At Grand Street Settlement’s Annual Taste of the Lower East Side [RECAP]

Posted on: May 7th, 2018 at 9:26 am by

Photo: Lori Greenberg

The Lower East Side has long been long been known for its food. So it wasn’t a leap when the Grand Street Settlement’s volunteer mentors, who were determined to raise money for its youth trips, started the fundraiser “Taste of the Lower East Side” 18 years ago.

In the beginning, they went door to door, convincing local restaurants to agree to participate. But the event has grown enormously over the years, currently bringing in over fifty culinary masters and mixologists. Taste of the LES now supports not only JUMP!, their youth mentoring program, but also all programming and services at Grand Street Settlement.

We gleefully and glutinously attended this year’s event, which took place last week at the Metropolitan Pavilion. Along with edibles and drinkables, there was a silent auction, raffles, and even a boozy ring toss. The mood within the filled-to-the-gills space was festive, with attendees searching out new delicacies along with old favorites.

We sampled some pretty incredible food, aiming for that mix of new and traditional: mini pancakes from Clinton Street Baking Company, salmon poke from Noreetuh, pierogi from Veselka, and lox from Russ & Daughters. We also made sure to stop at what turned out to be our favorite table: junior chefs from the Unity Plaza Culinary Club serving up some veggie mac n’ cheese accompanied by chocolate coconut pudding. Those kids can cook!

After taking some breaks, our reinvigorated stomachs hit the tables again, this time for desserts: a matcha chocolate chip brownie sundae from Kitsby, slushies from Claw Daddy, and miniature doughnuts from Doughnut Plant. Devouring decadent chocolate from Roni-Sue’s Chocolates, we learned a lot about the various percentages of chocolate. And, there’s never enough one can learn about chocolate, so we were pretty happy to find out more.

The event raised over $400,000 for the Grand Street Settlement’s programs. Even if you missed the food, you can still donate to help their advocacy efforts in the neighborhood.

Recent Stories

East Village Artist M. Henry Jones, Contemporary of Keith Haring, Dies

M. Henry Jones, a member of the East Village arts scene for over forty years, died last week (either June 16 or 17) at the age of 65. We’re told, though unconfirmed, the cause of death was a form of cancer. Jones was a neighborhood fixture for decades, in part, because of his storefront studio […]

Under the Floorboards at Long-Vacant East Houston Lot

Bereft of substantial activity in nearly two decades, the long-vacant parcel at 49 East Houston Street is in deterioration overdrive. An eagle-eyed tipster notes that the floorboards atop the existing foundation are now busted. Creating a pseudo entryway into the cellar level. Before its demise fourteen years ago, 49 East Houston had been a one-story […]

Developer Begins Demolition of Rutgers Street Playground for Temporary Parking Lot

Demolition work began this week on a Lower East Side park that is a focal point in the tension between the community and developers on the waterfront. The backhoes are out and job now underway at Rutgers Park, the small public space beside the Lands End II residential development. Removal of the playground began yesterday, including […]

The 3 Lower East Side Walk-ups that Sold for $35M

Earlier this month, we reported that SMA Equities, the Long Island real estate firm with controversial history on the Lower East Side, sold a portfolio of its area properties. SMA unloaded three tenement walk-ups to Daniel Fishman of GAIA Real Estate – 102 Norfolk Street, 177 Ludlow Street, and 99 Allen Street – for an […]

H&M Debuts Pop-up Hotel on the Bowery this Weekend

Fashion retailer, H&M, is headed to the Lower East Side this week with a pop-up hotel concept. Starting tomorrow, prospective guests can access the so-called Hotel Hennes via the eponymous 3 Freeman Alley. The three-day publicity stunt will be open through Saturday, from 2 to 9pm. Guests will be able to check in for an […]