More than 60 New York City restaurants came together under one roof Tuesday night, as the Village Voice and a sea of people took over the 69th Regiment Armory for the sixth annual Choice Eats tasting event. The restaurants were joined by a handful of brewers, distillers, and winemakers to assemble a (nearly) overwhelming feast that allowed participants the opportunity to sample food from the farthest reaches of the city.
As opposed to some other festivals that tend to focus on the most visible restaurants, the organizers of this event reach out to some off-the-radar places in the hopes that they’ll soon be on-the-radar. Barbecue shops Fletcher’s (in Gowanus) and John Brown Smokehouse (in Long Island City) were represented, for example, as well as the Bronx’s La Morada, Jamaica’s Maima's (possibly the city’s only Liberian restaurant), and Astoria’s Zenon Taverna, which served sheftalies (a Cypriot grilled sausage) and lamb meatballs.
There were plenty of represented restaurants, however, that have become nearly household names. The Meatball Shop, for example, served a Buffalo chicken meatball, Marc Murphy’s Ditch Plains served up a macaroni and cheese-topped hot dog (mini-sized, mercifully), and both Luke’s Lobster and Red Hook Lobster Pound served shrimp rolls.
Not all offerings were savory, either. Robicelli’s cupcakes were on hand, as well as ice cream from Ample Hills Creamery and chocolate waffle cookies from The Good Batch. There were also plenty of beers, wines, and spirits on hand to wash everything down with.
And while just about everything on offer made us wish we weren’t rapidly running out of stomach space, some bites warranted a return visit. Click through for 10 of our favorite foods from the event.
Dan Myers is the Eat/Dine Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @sirmyers.