It seems like this is the umpteenth food festival event I've posted about in the last couple months, and though sometimes I feel this blog should be called Awesome Food in New York, deal with it. I heart food.
East Village Eats was put on by the non-profit organization Fourth Arts Block, which promotes the East 4th Street Cultural District, as a chance for locals and tourists alike to wander around the East Village eating and discovering some pretty snazzy restaurants and drinking establishments. You already know that when food and wandering is involved, I'm there before you can even print out the map, so I was excited to bring along my boyfriend Mike and his college roommate in from out of town, Ben. The weather was perfect for this type of activity and we were hungry for our 15 "bites" from area restaurants.
|Me with my East Village Eats goodies. We got sporks!|
|Mike and Ben inside Bond Street Chocolate|
|Cold Antipasto "Feast" at Cucina de Pesce|
Next, we made our way to the eclectic Mediterranean restaurant Nomad. The decor made me feel like I'd hopped on a plane and landed in Morocco, but no one was trying to sell me carpets or a fez, so that was good. We were each offered a seat at the bar and served plates of Moorish chicken skewers flavored with African spices, crispy pita and hummus. Although I didn't want to start out filling up on bread, this pita was delicious and the chicken succulent. I'll definitely be back!
|Chicken, pita and humus from Nomad|
|Mono + Mono|
|Korean-style fried chicken wing|
|Plates of Mushroom Trifolati at Supper|
|Our "bite" from Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches|
|Souen East Village|
|Seitan Dumplings at Souen|
|A glimpse of the crowd descending on the Luke's Lobster counter|
The next two stops were disappointing because I expected a lot and was let down. Though this was probably for the best because there was a lot of food backing up in me by this point. First we went to Xi'an Famous Foods which was sampling their "Cold Skin Noodles" or what they described as bouncy and chewy wheat noodles mixed with seitan (there it was again) and vegetables, and tossed with secret spicy sauces to make a cool, delicious mess. Well, the only mess it made was a very spicy one in my mouth. Spicy to the point where I couldn't taste anything but heat and I had to throw mine away. Note to vendors: never serve something super hot to a general audience. I can handle spicy, but this was a bit much. S'mac was another sad story. I had walked by it so many times before and each time thought to myself that I need to try it one day. They were sampling their classic four cheese mac 'n cheese, but it was from a chafing dish outside the restaurant - that was their downfall. The cheese wasn't able to stay melty and instead it was crusty, crumbly and just bad if you can believe it. I'm hoping this was just a fluke, because never before have I thrown out mac 'n cheese and I don't intend to ever again.
|Big bowl of VERY spicy noodles from Xi'an Famous Foods|
|Mac 'n Cheese with hardened cheese from S'Mac|
|Mini red velvet cupcake with vanilla cream cheese frosting from Tulu's Gluten-Free Bakery|
|Ben and Mike hanging out at Tulu's|
Just in time for a pick-me-up, we stumbled on the MUD truck in Astor Place for a latte for me and straight coffee for the boys. I'm not a big coffee drinker as it messes with my stomach, but my small orange cup was the perfect size to warm me up and let me get a taste of MUD's great brew.
Inside the Cooper Square Hotel, we were able to get a glimpse of the full dining room at Faustina inside the futuristic tower hovering over the older buildings in Cooper Square. We were also treated to Garlic Nodini - basically garlic knots with a dollop of whipped ricotta in the middle. Ricotta is one of my magic words, so I was happy, but honestly, the last thing I wanted at this point was more bread.
|Garlic Nodini at Faustina|
I want to thank Fourth Arts Block for enabling my friends and me to partake in this awesome afternoon of food and wandering. Can't wait to do it again next year! Did you attend? I want to hear your thoughts on the event!