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NEW YORK Wall Streeters pulled together and made a show of support for local downtown restaurants at Wall Street Rising's Taste of Wall Street tasting benefit at the Regent Wall Street. The event, the first of its kind for the new nonprofit, packed more than 700 people into the Regent's grand ballroom at $125 to $150 per person for a tasting event and silent auction that had many attendees eating, chatting and networking through the night of good food and drink provided by local restaurants.
All of the participating restaurants were among the businesses that were most severely hurt by the World Trade Center attacks. Among them were 55 Wall, American Park, Danube, Delmonico's, F. Illi Ponte, Fraunces Tavern, Harry's, Tribakery and Vine.
Among some of the standout tasting tables were 55 Wall's fish decor display (these were live fish, unlike Esca's display at the Bon Appetit event) with their offering of oysters on the half-shell. And catering company Red Wine with Fish served up salmon tartar against an eye-catching scatter of bright rose petals, which just goes to show that a little effort goes a long way (especially when some others weren't making any effort to spice up their display table at all). One of the most scrumptious, and seemingly simple offerings was the Zinfandel strawberry soup (mulled red wine with strawberries, boysenberries and .phpberries) from chef Luc Dendievel of Bull Run.
Founded by Vine restaurant owner Julie Menin, Wall Street Rising seeks to revitalize the local businesses and community of downtown Manhattan. Their first initiative, Wall Street Wednesdays, has six Wall Street area restaurants offering three-course prix fixe lunches, part of the proceeds of which go to the nonprofit. The ongoing effort has already helped to increase business 400 percent at the participating restaurants. The proceeds from this event went to Wall Street Rising's planned projects, which include art installations, a street fair, and planting red, white and blue flowers in the downtown area.