Though the event did not run late, the food at last nights Taste of New York was beyond reproach: Subas Seamus Mullen produced some ridiculously rich and crispy oxtail croquettes, and the Ciao Bella guys served a Turkish yogurt gelato that stopped visitors in their tracks. Hill Countrys beef riblets were one of the hits of the show, requested by other chefs even as they labored behind their own tables. Meanwhile, Jim Meehan of PDT was setting out the apple cocktails that seemed to be in everybodys hands.
As usual, all eyes were on the celebrity contingent. Tom Colicchio, hanging around the Craftsteak station, took pains to tell us that Gail Simmons wasnt really horrified by him. Nearby, Marcus Samuelsson previewed an African chicken dish from the forthcoming Merkato 55. Pastry chef extraordinaire Dominique Ansel left the Daniel station to do a quick walkabout with Eat Out New Yorks Kelly Choi, his model for Thursdays chocolate fashion show. (From what we hear, the dress hes making will literally be a showstopper.) And of course, everyone was happy to see Ilan Hall, who was mum on his plans with Ken Friedman: I dont know anything about that, he said with his trademark half-smirk. He laughed, and we laughed, and everyone was in a good mood at this years Taste of New York.