A few weeks ago, Todd and I attended the Village Voice Choice Eats tasting event, where hundreds of foodies gathered to sample delicacies from more than 50 restaurants located in Manhattan and the boroughs. We expected the event to be jam-packed, but the crowds spread out pretty evenly and we didn’t have to wait in super long lines to sample any of the food—though certain crowd favorites, such as Luke’s Lobster, ran out of bites before we made our way to their tasting table. Here are some of our favorites, all from restaurants that we had never tried before but have now added to our list of places to eat in and around the city.
This Russian combo platter from Veselka had distinct flavors that merged savory and sweet. The pierogi was especially soft and tasty:
From Fort Defiance we sampled deviled eggs, which had a creamy center that melted in your mouth:
We often had to pile plates on top of each other while browsing a row of tables, then we stopped at the end of the row to consume what we had gathered. We tried tangy yet refreshing broccoli soup from The Queens Kickshaw and a crostini with stracciatella, apricots, and roasted garlic from Brucie:
Todd and I both agree that this Hot Goldie Sandwich from Untamed Sandwiches was the best bite we tasted throughout the entire event. It featured delicious grass-fed beef short rib, red onion, sweet and sour cabbage, and black pepper aioli on ciabatta bread. We enjoyed it so much that we went back for seconds even though we were stuffed by the end of the tasting:
As much as I loved all the savory samples on the first floor, the second floor continually beckoned with its promise of sweets. I believe I found my favorite dessert of all time. Robicelli’s nutelasagna had lasagna noodles surrounded by cannoli custard, toasted homemade marshmallow, Nutella ganache, and roasted hazelnuts. It was a little messy, but so delicious:
Here’s another plate of desserts, including banana pudding pie toped with a smoked peanut butter cookie:
All in all, the event—and the sheer amount of good food—was worth the money we paid for admission ($65 each for general admission at 7 p.m.), and we are already planning to go again next year. It’s a great way to try out bite-size portions from so many great New York restaurants, and I would definitely recommend attending.