Recap of Choice Eats 2014

Simmering pot of turkey dandan from Spicy Bampa The Pines - Squid with romesco, shishitos and almonds

Last night was the 7th Annual Choice Eats by Village Voice. This year they moved to a much larger, brighter location despite being further downtown on the edges of the Lower East Side/Chinatown area.

This colossal food event has a nice assortment from delicious ethnic eats that would warm your bones while waiting on line outside yesterday like the turkey dandan simmering in that chili broth seen above from Spicy Bampa to sophisticated yet unique squid dish from The Pines (seen below the simmering pot photo).

There were also plenty of booze that most attendees who came to Choice Eats straight after work wanting to get a couple of pours of fine vodka and other spirits.


Here’s my other memorable bites of the night:

Scratchbread's spread of Baba n pickle and focaccia

The Scratchbread crew rolled out with a large spread of their delicious fresh baked focaccia, in-house made creative spreads like the wonderfully spicy and pleasantly pungent take on the baba ganoush, Baba n pickle, grits and a large pile of crispy bacon.

Telepan Local - Broccoli rabe with white anchovies, egg yolk puree and Parmesan

The broccoli rabe with white anchovies, egg yolk purée and Parmesan from Telepan Local was distinctive and delicious. Bitter broccoli rabe, highlighted with the zip of the salty anchovy and creaminess of the yolk purée brought all of these intense flavors together.

Black Tree - Coffee & stout beer braised short rib with spicy pear preserves, arugula and pickled pear

The coffee and stout beer braised short rib with spicy pear preserves, arugula, and pickled pear from Black Tree is technically served as a sandwich in the restaurant, as I was informed. This gluten-free version, so to speak, was delicious though the portion size is technically quite large for this kind of event. It’s great for those who are big eaters and love meltingly tender braised short rib (like myself).

Bien Cuit - Apricot danishes with pink peppercorn

Looking towards the sweets, the phenomenal bakery in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Bien Cuit had these amazing, buttery, flaky, apricot danishes with pink peppercorn.

Doughnut Plant - Bitten Coconut Cream Doughnut and Orange Blossom & Cashew Doughnut (VIP Sweet)

In the VIP Sweets section, Doughnut Plant had four flavors of yeast-risen doughnuts – blackberry, coconut, orange blossom with cashew, and hazelnut chocolate. All were distinctively good with fluffy soft tender doughnuts with flavorful creamy fillings, but I prefer the blackberry and hazelnut chocolate.

Oddfellows Ice Cream Co. - Cedar Creamsicle Ample Hills Creamery - Sweet As Honey Ice Cream

On all things ice cream, there’s two opposing sides – one for comfort and familiar flavors from Ample Hills Creamy and the experimental from Odd Fellows Ice Cream Co.. Ample Hills doled out flavors like their signature Salted Crack Caramel (salted caramel ice cream), Sweet as Honey (sweet cream ice cream with bits of honeycomb and swirled with honey), and Gather ‘Round the Campfire (toasted marshmallow ice cream with graham crackers).

Odd Fellows’ served up bowls of Cedar Creamsicle, crushed graham crackers with scoops of cedar infused ice cream and topped with a quenelle of orange infused foam. It sounds odd but it’s insanely delicious and it sort of does remind you of the orange creamsicle you might have eaten as a kid.

To view more photos of this visit, please view the slideshow below (or CLICK HERE):

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