The Taste of T took place yesterday, November 5th at the elegant Architects and Designers Building hosting a number of celebrity chefs and restaurants to a really hungry for quality food public. Spread out on 11 floors, chefs, culinary experts, huge tables with tiny sample plates and cups were presented in a rather disciplined manner, despite the huge lines and the crowds. I stood for over 10 minutes on the line for Psilakis from Anthos scallop with the spicy honey, berry and ham on top, so light and simple but robust in taste that I almost thought that it was worth the wait. I tried the mouthwatering lobster roll, courtesy of Pearl Oyster Bar and chef Rebecca Charles, a creamy combination of lobster, mayo and (probably) onions in a sweet, brioche-like roll, a comforting and pleasurable palate driven experience. Missy Robbins's A voce creation, a baked mushroom topped with fontina cheese sauce and hazelnut was another amazing culinary conception, light but mature enough for the grown ups. Dan Barber's Blue Hill vegetable soup bottomed with buttermilk and topped with a thin cheese cracker didn't impress me - maybe because I was expecting more but the presentation was impeccable. One of the best was the creation of Eric Hara, chef at the Oak Room at the Plaza, a tiny raw tuna plate with veggies, a delightful taste and a quick reminder to those who stubbornly refuse to eat raw fish: you don't know what you are missing.
On the dessert front, I liked the cream raspberry cakes offered by Ferrara Bakery, smooth and not particularly sugary. The cinnamon ice cream from Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream truck wasn't my favorite but I am not used to so unique tastes. The Dandoy Biscuits with their Speculos reminded of my days in Brussels and I enjoyed them thoroughly - they were slightly lighter to their Belgian equivalent but equally tasty.
Finally, the South African wine bars on all floors were light and fresh, and matched well with the "whole" experience. Congratulations to the Premier-Tinis (an amazing cocktail in a very nice salmon/pink color).
The experience was amazing and I left out plenty of chefs and restaurants. The awesome views and magnificent space of the Architects and Designers Building was the ideal location for this event.
For a complete list of all participants, go to http://www.nytimes.whsites.net/taste_of_t/features.html.