Features New York Taste - we came we saw we tasted
November 2009

This year’s New York Taste found Skylight Studios packed to the gills. Attendees strolled among the 40-plus restaurant offerings beneath David Rockefeller’s paper plate cut-out design theme. The line up was filled with familiar faces, including several of our Rising Stars and Congress presenters. Bar Boulud, helmed by 2009 Rising Star Damian Sansonetti, boasted braised local veal, Hill Country served up juicy beef sliders, Aretksy’s Patroon had beer-braised beef brisket, and BLT Prime had a Cabernet pepper steak. 

Among our favorites were 2007 Rising Star Chef Craig Hopson of Le Cirque’s Squab Tortelli with Ricotta and Black Mission Fig, while Rouge Tomate highlighted fall produce in their dish of Duck with Farro, Pomegranate, and Pumpkin Seeds. Between these courses, carnivores could be found intermittently mingling around Cesare Casella’s salty, succulent 24-month-aged proscuitto di Parma.

Chefs at WorkOn the seafood front, guests couldn’t seem to get enough of Public’s deep-fried oysters—which were so addictive that crowds kept coming back for more—and Morimoto’s buttery Yellowtail Pastrami Sandwich. 2009 Rising Star Chef George Mendes of Aldea hit a decidedly subtler grand slam with a Bacalao-Coconut Mousse with Coriander and Black Olive, while Adour’s Joel Dennis kept it refreshingly simple with citrus-marinated Hamachi. 2008 Rising Star Chef John Fraser of Dovetail took a playful turn on the charcuterie trend with Shrimp Sausage with Sweet and Sour Butternut Squash and Grape Gelee. And squid popped up twice, at Butter and also at La Fonda Del Sol where 2005 Rising Star Chef Josh DeChellis served a creamy, piquant Fideos de Calamari.

Showcasing the vegetable side of the season were Alain Allegretti, who served an earthy, sumptuous Trouchia with Wild Mushroom Ragout, and Dan Barber, who offered a bright cup of Blue Hill V-7 with Ricotta and Green Tomato Tart.

On the sweet side, 2009 Rising Star Pastry Chef Robert Truitt of Corton made a Bitter Chocolate and Grapefruit Financier with iSi whipped Campari Meringue and Jalapeño Oil, which played well against the citrus tang of the grapefruit. Bobo, home of 2009 Rising Star Chef Patrick Connolly, had a rustic, satisfying chocolate pudding with cacao nibs and salted pepitas, served in baby pumpkins.And 2009 ICC presenter Nils Noren of L’Ecole at the French Culinary Institute served Apples with Cinnamon-White Chocolate Cream and Pistachio Paste. He paired it with an unusual Apple Shot chaser made with clarified apple juice-infused Tanqueray Gin.

For those imbibing their way through the night there was a creative selection from the likes of Audrey Saunders (another one of our 2009 ICC presenters) of Pegu Club, who prepared a spicy Jamaican Firefly made with Goslings rum and ginger beer. The Liquid Chef Junior Merino—a 2006 Rising Star Mixologist—and his team mixed up two seasonal, expertly balanced drinks using sponsor 901 Tequila: a 901 Jengrico with 901 Silver Tequila, Domaine de Canton, Grapefruit, Blood Orange, and Citrus; and a 901 Tostanja which had 901 Silver Tequila, Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot, Tangerine, Tea, and Roasted Agave. 

All in all, the food and drink were beautifully prepared and happily assembled. Needless to say, even with all the smiling faces and full bellies, the real winner of the night was City Harvest, who wisely auctioned off a ticket to next year’s New York Taste, keeping their booth occupied all night long.