And an experience it certainly is. I normally find myself at one dinner for the Harlem EatUp! Dine In series, but this year had me bobbing between a couple of restaurants wearing different hats—guest, press, video producer, photographer and talent manager of the festival. A lot but I laughed, danced and ate my way through it with pride.
Officially, I was invited to Streetbird Rotisserie to witness a collection of great New York City chefs—Jonathan Waxman, Jimmy Bradley, Joey Campanaro and Jason Giagrande of 4J Foods—and host Karl Franz Williams of Solomon & Kuff Rum Hall collaborate on a raucous evening. Unofficially, I stopped into Vinateria to check on guest chef Bill Telepan of Oceana and into LoLo’s Seafood Shack to high-five my buds Skai Young and chef Raymond Mohan and to meet the irreverent chef Dale Talde.
The cocktails were flowing everywhere, from the ones served in coconuts at LoLo’s to those in Mason jars at Streetbird. Wines of Bordeaux would not be outdone, pairing every morsel with their varietals such as the Château Haut Rian Bordeaux Blanc paired with Streetbird deviled eggs.
The meal began with shaved spring vegetable salad with apple cider vinaigrette and meatball sliders. What a perfect way to pull us and our palettes into the meal to come.
The pasta course brought one of my favorites in a new permutation. Cacio e pepe but with pachetti pasta and toasted panko and seafood risotto with Rhode Island red clam sauce. My table of six asked for a second helping of these dishes. Really, I wanted to grab the bowl and do a Heisman out the door all the way home!
Honestly, after the pasta course, I was done, but that did not stop me from accepting one of Streetbird’s to-go containers. I filled it with the main course of perfectly cooked espresso-rubbed lamb chops with harissa, romesco porgy with gigante beans and ramps, the infamous Jonathan Waxman crispy potatoes and broccoli rabe. Just a little post-event snack.
Marcus Samuelsson arrived for his signature hot chicken toss parade and to say a couple of words of thanks to the chefs and guests. I grabbed a bite of the warm seasonal strawberry rhubarb crisp and wrapped up a couple of freshly baked Donato’s cookies for later and I was out.
A quick nightcap celebratory drink back at LoLo’s and another successful Dine In was in the bag. Congratulations to all participating restaurants and their guest chefs!
Happy eating and thanks for reading!
Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for more than 15 years. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc, and her blog, www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email AmNewsFOOD at AmNewsFOOD@SCHOPnyc.com. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!