Monday, June 21, 2010

A Marvelous Party!

Garden Party 27 officially kicked off Pride Week on June 21 with more than 50 restaurants, caterers and food trucks participating. The tasting event at the Hudson River Park Trust’s Pier 54 featuring these fine foodies brought everyone together to raise money for the LGBT Center, so they may keep their doors open year round and continue their commendable efforts to support the LGBT community.

An estimated 2,000 guests flooded the Pier to celebrate the gayest time of the year, chowing down while the sun set over the elegantly tented proceedings. We started at the free-flowing Ketel One vodka bar made entirely of ice and checked out the bidding booths offering dining packages at the ‘Foodies’ Silent Auction, which this year included gourmet food baskets, wine classes and tastings, and tickets to Broadway shows. Chad Carns, previously featured in Next, was on hand to sign his book The Gourmet Bachelor along with a chance to win a private cooking lesson with the chef and author. The auction’s premier package included Lunch for Four at Food Network and a taping of Iron Chef America.

Although we couldn’t hit all of the stands, we certainly did try. North Square offered little cups of Tomatillo Gaspacho with poached shrimp, which was almost as good as the Chilled Watermelon Gaspacho with chipotles from Boqueria; we loved the Mini Kobe Beef Brats from Klee where Chef Daniel Angerer himself doled out the little sausages on a brioche roll with cranberry mustard; Grass-Fed Meatballs from Colors were served with a piquant chimichurri sauce; we continued drinking with tasty Rum Punch from the South African restaurant Braai; the Grilled Asian Chicken Salad tossed with lemon ginger vinaigrette was refreshing and a favorite; Green Chile Mac & Cheese from Good topped with tortilla crumbs was actually really good; we had more cheese courtesy of La Bottega Trattoria with their sumptuous Robiola Pizza and we drank more too, imbibing their fabulous White Sangria; On The Plate, an underground supper club, presented wonderful Low Country style Butterbean Paté with pickled onion.

For dessert, we descended upon Peanut Butter & Co. for a fantastic PB&J. The Rice Crispy Treats from the Treats Truck ( were delightful and the Red Velvet Whoopie Pies from This Chick Bakes were utterly beyond.

What a great way to start our Pride Week! Congratulations to the LGBT Center for throwing the marvelous Garden Party—such an important, delicious evening!

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First published for Next magazine.

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