By Sabina Mollot
Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood, an annual food festival/fundraiser organized by the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates, is returning this year on September 26.
This is only the third time the event’s been held, but it’s already become a yearly event due to popular demand of both local foodies and neighborhood restaurants.
Ironically, when first presented with the idea for a food festival by a group member, Alan Krevis, president of the GNA, was against it, thinking it would be too big for the organization to pull off.
On the decision to go for it and then keep doing it, Krevis said, “Truthfully the neighbors like it. The restaurants like it. The restaurants would not come back if they didn’t feel it helped their business. And that’s what it’s about. Promoting our local businesses, promoting the GNA and our love of the neighborhood.”
Additionally, net proceeds from each event from ticket sales get donated to two Gramercy schools, PS 40 and School of the Future. Any unserved food is brought to the Bowery Mission after the event.
Krevis said he’s expecting the biggest turnout so far this year—“as long as the weather gods are on our side.” Last year, persistent rain from 1 p.m. throughout the afternoon took away much of the event’s day-of ticket sales.
Fortunately, the vendors weren’t scared off, with most of them returning this year to offer tastings of their signature dishes, as well as a few new restaurants. First-timers this year include Florian restaurant and pizzeria, and Javelina, a new Mexican restaurant.
Some of the returning participants include Ainsworth Park, Barbounia, Casa Mono, Gramercy Tavern, Ichabod’s, Jack’s Sushi and Sliders, Morton’s Grille, and Paul & Jimmy’s, the latter of which, noted Krevis, has remained in business under three generations of family ownership.
Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood will run outdoors on Saturday, September 26 on Irving Place between 17th and 18th Streets between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets are available at gnaonline.org for $40, and $50 the day of the event. For tastings from all of the restaurants, $70, and $80 day of. There is no alcohol served at the event.