For the past 20 years, Harvest in the Square has brought together chefs from some of the top restaurants in the Union Square area to showcase their signature dishes using ingredients from the Union Square Greenmarket, and last night’s celebration was a certified blowout. More than 50 local restaurants and food establishments were on hand to serve tastes to hundreds of hungry diners, and plenty of local wine and beer was on offer too.
While the food was great, the festival has a larger purpose: to support the Union Square Partnership’s ongoing investment to keeping Union Square beautiful, clean, and safe; Funding raised by the festival has helped pay for projects including restoring the Pavilion building, tripling play space, landscaping, irrigation, maintaining seating areas, and planting shrubs and flowers. All told, within the past 20 years this event has raised $5 million for the Partnership.
Standout dishes during the event were served by All’Onda’s Chris Jaeckle (corn and straciatella crostini), Blue Smoke’s Jean-Paul Bourjeois (duck ham with figs and pickles blackberries), Dos Caminos’ Ivy Stark (short rib salbutes), Gramercy Tavern’s Brett Serafin (duck liver mousse crostini with pickles cherry), Javelina’s Rich Caruso (lamb barbacoa tacos), Knickerbocker’s Clara O’Marde (T-bone steak), The Gander’s Jesse Schenker (grilled corn and heirloom tomato salad), and Union Square Café’s Carmen Quagliata (spicy pickled mussels on a potato croquette with sweet corn. 15 different local wineries were on also represented, so there was certainly no shortage of beverages.
It all gave the impression of an abundance of riches, but it was all definitely for a good cause. If this is what supporting the Union Square Partnership looks like, we’re all for it!