A couple of pizza-related notes:
Motorino had a booth once again this year and was serving Insalata di Polpo (octopus, potatoes, celery, capers, extra virgin olive oil, lemon). Owner Mathieu Palombino was personally dishing out portions. Last year, when I heard that Motorino was going to be at the event, I was expecting some of their delectable pizza. But as soon as you walk into the 69th Armory on Lexington Avenue, it makes sense that there are few, if any, places serving pizza. In Motorino's case, there is no way that they could replicate their pies without the ovens they use in their two locations. So instead, they set up shop at Choice Eats to highlight some of their other popular menu items.
The only place serving pizza this year was a place called Slice, The Perfect Food which has locations on the Upper East Side and in the West Village. At Choice Eats, serving pizza means reheating it in a microwave oven. Even before I tried a slice, the owner told me that their pizza was much better fresh and that I should visit one of their restaurants for the real experience. For reheated pizza, it tasted fine -- but the consensus is that pizza is a difficult food item to churn out in large quantities at an event like Choice Eats.
Pizza aside, the event was a hit. Here were some of my favorite dishes of the evening in no particular order!
Soft Cheesecake With Blueberry Compote, Oranges, And Passionfruit Foam
Spot Dessert Bar
Braied Beef Tongue With Szechuan
Pepper Oil, Cilantro, Peanut and Crispy Nori
Pumpkin Crostini with Maple Smoked Butternut Squash and Roasted Pepitas
Braised Beer Brisket With Schoolhouse Kitchen Mustard
With Hot Bread Kitchen Toast From
Jimmy's No. 43
Mac & Cheese With White Cheddar, Thyme, And Pulled Pork Shoulder
Mama's Food Shop
With Cilantro Mint Pesto
Coated in Chocolate with Salted Breadcrumbs