Yeah, I'm a little late--the 4th annual Village Voice Choice Eats Tasting took place on March 29, so here I am, a whole week late posting about it--I actually blame the festival itself. I was too full to do anything afterwards (even type!). That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Anyway, better late than never, right? So as you might have guessed from the name, it's a giant tasting event featuring over 50 restaurants (and bakeries and food trucks); let me just remind myself that next year I must do some serious strategizing first because that is a whole lot of food, and I didn't get to taste nearly as much as I wanted to because I filled up so quickly. It's not just food either, the liquid side is well represented, with an entire row of breweries (although must say, my surprise favorite drink was a shot of whiskey with a pickle juice chaser.)
I actually sprang for the VIP tickets because it was a birthday present (very belated) for my brother, and I thought it turned out to be well worth it! For starters, we got to start tasting an hour earlier--above is a lobster roll from the Red Hook Lobster Pound. This was hands down my favorite from the entire night (and I think they were serving shrimp rolls during the general tasting hours, so woohoo lobster!) and I ate two.
Another favorite, a chipotle chicken taco from Cascabel Taqueria. I didn't take a picture of it, but my other favorite taco was from Mercadito involving shrimp and chorizo. Mm, chorizo.
Some delicious tofu and fungus from Umi-Nom. We loved the guy working at Umi-Nom; he had an Iron Maiden t-shirt on! I debated asking him if he would take a picture with my brother (my brother being a big metal head) but chickened out and then later it got too busy. They served a very spicy and super delicious Thai sausage and sticky rice as well during the VIP hour.
Smoked cauliflower on top of a waffle from Dirt Candy. It's a beautiful plate, but I am not a cauliflower fan to begin with, and I thought the smoke flavor was overpowering. Actually it reminded me of the flavor of the bacon mints my former co-worker made me try once.
Okay, please excuse this terrible picture, but this was so good! It's the Chocolate and Eggplant from Del Posto--yup, eggplant! There's a slice of battered and fried eggplant under the ice cream, and it worked really well. Actually we thought it kind of tasted like banana. So tasty. (So tasty that I'm debating going to Del Posto for my birthday dinner this year, hehe.) During the dessert sessions they also had little mini lollipops of olive oil gelato dipped in chocolate.
An octopus salad, which I also enjoyed. Unfortunately I don't remember which restaurant this was from; at this point in the evening I was starting to not want to eat anymore. And there was a lot more we tried, including a hot dog with mac and cheese on it, some straight up mac and cheese, meatballs, a delicious arepa, pig's head sandwich, roast pork pastry....but wait, there was still dessert to come:
The cupcake was delicious, with the frosting tasting like pretty much pure butter. But after this I had to throw in the towel. I took a couple of samples home (cookies, a honey cake)--oh, wait that's not true--on the way out, we snagged a port and ricotta mini cupcake from Kumquat Cupcakery. So delicious.
I'll leave you with a shot of my brother and his new best friend, the Kyochon chicken mascot. Haha. He looks pretty happy considering I forced him to take this picture :)