA Olivia Culpo.
If you purchased a VIP ticket, you were privy to some of the more exclusive dishes of the evening. Here I devoured some of my favorite chefs' best summer dishes.

Pearl Oyster Bar's Rebecca Charles served both raw oysters with a light lemon and cocktail sauce in addition to her amazing, creamy lobster rolls, a personal favorite of mine. Yum!
Luke's Lobster's Luke Holden and Ben Conniff switched things up a bit and featured a mini Maine Shrimp roll, which was in my opinion, just as delicious as their signature lobster roll:
BLT Burger's Arnold Palaez served delicious BBQ Pork Sliders, a concoction of pulled smoked pork shoulder, BBQ Sauce, and fresh sliced Jalapeno on a hot and crunchy Brioche roll. They also offered a vegetarian option with their Veggie Falafel Slider topped with hummus, yogurt sauce, and a vegetable medley on a brioche roll:
And, last but not least, Puddin' by Clio's Clio Goodman offered three different flavors of tasty puddings: a Chocolate Butterscotch pudding with Battenkill whip cream, a Noi Sirius Chocolate pudding, and a Banana Coffee Pudding with Battenkill whip cream:
Two new restaurants have opened in the ever-changing, always uber-cool West Village.

Rafele is Naples-born Raffaele Ronca's, formerly of Bellavitae and Palma, first solo project. The spacious 70-seat restaurant exudes both a traditionally Venetian rustic vibe with an open, airy modern touch. The open kitchen allows his customers to see Ronca concoct authentic Italian dishes from a large brick oven right in the dining room. On a nice day, the floor to ceiling windows open onto the streets. As for the menu, Ronca's formula is reliable, straightforward Italian food. He uses local ingredients in his traditional antipasti, primi, and secondi dishes. Antipasti are all meant for sharing.

Start with the Arancini, a lightly fried crunchy ball filled with creamy four cheese risotto dumplings or the Melanzana, layers of hot delicious eggplant with fresh parmigiano reggiano, basil, buffalo mozzarella, and roasted tomato puree. Move onto the pizza margherita, topped with creamy buffalo mozzarella, roasted tomatoes and basil. There are also a number of delicious entrees on the menu but Ronca has two specialties he recommends: the ravioli di spinaci, a house-made pasta with buffalo mozzarella, pecorino, parmigiano reggiano, and fresh market spinach; and a big steaming bowl of Zuppa di Pesce, a slightly spicy and light tomato broth filled with market fish stew with tomatoes, garlic, and peperoncino.

29 7th Ave S

Arancini balls.
The Melanzana.
Margherita pizza.
Buffalo mozzarella and tomato.
Ravioli di spinaci.
Zuppa di Pesce.
The Goodwin. Hudson street has yet another swanky date spot. The Goodwin is a hybrid wine bar and resto which offers small, fancy food bites every West Villager craves on a first date. The interior is rustic and sexy. The brick walls and low lighting in the front bar area spill into a wood-paneled large room with long, beautiful windows looking out onto a backyard garden. Even the ceiling is pretty with its wooden rafters running across a mirrored ceiling and light fixtures fashioned out of piping. The menu is quite a mix of refined bar snacks mixed with creative, sophisticated seasonal American fare served on small plates meant for sharing.

Start with a carafe of the Cotes du Rhone Rose, which is perfectly light on a nice summer evening. Start with the heirloom bean dip with veggies, the fancy ham Pâté crock, or the flavorful sustainable favorite on the menu, the green and gain Tuscan kale salad with farro, marinated tomato, goat cheese and cucumbers. Then move onto smaller plates of "entrees" like the creatively concocted seared scallops with lardon, serrano pepper, and yuzu relish or the wild mushroom risotto croquette with Parmesan, lavender honey, and arugula. You won't be disappointed.
The Goodwin
430 Hudson Street
Cotes du Rhone Rose. Ham Pâté crock.
The heirloom bean dip with veggies.
The green and grain Tuscan kale salad.
The scallops.
The risotto.