And that didn't cover half of the 60-plus restaurants that served up chow at Choice Eats 2010, from The Village Voice. (My words following the inaugural, smaller-scale Choice Eats event were even more true this time around: There's only one person who might be able to manage a taste at every table.) In the face of so much food I conserved valuable stomach space by avoiding the free-flowing alcohol. (Except the raki. It might have been 10 years since I had raki.)
Instead I lubricated the intervals between bites by getting the good word from several of the many restaurateurs in attendance. I heard that construction is complete at the larger, Sheepshead Bay location of Café Glechik, a companion to the Brighton Beach original, and that this Ukrainian restaurant may open in two weeks, inspections and Con Ed willing. An exclusive: An Choi, which brought Vietnamese street food to the Lower East Side, will soon be working a double-wide storefront when it expands into the premises next door. (Will the backyard dining area also double in size? Let's hope.) And an eatery not to be named here, which added a second, outer-borough location in 2009, is shopping for a location that will appeal to Manhattan lunchers.
I also learned that even under pizza-free conditions like this off-site event, Motorino's Mathieu Palombino makes a superb octopus salad. And I discovered that an innocuous-looking mac and cheese, like the version from Mama's Food Shop (above), benefits immensely when its ingredient list includes not only macaroni, white cheddar, and thyme, but also pulled pork shoulder. For confirmation, 20 Choice Eats tables later, I went back for seconds.
Choice Eats 2010
The 69th Armory, 68 Lexington Ave. (25th-26th Sts.)
March 22, 2010