Though the event did not run late, the food at last night’s Taste of New York was beyond reproach: Suba’s 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 Country’s 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 everybody’s 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 wasn’t 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 York’s Kelly Choi, his model for Thursday’s chocolate fashion show. (From what we hear, the dress he’s 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 don’t 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 year’s Taste of New York.