After attending last night’s Taste of New York event, I can say, with great certainty, that this year is the year of the octopus. I lost my little pamphlet that tells you who was serving what, but off the top off my head I can tell you that Craft, Dell’anima, and Insieme were all serving the eight-legged beast and each version had something to recommend it.
This, for example, is the Craft version which was marinated and served with harissa and pickled jalapenos:
Craig, who normally doesn’t eat octopus since it’s his favorite animal, caved in for Insieme’s octopus since we spent some time chatting with its affable chef/owner Marco Canora.
Marco’s octopus was served carpaccio-style and was quite elegant. I must confess I missed Dell’anima’s since I was a little octopused out after the first two bites of octopus.
Next up, it was salmon belly. First, Aureole’s smoked salmon belly:
Then Anita Lo’s “Bar Q” salmon belly:
I preferred Anita’s version, especially since she was standing there presenting it and it was nice to chat with her.
I also chatted with April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig who was serving up her killer haddock chowder:
We talked about my friend Dan who interned for her this summer (remember his guest post?) and about the dinner she cooked on Sunday night with Fergus Henderson (see the Eater photo gallery here). Coincidentally, after spending her Sunday night cooking pig’s heads with Fergus, she was stationed next to a whole pig at the Bar Boulud table:
The braised pork they were serving there was a highlight of the evening, as was this arctic char from…from… I forget!
The sausage from Telepan was really lovely:
But the highlight of the whole night, actually, was Michael White’s chicken liver toast:
I told him I grew up eating chopped liver and he said, “This is way better than that.” And he was right: it was creamy and rich and perfectly enhanced by those vinegary onions.
And that, my friends, was another “Taste of New York” event. I was a bit burnt out by evening’s end, with all the people squeezing through narrow passageways for another taste of octopus or, more likely, another free cocktail, but it was nice to see some of my favorite chefs in action. And Craig, of course, was happy to be there too:
Thanks again to New York Magazine for having us along.