The Village Voice’s 9th Annual Choice Eats tasting event was held on Friday, March 11th at the Metropolitan Pavillion in New York. There were 15 new restaurants in addition to the previously announced restaurants who participated such as Belle Reve, Butter Lane, Cabalito Pupuseria, Dough, ESH, The Gander, Grandaisy Bakery, Javelina Tex-Mex, Littleneck, Nha Minh, Pearl and Ash, Rosemary’s, Sheep Station, Sugar Couture, and Untamed Sandwiches.
These restaurants were the 50 participants: Ample Hills Creamery, Awadh, Bara, The Black Ant, Black Tree, BOOMWICH, Breads Bakery, Broken Spoke Rotisserie, Brooklyn Bread Lab, Calle Dao, Doughnut Plant, Egg, El Quinto Pino, Emmy Squared, Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, Flinders Lane, Fonda, Genuine Superette, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co., The Handpulled Noodle, ilili Restaurant, Irvington Bar + Restaurant, Kailash Parbat, Kuma Inn, Le Fond, Loi Estiatorio, Luke’s Lobster, Luzzo’s La Pizza Napoletana, Mable’s Smokehouse, Maima’s Liberian Bistro, The Meatball Shop, Mexico Lindo, No. 7 Veggie, Obica Mozzarella Bar, Ofrenda Cocina Mexicana, Osteria Cotta, Quality Eats, Queens Comfort, Raclette, Schaller Stube, Sigmund’s Pretzels, Socarrat Paella Bar, Spicy Bampa, StreetsBK, Sweet Generation, Swine, Thai Rock, Veselka Restaurant, Victory Garden, Xe May Sandwich Shop. The event featured an array of 50+ handpicked restaurants from all five New York City boroughs, and took place from 6:00PM – 10:00PM at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York. A total of 65 restaurants participated.
Guests’ favorite was the sticky burnt ends from Fletcher Brooklyn’s Barbecue with a side dish of their honey cornbread. Another favorite among guests was the sizzling bacon from Quality Eats with unexpected sides of jalapeño jelly and peanut butter. The Spicy Bamba was another favorite among the crowd. The cold spicy noodles were a favorite as well as The Handpulled Noodle Cumin Lamb chopped noodles. Queens Comfort served their cheesy macaroni and cheese while Raclette displayed half a wheel of cheese to include in the mix for their potatoes with yummy cheese. Boomwich served their Ruebenese slider on a pretzel bun. The Meatball Shop, always a crowd pleaser served their schwarma ball with tahini sauce. Emmy Squared served their delicious Detroit style pizza which left the crowd wanting more. El Quinto Pino served their delicious milk-poached pork shoulder while The Black Ant served tacos de mejillon with mussels. Offrenda Cocina Mexicana had guests stopping by for the seafood tostada. The Thai Rock’s steamed peanut dumplings were so savory. The Sigmund’s Pretzel stand had different flavored pretzels that were so delicious. The Dough Doughnuts served their decadent doughnuts in the VIP section. Butter Lane mini cupcakes were delicious as well as the Ample Hills Creamery ice cream in the VIP section. Sugar Couture served their sweet s’mores miniature eclairs. There were so many tasty tastings but the aforementioned are the most notable mentions.
This year’s Choice Eats featured three tiers of ticket options – General Admission tickets ($70), Early Entry tickets ($85 – SOLD OUT!) and VIP tickets ($99 – SOLD OUT!). All guests sampled the best dishes from restaurants reviewed and heralded in the Voice along with complimentary craft beer pairings, wine and liquor beverages, while enjoying music all night from DJ Delphine Blue of Little Water Radio. The Early Entry ticket allowed guests to get a half hour head start on tasting and sipping. The VIP ticket allowed guests admission to the full event one hour early, with access to a private VIP Lounge that featured a private bar, restrooms, snacks, and an exclusive VIP gift bag per person.
Resident food critics have scoured New York’s culinary landscape and combined their tastiest picks from their several years of unearthing the five boroughs’ best-kept secrets. Choice Eats attracts a very diverse group of New Yorkers who come to feast on cuisines from over 35 nations, including Vietnamese, Italian, Uzbekistani, Brazilian, Cambodian, Russian, Tunisian, Greek and Cajun/Creole among many others. Choice Eats stands out as a food event that highlights the hidden gems of New York City’s diverse culinary landscape. 2016 marks the Voice’s 8th year working with the non-profit organization Slow Food NYC as the charitable partner of Choice Eats, whom a portion of proceeds will be shared with.
Stella Artois was the presenting sponsor of Choice Eats. Additional sponsors included Aruba Tourism Authority, Tequila Herradura, Union Beer Distributors, Whole Foods Market, IFC Film’s City of Gold, Asahi Beer, Califia Farms, Jarritos, Tsingtao, Wines of Germany, Nissan, Brockman’s Gin, Verizon Fios, Vita Coco, Four Roses Bourbon, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, John Macy Cheese Sticks, Frames NYC, Western Spirits, Blue Point Brewing Company, Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer, Downeast Cider House, Fentimans, Flying Dog Brewery, Kronenbourg Brewery, Oskar Blues Brewery, Porterhouse Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Sixpoint Brewery, Smuttynose Brewing Company, Southern Tier Brewing Company, Polar Beverages and Green Mountain Energy.
Special sponsorship activations included a Stella Artois 360 degree bar, Tequila Herradurra bar with a Souvenir Photo Booth, Tasting Scorecards presented by Asahi, Exit Gift Bags provided by the documentary City of Gold & much more. Plus, guests were able to enter to win a trip to Aruba presented by the Aruba Tourism Authority, who handed out tasting trays.
Whole Foods Market is sweetly bringing global prosperity to Choice Eats with Madecasse Chocolate that is empowering the economy of Madagascar while providing microcredit loans through contributions to the Whole Planet Foundation. Whole Foods Market provided the event’s official Tasting Glasses. Don’t miss next year’s event. This event is one of the most fun events in New York City.