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New York Taste 2009

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I did a search, but the only post I found about this event was from 2005, and it didn't get any responses. I pretty much am decided that I will attend this event, because the list of participating restaurants and chefs is impressive, and I know there is no way I will be able to hit them all individually during my time in NY. Even if these "tastes" aren't the best they have to offer, it is better than never trying their food at all. Plus, I like supporting a good cause.

My main question is whether it is worth it to shell out for the VIP ticket. Tasting events I have attended in other cities have taught me that these events can sometimes be a madhouse (very crowded, hard to move or see what each restaurant has to offer, much less enjoy eating it, etc.) Is this event like that? The VIP ticket lets you in an hour early, so if it is, I am wondering whether the VIP ticket might be the way to go to avoid frustration. Has anyone done the VIP thing and, if so, did you think it was worth the extra $$? I am willing to spend the money if you get added value for it, but if the VIPs had the same basic experience as the general attendees, I'd rather save my money for a night out at another restaurant or two.

I'd also love to hear any comments about the event in general, if anyone had experiences they wouldn't mind sharing.

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  1. Bummer. Does the lack of reply mean that no one has attended this event? Or that no one who attended thought it was worth commenting on? I'd love to hear anything about it -- VIP tickets or in general. The list of participating chefs and restaurants is pretty impressive, so I'd love to know if the reality lives up to the impression.

    1. What is this event? I am rather curious myself honestly.

      1. I went last year for the first time with a bunch of people and we all agreed we would not do it again without VIP tickets. The early access you get with the VIP tix is key, it's gets crowded at certain points and difficult to move from stand to stand. It also gave us the ability to speak with some of the chefs for greater lenghts of times and go up for mulitple samples. The VIP gift bag was also pretty great. It was filled with cook books wine journals, liquor samples, spa gift certificate etc.

        I think the xtra $75 was worth it in the end.

        1 Reply
        1. re: facebacon

          Thank you for the reply, facebacon!! This is precisely the sort of feedback I was hoping for.

        2. I went last year general admission. It was great. Crowded + hot, yes. But I don't think we missed a booth and we weren't told any booths were out of food. I think there are a few extra tastings in VIP lounge. If memory serves, Tom Colicchio was in VIP so I missed that - but I met him at Tuesdays With Tom. But otherwise, I was tasting tons and chatting with Morimoto about his unreal concoction. Personally, I probably won't shell out the extra $$ for VIP. I, like you said, would rather save it and put it towards the bill of my favorite restaurants from the night. Also, you get the extra hour beforehand but there's no way you want to try all the food in 1 hour! Which means you'll end up with the masses anyway. When we wanted to get away from the crowd we just took a breather in the hallways or outside.
          Last year, the most gorgeous booth was Elettaria which just closed - so sad! They were so creative with this gorgeous faux tree and tastings coming out of the branches.

          1. I've been to Taste for the last three years and would have to say that having the first hour without the General Admission crowd is key. I also have really like the gift bag that comes with the VIP ticket.

            2 Replies
            1. re: sophieb

              Great, thanks sophie! I'm feeling even better about buying the VIP ticket. Really looking forward to the event.

              As an aside, I just got back from the Harvest in the Square tasting event where in addition to trying some tasty food (my faves were from Casa Mono/Bar Jamon and the marshmallow milkshake from The Stand -- omg, totally lives up to the hype), I also got to see a bunch of people from previous seasons of Top Chef in the crowd. Great fun.

              1. re: sophieb

                HAHA. i got a friend that really wants the swag bag. was it really worth the price of the VIP ticket?