New York's Gluttonous Tasting Event

May 24, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

New York magazine's Taste of New York event Bridgewaters Wednesday, 05.16.01, 6:30 PM to 9 PM
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New York magazine's Taste of New York event was rife with the trials, the tribulations and--thankfully--the treats of a typical tasting event. There were scads of people bumping into each other while reaching for mini food portions, lots of used plates and glasses were scattered around the large Bridgewaters space, and everyone struggled to juggle plates, utensils, napkins and drinks. But--again, thankfully--there was also some good food.

A few favorites: Le Bernardin's great desserts, Tao's squab, Zarela's picada and Patria's smoked duck foie gras. And many of the restaurants brought some interesting effects to attract attention to their tables: Rain had dry ice creating a fog effect, and Sushi Samba had a bowl of live tiny crabs--just like the ones the restaurant keeps in the kitchen before deep-frying them for an extra-fresh meal. (Although this night's crabs were just for show.)

Others among the almost 40 restaurants serving food included Brasserie Les Halles, 55 Wall, Osteria del Circo, the Russian Tea Room, Tuscan Square and Vong. The Absolut table managed to draw the longest line, partially because the bar was down to just two wines--a sherry and a rose--less than an hour into the event.

Organized by New York special events director Gerry Napoli, the event also included cooking demonstrations from Daniel's Daniel Boulud (who seems to pop up at a couple events a week--does this guy sleep?), Ouest's Tom Valenti and Town's Geoffrey Zakarian. (AV Workshop provided the audio/visual production and staging for the demos.)

In addition to promoting the magazine and the restaurants, the event was also a fund-raiser for City Harvest, the hunger relief organization that collects unused food that otherwise would be wasted, and distributes the food to more than 500 organizations that help hungry New Yorkers. (The nonprofit can collect food from restaurants, caterers and other donors on a regularly scheduled basis, or when donors have leftover food from time to time. So if you're expecting extra food at your next event, consider contacting City Harvest.) The event was the second benefit of the week for the group, coming just two days after a fund-raiser at Light that felt smaller and more subdued, and therefore a bit classier.

--Chad Kaydo

Read about City Harvest's fund-raiser at Light...

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